FIVE STAR GUIDE
the "Wonder Woman" of wine
WHO IS Fiona McDonald ?
A random act of kindness set Fiona McDonald’s career and life trajectory on a different course...
While working as a specialist medical and transport reporter on a morning daily newspaper, late one night Fiona stopped to help a friend who was swamped with work organising The Mercury Wine Week. Her enthusiasm was misconstrued and the Editor added wine writing to her responsibilities – which later grew to sub-editing, newspaper design and finally a newsroom management position as Night News Editor!
But the wine bug had bitten, and so it was from those humble and ignorant beginnings she put herself through courses of study, finally obtaining her Cape Wine Academy Diploma – and shortly thereafter being headhunted to fill the position of Editor of WINE magazine.
After relocating to Cape Town in 2000, Fiona finally took the plunge and immersed herself in the world of wine and it’s in the last 18 years that she’s become one of the most respected wine connoisseurs in the country and as such, a ‘best-of-the-best’ guide for Five Star Guides.
Fiona now works freelance in several capacities in the wine industry: she tastes and judges extensively internationally, as well as chairing tasting panels at such as the very prestigious Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. When not actually tasting and judging, she maintains an active editorial programme, editing Cheers magazine and is a senior contributor for South Africa’s premier wine guide, the Platter Guide.
As such, Fiona lives and breathes wine, particularly South African wine, but can bring a globalised understanding to our particular wine culture. She can contextualise our wines into your experiences of other wine regions and particularly delights in removing the pomp and elitism so often associated with wine.
A wine tour with Fiona is first and foremost about making the winelands accessible and fun, at any level of wine appreciation. On tour with Fiona, you’ll become infected by her love of wine, the achingly beautiful scenery in which its grown and made, and the centuries of tradition, skill and dedication the people of the winelands possess. You’ll leave a day on tour with Fiona armed with more knowledge about the place, the people and the wines than you might ever have thought possible.