“Martin Strack van Schyndel lumbers up the steps clutching a bottle of rosé the colour of dawn. He’s after his wife’s opinion. Gloria is the driving force and unofficial cellar master of Plettenvale Wines in Plettenberg Bay. ‘Do you like where the label sits?’ He holds up a bottle of the 2013 vintage. She looks at the pansy shell-shaped sticker and after some deliberation gives him the nod. He proceeds down the stairs and spends the next hour manually applying labels to a couple of cases that are urgently needed by a local retailer and restaurateur.
Like most of the wines on South Africa’s hottest new wine route, which stretches from Harkerville to The Crags, Plettenvale only sells from the cellar door and at a clutch of restaurants and stores in town. It’s family owned, family run and driven by passion. They grow cold-climate grapes like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and make a supremely divine pink bubbly and pink flat. In a good year they produce 10,000 bottles – total. In a year when the baboons have marauded the vineyards, that number halves.“
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