Two South African cricketers have joined the ranks of Ian Botham, Ernie Els, Jack Nicklaus and other sporting legends and launched their own wines.
The Cabernet Sauvignon and a Sauvignon Blanc, made at Rietvallei, a family-run Robertson estate, are called – appropriately enough for two men who have spent most of their 30-odd years at the crease – The Innings.
Jacques Kallis, the great South African all-rounder, has joined his team-mate and great friend, retired wicketkeeper Mark Boucher, to launch wines under the Rietvallei umbrella.
Sir Ian Botham and Bob Willis, former England captains, also have their own wine, having teamed up with Geoff Merrill in Australia to launch BMW.
They now have competition. Both Kallis and Boucher are from Cape Town, and Rietvallei is a short journey from their homes.
The question, as with all such ventures, is the input each has had in the two designated wines – especially as sportsmen perform now in an age in which even rugby players are not supposed to drink.
Both are adamant that they have chosen both wines, having been advised by winemaker Kobus Burger, who informed them about the harvesting, production and bottling processes.
The wines are not yet in the UK. At present they can be purchased only through Robertson at RSA65 for the Cabernet Sauvignon and RSA50 for the Sauvignon Blanc.
The worlds of wine and sport frequently collide. Nick Faldo has his own wine range, Ernie Els and Jack Nicklaus both have wines in the Terlato portfolio, and Botham Willis and Merrill have BMW.
The list of celebrities with wines and/or their own vineyards includes Cliff Richard, Sting, Mick Hucknall, Drew Barrymore, Robin Williams, Antonio Banderas and many more.
Written by Ivo Tennant