Tuesday 18 May 2021

 2015 Ridgelands Syrah Wine Review & Peppercorn Sauce Steak Pairing Are you trying to figure out what food to pair with a shiraz? Look no further, this shiraz food pairing is perfect! This peppercorn sauce steak is a match made in heaven for the shiraz! yum!

Monday 6 April 2020

Funniest Wine Tasting Ever!

Click to watch the video on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/cJ61uNyrTOw

Cabin fever during the lockdown has hit hard! We decided we need to have a little bit of fun! Watch our wine tasting during the lockdown for a proper good laugh!
For your own sanity, try doing your own wine tasting at home and have a little fun.
How to do a wine tasting at home, you ask? its simple, just pour wine in different rooms and drink them. Or another wine tasting at home idea, is you can get your partner to pour the wine and you could do a blind wine tasting at home and try guess what the wine is. Enjoy!
If you're looking for fun things to do during lockdown or quarantine, or if you're just bored at home, this is definitely an option.
Do you have any suggestions of things to do when you are bored at home? Please comment below!

Thursday 8 June 2017

Wipeout! at Meerendal Wine Estate MTB Trail

So there's more to do than just drink wine on a wine farm :) At Meerendal Wine Estate, we took a ride on their awesome mountain bike trail. Click on the link below for the GoPro footage. There's footage of my wipeout in the video too, ouch!

The trail commences through the vineyards and traverses to the top of the Dorst Berg (Thirsty Mountain -coincidence? haha) from where there is a thrilling single track back down to the start.

Tuesday 30 May 2017

New YouTube Channel!

So seeing that I have a passion for both wine and adventure, it became a little crazy and somewhat of a nightmare having various YouTube channels and splitting videos up! Hence I have created a new YouTube channel which showcases the best of both worlds, Wine and Adventure! The new channel is called "Ricky G."

So please do subscribe to ensure you don't miss out on any awesome, fun and informative videos, by clicking on the link below!:


Thursday 14 January 2016


Farm valuations are complex and there are many factors which need to be taken into account. The valuation of wine farms or vineyards is no different and one cannot simply apply a comparable sales rate per hectare to the extent of the farm to calculate the value of such. It is necessary for a well-informed property Valuer with experience in the agricultural industry to undertake such exercise, as such understanding is imperative over and above the knowledge of residential, commercial and industrial valuations, which the wine farm may include additional elements of.
Without going into much detail, these are a few of the factors which need to be taken into account, when performing a valuation of a wine farm:

    • Are the cultivars planted, suitable to the area and climate?
    • Are the soil types suited towards the cultivars?
    • Are the vines grafted onto the correct rootstock?
    • Are the respective cultivars facing the most appropriate aspect and are they planted at the best altitude, as climatic conditions will have a large impact on such, thereby affecting the quality of the grapes?
    • Is an appropriate trellis system utilised for the cultivar?
    • Is there sufficient water available or are the vineyards under irrigation (legally)?
    • What is the age of the vines, as vines have a lifespan which will affect the yield of such?
    • Are pests and diseases under control?   
    • What improvements and implements does the farm include?

Do you or the valuation company you are utilising have the experience to answer such questions, in order to determine an accurate market value? Equip yourself with a valuation report which enable you to make an informed decision.

Ricardo Gouveia, director of Valuetec, is a Professional Associated Valuer and in addition to having a sound knowledge of wine and vineyards, has recently completed Wine Diploma at the Cape Wine Academy with the intention of becoming a Cape Wine Master in the near future. He therefore oversees the valuation of wine farms undertaken by Valuetec in the Western Cape, South Africa. Valuetec have offices in Mowbray, Cape Town and undertake valuations of all types of properties ranging from agricultural, commercial, retail, industrial, specialised properties and residential. Contact Valuetec today, whether you require a wine farm or other property valuation for acquisition, disposal or financial statement purposes: 0861 440 444, info@valuetec.co.za, www.valuetec.co.za

Friday 20 November 2015

Diploma Module 3 - The Final Frontier...

So it's been just under 2 years since I headed down this track, in the quest to quench my desire for wine knowledge. I have just completed my final module (Module 3 - Wines of the Old World) of Diploma at The Cape Wine Academy. The final exam was written last night and now all that is left to do is hold thumbs in the hopes that I passed and then drink, I mean taste wines like a thirsty mad man over the weekend, as practice for the practical tasting exam on Monday! This I shall have no problem studying for! hahaha

Module 3 was very interesting as we covered various old world wine producing countries including: Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece and Israel. I learnt a tremendous amount and it was fantastic learning not only about the various grape varieties and wine styles of these fantastic countries, but also about their cultures and history. I have decided that over the next few years, international travels will be planned around visiting the wine regions of all these countries, as its all good and well learning about them on paper and drinking their wines too, but now I need to experience it! 
Enjoying a Riesling in the Mosel, a Chasselas near Geneva, a Tokaj Aszu in Hungary, a Chianti in Tuscany, a Port in the Douro or a Tempranillo in Rioja, sounds damn fantastic to me! It will be such an experience to convert this knowledge into unforgettable and much appreciative experiences. We all know how much better a wine tastes in its natural home setting in the vineyards...  

I will admit that Module 3 to me was the most challenging of the 4 and it felt like a system overload at times, so my advice, start revising way in advance if you write this exam! 
There are many different words, regions, wine styles and quality categories for example to learn in each particular language.

So what next? Masters perhaps?? oh the love of the grape makes you do crazy things I tell you ;)

To start a wine course and to see the list of courses the Cape Wine Academy has on offer, visit their website at: www.capewineacademy.co.za or contact them on 011 024 3616.


Saturday 1 November 2014

Diploma Modules 1, 4, 2, 3... Go!

So I completed and better yet, passed, Module 1 of Diploma at the Cape Wine Academy. I have attended all the Module 4 lectures and will write the exam for such in 3 weeks time... hold thumbs! 
Modules 2 and 3 will be completed next year, after which I will hopefully commence with Masters thereafter, ouch! Masters sounds damn hardcore, but hey, it's all interesting and an excellent learning experience.

Thus far, I have learnt a tremendous amount and realised that no one person will ever know all there is to know about wine. It's such a vast subject with new innovative winemaking techniques always surfacing, differing cultures of countries and appellation/ wine of origin requirements, thousands of grape varieties, various climates,  varying terroir and new clones, it sounds almost impossible to keep abreast and that's what keeps it exciting ;)

Diploma is a lot more intensive then the previous Certificate course, which gives one an excellent foundation of South African viticulture, winemaking and the industry. Diploma Module 1 covered viniculture, viticulture and a brief introduction into France. Module 4 has been about wines of the new world and wow, what a thrilling experience to try different wines from around the world with a similar winemaking style to South Africa. Although new world wines are similar in that sense, per country basis, they are very different in character. It all seemed overwhelming initially, but eventually you start noticing characteristic trends of the various countries and realise the more wine you drink, the better you get! Just as time on the saddle is the best way to get mountain biking fit, sticking your nose into a wine glass and devouring it's beauty, is the best way to become wine tasting savvy. It's such a pleasing experience to be able to identify from which country individual wines in a blind flight come from! Well, it's difficult to get it right every time, but one day when I'm big and after litres and litres of more practice, I should eventually take my tasting abilities a notch up. 

I am thoroughly looking forward to Modules 2 and 3 next year, which will cover "Wines of France" and "Wines of the Old World."
For a list of courses the Cape Wine Academy has on offer, visit their website at: www.capewineacademy.co.za or contact them on 011 024 3616.


Tuesday 5 August 2014

Would You Like Some Cheese With That "Whine?"

Do you enjoy wine? Do you enjoy cheese? How about pairing the two together? 
For those that are interested, the Cape Wine Academy is launching a new course on 21 August 2014 at Miele in Johannesburg. Be sure not to miss out and book asap, see the advert below for details: 

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Haute Cabrière - The Mindset Changer

How many times have you heard someone say, "Oh no, I cant drink red wine, it gives me headaches," or "white wine makes me drunk," or "it gives me heartburn," or "I don't like white wine" etc? Its amazing how this becomes a mindset and marvelous wine takes the brunt of it.

There is a common misconception that sulfites (which occur naturally in the process of making wine and are commonly added to wine as a preservative) cause headaches. Wrong! Sulphites are found in a variety of foods such as fruit juice, dried fruit and even added to drinking water. Now I've never heard someone complain of getting a headache from drinking too much water?? Just face it, you probably just drinking too much of it, or perhaps you one of those unlucky bastards who experience allergy symptoms. Allergy symptoms occur when the immune system overreacts to an allergen. If there is an allergy, the immune system acts as if the allergen were dangerous, releasing a chemical called histamine that causes allergy symptoms. The most common symptoms of a wine allergy are: skin rashes, flushed skin, diarrhea, vomiting, shortness of breath, stomach cramps, runny nose and swollen eyes. There are also long-term symptoms of wine intolerance, such as: eczema, headaches, migraines, chronic fatigue and low mood.

Those sulfites have taken me off my original topic here, back to Haute Cabrière. Haute Cabrière is a wine farm located in Franschhoek and known for its delicious Pinot Noir's and Pierre Jordan Cap Classique (bubbly). I decided to write this blog post because on 2 separate occasions, in a short space of time, Haute Cabrière wines have changed mindsets. 
It all started when meeting up with Wimpie, an old buddy for a "meeting" at a golf driving range. Whilst browsing the wine list, I quickly learned that he didn't drink white wine because, wait for it, "he doesn't like white wine." From past experience, I don't drink red wine in the sun. So we had a bit of a problem.... To solve this, we could each order and drink our own bottles of wine, or I could just insist we drink a bottle of white haha. He mentioned that he drank bubbly though, but there wasn't any on the list (thank goodness, as that would have appeared very unmanly and romantic haha). That's when the Haute Cabrière Chardonnay Pinot Noir jumped out from the wine list and screamed pick me, pick me! I told him that most bubbly's are made from a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and therefore he should put his big girl panties on and try it! 
So he tried it and guess what Wimpie bought the following day? Yes, that's right, a case of Haute Cabrière Chardonnay Pinot Noir! 

Occasion number 2... Sometimes whilst working, I get tired of... working. So sushi and wine always sound more exciting. 
I'm going to detract from the topic again quickly (eish, seems like sushi and wine are calling again) Another misconception, is that you should drink white wine with sushi, however, I recently discovered that red wine pairs far better with sushi because of the prominent soy sauce and wasabi flavours. 
Back to my story... I met Karen at our local spot and when ordering the wine, I remembered that she doesn't drink red wine because, wait for it, "It makes her drunk." Another problem, I don't drink red in the sun. What to do?! I decided to look for an easy drinking red, something light and elegant,... that's it,... Pinot Noir! By chance there was a Haute Cabrière Unwooded Pinot Noir available. Perfect! A wooded Pinot Noir would have probably erred on the heavy side due to the oaky flavours and higher tannin levels. Karen, being very hesitant at first, allowed me to twist her rubber arm and we ordered the unwooded Pinot Noir. Guess what is Karen's favourite wine and one that she purchases every single opportunity she gets? Yes, that's right, Haute Cabrière Unwooded Pinot Noir! (Wow, I think Haute Cabrière owes me some commission :) haha)

So, if you haven't tried it yet, get your hands on some Haute Cabrière and perhaps too, can it change your mindset ;) www.cabriere.co.za 
Ps. Haute Cabrière have in no way or form asked or induced me to write this post.

Sources for this article include: 

Tuesday 1 April 2014

How NOT, to Sabrage a Champagne Bottle

I wanted to write a post about sabraging, the history thereof and provide a step by step process of how to do so. It really is a VERY simple, yet impressive, procedure which anyone can accomplish if you follow 3 simple basic steps.
But... last night I came across this old video of mine and thought this is too damn good not to share as I almost wet my pants watching it again! So hence this post! "The how to and history of sabrage" post will follow shortly :)

I have sabraged literally over 50 times, using anything from a butter knife to an ax and done so with great success each and every single time. I don't know what the hell happened here, but there could have been a fault with the bottle. With early bottle designs, they tended to explode and the manufacturers kept making them thicker until they could contain the pressure caused by the release of carbon dioxide during the secondary fermentation. 
Or, the bottle was not cold enough. The ideal temperature is between 45-48°F or 7-8°C. Why? It is the pressure and the vibration that will "cut" the glass. A warm bottle has more pressure, which is begging for problems (haha ask me, I have first hand experience). A tip: Don't attempt to chill the bottle using an ice bucket as the most important part of the bottle (the neck area) won't be chilled properly.

So, do not try this at home, but please do enjoy the video!

Thursday 27 March 2014

You Can Go Wine Tasting in the Garden Route!

So I have been frequenting the Garden Route, mostly Knysna to be exact, quite often lately. I wonder if it has anything to do with a beautiful and amazing local lady? hehe, yip, it seems a new passion has wondered into my life, apart from wine and adventurous activities :) But not to worry, she loves wine too, so I am beyond certain that consumption of wine and visits to wine farms will be on the up! Oh yeah!

I must admit I have rather missed Stellenbosch and the Cape Winelands as its been a while since I have paid the awesome area a visit, or popped into a new wine farm to try and discover a hidden gem of a wine, just waiting to quench my thirst. Being from Gauteng, It's taken me a while to start becoming familiar with the wine regions, although the Garden Route is very new to me and to be honest, I never really knew of wine farms in the area.

I was therefore very impressed and surprised when said lady, took me to Bramon, a boutique Wine Estate 20km east of Plettenberg Bay. 
Bramon is the most easterly estate in the Cape, situated  in a mountainous area called The Crags, with gentle slopes and cool sea breezes. The family run estate pioneered vineyards in the Plettenberg Bay area, which subsequently was classified as a Wine of Origin region back in 2005. The Plettenberg Bay Region stretches from the Groot Rivier in Natures Valley, to Harkerville in the west and borders on the bay. 
At Bramon, the first Sauvignon Blanc vines were planted in 2000, which have produced an award winning Methode Cap Classique ("MCC") and now a Sauvignon blanc has been added to the range. It was a delight to visit the farm and drink some of their marvelous MCC over a delicious light lunch at the restaurant, with the tables literally in the vineyards! I found the MCC to be refreshing and crisp with lovely lime and apple flavours, finishing off with a buttery hint. I couldn't help but think whilst siting in the vineyards, that anyone requiring inspiration to write, or for what ever other reason, would definitely get it here.

I decided to do a little research regarding wine farms in the Garden Route and to my amazement there are approximately 18 wine farms in the area. So it seems my visits to the Garden Route no longer have to be dry runs, causing me to have withdrawal symptoms from much needed wine tastings and visits to wine farms, bloody marvelous! 
Only Sauvignon Blanc is currently cultivated in the Plettenberg Bay Region and it seems the specialty of the area is sparkling wine, although the area is apparently experimenting with Shiraz as a red variety. 
With this new found information about the Plettenberg Bay Wine Region and seeing that I will continue to frequent the area for obvious regions, I hereby nominate myself to try out all the wine farms in the area! Watch this space...

Practicing to be a wine Farmer :)