Sadie's Columella – the first 10 years


‘England is just a very far place...’ and thus Eben Sadie begins to talk in London wine bar Vinoteca. Described variously as maverick, philosopher, genius and head-in-the-clouds dreamer, self-confessed dogmatic Eben Sadie is easily one of South Africa’s most exciting (and expressive) winemakers. He is a restless, driven perfectionist who comes across as a strangely disconcerting juxtaposition of down-to-earth (almost unsophisticated) very-South-African farmer and erudite cosmopolitan highbrow.

Eben’s biography has been well charted: his years at Spice Route; winemaking in Oregon, Germany, Burgundy, Austria and Italy; and his winery Terroir Al Limit, in Priorat. It also became very clear, as...