[vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]It rises from your browser history like a long lost porn site. South Africa’s first rate and review site, dedicated to the winelands, has been restored.
Almost 10 years ago myself and my then girlfriend, Anel Grobler, now wife (yes things escalated) set out on a mission to visit every single wine farm in South Africa. To document this adventure we created spitorswallow.co.za
The year was 2008 and things like wine tourism was a phase yet to be coined. A R15 bottle of wine was a bargain, a R150 bottle was outrages. The revolution in the Swartland was non-existent, less than ten farms produced a Cabernet Franc, most wine tastings were free and stuff like Twitter, Facebook check-in and TripAdvisor were simply Silicon Valley ideas in progress. Oh yes, and my liver was a fresh fluffy cotton ball of innocence.
Over the weekends we would hit as many wineries as possible and logged our experiences on Spit or Swallow. It was not long before we realised we’re not alone on our quest to conquer the winelands.
We opened the site to other local wine enthusiasts – which we subsequently named wineflies – and the reviews came flooding in. The winefly community quickly grew to 2000+ members and during the 2010 World Cup the site flew off the charts with over a 100 000 unique visits a day as tourists lapped up local recommendations for their winelands excursions.
But a few years later Facebook started rolling out check-ins and reviews and sites like gowalla.com, foursquare and obviously us started seeing a dramatic drop in engagement. To escape a slow death we abandoned the project and started the drinks news aggregator DrinksFeed.com.
Ten Years Later
Now almost 10 years later, it’s time to embrace the niche once again. For the last couple of months we have painstakingly restored the data from the old site, to a brand new, modern looking spitorswallow.co.za.
We’ve adjusted and converted our 10 point rating system to the now internet standard 5 point system, add alternative login options and overall gave it a shiny new look.
As some of these reviews are now rather irrelevant, we will start fading out old reviews in the next year to reflect a more current opinion. Meanwhile, jump over to the website to see what people were saying about your favourite winery 10 years ago.
Cheers to the South African winelands.