The established producer community would have ridiculed the idea of developing a winefarming operation anywhere along the Cape Coast between Cape Agulhas and Plettenberg Bay two decades ago.
It wasn’t difficult to see the impediments — summer rainfall, high winds, distance from main markets and lack of viticultural expertise among the local labour force — before adding the more tangible commercial constraints.
It takes between 10 and 20 years for a wine start-up to get into positive cash flow, and even longer before the operation can buy its way out of debt, assuming it ever really does so. But a few brave, or foolhardy, souls were doing just that, though some, to be fair, understood they were being self-indulgent…
… Newstead, with a cellar door operation offering dining and hospitality facilities comparable with the best of the boutique Stellenbosch operations, bottles several wines that would do credit to cool-climate producers anywhere in the country.
By Michael Fridjhon