Patatsfontein - A great South African story


I’ll never forget the first time I tasted the 2014 Patatsfontein Steen. Having previously encountered all the wine-geek buzz, and urged on by whispers, rumours and hearsay, I spent about six months trying unsuccessfully to track down a bottle. Then one day, I tasted it. Without seeing a label, without any information and without a blind-tasting reputation, it could only be from one place. It was striking and inimitable. Very dry, shrubby, savory and karoo-like, it tasted like Montagu - where it grew up. This was a rare wine that somehow managed to shadow even its considerable hype.

This is that story. Or a part of it at least.

It’s about three friends who started something for all the right reasons, and have seen it surpass what they could have ever imagined. It’s about those who helped them along the way. And coincidence. And old vineyards. Terroir. It's about Chris Alheit's ability to sniff out a parcel of Chenin Blanc grapes. And the price of those grapes. And friendship. It’s about other things too.

With a growing number of outstanding wines to their name, the “Ronnie B” team now sits with a number of others at the forefront of a South African wine revolution. There’s a way to go yet, but it’s stories and wines such as theirs that bring much needed and well-deserved attention to South African wine.

You've obviously read these, right?