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A glimmer of Hope

Pinot Noir clone 777 signAfter a recent visit from Abi from Good Hope’s marketing team, we thought we’d spill the beans on these excellent wines. Not 100% natural, but that’s ok, this is a winery that works as close to natural as possible - responsible farming, no spraying, only natural yeasts allowed and a minimum of sulphur. Referring to the winery as Good Hope is perhaps slightly misleading as the winery have several labels including The Winery of Good Hope, and Radford Dale, but Good Hope seems an affectionate enough term to use for all of them. Based in Somerset West in South Africa, they source their grapes from a number of sites across Stellenbosch, Elgin and Swartland to ensure consistency of quality.

The new labels at Good Hope The new labels at Good Hope

The Winery of Good Hope is their range of everyday wines, and includes a lush, honeyed Chenin Blanc, an unoaked Chardonnay that allows the grape to shine, a dark and peppery Syrah and an absolute belter of a Pinot Noir which neatly straddles the old and new world at a great price. The quality of these wines is truly outstanding for the price. They are unpretentious without being funky, perfect for that Wednesday night glass of something you fancy. Try them here: Dale Frankenstein NV

Their flagship range is Radford Dale. The RD Pinotage, affectionately named ‘Frankenstein’ (due to Pinotage’s heritage as a bizarre hybrid between Pinot Noir and Cinsault), comes from low yielding, 24 year old bush vines in Helderberg. Aged for around a year in large barrels, this wine is supple, not-over oaked but rich and fruity. They also make a superb Chenin Blanc, which is rich, minerally and concentrated, from their very best site in Stellenbosch. 2015 was a particularly good year for it as well.Thirst Gamay Noir

You’ll also find a very interesting (and limited) range called Thirst!, which is a range of unfiltered, unfined and generally unmanipulated winess. Cloudy, slightly funky, light in alcohol and totally quaffable - the last vintage of the Gamay didn’t last 2 minutes. I have it on good authority that the soon-to-land Thirst white - a blend of Clairette blanche, Chenin and Verdelho - is stunning, with freshness and salinity. They liken the Thirst experience to experiencing a band live, rather than the manufactured sound of a studio album; an analogy that I rather like. Watch this space for the new shipment of Thirst wines.

Ok, so you perhaps wouldn’t put Good Hope in the ‘artisan’ category, but they go to prove that you can buy good quality wines, that are as near to natural as you can get without being funky, for a very reasonable price. It’s for that reason that they are one of our favourite lines. It does beg the question, why isn’t everyone doing it?