Hi Folks, my name is Harry Melck and my purpose on this planet is to share the stories and experiences that emanate from the South African winelands.
You know when you are looking at the 'wall of wines' at a wine shop or a never ending list of wines at a restaurant, and your palms start to sweat, and your anxiety rises because you have no idea what you will be getting in 'that' bottle of wine? Well I am here to demystify wine and make the job of choosing wine less stressful and perhaps even fun for those who find themselves in that situation.
And I do this through sharing information, telling stories, connecting people and remaining independent - after all that is what wine is for.
It is sometimes easy to forget that wine was put on this earth as a social tool, to bring people together, to help engage in story telling and to accompany food around a table with family and friends. This principal holds true regardless of the price points of the wine. Too often wine is seen as intimidating which has the opposite effect of its intended purpose. Often the people within my tour groups have varying levels of knowledge or interest in wine. This is overcome by incorporating the wine into the experience – everyone loves a good story.
My journey into wine has been through ‘Harry’s Big Wine Adventure’ an initiative I put together as a step to become the most knowledgeable person about South African wine in the world. Through this I have joined up with Escape+Explore to bring specialist and intimate wine experiences with a truly unique view of South Africa. This enables a multi-faceted excursion by incorporating their unique outdoor offerings (surfing, supping, mountain trips amongst others) into the wine adventure if so wished.
My philosophy around my wine adventures is to a large degree about the banter, the interactions and the social connection with the people I am with. The wineries I choose are based on the relationships I have with the people and the stories behind the wines and properties. Of course visiting the best wine farms and drinking the most delicious wine is a given. But with a story and a handshake or two those very wine farms and wines are sure to be even better....the wines become memorable.
For foreign travellers, a tour with Harry is an intimate and personalised way to experience South Africa's epicurean delights in a way that cannot be achieved without the contacts and inside knowledge of someone in the industry. I am able to weave in tit bits of information that match the wine acumen of the group. The tours are based on experiences which include meeting the winemakers, sharing stories and getting to understand the pulse of the industry by those who are in it. The wine tasting often forms part of the meal or a walk through the vineyards.
I am able to draw on my vast wine knowledge (covering all wine related topics) and my extensive network of wine makers and key role players in the wine industry, achieved through my journey to becoming a Cape Wine Master, being the head of the Cape Wine Academy and through my Story Cellars programme.
At heart I am a story teller…and I would love to share some of my stories with you.
Welcome to my adventure. . .