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Myrna Robins

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Events

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Italians always manage to add romance to whatever they do, and that includes winemaking. Attilio and Michela Dalpiaz of Ayama in the Voor-Paardeberg are no exceptions, having injected great appeal into their historic farm and fine wines that they produce on the lower slopes of the Paardeberg, itself a mountain that inspires beguiling stories.

Now they have added a South African first with the release of their maiden Vermentino, a limited edition of 1 500 litres, set to be sold by auction that will benefit a local farm school..

Vermentino is a wine with a long history, originally a Spanish cultlivar that made its way to Italy early last century where it was adopted with enthusiasm and much success, both on the mainland and on Sardinia  - where it was elevated to DOCG status in 1997 It produces a medium to full-bodied wine,  that sometimes offers flavours one would expect in a rosé.

It took the couple six years to import their Vermentino vines, get quarantine approval, and finally plant one hectare in 2014. The patterns on the label were inspired by those made by the must during fermentation, the result, Michela claims, of the classical music that serenaded the wine in the cellar at this state.

 

To mark the release of this special wine, a single vintage auction, both local and online, will take place on Youth Day, June 16 at the Roodebloem studios in Woodstock. The venue, a decommissioned historic church reminds one of many similar sites in Italy where beautiful churches also fulfil other roles – such as the world launch of Slow Food a couple of decades ago...

 

Perdjie school consists of a creche and after-school project started by Ayama and neighbouring farm Scali in the Voor-Paardeberg a few years ago. Close to 40 youngsters, children of farm workers, are cared for daily. Transport is difficult, and it is hoped to raise money to buy a school bus.

Ayama will donate all profits from proceeds of the Vermentino auction to this worthy cause, an apposite one for a Youth Day event.

See http://ayama.co.za/perdjie-school/ for more info.

 

There are just 40 seats reserved for members of the public who would like to attend this event. They cost R300, but readers who contact Ayama directly, identifying themselves as readers of this blog, can claim R100 discount, paying just R200 for their ticket. Either send an e-mail to info@slentfarms.com or call 021 869 8313.

 

 

 

 After the bidding closes guests will be served drinks and canapés . Seats can also be booked  through www.wine.co.za.

 

A new Mediterranean varietal to add to others being introduced to Cape vineyards is always a welcome achievement, and one presumes that Vermentino will be water-wise as well to suit our declining water reserves. Those who wish to bid online need to access the website http://ayamavermentino.com/.

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HERMANUS FYNARTS WINE PLUS:

 

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The wine focus at this year’s FynArts festival revolves around personalities in the wine world, from cellarmasters to critics, viticulturist to vinous  story-tellers. There are also two late-afternoon discussions and the hugely popular tasting of the Wine Critics’ Choice.

Hosted again by Melvyn Minnaar, the 2017 theme of 'personality' suggests someone out of the ordinary, outstanding, possibly unusual. He has asked  six personalities to select wines of “personality” which should prove an interesting collection. Starting on June 10 the wine sessions take place daily for four days at 12 noon and 15h00 , with two demo-talks at 17h00. Tickets can be bought individually or in sets. Pieter Ferreira starts the fun with his talk on bubblies, and he continues into the late afternoon session. Duimpie Bayly will recall great moments  and legends about local wine, along with pouring some vintage labels. Jan Boland Coetzee of Vriesenhof will focus on soil and climate, and Rosa Kruger will talk about wine heritage and pour some great examples.

Monday June 12 sees Ntsiki Biyela recall career experience and pour wines that influenced her. Ex-Nederbutg cellarmaster Razvan Macici will take the hot seat in the 15h00 slot.

On Tuesday June 13 Christian Eedes, well-known wine judge and editor will offer a discussion on the controversial manner of ratings, and illustrate his points with some vinous examples.

At 15h00 on June 13 eight wine critics will nominate a favourite wine and give their reasons while the audience  sample their choice.  This year’s critics are Michael Fridjhon, Myrna Robins, Samarie Smith, Tim James, Winnie Bowman, Gregory Mutambe, Christine Rudman and Higgo Jacobs.

Guests stand a chance of winning a set of the Wine Critics' Choice wines by buying a raffle ticket in aid of Hermanus FynArts Development Fund.

To book, visit www.webtickets.co.za or www.hermanusfynarts.co.za. For further info, call 060957 5371 or 028 3122629.

 

The Fine Art of Hermanus FynArts 2017

 

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Hermanus today is a busy, thriving town yet maintains its attraction for artists of all kinds, inspiring talent as it has done for many decades. Along with many art galleries and exhibitions at some of the Hemel-en-Aarde wine estates, there is the annual midwinter Hermanus FynArts festival, the 5th such event this year.

Taking place from June 9 – 18, it features the work of an invited artist, as well as shows at the art galleries.  Lectures and talks, debates and discussions are part of the programme.

Music and food complement the cultural angle and then there is, of course, wine.

Mary Faure, founding festival director, talks about “celebrating the creativity of people”.

The annual Sculpture-on-the-Cliffs at Gearing’s Point near the Old Harbour, for which sculptors and artists are invited to make public art, is a very popular project and the works stay  in place for months after the festival.

This year the curator is the well-known artist/writer Lien Botha. Her theme is EchoLocation, which set a specific challenge to participating artists such as Bronwen Clacherty, Hannelie Coetzee, Hasan and Husain Essop,  Ledelle Moe, Right Mukore,  Jaco Sieberhagen, Brahm van Zyl and Emma Willemse.

The festival artist is pioneer-painter/sculptor Willie Bester. Curated by Michael Godby, the exhibition will be a mini retrospective.

 

 

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This round-up is listed chronologically.

DELHEIM GOES CAPE MALAY

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On Sat May 13,20 and 27 Delheim invites guests to a Cape Malay lunch when Chef Bruce von Pressentin will celebrate our favourite Cape cuisine with samoosas, pickled yellowtail, butter chicken, sambals and more. Green bean bredie and denningvleis are also on the menu, with finaltes of Kosuster and boeber. This is in addition to the a la carte winter menu.

The Cape Malay set menu is available at  R300 and booking is essential. Please note that the menu is only available for entire tables.To reserve your table, contact the restaurant at email restaurant@delheim.com or Tel: 021 8884607. Also visit www.delheim.com or find them on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/delheim/)

 

CHARDONNAY AND PINOT NOIR FESTIVAL

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Calling Gauteng winelovers! Taste more than 80 of South Africa’s best Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs as well as examples  from France, Chile and Argentina.
 
The show takes place at Killarney Country Club’s Crystal Room on Thursday, May 18, from 18h00. A limited number of tickets is available and cost R250 per person. The price includes a tasting glass as well as light snacks chosen to complement the styles of wine.
 Organiser Corlien Morris of Wine Menu has invited cellars that make the best chards and pinot noirs, as in previous years. These include Ataraxia, B Vintners, Creation, Charmonix, De Grendel, Eikendal, Ghost Corner, Glenelly, Groot Constantia, Hartenberg, Highlands Road, Jordan, Kloovenburg, La Brune, Longavi, Oak Valley, Paradyskloof, Paul Cluver, Paul Wallace, Sutherland, The Drift, Thelema and Vriesenhof.
 Specialist fine wine importers Great Domaines, LAPD and the Reciprocal Wine Trading Company will also be showing some of their finest Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs.
 Wines – some of which are no longer available on the general marketplace – will be for sale at a 10 percent discount on retail prices.
 
Only 300 tickets are available for the Festival so booking is essential.They are available from Webtickets; from Wine Menu in the BluBird Shopping Centre, Illovo or - if still available - at the door on the night.
 For tickets go to:
https://www.webtickets.co.za/event.aspx?itemid=1469046128
 Go to:
Website:
www.winemenu.co.za

A CARNIVAL OF CABERNET FRANC TO RELISH AT AVONTUUR

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Fans of this less common and charming varietal will get the chance to celebrate their favourite grape on Saturday, 20 May 2017 from 11h00-17h00 at the family-owned wine estate between Stellenbosch and Somerset West.

In addition to the tastings and purchasing of wines visitors can book for one of three tutored tastings of the Top 6 wines in the 2017 Cab Franc Challenge, presented by head of the judging panel and Cape Wine Master Christine Rudman.  Tickets costs R75 pp extra and only three sessions of 20 persons each can be accommodated at 11h30, 13h30 and 15h00.

“This is the only chance to taste the Top 6 together as many of these wines are extremely rare and were kept aside especially for the tutored tastings,” says organiser Cobie van Oort from CVO Marketing.

The very popular public “vote” to choose the favourite wine of the day,will once again take place which will give an interesting perspective on the differences between expert and amateur palates.

Participating wineries are:   Avontuur Estate, CK Wines, Doolhof  Wine Estate, Edgebaston,  Hannay Wines, Hermanuspietersfontein, Knorhoek Wine Farm, Lynx Wines, My Wyn, Nelson Wine Estate, Oldenburg Vineyards, Ormonde Vineyards, Raats Family Wines, Rainbow’s End Wine Estate, The Garajeest,  Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards, Vrede en Lust, Warwick Estate, Whalehaven, Zorgvliet Wines.

Tickets are R200pp which includes the tastings, a R50 discount coupon to spend on food, and a tasting glass. Tickets from www.plankton.mobi or www.computicket.co.za  as well as at Computicket branches. Follow us on Facebook at Cabernet Franc Carnival or on Twitter at @Cabfrancarnival .  More information on www.cvomarketing.co.za

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Lanzerac’s Winter Tastings

This stunning venue is the place to enjoy after-work winter tastings from end of May until August. Fireside temptations include Lanzeracs new releases and old favourites, then guests can savour a bowl of hearty soup and home-baked breads.Tastings start at 5,30pm, the first is on May 31, followed by June 29, July 26 and August 31. Booking is essential, and the cost is R95 which includes a welcome drink, tastings and the  supper.

Contact Zelda Furstenburg at Lanzerac Wine Estate on 021 886 5641 or winesales@lanzerac.co.za for queries or to book your seat.

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LA PETITE FERME PRESENTS INTERNATIONAL WINE AND FOOD EXPERIENCES

Note the following dates : June 8th, July 6th and August 3rd, which is when this Franschhoek venue invites diners to join them for a series of dinners where winemaker Wikus Pretorius will focus on a particular cultivar and pour samples from the Cape and overseas. Viognier makes the first choice, followed by chardonnay in Jue and cabernet sauvignon in July. The final event will see Cape and red blends under the spotlight. Tastings will precede three-course dinners paired with the farm’s wines.

The events start at 18h30 and cost R750. Booking is essential. To reserve a table email

pr@lapetiteferme.co.za or contact Ruan Olivier at Tel: +27 (0)21 876 3016.

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L’Ormarins MCC and nougat – a pairing of the senses

Tickle your tastebuds and pep up your palate with bubbly and nougat! Breaking with tradition, the estate’s three L’Ormarins Methodé Cap Classiques (MCC) have each been paired with hand-crafted nougat, which perfectly complement the wines as well as showcasing their versatility as a partner to confectionery. Each nougat has been designed to bring out a certain characteristic found in its MCC partner.

L’Ormarins Brut NV has been paired with a delicious morsel of Cassata nougat, which is fashioned on the traditional Italian-inspired dessert. The candied fruit, vanilla and almond perfectly partner the fruity and toasty notes of the Brut. The beautiful blush pink Brut Rosé has been paired with a cherry, cranberry and rose nougat, which amplifies similar flavours in the Rosé. Completing the trio is the stately Blanc de Blancs and it’s a match made in heaven with the toasted pecan, orange and fleur de sel (salt) nougat. Presented in a relaxed atmosphere in the comfort of the luxurious Anthonij Rupert Tasting Room the pairing is available at R60 per person.

 For more information contact the estate on 021 874 9041 or tasting@rupertwines.com.

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Taste the Helderberg epicurean fest

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It’s not too early to diarise Thursday June 15 when the 2017 Taste the Helderberg fest will be held in Somerset West.  It’s a one-night affair when wine farms and restaurants in the Helderberg region showcase their  fine local products. Guests are invited to shed the winter blues by donning something red – the theme colour that makes an eye-catching statement.

Taste the Helderberg’s smorgasbord will once again be served up from 17h00 to 21h00 at the landmark NH The Lord Charles Hotel – an arrangement that’s proven ideal for many visitors who traditionally make a weekend of it in the light of the public holiday the following day, Friday June 16.

Wine-lovers will be get an early-bird sampling of the region’s latest wines. Many of these show-stopper wines will be on sale at special rates that are also applicable on delivery through logistics and transport solutions company Aramex, proud partner of Stellenbosch Wine Routes.

Also on offer will be foodie pop-ups by the Helderberg’s well-known eateries. .

Master classes on grape varieties have been laid on to emphasize the climatic and geographic reasons behind the quality that hails from this coastal area.

Tickets to the event are R100pp and should be booked online at www.wineroute.co.za. If any tickets remain, they’ll be sold at the door.

For more information on Taste the Helderberg 2017 visit www.wineroute.co.za or call 021 886 8275.

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Delheim’s Jazz and Cheese Fondues

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Held every year for over a decade, this lingering lunchtime event’s cosy delights offer the perfect remedy to cold and rainy winter blues.

The Jazz and Cheese Fondues take place from 25 June to 27 August this year, returning to Delheim’s intimate underground wine cellar.

It’s the Sperling heritage and hospitality from which the idea for a farm-style fondue arose. There’s nothing fast and furious about Delheim’s Jazz and Cheese Fondues. Picture pots of Gruyère and Emmentaler for ladling, dipping and smearing with a selection of delicious bites and exceptional Delheim wines. This is festive food-sharing at its best- an occasion best enjoyed with a group of loved ones.

Says Delheim’s chef Bruce von Pressentin. “Ultimately, it’s about having a good time and this is what lies at the heart of our Jazz and Cheese Fondues.”

These good times are what Delheim has become famous for. In addition to renowned wines and the Garden Restaurant, Delheim is a destination for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy the many mountain bike and trail-running routes.

Book now for the Jazz and Cheese Fondues. Each reservation includes a shared cheese fondue, live music and a glass of traditional heart-warming glühwein for only R230 per person. Starters and desserts are available for purchase from the a la carte menu and will be charged accordingly. To reserve your seat at Delheim’s Jazz and Cheese Fondues, email restaurant@delheim.com  or phone 021 888 4607.

Booking details:

Price: R230 per person

Dates: 25 June | 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 July | 6, 9, 13, 20 and 27 August.

Time: 12:30 - 15:30

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Say farewell to April with a fun family day at the last Groote Post Country Market of the season. Taking place from 10am to 3pm on Sunday April 30, it also marks the final day of a spate of long weekends, so make the most of it!

As usual the local cooks and crafters, butchers and produce growers  will be out in force with country fare, from organic mushrooms to olive oil, pomegranate juice to handmade confectionery, west coast wors to artisanal beer. All ready to be savoured, of course, with Groote Post well-loved wines.

Children are well catered for, there’s live music and those who prefer a sit-down lunch should book for Hilda’s Kitchen. This is also one of the few markets where dogs are welcome, on a lead. The following market takes place at the end of August. For more info, contact Dave Coleshill on 076 834 8085 or email him on dave@iloveyzer.co.za

 

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Elgin Cool Wine & Country Food Festival

 

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This annual autumn fest takes place over the weekend of April 29 – 30 from 10am to 5pm on both days. Winelovers are in for a treat of fine Overberg wines, delicious food, entertainment and many outdoor activities. Those taking part are Almenkerk Wine Estate, Arumdale, Belfield, Charles Fox Wines, Corder Family Wines, Elgin Ridge, Elgin Vintners, Hannay Wines, Highlands Road Wines, Iona, Oak Valley, Oneiric Wine Estate, Paul Cluver Wines, Paul Wallace Wines, Robin Hood Legendary Wines, Shannon Vineyards and South Hill Vineyards each offering their own attractions, which erange from live music to art exhibitions. Lunch menus will vary as well, including picnics, American smokehouse barbecues, food trucks and more. Tickets cost R140 pp from Webtickets.co.za and include tasting glass, programme, access, tasting of three wines from any estate. They need to be collected from Peregrine Farmstall before setting out to the farms. Children under the age of 18 go in free of charge with adults. Visit  www.winesofelgin.co.za for more info.

 

Shiraz & Charcuterie at Anthonij Rupert

 

 

Looking ahead to Saturday May 27 the annual Shiraz & Charcuterie celebration takes place at Anthonij Rupert Wyne at Franschhoek, starting at noon.Along with the hosts three shiraz, Rust en Vrede, Waterford, Mullineux and Leeu, Hartenberg, Simonsig and Thelema are taking part.The wines can be relished with hearty dishes, including French onion soup, homemade saucisson and cannelloni beans, while the olive bar has plenty to spark the tastebuds. Tickets cost R220 from webtickets.co.za and pre-booking is essential. For more email info@dnaevents.co.za

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According to the usually reliable Norwegian forecast, the weather on 

 Valentine's Day will be cool and cloudy in the Boland with a maximum temperature of 20 deg C. Ib2ap3_thumbnail_Rickety-B-Brut-Rose-NV-High-Res.jpgdeal for celebrating the day (and night)  dedicated to love and happiness. There are just so many destinations that are wooing diners to their doors that  both locals and visitors are spoilt for choice. Others may prefer to dine at home, or take a bottle of chilled bubbles to watch a fiery mountian sunset or stroll along a beach as twilight falls.

 

Whatever is on the menu, this is an occasion when a rosé bubbly is most appropriate: Choose one that is brut but not bone dry, that partners both seafood and berry desserts with panache. Given the fact that many consumers are feeling the pinch, look for one that offers good value, while being  both elegant and crisp, along with luscious berry flavours as well. There are several fine Cape sparkles that fulfil these criteria, but - if you haven't yet discovered the joys of Rickety Bridge's Cap Classiques, this is a good time to do so - their non-vintage Brut Rosé, a classic blend of 52% pinot noir with the remainder chardonnay will make an inspired choice. At R145 it is not going to weigh down your credit card either. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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