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Center of the Universe?

Center of the Universe?

We’ve been thinking about small. The sorts of places that don’t really matter much to most people. The kind of place that folks have maybe heard of, but will never find the time to visit. The fact that they are ‘out of the way’ doesn’t make those places less special, or interesting, but it in the eyes of some, it does tend to marginalize their importance.

For most folks in London, Shanghai or New York, South Africa is one of these places. While that doesn’t sit well with us, it is a fact of life. But, we come to realize that once you accept the fact, then the world looks like a much different place. We see the potential of small. The beauty of simple and the promise of an elegant idea that could make a difference.

What’s this got to do with wine, you ask?

Well, we are doing a launch for our new label in the US. But, we’re thinking: Why do the usual? Why beg the people who view us as being from a place that doesn’t matter to pay attention to our wine- let’s talk to people who actually view the world more the way we do. People who have rich lives in small towns, who make a difference every day and yes, who still “Dream Big” from little places.

So, we’re off to Alpine, Texas, not far from Marfa and just up the road from Valentine. We’re looking for Dreamers and people who stand out from the crowd. We have great hope that these folk by Dreaming Big, can Change the World.

Stay Tuned.

Stormhoek welcomes Jaffe Juice for a home Visit

Recently we had the pleasure of hooking up in Cape Town with famed new media Marketing Guru Joseph Jaffe.

Jo originally hails from South Africa but found his calling in the USA working as a director at TBWA before becoming President of his own successful new media marketing consulting practice called Crayon  ( ), as well as writing a number of popular new media marketing books.

joe stormhoekWhile he was visiting Cape Town we helped organise (with the help of local new marketing legend Dave Duarte) a little exclusive geek dinner with the Mother cities Social Media elite. 

The Stormhoek was on tap and Jo very kindly dedicated a copy (his only copy he had bought over for his Mum!!) of his new book “Join the Conversation” to the Cape Town blogging and podcasting community to be passed around. Inside the book he inscribed the kind words – “To the wonderful Cape Town community, I’m proud to represent you in the big US of A and I hope this book inspires, motivates and reflects the power of us“.

Have a look at the video above for a little speech he did if you like or check out his blog at

From all at Stormhoek we wish you a fabulous 2008,


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The world of wine lists

Nicky from Balducci with Chris 2 06

Nikki Dumas writes winelists. She takes all year to find the wines she wants. She secures the bottles she needs. They are paid for and locked up in a secure place.  She can’t have someone else buy them while she’s finishing the list. Her task is a work of passion that becomes a work of art.

Some people like Nikki’s wine lists a lot. Enough to try to borrow them for the long term.  The one she and Chris are looking at in the picture has a bar coded security tag attached. If you shoplift the winelist, you have to deal with security at the door, just as if you had stuffed a dress in your handbag in the clothes shop. Believe me, people do.

The judges at Wine Spectator are among the people who like Nick’s winelists. They decided that Nikki’s Balducci winelist is is one of the 50 best luxury, grand and deluxe winelists in the world this year. Balducci is the place to be seen eating, drinking or just sitting in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfont.

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Looking for a new friend on Facebook ?

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South Africa’s fastest growing grocer has embraced web 2.0 with a little hand from Stormhoek, and is giving away wine.

Checkers, with over 120 stores in South Africa’s more affluent suburbs, first pioneered the people-friendly service of a wine route in a store. By selecting half a dozen of the better small vineyard wineries in each of the top 10 wine-tourism destinations, Checkers brought the opportunity to explore South Africa’s wine terroir to the wine drinker’s home turf.

Now with Stormhoek, they are helping Facebook to increase its penetration in the South Africa with an on-shelf promotion, on Stormhoek wines, incentivising Facebook memberships with a chance of free wine for a year as well as weekly Stormhoek prizes. You can only win if you’re a Facebook member. If you’re from the the pre-Facebook generation, the entry form shows you how to become a member.

( If you are outside of SA, join our Facebook group for news on any promotions or offers in your country)

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This is Sound of the Subu… ‘Stormhoek’.

A little while back our inbox here at Orbital Wines received the following; ‘The Stormhoek Song’ and we blogged about it at the time. Now with the miracle of a little flash embedding you can listen to it on the site.


Rob Lane, aka Weekend Wino, hasn’t even had his Stormhoek dinner yet, but couldn’t resist trying some. He cracked open a bottle of Pinotage and it was, apparently, a hit. He loved the wine so much, he wrote a song about it! Genius.

We’re thinking it will become our official anthem. We may even try to release it. What do you think Rob, can you hear the Ka- Ching of the royalties… ?

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Congratulations to our friend, Jamie Goode who won “Wine Writer of The Year” at the 2007 Glenfiddich Awards!! Very much deserved, so, well done Sir! The Drinks book of the year award was won by Williamson and Moore’s “Wine Behind the Label”. We were delighted to see a really nice write-up for our Stormhoek Sauvignon Blanc, by Jamie, in the Sunday Express this weekend.

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When famous people come to town

A couple of weeks ago, Cape Town was stirred by the presence of Laurence Lessig and Jimmy Wales.
They were having dinner at A Touch of Madness and I was invited to come and meet them.
Well, wouldn’t you like to meet the people behind Creative Commons and Wikipedia?
They were deep in conversation with a dozen people at a very crowded table in a packed dining room. All kinds of other celebrities had come to have dinner with Laurence and Jimbo, but who also could not find space at this table. We talked to each other and drank wine.
“Never mind, there’s a cocktail party with a few of the press after this. You can talk to them there.”
The cocktail party was upstairs in a private room at the Armchair Theatre, venue for a big music gig and speeches later.
To get upstairs, you had to pass a security man. I brought a few bottles of wine with me and was allowed in.
Every room upstairs was full of people, face to face, shoulder to shoulder. No sign of Lawrence or Jimbo. I found myself listening to an American accent. Bettina Lessig is a lawyer like her husband. We discussed babies. (She is a new mother and I am a grandfather of a 2 year old, so we are both experts).
I shook hands with Laurence but missed his speech.
I listened to Jimmy talk and was surprised that he sounded just like one of us. This guy has had at least 3 astonishing careers and is just getting started.
I hope that they come back someday. It would be nice to talk to them.

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Do you know his name?

This little feller (he/she?) spends each winter night alone on the exterior end of this rafter, which helps support the roof of our home.
Every morning, it’s as if he (let’s assume that we’re talking about a male) was never there. After dark, he is back in the same place. It’s clearly home. No nest, no comforts, no companion, no babies. Just shelter from the rain, if and when it comes.
We don’t know where he goes in the daytime. Or indeed, in summer. When he’s gone, the rafter is bare, just like the other rafters.
The rest of us in the house have never seen our fellow resident arrive or leave.
We have only seen him during the last two winters. That doesn’t mean that he wasn’t here before that. We probably just never looked up (his rafter is about 4m above the ground), while walking to the car in the dark.
He was found by Kealan (our grandson) last year, looking for geckos with a torch.
I’m sorry about the quality of the picture. Not easy to aim a camera in the dark. And our shy friend doesn’t seem to like torches or camera flashes. They interupt his sleep. He pulls back and tries to make himself smaller. And I don’t want to make him feel like he is unwanted and have to find another home.
Perhaps he sleeps at your place in summer.
Maybe he hunts for his lunch in your garden.
If you can help, Kealan and I would like to know more about Birdie X (or Y).

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Olly Smith ROCKS at Nandos!

One of my favourite wine writers in the UK is the charismatic Olly Smith He hosted the launch of Nando’s Wine Festival last night and kept us entertained with amusing stories from his past and his passionate views on what the wine industry should be – less snobby, more fun and more entertaining for consumers. Some of his top comments included, “labels need to reach out and say drink me! I’m better than the dog’s bollocks! (an English term for fantastic)”, “wine tastings should be rock festivals” and a great compliment to Stormhoek, saying “Stormhoek is like Robbie Williams with soul…brilliant and interesting”. We like this guy! Have a look at a snippet from last night.

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Good luck – Glenfiddich Food and Drink Awards


I spotted that our good friend and Stormhoek supporter, Jamie Goode, has been shortlisted for Wine Writer of the Year in the Glenfiddich Food & Drink Awards. These awards recognise and encourage excellence in writing, publishing and broadcasting in the food and drink industry.

Well done for the shortlist nomination and i’ll keep my eye out on the 14th May to see if you scoop the award! Best of luck…

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