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Eben Sadie has been making waves — some tsunami-like, others persistent ripples — in the Cape wine industry for close to a quarter of a century.

I first met him in 1998 as the founding winemaker of the Spice Route winery outside Malmesbury. At the time the operation was a joint venture between current owner Charles Back, Gyles Webb, John Platter and Jabulani Ntshangase. Clearly his nascent talents were evident to the wine-savvy shareholders. Within a few years he had moved on, setting up Sadie Family Wines, an enterprise that has been instrumental in redefining Cape wine — and its image abroad — in a way that no other producer or cellar can begin to rival...

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