The Man and The Periwinkle: Adventures in Bredasdorp.

If you’ve never found adventure in Bredasdorp, you’ve not been to Bredasdorp with Pierre Rabie, the main man behind Giant Periwinkle Wines.  Advokaat* by day, and wine-maker by blood, his quiet demeanour belies the mischief and generosity of spirit inherent in his nature.

Generosity of spirit, and of wine, ha-ha.  Spend a day with him and you might expect flavourful feasts prepared before your very eyes, appetising and animated conversation about wine (accompanied by much tasting), and even a spot of diving for Giant Periwinkles.

And we’re serious about wine-making being in his blood.  It was a six-year-old Pierre who first decided he would make wine.  He got a hiding out of it, and a sponge to clean up the mess.  Not exactly what he’d had in mind for his first vintage, but thankfully he was not deterred.  (We look forward to hearing the whole story someday!)  Today he is a fifth-generation wine-maker, if you count – and we do – the barrel of Pinot Noir his dad made with him just last year before he sadly passed away.  (We bow our heads and tip our hats to him, Pierre.)


It was to Pierre’s sense of adventure we entrusted ourselves one November.  We arrived in Bredasdorp armed with diving permits, an overnight bag and no knowledge of what he had in store for us, and found ourselves treated to a soul-refreshing adventure.  Whisked away down a long dirt road to a tiny windswept beach, we set to work rock-and-surf fishing and shallow-water-diving in the bright spring sunshine, and left a few short hours later with our fresh catch and quota of Alikreukel (Giant Periwinkles), our lungs brimming with sea air.  Back at their Bredasdorp family home, the aforementioned feasts began.  Conversation jogged along with Pierre never breaking stride while he and his lovely helpers kept making appetising food appear before us.  A ginormous pot of something aromatic simmered off to one side, and highly enjoyable discussions about Sauvignon Blanc and the many wines of South Africa bubbled away.

The conversation never fell short, and in part because of the passion Pierre feels for the Sauvignon Blanc cultivar; its aromatics, versatility and freshness inspires him in conversation and in the kitchen, (and if you follow him on Twitter his inspiration is sure to rub off on your dinner food and wine pairings).  He especially enjoys how Sauvignon Blanc does exceptionally well in the Overberg region, which, of all the spaces in our beautiful country, is the area that holds the softest spot in his heart.  And where he keeps his vines!  (Read about his Sauvignon Blancs and try his genius trick for pickling fresh Alikreukel here.)

Now, if there’s one thing better than enjoying energising conversation and mouthwatering food, its enjoying it while sampling incredible wines.  You’ll see a few of the main contenders in the photos; Sauvignon Blancs from a few farms to compare with each other, along with some rare reds at the end.  (Beware; scrolling down may cause pangs of jealousy.  😉 )   Each Sauvignon Blanc had its own character to offer; was its own conversation piece.  The wine-talk went on until well after the sun went down (and for some, came up again) and simply wouldn’t fit into one blog post.  Perhaps someday we’ll write a book!  What we would love is for you, our lovely readers, to comment if you know any of the wines, and to share your thoughts, tasting notes, contentious ideas… we want to hear it all.

Here’s to adventures in the Overberg with people passionate about South African Sauvignon Blanc. 🙂  We hope you feel inspired to share your own adventures with us!


A few bold Sauvignon Blancs getting to know a few Giant Periwinkles on a sunshiny spring day.

‘Final Vintage; We’re Very Emotional’ – Steenberg’s final vintage Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2011 was a masterpiece which we enjoyed thoroughly… and WISHED for more of.

Pierre spoiled his guests with a few wise old owls… Just look at those vintages! His dad had built up a collection of incredible wines, saving them for a special occasion which never came. So Pierre felt inspired to live in the moment and chose a few from the collection to share with us. (We were honoured.)

Our Bredasdorp Adventure was one we’ll talk about for years to come. Thank you, Pierre. Your generosity still lingers with us, much like the palate of an exceptional wine.



adminThe Man and The Periwinkle: Adventures in Bredasdorp.