When Ed starts talking about wine, it is clear that the pursuit of this hobby is only surpassed by his devotion to his wife, Anka, Co-Founder and Co-owner) and his deep appreciation for South Africa and wildlife conservation. Luckily for us, Ed was recently in South Africa, and we chatted to him about all things wine.
Do you remember when you first discovered your passion for wine? Fortunately for me, I grew up enjoying excellent wines during dinners with my parents. Back then, it wasn't really a passion - but a lovely way to connect with my family - around a table with a glass of something delicious in hand.
Which varietals would you put at the top of your list? I really enjoy the Bordeaux style wines. In general, Bordeaux wines are red wines made with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, resulting in full flavours. But don't forget the region also produces white wine made out of Sauvignon blanc and Semillion for both dry and sweet wines. I don't think you can go wrong with a pinot noir that is light to medium-bodied and super food-friendly on hot summer days. It's so easy to fall in love with a Pinot Noir, even if you don't fancy yourself a red wine enthusiast.
Are you a local wine devotee, or do you turn to German and French wines for something special? I generally drink the wine of origin wherever I happen to be. Spain, France, South Africa, and Italy all have great wines. But I do have a slight bias towards South African wines.
When you are back at your home base in the Netherlands, do you serve South African wine, and how is the wine received by your Dutch friends? Yes definitely. I have a nice mix in my cellar. When we just started with our lodges, I also imported a lot of wine from SA to the Netherlands, and this gave me a chance to "show off" South African wine to our guests.
What are you eating for lunch, and what will you choose as your wine pairing? My vote is for a delicious Caprese salad with a lovely rose.
Evenings around the boma fire are better with .... A great shiraz!
Morukuru Family has a coastal property in the De Hoop Nature Reserve, Morukuru Family Ocean House and Beach Lodge. Does the sea air change your choices in wine? I always think the beach lends itself to rose or white wine, and if we are celebrating or welcoming friends or guests, I select some bubbles.
What are your most important tips for setting up a lodge wine cellar? My view is that we must have something for everyone - in terms of palate and budget. So variety is the key.
What are your must-visit wine farms in SA? I always recommend first-time visitors go to Delaire, Babylonstoren, and Grande Provence. Obviously, the wine is exceptional at these farms, but they also offer lovely add-ons like restaurants, art galleries, or gardens.
Explain your association with Clouds Estate. Clouds Wine and Guest Estate is a boutique hotel and working wine farm owned by a Dutch couple who we know well. The Dutch synergy is strong, especially as their bottles have a touch of our unique orange national colour. However, more than that, they are committed to creating the best wines under the leadership of a very ambitious owner and winemaker.
Do you have a favourite glass to drink your wine out of? I must say I do like big red wine glasses.
Do you decant your wine or not? That depends - but I would definitely recommend that for older wines.
Tell us about some of your most memorable wine moments? I enjoy visiting the wine auctions of Cape Winemakers Guild or Nederburg Auction. Of course, the biggest reason to bid at an auction is to get rare bottles and old vintages that aren't readily available in retail shops. But these auctions are an opportunity for me to indulge my passion, meet like-minded people and talk to knowledgeable experts. Going to these events keeps me on my toes and learning about this fabulous thing we call "wine".
And what about bubbles? Do you enjoy a glass or two or only on special occasions? There is nothing like bubbles to elevate any moment. Bubbles are festive, and we regularly open a bottle. I can be persuaded to bring out the Dom Perignon for a really special occasion.