When 2015 rolled around I hit the ground running. Work was crazy with a lot of time spent on the road. I’d barely caught my breath when March arrived, and with it, an art holiday I’d booked last year with Ajay’s Art. I wasn’t in the mood for spending yet more time away from the office, my home or my comfortable routine, but I’d paid and there really was no way out of it. Reluctantly, I packed my bags and set off for Paternoster.
From the moment I met hosts Andre (Ajay) Jacobs and his partner, Hesther, I started to relax. Their attitude was casual and laid back, yet everything had been organised well in advance – from the accommodation and restaurant bookings, to art supplies and schedules. I soon realised that all that was expected of me for the next seven days was to show up, relax and learn, which is exactly what I did.
I don’t speak wine. I don’t know my legs from my nose and I wouldn’t know a flaccid wine if it hit me in the face. I do drink it though, in copious amounts and like everyone else I like what I like and the reasons are personal. It’s not just about taste, it’s the impression the wine creates in the mind, what it evokes – much like music or food or love. I learnt this from Abraham when he shared his wine and a bit of his soul with me. We shared our friends too: mine are not conversant in wine, his are; my friends brought bread, cheese and hangovers, his brought dark chocolate and Dalai Lama quotes. We broke bread and barriers and we shared it all over wine and a weathered wooden table at Druk My Niet Estate where Abraham de Klerk is the winemaker.
He’s a romantic, an old soul, a man of passion. Abraham gets excited when speaking of his wines and the challenge to produce that one perfect vintage, that one perfect wine – the exact challenge that keeps driving him season after season. He doesn’t believe in half measures and resents the fact that he has to produce a marketable range as well as his top end wines as they require equal passion and dedication. He’s a balls to the wall, all or nothing kind of guy and he’s eager to make his mark.