Award-winning wine master Tim Atkin has just released his 2018 SA Report and our cellar master Jan ‘Boland’ Coetzee has been named 2018’s Winemaking Legend.
But then again we always knew that our old man’s passion for the grape would get him into the headlines.
After his first vintage at Vriesenhof in 1981, Jan went to work in Burgundy, France and started sending plant material back to South Africa in his son’s nappies, disguised in chocolate boxes, in the lining of his jacket and any away he could.
So we’re not surprised that in 1986 all was laid bare in a newspaper headline that read: BOLAND COETZEE HET DRUIF GESMOKKEL (Boland Coetzee smuggled grapes).
Luckily however, when it was time to face the music, Jan and his co-conspirators were called to testify to a Commission of Enquiry, which ironically led to the lifting of the embargo and the formation of the Vine Improvement Association (VIA) in 1986.
40 vintages at Vriesenhof later (52 in total), the rest they say – is history.
Oh, but wait did we forget to tell you that Jan also played for Western Province from 1967 to 1979, and then flank for national team, the Springboks from 1974 to 1976?
Well, that’s just legendary!