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From Jamie Goode

Jamie Goode

I have just returned home after spending five days in Franschhoek. It's a South African region that I have only really passed through before, with brief stops, so spending some quality time here gave me a chance to get under the skin of the place. And it's a paradoxical sort of wine region that is currently enjoying great success, while at the same time struggling with its reputation.   This is because Franschhoek has become the tourist hotspot of the Cape winelands. Come here in summer, and you'll struggle to find a place to park, and you'll have to make restaurant reservations in advance. It's heaving, and for good reason: visitors are drawn by the combination of natural beauty, a pretty town with nice places to stay, and some of the best restaurants in the country. But wine professionals don't take the Franschhoek Valley seriously. The narrative is that Franschhoek is great for restaurants but bad for wine, lacking in top quality terroirs. 

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In Dawn Coventry's glass

Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut NV: Well, if I had to sum this wine up in one word it would be WOW! As a huge fan of fizz my expectations were high and if I am honest, I was expecting to be disappointed. How wrong could I be - this wine is one of the BEST I have tasted and at a fraction of the price. A MAJOR thumbs up from me!

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