It seems to me (based on personal
observations and opinions expressed by numerous participants this weekend)
that the 6th annual Swartland Revolution was the one where we
overcame all previous hiccups and kind of nailed it!
As long as you didn’t see or feel the
behind the scenes stress caused by overloaded generators, broken glasses and
chip fryers that repeatedly tripped the power of a whole town block – you can
say we took it in our stride.
The three tastings this year were all well
received and on point:
Starting with Quality first – where Chris brought us
full circle – from a bunch of South Africans at Hospice du Rhone to a bit of
Hospice du Rhone in the Swartland.
With a Californian who threw away all the
gimmicks, “and that was the day I became a winemaker’. And next to me, at some point
during the seminar Adi whispers ‘”see, parallel universes”.
Swartland Secrets Stories got introduced
by Tim James saying, “when newness becomes less important, excellence becomes
more important.” And he got us thinking about history – where we have come from
and how we are living and writing future history. And the revolutionaries are planting,
experimenting and investing in the future with consideration not for money or
awards but for what is sustainable and right.
“Don’t plant what sells, plant what
belongs,” chirped Eben Sadie, just a few hours (and many bottles of wine) after
Pax had told us how banks in the US base the outcome of your application for
funding on the varieties you plan to plant.
Expert Opinions – or this year possibly
also aptly named ‘Experienced Opinions’. On Monday on the west coast Andrea
describes it as a ripple that left the Swartland and is starting to come back. While I recall someone saying “I could
have had these wines at Publik” you will never again drink them accompanied by
the insight of John Platter with open questions to the winemakers that made
them, scattered about the room.
But the revolution is not JUST about wine.
There was plenty of good food and other things to drink and enjoy. From quite
possibly the best steak I have ever had, tannie Ena se ongelooflike poffertjie
toring and not forgetting that spinach, green olive and caper berry dip – to
good old babelas burgers, wraps prepared with love and a lunch that had even Eben speechless, while the smoked chickens just
kept coming out of Callie’s contraption.
Personally I am a big fan of MC the
auctioneer, was like totally like ROFL at the air guitar incidents and really
enjoyed Basson Laubser and his friends having fun on stage.
I love the long afternoons in the sun on
dunnage bags (how much fun are those?...until someone breaks an arm) and do
enjoy watching slightly intoxicated men (and a certain lady) sticking their
heads in ice water to see who can stand it the longest.
The picnic, to the soundtrack of every song
Die Baardskeerdersbos has ever performed, is the perfect way to ease out the
afternoon and in general the vibe is extremely generous and gesellig.
I wonder if you caught the details in
amongst it all. The poems Andrea wrote about the two wines (literally) on tap
all weekend. The ‘with love, the moms’ tag on your wrap. There were limited
edition labels on some beers and have you even spotted Yoda and BA in ‘Where’s
Callie’? Hopefully you also came across a Caperitif cocktail or two at some
In the end it is just a bunch of friends,
doing what they love
Side by side and all over the world.
Same same but different.
Did Adi’s voice saying ‘parallel universes’
just pop into your head too?
Yes! But parallels are never supposed to
meet – and there it was, happening right in front of our eyes...
Thank you for coming and contributing to
the general gees of the weekend. It is exhausting stuff planning and hosting a
revolution – but in the end it is so very worth it. Our wish for you is to take the insight and inspiration of
#SR2015 with you to where ever you go in future and to go write history!
Mooi loop tot 'n volgende keer,
on behalf of all the other Swartlanders.