by Zoltan Szabo and Malcolm Jolley

Mike Ratcliffe from Vilafonté with sommeliers Lindsay Groves and Zoltan Szabo

Zoltan Szabo and I attended the Wines of South Africa Seminar Series recently in Toronto (watch GFR for more coverage next week). One wine label that caught our attention was Vilafonté a South African-based joint venture between Mark Ratcliffe of Warwick Estates (most famously known for their “Three Cape Ladies” label) and former Opus One winemaker Zelma Long and U.C. Davis viticulture pioneer Dr. Phil Freese. Mike Ratcliffe joined our table for lunch and brought a bottle of the 2007 Vilafonté ‘Series M’. The Merlot and Malbec based luxury red impressed Zoltan so much he began madly scribbling notes on the first sip, while I made arrangements with Mike to film the short video that follows. Sadly, the 2006 ‘Series M’ released at the LCBO in April has promptly sold-out – the 2007’s are available by privte order, contact Hobbs & Co. for details. – Malcolm Jolley

2007 Vilafonté ‘Series M’ and 2007 ‘Series C’, Paarl-Simonsberg, South Africa
The name of this label comes from the soil type at the vineyard: vilafontes. ‘Series M’ is Merlot-based and aged in new French oak to an extent of 45%. Juicy with ripe tannins, perfectly balanced, pure and elegant. Look also for  Vilafonté’s 2007 ‘series c’, which is Cabernet-driven and with a bit more oak treatment and supple tannins. Both are excellent reds and a fine treat with Morton’s filet mignon with courageous amount of Béarnaise sauce. – Zoltan Szabo

Interview with Mike Ratcliffe

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Read more of sommelier Zoltan Szabo at and follow him at

Malcolm Jolley is a founding editor of Good Food Revolution and Executive Director of Good Food Media, the non-profit organization that publishes GFR. Follow him at

This video is made possible through the kind support of Fortessa Canada/Schott Zwiesel: casual elegance for everyday living.