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WINETALK: Alex Dale (Radford Dale/Winery of Good Hope)


Alex Dale from Radford Dale & Winery of Good Hope was in town for the week. Ver 2.0 (the newest recruits of Monopole) had a staff training with him in the morning and we went off for lunch at Morsels after.

I also had the chance to spend some time with him after lunch and it was great. I felt like I’ve been on a journey with him as he walked me through what makes his brand what it is. I might not understand the technicalities of winemaking but I understood the brand itself and what he stood for which I think was incredible.

We spoke a lot about identity that afternoon. Does he consider his wines natural? Yes. But does he label them as ‘Natural Wines’? No. 

I don’t push that identity. We’re a multitude of different shapes. Natural wines doesn’t mean anything. What is natural?

It’s interesting because there’s of course certain boxes you tick that would be considered ‘natural’. Minimal intervention? Tick. Organic? Tick. Low/no sulphur? Tick. Are you natural now? It’s a growing market and it is becoming increasingly popular so why don’t they label their wines as that?

And that’s exactly what Alex is getting at. They don’t want to be put into a box. They don’t enter competition, they don’t put ratings, just their name, big and bold.

If people like our wines, they identify with us, and they’ll know our name.

Alex also had this analogy which I absolutely love. He said, “Wines are just like anything else. If you like my book, read it. If you like my music, buy it. I don’t need to put a medal on it and tell you it’s the best. You tell me if it’s the best.”

Many get caught up in this vortex whereby you are constantly ticking boxes. Boxes that people tell you that’s what it’ll take to earn medals and ratings. It becomes a formula. It’s a standardisation of everything; one size fits all. But you can never fall backwards now can you? What if you don’t get a medal/rating next year? What does it mean?

Which is why they don’t want to be put into a box. To be classified as anything. They are what their wines are, and proud of it.

As a small producer, identity is important. And it took at least 10 years for Radford Dale to find their identity. They’ve made a lot of mistakes, tried and tested each time, but now they know who they are. The future is looking good.

It was great to spend some time with Alex, he has given me a new perspective and I really had such a lovely day. Thank you Alex for all your time!

Alex Dale with the team at Morsels!

Happy Weekend!

WINETALK: Tim Herrmann (Yalumba)

There’s this boy called Tim. Like every other kid at some point in their life, he was unsure of what he wanted to do. But luckily enough, he managed to get a job at this family-run winery in his hometown. They believed him and supported him. Surprised, grateful and excited, he worked hard and 20 years later, he is still working with them. This family-run business went on to greater things, with very loyal and supportive employees and only just recently, they have been voted one of ‘The World’s Most Admired Wineries In The World’ coming in 4th place.

This is a testament of when a company is doing all the right thing. They foster the right environment and culture – have shared goals and values, build long-term relationship with it’s employees where they aren’t just a means to an end but are valued and appreciated.

I personally think it takes a lot for a company to be this way, and even more for an employee to feel the same way back.

Once you start working with them, you don’t leave. This is a truest testament to the unique culture of the business and the family

This is Yalumba, ladies and gents.

Tim Herrmann from Negociants International (export arm of Yalumba) was in town last week. Born and bred in Barossa, he started off working in the vineyards at Yalumba in his early twenties.

It was tough getting into Yalumba because of their low staff turnover. No ones leaves and you’re there for life!” said Tim.

Haha… but I’m starting to understand why. Their goal is about what they can do, to better themselves. It is what shapes Yalumba to be what it is today. This mantra has influence everyone in the company and even to the people they work with.

A good example is Yalumba’s Y-series which was created with the objective that wines can be fun and enjoyable. Each bottle represents a story that is close to their heart. These are all part of the history but they are also the future. It is about connecting people to their wines.

How do they do it? They leave things in the hand of Mother’s Nature and let it takes it’s course. Tim said that’s what makes it fun and challenging. So then I asked, what if Mother’s Nature wasn’t that nice to you that year? Well, then they will have to sacrifice quantity to ensure quality.

You’re always learning. You never stop learning. Every vintage is different.

Well, I am glad I went home that night knowing Monopole are representing brands like Yalumba. Tim is an incredible guy and he has so much passion and pride for who he represents and what he does.

We ended our night with promises that we’ll have chilli crab the next time he’s back in town. Thank you Tim for all your time!

Till next time!

Valentine’s 2018 Giveaway x Hugel

Don’t need no one else as long as you have the perfect ‘Gentil-man’ this Valentine’s 😉 Gather your girlfriends (or boyfriends!) for some #netflixandwine and have the ultimate night-in!
To enter this giveaway,
1. Like and share this post using #hugellove
2. Tag three other friends who you are planning to share this with
3. Make sure you like the Monopole Singapore (@drinkbetterwithus) Facebook page!
We’ll be picking 6 winners! Giveaway closes on 13th Feb, 11.59PM (Tuesday). Winners will be selected at random and be notified directly via Facebook message. Please note that winners will have to self-collect the prize from our office.
Please ensure that your profile and post privacy setting is PUBLIC so we can see your share!
Rules/Disclaimer: This promotion is only open to those 18 and above in Singapore.
By “Liking” you enter and agree that this promotion is in no way associated with, administered by, or endorsed by Facebook; and acknowledge a complete release of Facebook by your participation.
Rules and Regulations (It’s the boring stuff I know!)

One (1) entry per person.
Entries are valid only for those who are based in Singapore.
Giveaway is only valid for ages 18 and above
Giveaway period starts on the 9th February and ends on the 13th February, 2359
Selected winners will be contacted by way of Facebook direct message to be given instructions on how to claim their prizes.
The Selected winners will be required to respond (as directed in the direct message) within three (3) calendar days of attempted notification. The failure to respond timely to the notification may result in forfeiture of the prize.
Prizes are non-exchangeable for cash, sold or transferred.
Prizes will have to be self-collected from our office [23 Tagore Lane 787601] only during office hours, Monday – Friday 830AM to 530PM
Void where prohibited by law
Monopole reserves the right to make any amendments without prior notice.