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Lamb Pie & Red Wine for Winter


A hearty pie and a good glass of red wine – an unbeatable winter combination! Try our recipe for lamb […]

Garlic and Thyme Baked Camembert with French Baguette


Sometimes the basics are the best. Bread. Cheese. Wine. And no one has mastered the art of making basics beautiful […]

Quick Beef Bourguignon


Beef Bourguignon is another French classic that is as hard to spell as it is to pronounce… Luckily, with our […]

Apple Croustade


The French are famous for their pâtisserie and desserts – Tarte Tatin, Clafoutis, Crème brûlée, Crêpe Suzette, Mille-feuille… and as […]

Announcing our exciting new competition for Open Book Festival 2019: Take a Moment!


Leopard’s Leap is all about adding quality to life and in combination with our support of the annual Open Book […]

Croquembouche with salted caramel filling


Croquembouche with salted caramel filling Choux Pastry for the Profiteroles Ingredients 250 ml water 75 g butter 150 g flour […]

Croquembouche with Crème Patissiere


Croquembouche with Crème Patissiere filling Choux Pastry for Profiteroles  Ingredients 250 ml water 75 g butter 150 g flour approximately […]

L’Etoile Wine Cocktail


In anticipation of next week’s Bastille Festival, mix this delightful L’Etoile Wine cocktail. The French L’Etoile translates as The Star […]

Springbok shank with textures of sweet potato and minty herb salsa


Recipe f or Springbok shank with textures of sweet potato and minty herb salsa. The shanks ingredients oil for frying […]

Sweet Potato Soup with Springbok Biltong


Recipe for Sweet Potato Soup with Springbok Biltong Sweet potato soup ingredients 2 large purple sweet potatoes, washed, peeled and […]

Keeping it in the family



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In a recent study, geneticists and viticulturists researched and compared the DNA of all the grapes in the American seed bank, where plantings of all grape varietals are stored. The result was very interesting: About half of all the grapes belongs to the same family. Syrah and Viognier are brother and sister, Cabernet Saivignon is a grandchild of Merlot. And the patriarch of most American-grown grapes is Traminer.

Considering that each cultivar, such as Chardonnay or Cabernet Franc, is the equivalent of one specimen, this, in human terms, would mean a United States census tallying only 1,000 people, half of them closely related and only a dozen or so particularly famous.

As in old royal families, it appears domesticated grapes have kept their good names by avoiding much breeding outside the family. And as in old royal families, this could spell poor health for our princeliest varieties. A new disease preying on vinifera could cause significant damage, even disaster.This is because pathogens can evolve, but cultivars can't. The result is an inordinate number of pesticides and fungicides used on vineyards. Researchers are now hoping that consumers will develop palates for lesser-known varietals, as cultivars are 'sitting ducks' for pathogens.

 

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