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 point…
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.