A South African Summer


Mullineux & Leeu
Varietal: Syrah
Region: South Africa - Swartland

Pair With: Sugar Man - Sixto Rodriguez

It's a cold one out. It’s the type of bone-chilling cold where no matter how many layers, its just impossible to get warm.  I’ve heard you can raise body temperature by thinking of a warm place – I guess it’s worth a try.

This time last year I was enjoying a sunny South African summer, casually drinking chenin blanc and syrah, while crushing cheese plates. January is when the wine business slows down and I can sneak away for vacation.

Choosing my destination has always been based on one question – what’s the wine like?

I settled on South Africa after reading about the emerging wine culture and the possibility of swimming with Great Whites.

I spent a few days in Capetown before heading to Stellenbosch and the surrounding wine region.

My first stop was scheduled to be a bio-dynamic winery called Reyneke - but it was closed for the day. So, puling an audible, we started the day at Kleinood - Afrikaans for something "small and precious". This small lot Syrah producer was kickass and the farm, complete with roaming wine dogs, was a place you never want to leave. Their olive oil was also dope and totally worth buying.

South Africa.JPG

We bounced around for the rest of the day and finished at Mullineux & Leeu. A quick stop at Mullineux and it is evident why Wine Enthusiast named Andrea Mullineux the 2016 winemaker of the year. Pay for the premium tasting and you get a cool side by side soil comparison of Granite, Schist and Iron based Syrah.

I’m a big Shark Week fan so I couldn’t’ pass up the chance to swim with these beasts. After sipping wine for a few days, we jumped in a van and headed up the coast to cage dive. The sharks were as hungry as they are on the Discovery Channel, just a hell of a lot closer.

I don’t know if thinking about the South African weather has made me any warmer but drinking a few glasses of Mullineux Syrah has helped. This single vineyard Syrah is full of dark fruit, pepper and spice. You can tell the winemaker's put a massive amount of thought into creating this wine - I highly recommend.