WINERY OF GOOD HOPE & RADFORD DALE, Alex Dale – Stellenbosch
Born into a family of wine merchants and importers in Great Britain, the Oxford-educated Alex was captivated by the great wines of Burgundy while studying French literature at Dijon University in France, and this paved the way for his great fascination with wine making. “I was a young man who didn’t know what I was doing,” he tells us, referring to his decision to move to South Africa in 1994 – following the historic win of the late Nelson Mandela as President of South Africa – convinced that the diversity of the geology and the climatic conditions particularly in the Stellenbosch region (which resembled those of the Rhone Valley) offered so much potential for wine making. Along with his drinking buddy Ben Radford, Alex founded The Winery of Good Hope, eventually transforming the Radford Dale into one of the very best wine names in South Africa.
The Winery of Good Hope is more than just a winery. It’s an approach. An alternative way of thinking, being and doing. Yes, you will find us in the prestigious wine-making region of Stellenbosch, in South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope. But we aren’t like other wine producers. Why? Because we’re not into all the flashy stuff that’s often associated with our industry. We want to make quality wine with a conscience. At our cellar on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain, we make great wines using traditional, natural viticultural and winemaking methods. We’re also fully accredited for environmental, ethical, and social-upliftment practices. That’s why we called ourselves The Winery of Good Hope.
The Chenin Blanc is something quite special and was recently voted “Best South African Unwooded Chenin” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. The wine is made from low yielding old bush vines located in the Helderberg area. Kept on the lees with regular batonnage it is at once rich, spicy and honeyed but also balanced with a mineral undertow. Honeyed apples swarm out of the glass followed by poire William and sweet quince; the texture of the wine is admirable – mouth- coating beeswaxy fruit with sweet cinnamon.