This weekend I witnessed the Darwinian struggle won by a tongue. It was after a day roasting on the dam in a lilo with Everson’s cloudy on hand. Cape Town’s spoils of talent were spilling acoustics over the water. Late into the evening, by sheer kismet, I found myself squeezed between the palate that rules them all, Jörg Pfützner, and his accomplice in cultivation, Ewan Mackenzie. The best seat in the house comes with mind-blowing wines appearing out of the shadows like gifts from the ghosts of terroir. Petit Verdot Blanc de Noir from Slanghoek, Cellar Foot Hárslevelü from the Swartland, Dócil Vinho Verde from Portugal’s Niepoort. Tastes that inspired a sortie about the impossibility of defending a benchmark of the best. After a fat deep breath of mid-harvest Hemel-en-Aarde in it’s crispy pre-drizzle paired with a Copernican view of the stars it follows to forget about philosophy of the barrel or the technique de jour of flinging oddball flavours against the bouquet until something sticks. “It’s a raspberry lollypop next to a freshly cut golf course”. If we could just bottle this experience.
Under-curating my campsite took careful self-control but I did place Wolfgang strategically nearby for photography purposes. Hiding away the iPhone meant a night untethered. In this valley you shouldn’t count time like you count money despite even the clay feeling expensive. Through the night the drizzle dropped on my tent like popcorn but riding Wolfgang home in thick rain and traffic was the opposite of fun. The question lingered if talking about this festival would risk destruction by the First Thursday Effect.