Tim James lives in Cape Town. He has a PhD in English literature but no respectable ambitions or full-time job—leaving more time for wine matters (et cetera). With a home base at grape.co.za, he has been a taster and associate editor for the Platter Guide for many years, writes freelance for various local and foreign publications, and is wine columnist for the national weekly Mail & Guardian. Of the three South African Wine Writers’ Annual Awards given so far, he has received two.
As fall advanced, I stood in a vineyard on the low slopes of the Paardeberg, a sprawling granitic mass rising from the undulating shale wheatlands of the Swartland, well inland from South Africa’s Atlantic west coast. The
Tim James explores the pleasing profusion of materials and shapes in modern winemaking receptacles and vessels, from wooden barrels and glass bottles to aluminum cans and clay amphorae. In wine’s beginning was the pot. Along with grapes,
The Oxford Companion to Wine ventures a trenchant opinion on the quality of wine possible from “the dull Colombard grape” (big in the Charentes for Cognac and farther south, where it makes Vin de Pays des Côtes