Original jewellery designs and if you read in the caption on Youtube the designs are not purchased by ‘mainstream trendy’ but by a niche within ‘mainstream grey’ which are in fact the trendsetting women with a heart for quality and originality.
Skipskop Petit Verdot from Napier in South Africa is a surprising great (desert) wine with flavours that still indulge your taste buds long after you finished your glass … If this does not say anything about the quality … (etc.) … ?
No I’m not going to taste it; just let it mature for a few years. Well that’s what I do with quality wines. Recently I wrote a review about Le Neuf Papesch of this South African wine cellar and I had critics from …. the wine critics who make a living out of drinking/tasting wine and write about it. There are quite a few of them I found out. I received 13 emails (what a number!); two of them asking if I could please withdraw my review from the internet. Others found it of bad taste to inform readers about a simple method of distinguishing qualities; as it’s a secret amongst that particular profession. One (from South Africa) found the review ‘intriguing’ and from the UK I got the remark I was “too honest” …. The French ‘Vigneron’ (wine-maker’) with over 300,000 followers (re-)tweeted the link several times and French tweeting about South African wines ….. that’s quite something; I feel obliged.
In the meantime I acquired a second bottle for my collection from Fraai Uitzicht. This time a Syrah. Now I also want to have their Merlot, Viognier and Grenache…
The wines are not cheap and one cannot expect that real quality is cheap. These are wines for special occasions including a dinner or lunch at the restaurant of Fraai Uitzicht that has so many awards that the owners lost count. The wines (if in stock) are also online available. For Europeans: The wines are distributed from Germany.
This is one of those extreme rare occasions I write about wine. I learned to appreciate a good wine many, many years ago in some of the most renown French wine producing regions and then I’m not talking about the known French ‘Chateaux’ but about those small wine farms that mail order their wines (sometimes over several generations) to their wine-loving clientele throughout the own country. After 17 years in South Africa I finally discovered a red wine that surprised me. I’m not a red wine drinker, well… not in South Africa for the simple reason that most of the South African wine makers add extra sulphites (and sometimes even additional preservatives) on top of the natural sulphite content and that upsets my stomach. The wine I’m writing about is ‘Le Neuf Papesch’ (excusez le pun s’il vous plait) and is created by proprietor Karl-Uwe Papesch of ‘Fraai Uitzicht 1798‘ in the Robertson Wine Valley. This valley counts over 40 wine cellars of which De Wetshof and Graham Beck are internationally known for their mass produced quality wines. There are however also small ’boutique cellars’ that see the bulk of their (relatively small) produce go overseas but these are locally not always well promoted and that’s fine for experience learns that ‘Le vrai Connaisseur’ has a nose for these wineries. Fraai Uitzicht 1798 is a working farm with a 4 star guesthouse and a ‘highly acclaimed’ (what a cliché … but it is what it is) restaurant.
A few days ago friends of us from Europe got a few bottles of ‘Le Neuf Papesch’ when they came to stay with us. They got the wine at Fraai Uitzicht; the only place where you can get it within this country but it also seems online available in Germany. All bottles are individually numbered.
Now I first have to tell you something about wine tasting.There are a few simple rules: if you smell the wine as soon as the bottle is opened it’s an extreme poor quality (even though the taste is ‘smooth’); if you smell it when poured in the glass; have doubts but as soon as you have to stick your nose into the glass to discover the different fragrances it’s pure quality (even if it’s not your favourite taste). My experience with ‘Le Neuf Papesch’ is one of those rare occasions that I had to stick my nose deep into the glass to indulge my taste buds (yes I always taste wine with my nose); such a rich full bodied ‘palette’ with so many ‘hints’ that I relived my French wine tasting years. Now you might wonder which grape variety(/ies) Karl-Uwe Papesch used for this extra-ordinary wine. I invite you to discover that yourself.
A few notes of importance: Wine tasting is a personal experience; with other words what I like does not mean that you like it as well. Secondly: selling wine is like telling a story; many people who like the story also tend to like the wine even if it’s wine of poor quality ….
P.S. One of my friends asked me about the meaning of the hand (2nd picture). Here you can read about it:
Now I going to rant ( 😉 ):
I don’t mind competition (keeps me alert, etc.) and the ‘official’ SAFREA-rates (see below) are a little bit overdone. But what I locally notice is that some freelancers are working for less than R 200.00 (EURO 16.00) PER DAY just to get a job and most of the time they deliver real poor quality. I can’t blame them that there are such a lousy squeezing clients around but I do put question marks at severely undercutting reasonable rates, not refusing a job and above all their lack of self-respect to do a job to their best abilities.
Here are the SAFREA-rates for photography:
(Disclaimer: these rates are representative of editorial, photojournalist and the below-the- line Safrea/freelance photographers, not of established agency advertising photographers)
• R1200-R1500 per hour
• R4500-R5500 per half day
• R8000-R11000 per full day
Interiors, architectural, portraits:
• R850-R1200 per hour
• R4000-R5000 per half day
• R7000-R9000 per full day
(not magazine-offered rates)
• R750-1200 per hour
• R3500 per half day
• R5000-R7000 per full day
• R650-R750 per hour
• R3000–R3500 per half day
• R5000-R6000 per full day
Post-production and retouching:
• R250-R450 per hour
• R2 per Mb (Dropbox/ftp rate)
NOTE: There are differences in the business models of photographers who charge on an hourly/daily basis as per the above rates and those who charge according to formulas derived from a business costing methodology, which includes a full cost analysis such as lifecycle depreciation of equipment.
Education is extremely important; always has been. Active knowledge of 1 or two extra languages eases you to travel and experience the bigger world. Unfortunately not all people are able to get the education they deserve; partly by a lack of a good and broad accessible education system (= politics) and partly children/students are not really motivated within their own environment (= culture) such as the case in the country I live in (South Africa). Many parents (most of them but not all privileged) decided to take education in their own hands and home schooling is taking of in this country. But the majority of the people seemingly don’t see the importance of education and keep their children on the ‘side line’ partly also that parents can’t afford the school fees.
There is still ‘apartheid’ in the South African education system with fairly good education in the ‘White’ schools (nowadays also accessible for ‘non-white children’ but very costly) and there is still ‘Bantu education’ with relatively low school fees but not always the desired quality (= understatement). Knowledge is power and power-without-knowledge results in a ‘phenomenon’ like Julius Malema and his new political party Economic Freedom fighters; merely consisting of members without much education.
Some refreshment is needed ….
… and that is excluding the countless views via the WordPress reader by other bloggers. Thank you all! And until so far (after a tiny bit more than 1 yr) 675 followers who faithfully follow my trials and errors. It’s not the quantity of the followers that count but the quality. I’m very, very happy. 🙂 🙂 🙂
For all of you a flower (Dutch always say it with flowers!), a Stanford sunrise and a sunset.
Today is also the day that the latest online edition of LandnSand Magazine published my photographic essay about landscape photography.
Some years ago, during our previous life at Soekershof, we managed some workshops on our farm where local artisans had the opportunity to hone their skills. Some beautiful things were created such as the huge wire baobab tree for the South African embassy in Berlin (Germany). Visitors from around the globe saw the people at work and it was always a nice exchange between cultures and it was selling on the spot; from wire work to seed boxes (with inlaid wood) with seeds from plants in our garden !!!
At the time Soekershof was Fair Trade accredited which meant that we could supply Fair Trade and similar shops (like Oxfam in the UK) with products. But you know what? These shops (including their umbrella organizations) wanted to have it all cheap, very cheap, while we had the impression that Fair Trade stood (stands?) for (e)quality and honest income for people from less privileged areas in the world. … One of ideas (from a Dutch Fair Trade organization) was to market wooden handbags so ‘Mr. Plaatjies’ (the woodworker) made a few laminated prototypes. Cost price of wood, leather, etc., (= just the materials) was around R 10,00 (1.5 USD); fairly cheap because we recycled rest pieces. Fair Trade offered us 1 EURO each including transport to Holland; less than materials costed us.
Well … we told them to buy in China. But this is not the end of the story.
We still have one prototype left. And that one will last a long, long, time.
At the moment the Town of Hermanus in the Western Cape is celebrating the FynArts Festival with exhibitions in the old Synagogue and private galleries plus lectures, storytelling, concerts and arty South African movies next to open workshops of local artists. And the quality of the works is superb and provides visitors with a good impression of the (contemporary) South African Art Scene. The sculpture (bronze) in the pictures is made by Ian McCallum and photographed from different angles it shows different natural light influenced spheres…