Avondale Wine Review
Although the farm was established as early as 1693, current owners Johnny and Ginny Grieve have done some serious reorganizing in the vineyards and built a state-of-the-art cellar, which is dug into a dry river bed. Avondale started producing wines only in 1999, making it one of the newer kids on the block. No matter. The winery has hit the ground running, and its wines are winning one award after another. The reds are especially good, and the intense Paarl summers result in full-bodied grapes that deliver knockout flavors. Be sure to try the 2005 Les Pleurs Syrah and the new Jonty's Duck certified organic wine. Both are delicious. The Grieves are also farming as biodynamically as possible, and Avondale is now registered as biodiversity-compliant by both South African and Dutch authorities. The ducks the wine is named after patrol the vineyards looking for pests, while Jonty is the farmer and general manager. Many farms have absent owners, but the Grieve family takes a hands-on approach here. The casually dressed guy behind the wine-tasting counter is, in all likelihood, the owner. Once you've done your wine tasting and buying, be sure to visit Ginny's exquisite rose garden.