Thursday, March 12, 2009


I leave tomorrow for South Africa : it's my first time ever in Africa and I'm off to the wine country. I've packed well and have John Morrison as my superb,qualified and friend as a guide as well as his wife Theresa Morrison's book " Cape WINELANDS ( A Touring Guide To Wineries Of Constantia, Stellenbosch, Franschoek & Paarl , photography by Lanz Von Horsten, published by David Philip, Cape Town, 2000 , text by Theresa Morrison, design by Sarah-Anne Raynham and maps by Ernst-Reiner Klaus ) to have signed by everyone I visit. I'm taking two copies : one to be signed for me and one that I intend to give John & Theresa as a gift when I return.

I love this book " Cape WINELANDS and often refer to it when selling wines from South Africa. The pictures alone inspire passion and keen interest and awe and longing and desire to hop on a plane and high-tail it right away to South Africa. I mean, how can anyplace be so beautiful, really?

I can't wait and will leave with John tomorrow late afternoon and fly directly from Dulles to Johannesburg and then on to Cape Town. We should be there Saturday evening and that's when all the fun will really begin for me. Trust me, I will close my eyes and rest for much of the flight and be ready to walk out into the South African summer and start immediately to absorb everything that my five senses humanly can! I will be in high gear and on full-flame. This is my moment to luxuriate in everything I can South African and share it with John Morrison and all these wonderful ten wineries or more.

John and Theresa have a wine importing company that specializes in South African wines called Boutique Vineyards. I have been working with their wines now for about six years and have met a number of the owners and wine-makers from these wineries that have travelled to Washington D.C. and have stood in the middle of our floor at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( around our tasting table ) and both tasted their wines and signed numerous bottles as gifts for and with our many loyal customers. It's all been a grand experience : one of learning, sharing, teaching, surprising and enriching each other mutually. I am sure we will continue to do many more such tastings.

As a matter of interest on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 we at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits will host our first " Big Theme " wine-tasting of 2009 celebrating South African wines. This is an especially opportune times as it will be two days after South Africa's " Freedom Day " ( Monday, April 27th, 2009 ) and two months approximately after the official day celebrating in Feb. 2009 350 years of South African wine-making. It's all official, all documented in writing. This will be a grand event and I will be all fired-up after this trip I am sure.

I also want to mention that the book " Cape WINELANDS " is sold in our store ( we have already sold fifty or more copies, maybe more ) at $20 which I give to Theresa that then gives to support breast cancer research. The whole $20 goes to this research ( we at Cleveland Park do not make anything on the sale and that is the way it should be ) and it's wonderful to be able to help support this wonderful cause and provide our customers with a book that can be used by the entire family to see what awaits them when they visit these wineries ; everything and not simply the wine. This means that with such a broad amount of information that all the embers of the family ( whether interested or not in wine ) can take full advantage of the experience and know in advance what awaits them.

WE still have several copies of the book that are signed by Theresa. Come check out our selection at Cleveland Park Wines ( 32423 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel:202-363-4265 ), especially all these wonderful South African wines from Boutique Vineyards' portfolio and purchase a book that will delight and inspire you for years to come!

I will of course have so much more to say when I return from this week-long trip with pictures and stories galore. Stay-tuned. I will even try and make brief posts while in South Africa if possible.

Cheers, and thank you John & Theresa and all the wineries that are making this trip possible for me. I take this opportunity to thank you in advance because I know it will be amazing, really - no doubt at all in my mind. TONY

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