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Myrna Robins

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Events

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New labels, new venue, and one of the best festivals as well !

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Van Loveren is such a household name across the length and breadth of South Africa, one that is synonomous with  affordable, easy-drinking, unpretentious wines, that it’s easy to overlook their flagship range of reserve, limited edition,single vineyard wines. Perhaps to counter this, the Retief family have repackaged this top range, Christina, with new labels, starring a cameo of this illustrious ancestor and family matriarch whose bridal chest can be seen in the Van Loveren restaurant at the riverside winery.

Christina van Loveren arrived in South Africa as the 17th century was about to give way to the 18th, one in which Cape wine started to make waves in Europe and the UK, thanks to Groot Constantia. Intrepid travellers like her deserve to be honoured by descendants, and the Retief family do this in style with this heritage range of highly regarded wines.

The non-vintage winning brut makes a great start to any celebration, both traditional and modern, while the four –star sauvignon blanc and the chardonnay are both classy examples of the vinous art: The sauvignon grapes come from Darling, while the delicious chardonnay benefits from a long sojurn in new French oak. Both wonderful summer aperitifs, and there are impressive reds to complement - a fine shiraz, a cabernet and a noble late harvest (from unwooded chenin) to round off the choice.   Its well worth heading down the R317

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to the magnificent tasting centre to try before you buy.

This weekend sees the annual Wine on the River take place, starting on Friday October 14 and running through to Sunday. The venue is the Goudmyn farm alongside the Breede river and off the R317, where guests will, as always, savour a relaxed celebration of the wonderful wines of the broad Robertson valley, along with loads of fine fare and other attractions.

I have just read that the Van Loveren’s latest venue, the Four Cousins tasting centre and eaterie, which has risen from the former site of Branewynsdraai at the entrance to Robertson, is open – just in time for the festival.

So there will be no less than three venues where winelovers can sample the wares of Van Loveren Family Vineyards this weekend – - but note that if you want to taste the stellar Christina wines, you will have to visit the Van Loveren winery – which is almost next door to the entrance to Wine on the River.

See you there or visit www.vanloveren.co.za.

 

 

 

 

 

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Pinotage and Peace Parks – and Wine, Wheels and Wildlife

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Conservation benefits from sales of Eikendal estate’s recently launched 2015 pinotage, a South African red that offers as much pleasure to keen palates as it will help swell the  funds of the Peace Parks Foundation.

This follows on Eikendal’s sponsorship of other conservation organizations like Cheetah Outreach and the Bushveld Foundation.

Peace Parks has been doing sterling work in the fields of transfrontier conservation, development of human resources and support of sustainable economic development.

Pinotage, our only all-South African cultivar seems the right grape to be involved in helping fund biodiversity and regional peace projects across southern African borders. It’s also a very enjoyable wine, with moderate alcohol levels of 13% that presents a modern, subtle approach in its treatment of our national black grape, offering elegance and freshness from a 20-year-old dryland vineyard. Selling from the cellar door at R105, 5% of sales from this source will be channelled to the Foundation.

 

 

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Staying with wines and wildlife conservation, Painted Wolf owner/winemaker Jeremy Borg has led mountain biking weekends to raise funds for wild dogs and community projects in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. The next Pedal 4 Paws excursion will see up to 40 riders enjoy a Rare Carnivore ride in Somkhanda Game Reserve in northern KZN. Somkhanda is a community reserve , a wild and beautiful stretch of thick bush and rolling hills, belonging to the Gumbi community. It takes place from September 16 -18

Both conservation and community projects will be supported.The Endangered Wildlife Trust will benefit from a donation as well. For more info, see www.paintedwolfwines.com

 

 

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A varied lineup of events as winter gives way to a green and glorious spring!

 

Benguela on Main restaurant is offering a five-course Christmas dinner on Saturday July 30 . Chef Jean Delport is including treats like smoked breast of goose on his menu, which costs R540 a head. Pair your meal with Benguela Cove wines, and Somerset West residents can enjoy a complimentary drive service to and from the restaurant. For more information or to make a reservation to avoid disappointment, visit the website, call 087 357 0637 or email onmain@benguelacove.co.za

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 Steenberg’s Cool Runnings charity trail run takes place through the Constantia vineyards on Saturday August 6. Choose from a 5 or 10km loop. All proceeds to the Mdzananda Vet Clinic in Khayelitsha, a community project that provides quality care for ill and abandoned animals. Finish with a glass of Steenberg sparkling sauvignon blanc and follow with a free wine tasting if you wish. A Mdzananda Vet Donation Box will be available prior to the race where leashes, blankets, dog or cat food and other pet items can be dropped into.The entry fee is R130 per trail runner, R50 per teen between the ages of 12-17, while children under 12 have free entry. Registration opens at 7am outside the Bistro1682 Restaurant. Walkers are welcomed. The briefing takes place 15-minutes ahead of the race at 8am. Pre-booking is essential and can be done online at www.quicket.co.za.

 

Bottelary Hills Wine Route ‘Pop Up’ Lunch

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Savour a slow-cooked Sunday pork lunch with chef Bertus Basson on August 14 at Groenland estate when he will present a three-course lunch that smokes, sears and sizzles. The fires will be lit and guests can enjoy Bottelary Hills wine ahead of their meal. Lunch costs R350 a head, including a wine tasting and glass of wine per course. Book through www.wineroute.co.za or Tel: (021) 886 8275 or marketing@wineroute.co.za

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Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction Showcase of rare, individual wines

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This popular annual event takes place in Cape Town on Thursday, 18 August at the CTICC from 6pm and in Johannesburg on Wed August 24 at the Atrium, Nedbank Sandton at 6pm. Tickets cost R250 which includes a tasting glass.

Wine enthusiasts cantaste these unique collectors’ wines crafted exclusively in small volumes for the 2016 Cape Winemakers Guild Auction by the Guild’s 47 members.Members of the Guild will also be presenting some of their acclaimed offerings sold under their own labels. Guests can also bid on rare signed bottles from previous Guild auctions during the Silent Auction. Founded in 1999, the Development Trust seeks to transform the wine industry by educating, training and empowering young talent through initiatives such as the Protégé Programme, a highly acclaimed mentorship scheme for upcoming winemakers and viticulturists.Tickets can be purchased via www.webtickets.co.za

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“WE LOVE WINE” FEST RETURNS TO CAPEGATE 

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If Calling northern suburbs winelovers! Just ahead of spring, head to Capegate Shopping Centre for a great weekend wine fest, taking place from 5 - 9pm on Friday August 26 and from 12 noon to 6pm on Saturday 27th.

 

 

Festival visitors can taste and buy more than 100 wines directly from the wineries, which include large producers with well-known brands and smaller boutique and family-owned wineries, giving a taste of the best of South Africa’s winelands in one venue.

 

The Cape Wine Academy is presenting a wine theatre (Three sessions on Friday and four sessions on Saturday) with fun tastings and pairings on the programme at set times.

 

Participating wineries include: Alexanderfontein/Ormonde, Arendskloof/Eagle’s Cliff, Beyerskloof Wines, Biocape Wines, Bonnievale Cellar, Diemersfontein Wines, Dieu Donnè Vineyards, Deux Frères Wines, Du Toitskloof Wines, Edgebaston, Eerstehoop Wines, Fledge & Co, Groenland, Imbuko Wines, La Couronne Wine Estate, MWS, Orange River Cellars, Overhex Wines International, Perdeberg Winery, Peter Bayly Wines, Stellenbosch Hills, Villiera Wines, Villiersdorp Cellar, Yonder Hill Wines.

 

The Pebbles Project, which looks after disadvantaged children, especially those impacted by alcohol, is the charity beneficiary of the festival and will be present to spread their message and raise funds and awareness.

 

Tickets from the door or through www.quicket.co.za  cost R70 pp (Includes a branded tasting glass) Bookings for the CWA theatre sessions can be made at the ticket office.

 

For up to date information, visit www.capegatecentre.co.za

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Bot River hosts blooming nice Spring Weekend

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Enjoy a relaxed weekend in the Overberg from September 2 – 4 during the annual fest hosted by the winemaking community. The region features 11 wine farms, each of which will offer attractions ranging from farm fare, olive oils, fine wines and local talent. Attractions include sausage-making course at Luddite, oysters and bubbles from Genevieve MCC, fynbos hikes at Paardenkloof, lunch at Wildekrans and at Gabrielskloof. Plenty to amuse the small fry as well. Farms will be open from 10am to 4pm. Tickets (weekend pass) cost R100 and obtainable from www.quicket.co.za .For more information on the Bot River Spring Weekend 2016 contact Melissa Nelsen at Cell: 083 302 6562 or email Melissa@genevievemcc.co.za.

 

MIKI CIMAN OF LA MASSERIA INTRODUCES SMALLER CHEESE MAKERS

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Be it gorgonzola, pecorino, fontina, mozzarella, provolone, brie, chèvre, blue or cheddar, the Say Cheese! Artisan Cheese Fair will celebrate all things cheese on 24 and 25 September 2016 at the Italian Club, Milnerton. THE event will bring together artisan cheesemakers, cheese lovers, bakers, brewers and visitors. Says Ciman, “The Fair will allow guests to appreciate every step of the farm-to-table process of cheese making, while highlighting the extraordinary local talent we have in this field. Chefs will take part and wine will be on sale. Tickets will be on sale at the door, at R80 for adults and R30 for children from 11 – 18. Children under 10 go in free.For further information, please email Kiki at saycheesefair@gmail.com or phone Elize Nel on 072 795 4214.

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GOING GALLIC!

 

 

 

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 Franschhoek Bastille Festival

 

 16 & 17 July 2016

An annual highlight that's always as popular, no matter what the weather. The food and wine marquee will keep visitors warm and dry, and if the weather is winter perfect, the surroundings are as fair as any in France.

Going Gallic over the weekend in mid-month is just what we need to remind us that Franschhoek continues to make superb vintages that complement the valley's gourmet fare.  Take part in boules, visit the markets and savour the vibe.

Tickets to the marquee cost R220, which includes glass,tasting coupons and a R20 wine vouchers. Book through www.webtickets.  For more information visit www.franschhoekbastille.co.za

 

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CALLING PORT ELIZABETH WINE LOVERS

 

To the Eastern Cape where the second FNB wine show takes place in Port Elizabeth on July 28 and 29 at The Boardwalk in Summerstrand. A great selection of SA' top wines are there to sip and its a good chance to stock up your cellar as well.

Exhibitors include produces such as Blaauwklippen, Ernie Els Wines, Jordan and Ken Forrestr,  while there are interesting boutique wineries taking part that can make worthwhile discoveries. Oude Molen brandy could make a fine finale . Visit

www.easterncapewineshow-pe.co.za for a full list of exhibitors and wines.

 

  Local wine outlet Prestons will operate the convenient Shop@Show facility where wine purchases at the show are delivered to your door.   

 

Venue: Tsitsikamma Rooms, The Boardwalk, Beach Road, Summerstrand

Time: 17h00 to 21h00

Ticket Price: R140 to R160 (includes unlimited tastings and  tasting glass). The early Bird price of R140 is valid for computicket.com sales until 27th July. Thereafter and at the door tickets are R160.No under 18s, nor babies and prams.  A complimentary show guide includes producer information and informative notes on wine variety characteristics, food matching and serving temperatures.

Refreshments:  Light meals will be available for sale.

Queries:  011 482 5936/5/4

Tickets: Tickets can be purchased at one of the following options:

  • Online through Computicket.com
  • Money Market counters in Shoprite Checkers stores
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Ultra Mussels Wine Celebration

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Den Anker Restaurant, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

30 July 2015 12:00 till 16:00

Not only will guests tuck into a kg of delicious black mussels, and wash them down with a range of fine white and red Cape wines, but there's more fun in watching the tussle that's promised between girls and boys in the wine sphere.

 

This years’ Ultra Mussels Wine Tournament to be held on Saturday, 30th July 2016 from 12 noon until 4pm at Den Anker Restaurant, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.  Not only is this battle unique in that it pits guys and girls in wine against each other, but this is the first time  only one wine region will be represented.  Mark Norrish of Ultra Liquors Wine Division has  selected participants from the Stellenbosch region for this years’ battle.The girls in wine will be representing Blaauwklippen, De Morgenzon, Fleur du Cap, Haskell Vineyards, House of J.C. Le Roux, Simonsig , Uitkyk  and Warwick. The guys will be representing Beyerskloof , Delaire Graff , Ernie Els Wines, Glenelly, Kanonkop , Kleine Zalze and Rust en Vrede.

 

The best of Belgian cuisine has been embraced in the form of 1kg of mussels for each of the guests.

 Luke Krone Events will again be behind the scenes ensuring that a fun-filled experience is had by all.

Tickets cost R230 per person and are available through Webtickets and  include 1kg of fresh mussels, a souvenir wine glass, wine tastings and live entertainment.  Only 200 tickets available.  Booking essential.  No under 18’s allowed. 

For further information or queries contact Luke Krone,Cell: 082 354 9007 Email: luke@lukekrone.com Website: www.lukekrone.com

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DIARISE THE FOURTH FNB FREE STATE WINE SHOW FOR HEARTWARMING TASTINGS

 

 The annual FNB Free State Wine Show will  bring cheer to the palates of Bloemfontein wine lovers on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th August at Emoya Estate.  With award-winning producers  from the regions of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Hermanus, Robertson, Constantia, Franschhoek, Stanford and Tulbagh, show visitors will be spoilt for choice by the range of  styles on offer – from celebratory sparklings, to delicate whites and robust reds,  with a classic Cape Port or brandy as finales.    Visitors can also sample and buy at the Just Biltong, Dinutty Nuts, Woodview Gourmet Foods and Snyman Sjokolateur stands too.

 

Tickets to the show are available via Computicket as well as theoutlets listed below.  Wine lovers can plan their tasting experience in advance by visiting  www.freestatewineshow.co.za for a full list of exhibitors and wines in the lead-up to the show.  Online wine retailer Cybercellar will operate the convenient Shop@Show facility where wine purchases at the show are delivered to your door.   

 Event name:       FNB Free State Wine Show

Dates:                   Thursday 4th and Friday 5th August 2016

Venue:                  Emoya Hotel and Conference Centre, 7 Kleynhans Avenue, Groenvlei, Bloemfontein

Time:                     17h00 to 21h00  

Ticket Price:        R150 to R190 (includes unlimited tastings and wine tasting glass)The early Bird price of R150 is valid for computicket.com sales until 30th July. Thereafter and at the door, tickets are R170 for Thursday and R190 for Friday. No under 18s, nor babies and prams.  A complimentary show guide includes producer information and informative notes on wine variety characteristics, food matching and serving temperatures. 

Tickets can be purchased via www.computicket.com, Money Market counters in Shoprite Checkers stores and at the door subject to availability.

Refreshments:  Light meals will be available for sale.

Website:               www.freestatewineshow.co.za for a full list of exhibitors and wines from 18 July.   

Enquiries:            Telephone (011) 482 5936.

 

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Winemaker Henry Kotze, Giulio Bertrand and consultant Pierre Lurton

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It always seems to be a beautiful day when its time to head to Morgenster, and this was no exception. A group of wine media and trade representatives filled the tasting room then filed into the cellar where tables, dressed in white, sported enough glasses to indicate a tasting of some magnitude. In front, courteous host Giulio Bertrand, winemaker Henry Kotze and Gallic consultant Pierre Lurton from Chateau Cheval Blanc introduced the lineup which comprised the release of the Bordeaux-style flagship wine and the 2013 vintages of his Italian Collection. Starting with what was, for me, an outstanding wine,the Morgenster White 2015 is a blend of 55% sauvignon blanc and 45% semillon, satiny, yet frisky, exhibiting both herbaceous notes, a touch of oiliness, and a whiff of fruit, in an elegant, irresistible combination. Bottled just two months ago after 10 months in oak, this was produced from bought-in grapes from vineyards close to the estate. Their own white grape vines will be ready to produce fine wines soon, but this wine, due for release in September at around R150, is worth waiting for.

On to the Italian cultivars, starting with the Caruso rosé, made from sangiovese, with its low- alcohol level of 12,5% makes a great introduction to Morgenster, with discernible backbone, plenty of berry fruit balanced with savoury notes, selling at around R80.

Tosca 2013 is a blend of 76% sangiovese, 12% each of cabernet and merlot, selling at just under R200, is an enjoyable meld, a great food wine, and probably more popular with locals than the Nabucco – the 2013 vintage of which is 100% nebbiolo, This cultivar has its fair share of fans, and is distinctly different from our reds, and should be paired with Italian fare.

The Lourens Valley 2012 may be regarded as a second fiddle red blend to the Morgenster, but is usually one that I have enjoyed hugely in the past. No change here – from its aromatic nose to a palate with fruit balanced with smooth tannins in an elegant and approachable combination, I would choose this for winter fireside sipping . It sells for around R145.

From the prelude to the main course, the release of the Morgenster 2012, the Bordeaux-style flagship of the estate, comprising, unusually, 72% merlot, along with 16% petit verdot and 12% cabernet. With alcohol levels of 14,5% ,this fresh and enjoyable wine elicited much discussion among wine writers who queried the choice of merlot as the lead cultivar, (one being regarded with some disdain by many a fundi.) Henry’s answer was simply that this combination proved to be the best when he and Pierre took decisions on the components and proportions of the blend. Expect to pay around R370.

Back in the tasting room a team had produced a wide selection of delectable Italian snacks, each one matched to one of the wines we had tasted. From parmesan risotto to tiny meatballs, from quality smoked salmon to veal tongues on ciabatta, the visitors tucked in, savouring the pairings with relish.

As the noise levels grew, our host moved among friends and colleagues, surely pleased that both his ambitions have been realised – to produce great Bordeaux-style blends at Morgenster and to make fine wines from Italian varietals on his very lovely, historic Cape farm. His olive oils are also rewarding his sizeable investment very well.

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