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.
Only 8 hectares of Gamay are planted in South Africa and this vineyard is situated on the lower slopes of the Eastern bank of the Berg river on a west-facing slope. The wine is lean and light but by no means simple. The palate displays supple tannins that provide texture, expressive red fruits, herbaceous tomato-leaf and a fantastic length. Easy drink, dangerously so.