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the month January 2012

the discerning reader’s guide to the good life

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from the editor

January 2012

IN THIS EDITION ...

FROM THE EDITOR ...

A Taste of Durbanville

Happy New Year!

January...

3 4 5 6

FROM THE EDITOR

Laborie Harvest and Candlelight

Depending on your inclination (and how much of the wisdom available courtesy of Wikipedia, you bother to believe), this is THE year… either it’ll end in some form of wailing and gnashing of teeth come December the 21st, or the universe is spinning us toward a positive spiritual transformation. I’m a little more circumspect with my view, far from either extreme and, despite my bank manager starting early this year on his own economic end-times prediction, simply look forward to all that the year has in store, Month by Month.

We visit De Malle Meule

Diary of a Wine Maker Part 1 Pig Out in Style

7 8 11 12 13

The new Rickety Bridge tasting room Wine Reviews

The Wine Ou can't COP

A decade of Iona Sauvignon Blancs SAWi Savvy

Wine of The Month: Auction Crossing Syrah/Viognier 2009

14 We hike Chapman's Peak

15 Surrey Holmes at Franschhoek Square 16 Property 18 What's On 20 21 22 23 24

In taking stock of the potential of the year ahead, I was struck by how the Volvo Ocean Race (featured on our front page with a pic courtesy of Dan Armstrong) mimics life and puts into perspective the idea that the days marking the end of the year, or the start of the next, are any different in significance when compared to any other - every day counts. I wondered how the Volvo Ocean Race competitors manage to face day after gruelling day and came across something by Dr Charles Swindoll on the importance of a positive attitude. The theologian uses a Bible verse that loosely paraphrased says the pursuit of personal happiness is most effective when tackled with humility and the desire to serve. He points out that when “attitudes are right,

Coffee Stop: Hudson's

Art: Thinking a-raound at Tokara Bontebok National Park

Fashionably Yours: Accesories

The Markets: Defending the Rand Golf: Pretty useful chip-shot

25 Finance: The Paradox of Thrift

Investment: Dave Rundle on the Cricket and the Eurozone Crisis

26 We linger at Longridge

27 History: A brandy new look at Paarl 28 Scene and Heard

there's no barrier too high, no valley too deep, no dream too extreme, no challenge too great”. It is my hope that this will be your best year ever. We’ve started 2012, here at The Month, with more of what you’ve come to expect of us – the best good news, shared honestly, by means of wine and food-related news and reviews, accounts of our travels in and around the Winelands, fashion tips, history and, for good measure, some information and opinion pieces about finances, the markets, climate change and things to do. Of course, The Month wouldn’t be worth the effort if it wasn’t for your feedback and the huge amounts of fun we have getting the material together for each edition. If you have a story to share, a useful comment to make or a picture to show, simply send us a mail or make the call (our details are freely available on this page) but please do remember that we’re a family-friendly, good news publication – so you may want to hold on to one or two of those pics… Until next month, enjoy the read!

the team Editor: Brett Garner 083 260 0453 brett@themonth.co.za Publisher: David Foster The Clear Thinking Group 084 827 3986 david@themonth.co.za Graphic Design & Layout: Nicole de Vries 076 837 8990 design@themonth.co.za Photography: The Month Distribution: Shoppers Friend

contributors The White Wine Ou wineou@themonth.co.za Jeanri-Tine van Zyl jeanritine@gmail.com WINE Johan Delport winemaker@waverleyhills.co.za Lorraine Geldenhuys lgwines@gmail.com Paula de Villiers paula@winefolk.co.za

Why The Month? Back in 2008 we saw that Winelands-based businesses (generally wine farms, restaurants and hotels) sourced most of their customers from residents of, and visitors to, the greater Cape Town area as well as the Winelands. Seeking to attract discerning buyers from within those areas, marketing options were limited to community newspapers with local distributions who saw advertising principally as a funding mechanism and magazines which were perceived as expensive, syrupy and full of advertorial. We understood that for marketing to be effective it needed to be housed within valuable, informative reading matter that, to maximise exposure, would stay in the hand for longer. So we created an accessible, humorous and colourful presentation style that would appeal to the discerning, intelligent reader who takes time to consider where he spends his money. The result is The Month - a unique, wine-focused ‘magazine in newspaper format’ published in the Winelands that is available for FREE each month, right across the Western Cape. It is a sought-after, trusted source of information for discerning readers and offers the advertiser an ideal platform to speak directly to potential customers already showing an interest in wine and lifestyle in this area.

ITS CONTENT IS READABLE AND ENGAGING...

Essentially a ‘What’s on?’ guide to ‘the good life’ in the Cape, The Month carries reviews, information and articles about wine and Winelands destinations, delivers food and restaurant reviews, articles on lifestyle, art, wellness, travel, green issues, the economy, personalities and the outdoors and compiles them in an accessible and humorous writing style to ensure readability and maximum attention. The content is largely based in the Winelands areas of Paarl, Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Somerset West and, from time to time, covers stories from other wine-producing regions.

... AND IT APPEALS TO RIGHT MARKET

The ‘discerning buyer’ does not respond to consumer-driven sales pitches or read advertorial, but rather takes an active interest in lifestyle related topics, property, the economy and, although not necessary wealthy, seeks advice about everything so as to make informed choices. In addition to having a well-developed taste in food, the discerning buyer likely takes an active interest in wine so, with this its mainstay, The Month becomes the kind of free publication (with limited, high-quality advertising) that discerning buyers read.

THE DISTRIBUTION IS TARGETED...

Our current 20,000 copy distribution provides maximum exposure to discerning readers within

the Winelands of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek and Somerset West, and to tourists and visitors from Durbanville, Cape Town, the Atlantic Seaboard, Southern Suburbs and Constantia, largely through door-to-door drops, wine outlets and estates, shops, golf courses, restaurants and hotels.

... AND THERE ARE OTHER BENEFITS TOO!

The basic advertising package is with advertisers to whom we offer exposure from three to twelve months. Assistance with the design and makeup of the print advert, monthly changes to the advert (if required), prime position placement in the publication, preferable payment terms, free inserts on the ‘What’s On’ page, social media broadcasts on Twitter and Facebook and, most importantly, free, personally-written editorial exposure is all included in the price (per advert) below. All information, artwork regulations, terms and conditions, distribution and deadlines are carried on our website at www.themonth.co.za. Advertising for less than three months duration is bookable online. All standard advertising packages are subject to a signed contract downloadable from the website. To have a representative from The Month contact you, please call either David Foster on 084 8273986 or Brett Garner on 083 2600453 and we will arrange a visit.

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Editor or Publisher’s permission (we’re generally quite generous – so just ask). The Month subscribes to the South African Press Code and if you feel we’re not living up to that,

please call the Press Ombudsman on 011 484 3612. We regard our sources as reliable and verify as much of what we print as we can, but inaccuracies can occur and readers using information in The Month do so at their own risk.

www.themonth.co.za Also join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at The_Month

January 2012


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January 2012

High ‘Sosati’

Jeanri-Tine van Zyl tastes Durbanville in a dish The sosatie recipe is courtesy of local, Elrita Blanckenberg, of the farm Kaaimanskloof, and the use of pumpkin points back to Durbanville’s origin as a farmers’ market town known as Pampoenkraal, a border outpost owned by the Dutch East India Company where fresh meat and other farm produce were bartered with the locals. The name was changed from Pampoenkraal to D’Urban in 1836 and then renamed Durbanville in 1886, to prevent confusion with the city, Durban.

The pumpkin in the regional dish is prepared in three ways; mashed with a hint of cinnamon to add creaminess to the risotto-style ‘stampkoring’; diced and oven-roasted for texture and flavour, and as a condiment - pickled with turmeric and mustard seeds. If you are looking for something to do, head out to Durbanville and give it sticks!

a main course s a le b ila va a is sh The regional di getarian opve a nd a ), 65 (R r e (R120) or start of the following resny a t a d re fe of o ls tion is a taurants: • Eat@ Altydgedacht • Bon Amis Cafe & Deli at Bloemendal • Poplars Restaurant, D’Aria • Durbanville Hills Eatery, Durbanville Hills • Hillcrest Restaurant, Hillcrest Wine Estate • The Manor House Restaurant, Meerendal • Cassia Restaurant, Nitida Wine Estate • Tables at Nitidia, Nitida Wine Estate

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egular visitors to Durbanville may have noticed the appearance of a particular menu item at restaurants along the region’s wine route. Simply referred to as the ‘Regional Dish’, the serving of lamb sosaties, risotto-style pumpkin and ‘stampkoring’ (pearled wheat), cumin sauce and a pumpkin pickle point to Durbanville's agricultural abundance, while the aromatic components of cinnamon, cumin, mustard and mild curry celebrate the Cape of Good Hope’s connection to the Spice Route. “The idea for a signature dish first started in 2010 when Thys Louw, of Diemersdal, returned from a trip to France, all inspired by cuisine du terroir. He encouraged fellow winemakers and chefs to explore a dish that

would capture the Durbanville spirit,” explained Michelle van Staden, the marketing manager of the Durbanville Wine Valley Association, at the launch of the Regional Dish recently. She went on to suggest that as Cape cuisine is a melting pot of so many influences, the search for a dish to define the Durbanville ‘kontrei’ was as daunting as it was enriching. “We are excited that local residents and travellers to our valley can now taste our terroir both on the plate and in the glass. With our close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and Table Bay, fish dishes made from snoek were considered, although we finally found our culinary clues on land – [and as this is] traditionally a sheep farming area, [it] made sosaties a natural choice.”

fresh, latin-inspired cooking with vineyard views 021.874.3844 www.cosecharestaurant.com

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A Harvest of Candlelight at Laborie The Editor finds singing for his supper is a high note

W

hen the Publisher and I reviewed the restaurant at Laborie previously, we were very impressed. And then it closed. We wondered at the time if we’d missed the writing on the wall, but in truth the recession had surprised many and as running a restaurant is a costly business, its closing all made sense in hindsight; and we both became a little more circumspect as a result.

With this in mind I was interested to learn that celebrated Franschhoek chef, Matthew Gordon (of The French Connection), had opened the restaurant at Laborie once more, which now bears the name Harvest. As I was at Laborie for their Carols by Candlelight service in December, I decided to pop in with my family in tow to see what exactly Matthew has chosen to share of his Harvest. The questions I arrived with were essentially: Is this offering going to be worth driving to

When Laborie Wine Estate introduced their now very popular Lazy Days Market about a year ago, I wondered why they chose to go with the ‘lazy days’ label; after all it doesn’t say ‘organic’ or ‘fresh’ or ‘craft’ - all of which seem to be en vogue these days. After spending the night at the farm to fully enjoy their ‘Carols by Candlelight’ programme in December, I think I understand why. Laborie is about people, not product. Say “lazy days” to me and I think feet up, laughing kids somewhere in the background, a decent book and glass of wine and absolutely no idea of where my phone is. That’s exactly what I experienced at the Carols by Candlelight service, although once the 700-plus

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strong crowd rolled in, the book was quickly stowed and the wine and laughter flowed more strongly. The Carols by Candlelight service was a slightly more jazzed-up affair than I had anticipated, given that the headline entertainers, and our carol singers for the evening, were the popular Cape Dutch Connection, with Derk Blaise pulling things together in his signature broad Dutch accent, which is fitting given Laborie’s history. Whilst not necessarily the easiest style to sing carols along to, Jazz is all I need to go feet-up and hit ‘lazy days’! The faces to the right will tell you that kids were active on the night – even taking centre-stage for a number of the carols – and much of the

Paarl for? and, Does it make business sense for Matthew to have another restaurant? The restaurant is superbly located with an elevated view over a handful of vines, a stretch of Paarl and the impressive Drakenstein Mountains. What used to be the old parking lot in front of the outdoor seating area is now a sprawling lawn and in the hour or two that we spent there hosted a touchies tournament of sorts and served as a safe play area for the toddlers less inclined to the superduper log-and-branch jungle gym and slide, a little further off. Inside Harvest the décor is clean and chic with a subtle use of elements that honour Laborie’s history and the rich heritage of the area. It’s smart but not pretentious – typical Matthew Gordon. The menu is also ‘typical’ Matthew, but more in the sense of it than in the specifics. Other than his fail-safe mussel dish, everything else looked new to me. I settled on a rack of Karoo lamb (R125) to follow my delicious grilled chevin and fine bean salad starter (R52) and my partner followed her Calamari and chou-

rico salad (R56) with a half-portion of those West Coast mussels (R62). The generous portion of lamb was perfectly cooked, flavourful and comforting; the mussel portion was equally generous and just as expected – perfect. Dessert was unnecessary, given our satiated state, but had I had room, the warm fresh summer berries (R44) would have cracked the nod. There’s a decent kids’ menu, but nothing on it is crumbed… so chicken nuggets are out in favour of a pretty good chicken wrap (R30) and the beef banger hotdogs and bolognaise (amongst others) looked pretty appetising. The offering is rather good and a perfect complement to the idyllic setting. Would I drive to Paarl for it? Yes. Will Matthew make any money? He will from me! And if those in the hotel-industry ‘know’ are correct, and this is the year of recovery, I dare say he’s onto a good enough thing at Harvest to see more than just a handful of regulars; so I sincerely hope so.

value of the evening hinges on the delight of seeing families congregate together to take stock of the more meaningful things in life. Cell phones were noticeably stowed in nearly every group I chatted to. As proceedings drew to a close and I retired to one of the comfortable, and beautifully located, guest suites at Laborie, not even the absence of carols or candlelight could dampen the mood and many stragglers chose to mooch about to soak up as much of the ‘lazy’ as they could.

I scratched around in my bag and made a note on my phone not to miss Laborie’s Carols by Candlelight 2012.

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Moment of excellence.

It is the moment the chef places the exquisitely prepared food on the plate. An accumulation of culinary artistry making Pierneef à La Motte a world-class restaurant. +27 (0)21 876 8000 www.la-motte.com

Crazy Times Jill Peper visits De Malle Meul in the Swartland an art gallery paying tribute to Pieter’s work. It would also, of course, be a great restaurant and function venue... Die Meul became De Malle Meul, a play on words from their previous business and ‘mallemeule’ (a merry-go-round), an apt description of the whirl of activity that the old mill enjoys today.

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adelein Roets and Carine le Roux have a ‘run-of-the-mill’ occupation, but it’s certainly not mundane. Together with their business partners, Adele du Plessis and Pieter Venter, they have turned a 90-year-old mill in the Swartland into a successful function venue, restaurant and art gallery. The mill, built in the 1920s in the little village of Philadelphia near Cape Town, operated as such until 1976, grinding flour from wheat grown in the area. After closing down, it stood unused for many years until it was purchased by one of Philadelphia’s most famous sons,

the celebrated international artist Pieter van der Westhuizen. He and his wife, Zebeth, set about having it lovingly restored and gave the metal-clad building a wood-crafted interior. Die Meul was then hired out for many years as a function venue, but after van der Westhuizen’s death in 2008, this unusual piece of real estate made its way back onto the property market. At that time Madelein and Carine had taken up residence in the tranquil village of Philadelphia, having sold their successful restaurant, De Malle Madonna, in Paarl. They realised that the old mill would be the perfect setting for

Using the services of chef Wilinda Hanekom, who is known for her traditional South African dishes, it has become a popular spot for weddings, shows, functions and Sunday lunches. The venue seats up to 100 people, whilst the little chapel in the loft of the building is perfect for smaller groups. De Malle Meul is also open for wine tasting, featuring the wines of Capaia Wines and Havanna Hills (both Wine of Origin Philadelphia) and two of Durbanville’s boutique wineries, Phisantekraal and De Vallei. For those into pairing, tastings are made even more pleasurable when enjoyed with a ‘Platteland Platter’. Two other activities that take place at De Malle Meul on a regular basis are monthly music programmes featuring well-known local artists, and various cookery courses run by Johané Nielson, the Food Editor of Tuis/ Home Magazine.

For good measure De Malle Meul has several self-catering guest cottages available for hire to those who need a break from the daily grind, or who simply want to be treated to a bit of the restorative peace and quiet courtesy of the charming village of Philadelphia. De Malle Meul offers readers of The Month Three Days’ Accommodation for the price of Two, for a mid-week stay in a cottage in Philadelphia, on presentation of this article. Phone 021 972 1097 for details and bookings.

Visit www.capecountrycalls.co.za to find out about other places of interest to visit in Philadelphia and the surrounding countryside.

Ch Boo & nristk no ew ma Ye s ar

MONNEAUX RESTAURANT • FRANSCHHOEK COUNTRY HOUSE & VILLAS Tel: +27 (0)21 876 3386 • email: info@fch.co.za

For more information visit our website at www.fch.co.za

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A New Appreciation of Wine Lorraine Geldenhuys makes wine making make sense - Part 1

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f, like many, you’re now done with unpacking your holiday kit – with fond recollections of seeing the Old Year out under an umbrella by the seaside and the New Year in with a decapitated bottle of Champers – thoughts will soon turn to the office or that iPad packed with New Year’s resolutions. It’s inevitable that you’d want to kick off the year with a bang and no doubt your first step is to begin paging through your presently blank diary. Here’s a quick personal overview of the first pages of a typical wine maker’s diary… January is the month of enthusiasm and excitement! It’s also the most stressful month of the year for wine makers. This is the start of a new beginning and for the next four months we’ll plan frantically to help ease the coming chaos we cannot escape. Our creative initiatives now will make all the difference to the promise of the product we’ll have to work with later. The first crucial decision we face is to decide when to harvest the grapes. There is a small window-period in which the grapes will give us the ability to craft a wine with characteristic aromas true to

the cultivar, and we fear that we’ll miss the opportunity to do just that. We cannot miraculously create fruity and floral aromas in wine if they’re not present in the vineyard; exceptional wine is made from quality fruit. By the end of January we’ll work an 18-hour-day (or longer) with overflowing fermentation tanks, as we press the skins for red wine until 3am and no doubt some will unintentionally make rosé by pumping the Shiraz into the Chardonnay tank… We’ll continue to harvest, destem, crush, ferment, rack, press, blend, stabilise, filter and finally bottle. Our diary pages will be full of scribbles up to this point; now we’ll cross our fingers and wait. Few consumers really understand the physically and emotionally demanding effort that goes into that newly bought Bordeaux blend that they’ll brag about on their 40th birthday. Readers of The Month, though, have something special in common: we enjoy a lifestyle sophistically intertwined with good food and, especially, fine wine. Wouldn’t it add interesting value to our experience of wine if we all knew

a little more about the production of that blend? I believe so and this leads me to my own New Year’s resolution. I want to share the beauty and hardships of winemaking through these pages and ensure that every time we consume, celebrate or phi-

losophise about the effort that fills the bottle, we do so with a true appreciation of the romance that goes into its production. Here’s to 2012 - Cheers! *See February issue for short courses presented in 2012 for those who would like to sharpen their knowledge on wine and the tasting thereof.

PIG OUT IN STYLE The Editor visits Maison

After their successful ad in The Month last month, we decided to pop in to Maison, the wine estate that encourages “Shiraz Lovers” to “Stop Here”, just outside Franschhoek and soon found ourselves as happy as a pig in mud – although Porcini the resident pig, would use a somewhat more colourful term, going by Maison’s radio ad. Two things struck me immediately – the first is that clever advertising works and

the second is that it’s easier to sell quality than it is to sell junk (I was tempted to go Porcini here, but couldn’t). The Maison offering – the wines, the setting, the venue, the décor, the people – is quality stuff; and it’s made available to visitors to the estate without fuss or fanfare. Walking through the doors, we felt immediately at home, service was brisk and friendly and what was meant to be a quick look-see became an extended tasting (despite only hav-

ing two wines to sample on the day), a leisurely dip into their tapas menu, a search for the pig and a healthy transaction that saw us leave with a case of wine. There’s a warning in all of this, perhaps; some may not bother to travel much further down the R45 than Maison (and what with La Motte, Moreson and Leopard’s Leap close by who needs to?) and Porcini may soon need to employ a body guard. What a charmed life…

What memories will you make today? VISIT THE FRANSCHHOEK MOTOR MUSEUM

VE AT LI IC NDS US E M EEK W

Indulge in our daily specials

Light lunch options Tapas served all day Newly re-opened restaurant Open 7 days a week 12h00 till late 021 867 0963 R301 Wemmershoek Road www.freedomhill-live.co.za www.freedomhillrestaurant.co.za

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Monday - Friday 10h00 to 17h00 (last admission 16h00) Saturday - Sunday 10h00 to 16h00 (last admission 15h00) Open most public holidays - phone for confirmation. Entry fee: R60/adult; R50/pensioner; R30/child (3-12 yrs) The Franschhoek Motor Museum is located on the R45, Groot Drakenstein, look for the L’Ormarins Estate. GPS: 33°52’18,79”S 18°59’54,64”E No motorcycles or buses larger than 22-seaters allowed. Tel: 021 8749065 E-mail: fmm@fmm.co.za www.fmm.co.za

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January 2012

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Surrounded by

Vines

The Publisher takes a look at Rickety Bridge’s new tasting room

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he newly-opened Rickety Bridge ‘Tasting Room in the Vines’ adds a contemporary take to the rustic charm of the old Rickety Bridge tasting room with a number of stylish new features. Elevated platforms extend into the vineyards to allow guests to enjoy dramatic views of the Franschhoek Mountains and to taste Rickety Bridge wines surrounded entirely by vines. The designers, Carl Coetzee and Associates, opted for a materials palette related to viniculture, and discreetly applied it in a monochromatic style. Now behind a threesided full-height, glazed façade, guests can enjoy the same stunning mountain and vineyard views as on the terraces, but in a more controlled environment. Insulated roofing and ceiling fans create air movement on hot days and on cooler

days guests can recline on leather couches around the wood-burning fireplace and soak up the warmth. To enhance the visitor’s cellar adventure, the design allows a clear view of the modern working and traditional maturation cellars through full-height, glazed panels. The tasting counter completes its metamorphosis from an Argentinian horse feeding trough to a contemporary glass and steel-framed wine tasting and sales counter. Guests can also enjoy a laid-back game of boules just a few steps from the floating terrace, and even the young ones are catered for with a jungle gym and lawn area. Feel free to call on Loughton, pictured right, to guide you through your tasting.

For more info go to www.ricketybridge.com or see their ad on page 13

Thinking a-round mapping sculpture

15 December 2011 - 29 February 2012

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Conrad Botes Marco Cianfanelli Jacques Dhont Sydney Kumalo Brett Murray John Murray Phillip Rikhotso Lyndi Sales

Claudette Schreuders Peter Shongwe Egon Tania Caroline van der Merwe Edoardo Villa Michael Zondi Edward Zwane

ART AT TOKARA PRESENTED BY

www.juliameintjes.co.za

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Available at Dutch East 42 Huguenot Street, Franschhoek 021 876 3547 • info@dutcheast.co.za www.dutcheast.co.za

Days of Wine and Roses The Editor reviews the wines of Rudera Made in the same way as the other Chenins, this particular wine will probably show it’s true colours in a couple of years or so and benefited from being decanted (a tip I fortunately picked up online before trying the wine). The wine feels almost creamy, but retains typical Chenin Blanc citrus/lime notes and has a distinct chalky aftertaste – it’s here that its ‘serious’ character comes to the fore and that, along with its distinct dry character, means that it’s best kept for a special occasion.

4. Syrah 2009, R142*

Rudera’s tasting room

F

ollowing my “discovery” of Rudera Wines in Paarl last month, I was so impressed with the humble approach of Johan ‘Twana’ van Vuuren and his team and the general quality of their wines, that I felt it only my duty to review as many of them as I could get my hands on. Johan was kind enough to deliver all but one of the wines in the present Rudera collection – the missing one being the 2010 Noble Late Harvest Chenin Blanc, which is popular enough to have been sold out for some time now. He was clear that the delivery came without expectation, save that I share my thoughts openly. Here’s my brief and honest review, conducted in my garden beside the rose bushes, over the course of a number of days:

1. Robusto Chenin Blanc 2009, R107*

This Platter’s 2012 four-and-a-half star wine is barrel fermented and made without any added commercial yeast – the result is a wine with a wonderfully rich mouth feel and distinct toasty profile but which carries enough acid to ensure that the latter characteristic doesn’t overpower it. There are lots of citrus flavours on the palate, guava flesh on the nose and a wonderful lingering finish that highlights the wine’s complexity. An interesting note is that the wine was neither filtered nor cold-stabilised – so sediment

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is bound to build up in the wine over time. That any Chenin-lover could keep a bottle of Robusto closed for long enough for that to happen, however, is unlikely!

2. De Tradisie Chenin Blanc 2009, R107*

This Rudera Chenin Blanc is yet another of their consistent top-performers and I was surprised at how different it is from the Robusto, with more floral and tropical notes evident both on the nose and the palate, despite being barrel fermented. Think summer fruit, oranges and cinnamon balanced by a crisp finish and you’ll have my one sentence summary.

With a particular weakness for Shiraz, The Rudera Syrah 2009 easily rates as my favourite of the lot and is now one of my all-time favourite red wines. While it drinks well now, I’d keep it locked up for a few years to allow some of its more subtle traits to develop. It tends to be more savoury than sweet, but the red cherries and plums are evident and the smoky-peppery components add to the tannins to create a long finish that should accommodate the richest of foods – though why anyone would want to detract from the texture of, and flavours in, this wine is beyond me.

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5.Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, R168*

This complex red was aged in barrel for ten months and manages to display dark fruit that tends to cassis matched to a smoky/ cigar-box complexity that really is something else, and suggests far more time in wood. I can’t help but feel that in any other country the R168 price tag would be regarded as an error as this superb wine could easily command far more.

6. Platinum Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, R300

This Veritas Double Gold winner and Platter’s four-and-a-half star wine is big and ballsy – but in the style of Seve Ballesteros rather than Donald Trump. This classic Cab Sauv is all dark fruit, brooding notes of cedar and cigars and typical pencil shavings to finish. This is a wine with tremendous investment potential and should age nicely, well in to the mid-2020s. *Price relevant when bought via rudera.co.za as part of a six bottle case

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A blend of two lots of hand-picked Chenin Blanc grapes from Stellenbosch and Elgin respectively, the wine is made “in a traditional way” (hence the name) and involves no destemming and, like the Robusto, has no added commercial yeasts, filtering or cold-stabilisation. How they manage to produce a wine like this at a little more than a hundred bucks astounds me.

3. Platinum Chenin Blanc 2009, R150

This is a ‘serious’ Chenin Blanc for the ‘serious’ Chenin Blanc drinker… but not so much so that it wouldn’t impress just about anyone. Only four barrels were made, using grapes from Elgin harvested in April 2009.

January 2012


the month

January 2012

THE MONTH

Well Balanced Paula de Villiers of Winefolk says “Everything’s looking Rosé” for 2012!

W

ith the Festive Season and the associated excess all but done, many of us (and our bank balances) will be in need of something to aid us in our recovery plans before we head back to work. I’ve chosen a number of rosés to kick-start the year as they’re affordable and, more importantly, rather refreshing.

1. Overgaauw Shepherd’s Cottage Rosé, R29

If you’re back from a well-deserved break, have to admit that you ate too much or had a few too many drinks, or just want to enjoy a braai on a hot summer’s day – this rosé is a must. This delicately pink Pinotage rosé is perfect with typical South African braai-meat and a selection of salads, seafood or a pasta. Best served chilled, it’s light and refreshing with strawberry fruit aromas and strong red berry flavours on the palate, typical of Pinotage. The Shepherd’s Cottage range of wines, including this rosé, celebrates the warmth, commitment and love shared in the humble Shephard’s Cottage - originally built in the late 1700s at Overgaauw to house a local shepherd – lovely sentiments to carry into the New Year.

www.willowbridge.co.za | 021 914 7218 39 Carl Cronje Drive, Tyger Valley

Become a fan

2. De Meye Shiraz Rosé 2011, R47

SOLMS-DELTA  & DIE BURGER  SUMMER  CONCERT SERIES 2012

Summer in the Cape Winelands means long, leisurely days of warmth and  sunshine... and also a season of outdoor evening live concerts set in the  beautiful Franschhoek Valley at Solms-Delta wine estate. Spend a Saturday  evening soaking up the sun, scener y and sounds of this magical concert series  while indulging in a glass of Solms-Delta wine and Chef Shaun’s hearty Fyndraai  Kaapse braai buffet.

A leisurely Sunday lunch at ‘The Table’ Restaurant, at De Meye, introduced me to this fabulous wine. Made ever-so-lazy, sitting under the trees enjoying country cooking at its best, this crisp and dry, yet deliciously fruity, wine perfectly completed the picture. Winemaker Marcus Milner refers to seductive aromas of raspberries, watermelon, strawberry and toffee apples with hints of white pepper – and he’s spot-on. On the palate the fruit flavour is quite powerful and may be a bit fruity for some, but is delicious for me!

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3. Painted Wolf ‘Rosalind’ Pinotage Rosé, R57

Jeremy Borg, of Painted Wolf Wines, set out to the make the finest, most elegant dry rosé possible. He started with handpicked Pinotage grapes, sourced from Simondium, taken to the cellar in small baskets, and ended with this – ‘Rosalind’; a fruity wine with cherry, strawberry and peach aromas, crisp flavours and a fresh lingering finish. No wonder Jeremy is proud of this member of the Painted Wolf ‘pack’ of wines.

4. EGA Rooibos,R48

EGA is AGE in reverse. It’s a blend of grapes, pomegranate and Rooibos tea; is alcohol- and caffeine-free and packed full of antioxidants. You can enjoy it as a nonalcoholic energy-booster or spruce it up as an ‘EGAtini’. EGA Energy Booster Fresh: Mix 1 part EGA Rooibos, 1 part orange juice and ½ part mango juice with a handful of crushed ice and garnished back into a holiday mood with a slice of fresh pineapple and some mint leaves. EGAtini: Add 4 parts EGA Rooibos, 1½ parts vodka and ½ part freshly squeezed lime juice in a cocktail shaker with some ice. Rim a martini glass with sugar and pour in the chilled mix. Then garnish with a few pomegranate seeds at the bottom of the glass and a twist of lime on the rim. Now relax and enjoy!

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Featuring: HOT WATER, TRIBAL ECHO, HANNES COETZEE, LES JAVAN, RIAAN VAN RENSBURG, PIETER VAN DER WESTHUIZEN, HOUSE OF DAVIDS, DELTA SOETSTEMME, DELTA VALLEY ENTERTAINERS, DELTA LANGBROEKE and LEKKER LEKKER DELTA

14•21•28 January & 4•11•18•25 February & 3•10 March TIME   7pm – 9:30pm

COST (music and braai buffet)  R195 per person (Children under 12yrs - R95) BOOKINGS  Call Henry or Thozi 021-874 3937 ext 115 or email restaurant@solms-delta.co.za PROGRAMME www.solms-delta.co.za - EVENTS & SUMMER CONCERTS tabs STAY UP TO DATE follow us on Facebook.com/solmsdelta and Twitter@solms_delta

January 2012

The Month / 9


January 2012

the month THE MONTH

Happy New Year? Four Sure!

Jo Wessels of the Vineyard Connection shares a little bubbly and some Black Forest cake, with a couple in between

S

till in a holiday mood, we kick off 2012 in celebratory fashion with a really special bubbly from Ambeloui, the tiny Hout Bay producer whose hand-crafted Cap Classiques need never play second fiddle to the French benchmark. The doors to Ambeloui only open once a year for sales, in November, but The Vineyard Connection has managed to secure a limited allocation of these unique bubblies to save you spending hours in a queue.

1. The Ambeloui Lisa (R178)

is a blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir and the current release spent three years on the lees before it was disgorged, adding notable complexity and character to the wine. This is the perfect wine with which to start the year and any of the many summer evenings that await.

On the topic of a hot South African January… it’s fittingly patriotic then to enjoy a Chenin Blanc – our most planted white. This particular variety continues to show great promise locally and will surely become the signature South African wine!

especially as this elegant wine has a beautiful translucent colour. It has a refreshing acidity, partly due to its origin from Elgin fruit, and won’t overwhelm your palate – served slightly chilled, it pairs particularly well with lighter meats such as chicken and fish.

Teddy Hall, one of our Chenin masters, has made the aptlynamed 2. Summer Moments Chenin Blanc (R43) which showcases fresh fruity flavours and delicious characteristics of wild honey. Its moderate acidity makes it a refreshing easy sipper, but it’s still versatile enough to go perfectly with food.

If your meal is more substantial and tends to a roast or ends in dessert, wine maker Louis Nel may have just what you need. His blend of MerlotShiraz surprised him with distinct flavours that reminded him of a Black Forest cake – hence the name, 4. Black Forest (R64). The abundance of cherries, chocolate and mint truly echo the elements of this German delicacy and is a great alternative for those worried about the carbs in the real thing as part of a New Year’s resolution!

3. Thelema’s Sutherland Pinot Noir (R100) is an-

other white worth a closer look,

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Bijoux Square is proud to announce their newest addition to the Franschhoek culinary excellence -

Headed by chocolatiers Bertie Groenewald and Joshua Juries, who have years of experience in creating the essence of great taste. A shared passion for all things sweet, makes Bijoux Chocolates an experience for the senses. Bijoux Chocolates 60 Huguenot Street, Franschhoek Contact: Suzette Shop Info

076 904 2759 021 876 3407 082 889 7779

www.bijouxchocolates.co.za

10 / The Month

Roca restaurant is serving up delicious & exciting tastes of the Roca restaurantOur is serving up is delicious & exciting tastesquality of the Mediterranean. emphasis on the fresh and highest Mediterranean. Our emphasis is on the fresh and highest quality Roca restaurant is serving up delicious & exciting tastes local ingredients with respectful, simple treatment of food. of the Rocaingredients restaurantwith is serving up isdelicious & exciting tastesquality of the local respectful, simple food. Mediterranean. Our emphasis on thetreatment fresh andofhighest Mediterranean. Our emphasis is on the fresh and highest quality local ingredients with respectful, simple treatment of food. The most with beautiful viewssimple of the treatment Franschhoek valley local ingredients respectful, of food.

The makes most beautiful views of Franschhoek valley the restaurant anthe ideal venue for all The makes most beautiful views of the Franschhoek valley the restaurant anand idealWEDDINGS. venue for all FUNCTIONS, EVENTS The makes most beautiful views of the Franschhoek valley the restaurant anand idealWEDDINGS. venue for all FUNCTIONS, EVENTS we look forward to welcoming you makes the restaurant anand idealWEDDINGS. venue for all FUNCTIONS, EVENTS we look forward to welcoming you FUNCTIONS, EVENTS and WEDDINGS.

we look forward to welcoming you we look forward to welcoming you Uitkyk Street Dieu Donné Estate Franschhoek

Uitkyk Street 876Dieu Franschhoek Telephone : 27(0)21 3384Donné EmailEstate : info@rocarestaurant.co.za Uitkyk Street Dieu Donné Estate Franschhoek Telephone : 27(0)21 3384 Email : info@rocarestaurant.co.za Web876 : www.rocarestaurant.co.za Uitkyk Street Dieu Donné Estate Franschhoek Telephone : 27(0)21 3384 Email : info@rocarestaurant.co.za Web876 : www.rocarestaurant.co.za Telephone : 27(0)21 876 3384 Email : info@rocarestaurant.co.za Web : www.rocarestaurant.co.za Web : www.rocarestaurant.co.za January 2012


the month THE MONTH

Celebrate the art of living

‘ANGELS 6’ AT THE GALLERY

• Opens Sun, 11 Dec at

11h00. Viewing daily 10h00–18h00 until 3 Feb. 2012.

• The Shop offers local art

& craft, gifts & deli range.

Opening hours – Monday-Saturday 10h00-19h00

CHILL OUT ON SUNDAYS

• Enjoy alfresco lunches

at The Restaurant every Sunday.

HARVEST TIME

• Sat, 25 Feb. 2012. Book

now for this great harvest festival event. R290 p.p.

January 2012

FABULOUS WINE OFFERS

• FREE shipping within SA for any 12 bottles of wine.

• Buy 5 bottles of GP Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 or Shiraz 2007 and 1 bottle will be FREE of charge. Opening hours Public Holidays and Sundays – 10h00-18h00

Main Road Franschhoek Western Cape T + 27 21 876 8600 F + 27 21 876 8601 E reservations@grandeprovence.co.za www.grandeprovence.co.za

Who Moved My Wines? The White Wine Ou says there’s no excuse to COP out

S

o the much vaunted COP-17, which was supposed to chart the course for the world to turn back from the brink of climate-change disaster, has come and gone. Thanks to the “outstanding leadership” of the conference president Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, our very own minister of international relations and co-operation, the 17th Conference of the Parties managed to delay for at least another ten years, the implementation of an agreement which is legally binding on all nations, for getting greenhouse gas emissions under control, and keep the mean global temperature increase under two degrees Centigrade. Before anybody starts down the road of climate-change denialism, let's just understand that the science is quite clear that human activity is impacting the climate. It is as

January 2012

certain as is gravity, something that we all kind of accept as reality. Question is, how will it affect us, and more importantly, how will it affect the wine industry? Well that depends on where you are, and what you do. Chateau Cheval Blanc and Château d'Yquem president Pierre Lurton reckons the two degrees will give him less chance of frost damage each year, and although his ripening and hanging times will be slightly shorter, it’s a good trade-off. His counterparts in Champagne may differ, because already credible competition has emerged further north across the Channel in the UK, where superb Methodé Champagnoise wines are now being made.

Down here in South Africa, we don't have much further south to go, so we have to go up. One of our biggest producers is planting vines at an altitude of 1000 metres near Ceres, and two Hemel en Aarde Valley producers have established vineyards at over 700 metres at Kaaimansgat in the Overberg. It seems that as temperatures rise, so too will the altitude below which grapes can be successfully grown. But it's not as if we didn't know this was bound to happen. In her seminal book ‘Scorched: South Africa's Changing Climate’ (Wits University Press,© 2006) climate activist Leonie Joubert writes about the impact of rising temperatures on a number of rare frog species that live in our natural upland forests. As temperatures rise, these forests will have nowhere to go but up, and so will the frogs, or they will die.

Inevitably, unless we commit to doing something concrete about greenhouse gas emissions very soon, these forests and their frog populations will run out of "up" and they will all end up dead, and by extension, extinct. Vitis vinifera by contrast is unlikely to become extinct, but the places where they can successfully grow in our winelands will shrink and eventually disappear, because we don't have terribly much "up" (or south) where our vineyards can go to. So if for no other reason than the sobering prospect of our winelands eventually dying and the supply of our favourite tipple drying up, isn't it time we all eschewed our gas guzzlers, curtailed our energy consumption, and generally reduced our personal carbon footprint?

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January 2012

THE MONTH

A Decade of Delight Pauline Nash tastes eleven vintages of Iona Sauvignon Blanc

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he wine and fashion industries have a lot in common, with wine makers and marketers often turning to new trends or the latest gimmick to attract the attention of buyers tired of the run-of-the-mill. But, while Haute Couture, like Coffee Pinotage, is bound to make a statement, it’s the classics that stand the test of time and deserve the most attention. I was reminded of the true value of those ‘classics’ at a recent Iona Sauvignon Blanc tasting that covered ten vintages, from 2001 to 2010 – and then included the 2011 for good measure at the lunch that followed. Situated

450m above sea level in the Elgin Valley, Iona is considered South Africa’s coolest vineyard and their 2005 vintage is regarded by Matthew Jukes as one of the Top Sauvignons in the world. Tasting the ten wines blind, in two flights of five, highlighted the ageing potential of Sauvignon Blanc and was a revelation of the diversity and depth of the variety. Every vintage was excellent – and choosing a favourite proved to be as difficult as identifying the vintages (I managed to get two of the ten correct; but only with a little luck and much contemplation). Eventually I decided on the 2007 and 2006 iterations, thanks to their outstanding structure and lively flavour profiles, despite five or more years in the bottle. As Andrew Gunn, Iona’s celebrated owner commented: “This wine won’t disappoint you. If left to bottle-age you will be rewarded by a beautiful melding of rich flavours, with good acidity keeping it surprisingly youthful in character. If drunk immediately you will be refreshed by its balance and subtlety of flavour. It is a finely tuned wine, of which you will not tire.”

obvious. Some of the difference could be ascribed to the individual characteristics of the grapes year-on-year and some to the wine maker’s inclination to a particular expression based on those characteristics. From the almost racy Sancerre style, with full minerality, mouth-puckering acidity and lashings of green grassy flavours to the more tropical style, with notes of mango, ripe guavas and zesty grapefruit, mineola and orange, each brought nods of approval and considered deliberation.

With a new wine maker, Werner Muller (ex-Chamonix), at the helm from May this year, it will be interesting to see what the 2012 vintage brings to the fore. With predecessors such as Luddite’s Neils Verburg, you’d think Werner would be feeling the heat, but the humble wine maker is every bit Hedi Selimane as he describes himself as “just a wine maker” and points to the vines as the real stars of the show. Here’s to star-studded New Year at Iona.

The wines were remarkably different and the styles surprisingly varied, but the vein of quality that ran through the flight remained

distinctive wines of great complexity

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Claremont • Cape Quarter • Stellenbosch • Willowbridge Stockist of:

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12 / The Month

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January 2012


the month

January 2012

THE MONTH

Tasting Room in the Vines

Visit the all new Rickety Bridge Tasting Room in the Vines this Summer. Sit on a sunny deck that stretches right into the vines and sample the award winning Rickety Bridge wines. Enjoy a laid back game of boules or a delicious cheese platter while taking in the magnificent vineyard and mountain views. Continue your cellar adventure by watching all the activity of the modern working and traditional barrel maturation cellars through full height glass panels.

Rickety Bridge is a must visit destination Tel 021 876 2129 | info@ricketybridge.com Open Monday-Saturday 09:00 - 19:00 | Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

www.ricketybridge.com

Get Wine Ratings Savvy 4267 Franschoek ad Oct repro.indd 1

2011/10/18 9:40 AM

Fiona Phillips of Cybercellar.com is a SAWi wines ambassador

W

ith over 800 wine brands readily available to South African buyers, comprising in excess of 5000 wines, the wine wall is everincreasing and the task of choosing a decent wine is, euphemistically, difficult. From Aaldering to Zorgvliet; from Vreedendal to Plettenburg Bay or from thirty bucks to three thousand - where do you start? An obvious and popular consideration is any one of the many awards or ratings systems used locally; where trust in what others have to say is often useful. But given that there are so many wine awards these days, and many winners throughout the year, in whom do you put your trust? Enter SAWi (pronounced ‘savvy’), The South African Wine Index. SAWI draws information from 36 local and foreign wine competitions, weighting each competition score and then crunching the numbers using complicated algorithms, to calculate a rating out of 100 for each

participating wine. It’s a brilliant idea and something first discussed in The Month as far back as May 2010! What’s more, SAWI ratings identify consistently highly-rated wines without being vintage specific, so the results are an accurate measure of a producer’s ability to craft a quality wine – which makes it even more useful than your typical competition. This year, 14 South African wines achieved a perfect 100 point rating, with 24 coming in at 96 or above. To celebrate this remarkable achievement (remember, there are 5000 wines out there) SAWI has created the Ambassadors Club which showcases the top 24 wines entered this year.

12 of The top wines scoring 100 points, and featured in the club are:

• Klein Constantia - Vin de Constance • Mulderbosch - Chardonnay Barrel Fermented

• Bouchard Finlayson - Galpin Peak Pinot Noir

• Rijks Private Cellar Pinotage

• De Krans - Cape Tawny Port

• Saronsberg – Shiraz

• Eagle’s Nest – Shiraz

• Saronsberg - Full Circle

• Hamilton Russell Vineyards - Chardonnay • Hamilton Russell Vineyards - Pinot Noir • Kanonkop - Paul Sauer • Kanonkop – Pinotage

For more information on SAWI or the Ambassadors Club selections don’t hesitate to contact me at fiona@cybercellar.com

The wines are available in four beautiful presentation boxes of six wines each, with detailed tasting notes and a poster about the specific wines. All four cases are priced equally at R1600 per case, which includes delivery throughout South Africa.

TABLE OF FRUIT Johan Delport, Cellar Manager at Waverly Hills, chooses Auction Crossing Syrah/Viognier 2009 as our Wine Of The Month This Syrah-dominated blend is from the table grape “Mecca” of South Africa, the Hex River Valley in De Doorns. The grapes are sourced from different areas around the Western Cape and the wine is made in the historical cellar on the Vendutie Kraal farm - Vendutie is Dutch for auction, hence the name of this wine.

January 2012

In the 1800s ox wagon transporters, on their way up North and back, would do their trading and auctioning at Vendutie, and in those days they’d also trade in wine. The wine grapes have long since disappeared from the farm, but the winemaking has been revived.

The Auction Crossing Syrah/ Viognier is a perfectly balanced wine with loads of red and black fruit and berry flavours up front and layers of pepper, spice and oak to follow. The 8% Viognier in the wine gives it a floral complexity that invites one to look for more and more

aromas. The palate is rich and smooth and lingers in the mouth with an explosion of purple sweets and vanilla. It sells at R107 per bottle and is just the thing to start off the New Year.

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the month

January 2012

THE MONTH

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY CMY

K

Home of fine wines and fast horses. Winery: Mon-Fri Sat & Sun Tel: Fax: Email:

Open daily for tastings 08h30-17h00 09h00-16h00 +27 21 855-3450 +27 21 855-4600 winery@avontuurestate.co.za

Restaurant: Open daily for breakfast and lunch. Dinner on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Tel: +27 21 855-4296 Email: openhand@polka.co.za Avontuur Estate

AvontuurEstate

www.avontuurestate.co.za | info@avontuurestate.co.za

Avontuur Estate is next to the R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset West.

Boots ‘n All The Publisher tackles Chapman’s Peak, on foot

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ssuming you went completely overboard in the food and drink department over Christmas, the Editor thought it a good idea to feature a couple of hikes for you to do this summer to loosen your conscience and tighten your belt a notch or two. And although I’ve heard it described as ‘a great hike for the energetically inclined’, Chapman’s Peak is the perfect starter; not too easy, not too hard, with the reward of spectacular views from the summit on a clear day of Hout Bay, Noordhoek Beach, Kommetjie, and the back side of Table Mountain. If the last time you were on ‘Chappies’ it was with 25,000 sweaty cyclists, be prepared for a change as you make your way south from Cape Town and thread your way through Hout Bay - there’s now a toll gate. So just pay the toll guy his R31 – yes, R31, don’t ask – and, as you drive on towards Noordhoek you’ll see how all the money is spent preventing tourists getting squashed by falling rocks and keeping negative stories out of the international press.

expressions such as “Look at how the road twists and turns down there!” you can keep stopping, to focus and take a breather. With sheer drops to the Drive and sea below and towering mountains all around, the views are spectacular all the way up. And, as the path levels out near the top, moves around the minor peak, and eventually ends at the flat, rocky summit of Chapman’s Peak itself, your well-deserved snacks will taste great! Depending on the number of ‘expressions’, it’ll take you about an hour and a half up and half that back down and is a notable tick off the New Year’s resolution list. Enjoy!

As the Drive winds its way south, skirting the rocky coastline, the road eventually turns inland and you’ll see a parking area on your left and a sign showing the start of the hike which is about 50 metres prior to that. Check that you’ve packed water, food and a camera – the latter is a must as last time I was here, hundreds of dolphins could be seen frolicking in the waves just below. The peak is officially a tad shy of 600 metres and, since you start not too far above the sea, you’re going to hike the best part of that - and it’s pretty much straight up via the well-maintained path which, although quite steep, is easy to navigate. You’ll find you camera particularly useful on the walk, as by using

14 / The Month

January 2012


PROPERTY & LIFESTYLE

January 2012

We All Stand Together The Editor pays a visit to Franschhoek’s ‘Design Hub’ fluence all the old village goings-on and decried the modern trend of competition that sees local establishments pitted against each other, rather than working symbiotically. “We should be clever and use that competition to drive us together,” one suggested. The result was more wine and a very broad outline of something akin to a Franschhoek Chef’s Cookoff Series to feature later this year – if The Month can get its act together… But this article has nothing to do with that, and everything to do with symbiotic relationships.

S

itting with a group of Franschhoek chefs recently, for a wine-fuelled tea-break outside the Café des Arts restaurant, our conversation turned (as it inevitably does in small towns) to the ‘good old days’; and how different things are today. To a man they all missed the sense of camaraderie that seemed to in-

January 2012

And she’s right, the Square is home to the well-known Avoova and Ebony stores, as well as other stockists of various décor items, a restaurant, an art gallery and an estate agency; as a concept, it has all the makings of a little design destination within a destination. According to Leanne there’s a definite desire on the part of Surrey Holmes to interact with the neighbouring shops to ensure that the centre develops an identity as a design-hub and early interaction has been fruitful and positive. Franschhoek Square has the ability, then, to use perceived com-

petition as the basis around which to build a consistent and more meaningful offering that is able to draw a larger client base and (hopefully) make for a better bottom line. It’s early days yet, but I’m going to hold thumbs for them. While some of the locals will suggest that the ‘good old days’ experienced at this specific site in Franschhoek in particular, will forever remain a memory, there’s no reason not to join the likes of Leanne and set about designing some new ones.

At the opening of the new Surrey Holmes show room in the Franschhoek Squaresome months back, a short distance from our boozy meeting place, I asked Leanne Viviers (the organised assistant to owners Neil and Michelle Hewitt) why the already well-supported business had needed to move from literally across the street. Given that their new venue is rather swish and substantially bigger than the previous one, my immediate thoughts were that they’d embarked on a bit of poorly-timed money wasting. Leanne’s answer was simple. “Look around you,” she encouraged me, “this centre has ‘design hub’ written all over it. Why wouldn’t we want to be here?”

The Month / 15


January 2012

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PROPERTY & LIFESTYLE

January 2012


PROPERTY & LIFESTYLE

January 2012

January 2012

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January 2012

2012

the month THE MONTH

january

8

four different pine tree groves in Rome. Oude Libertas Amphitheatre, Stellenbosch, www.cpo.org.za

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JAN / 5PM / ROBIN AULD Backsberg Concert Series, BACKSBERG WINE ESTATE (Concert Series), R45 near Klapmuts, 021 875 5141, www. backsberg.co.za

JAN / 5.30PM / WURSTZIPFEL Fleur Du Cap Summer Concert Series, Helderberg Nature Reserve, Verster Road, Somerset West, 021 851 4060

JAN / 4PM / MANOUCHE play Hartenberg Estate, Bottelary Road, Stellenbosch, 021 865 2541

14 JAN

what’s on

22 22

JAN / 5.30PM / SHIRAZ play HELDERBERG NATURE RESERVE (Fleur Du Cap Summer Concert Series), Verster Road, Somerset West, 021 851 4060

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From Neil Ellis Wines and Sandra Prinsloo to Muratie and Kerneels Breytenbach…this year South Africa’s oldest and foremost wine route adds a fresh new chapter to this popular arts festival by sharing the country’s best authors and icons in the company of esteemednd-Wine

by

www.021magazine.co.za

2-11 MAR

JAN / 8.15PM / TURN WITH THE SUN & IAN OSRIN BAND OUDE LIBERTAS AMPHITHEATRE Cnr Libertas and Adam Tas roads, Stellenbosch, 021 809 7380, www. oudelibertas.co.za

27

JAN / 7PM / IDOLS TOP 3 CONCERT RHEBOKSKLOOF WINE ESTATE (Concert Series) Windmeul Agter Paarl, 021 869 8386, www.rhebokskloof.co.za

27

JAN / 8.15PM / LANDSKAP / LANDSCAPE Choir and art. OUDE LIBERTAS AMPHITHEATRE Cnr Libertas and Adam Tas roads, Stellenbosch, 021 809 7380, www. oudelibertas.co.za

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14 JAN (AND EVERY SAT UNTIL 10 MARCH) / 3PM / SATURDAY SUMMER CONCERT Solms-Delta, Delta Road, off the R45, Groot Drakenstein, Franschhoek Valley, 021 874 3937, www.solms-delta.co.za

JAN / 4PM / JAZZ & TAPAS With The Cape Dutch Connection at Hartenberg Estate, Bottelary Road, Stellenbosch, 021 865 2541

14

JAN / 8.15PM / LANDSKAP/LANDSCAPE OUDE LIBERTAS AMPHITHEATRE Cnr Libertas and Adam Tas roads, Stellenbosch, 021 809 7380, www.oudelibertas. co.za

JAN / 7PM / NATANIEL UNPLUGGED PAUL CLUVER AMPHITHEATRE, N2 Kromco turn-off, Farm 102, Paul Cluver Wines, Grabouw, 021 8440605, www.cluver. com

15

JAN / 5PM / BLUESBOULEVARD Electric Blues, Berties Mooring, Gordon’s Bay

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JAN / 8.15PM / BEN SCHOEMAN AND THE CAPE PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA Proteus Variations (Hans Huyssen), Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major, S125 and Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S124 (Liszt), Pines of Rome (Respighi). Conductor: Yasuo Shinozaki. Soloist: Ben Schoeman (piano). Hans Huyssen, born in Pretoria in 1964, studied in Stellenbosch, at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, and in Munich, before returning to South Africa in 2005. He created the Proteus Variations in 2008. Liszt composed his 20-minute long Piano Concerto No.1 over a 26-year period (it premiered in Weimar in 1855). The Concerto No.2, which typically also lasts 20 minutes, is often considered less virtuosic than the first but far more original. Ottorino Respighi composed Pines of Rome in 1924 as a symphonic poem on

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JAN / 3PM / TUIN DWERGIES BACKSBERG WINE ESTATE (Concert Series), R45 near Klapmuts, 021 875 5141, www. backsberg.co.za

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JAN / 6.30PM / VRIENDE-FRIENDS OUDE LIBERTAS AMPHITHEATRE Cnr Libertas and Adam Tas roads, Stellenbosch, 021 809 7380, www.oudelibertas.co.za

UPCOMING:

2 - 11 MAR / STELLENBOSCH WORDAND-WINE CELEBRATION Literary art meets wine legends when the Stellenbosch American Express® Wine Routes teams up with the 2012 Stellenbosch University Woordfees (Festival of the Word) for a Word-and-Wine Celebration at participating wine estates on its Greater Simonsberg sub-route from the 2 nd to the 11 th of March.

programme includes exclusive, intimate encounters such as a lunch at Morgenhof Estate with award-winning writer Annelie Botes and an inspirational wineand-dine date with business mogul Jannie Mouton at Uitkyk to talk about his recently published autobiography. Delheim cellar gems will share the spotlight with the inimitable Riaan Cruywagen while the famous authorbrothers, Johan and Christiaan Bakkes, will treat enthusiasts to a ‘snoekbraai and adventure storytelling’ at Kanonkop. This week-long celebration of the art of literature and winemaking culminates with a buzzing Simonsberg Wine Route Market Day at Delvera Estate on Sunday, 11 March 2012. Young and old…bookworms or not…can delight in a fun-filled family day blended with the finest wines from the area, country food, craft stalls and harvest activities such as barrel stomping and tractor rides. Live performances by the vibrant Stellenbosch band, Manouche, celebrated for their foot-stomping, hip-swinging jazz vibes, will add rhythmic soul to this Winelands soiree.

The Vine Hopper will provide a shuttle service to and from Stellenbosch on the day. The Simonsberg Wine Route Market Day starts at 10am and entry is FREE. Tickets for the individual ‘Word-and-Wine’ events hosted at the various estates are available at Computicket. Seating is limited at most of these bespoke events, so be sure to book early!

crossword

solution

CROSSWORD PG 26

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THE MONTH 13 JAN

Theatre Programme

Die Bordinghuis @ the Breytenbach Sentrum, Wellington 021 864 2574 www.breytenbachsentrum.co.za/ bordinghuis

ARTS: UNTIL 13 JAN / MON-FRI 8AM-4PM, SAT 10AM-1PM / CECIL SKOTNES – EPIC OF EVERLASTING The collection is built around the 1977 piece Skotnes created especially for KWV titled “The Origin of Wine”, which is based on one of humankind’s oldest stories “The Epic of Gilgamesh”. The wood carved triptych celebrates not only the complex heritage of the wine-making industry in the Cape, but evokes an appreciation for wine which stems from the ancient quest for immortality. The Cecil Skotnes art exhibition is on view in Laborie’s Manor House, Restaurant, and Historical Cellar. Laborie Wine Farm, Taillefer Street, Main Road, Paarl, 021 807 3390, www. laboriewines.co.za

ongoing:

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UNTIL MAR / MON-FRI 9.30AM1PM & 2PM-4PM, SAT 10AM-1PM / WILLEM STRYDOM SCULPTURES AND OTHER ARTWORK. Strydom, who lives in Nieuwoudtville, “has a deep empathy for the life forms that inhabit the arid landscapes of the South African hinterland – that can survive in the desiccating heat of the lean times and yet flourish, in some cases quite spectacularly, when the seasons turn over and rains return to the thirstlands. This rich imagery includes not only the animals and plant forms but also the people of this austere environment.” (Tim Maggs) Rupert Museum,

Oude Libertas Theatre Stellenbosch 021 809 7473 theatre@oudelibertas.co.za www.oudelibertas.co.za

28th Koos Kombuis MUSIC

Stellentia Avenue, Stellenbosch, 021 888 3344, www.rupertmuseum.org TUE–SUN 9AM–5PM / LA MOTTE MUSEUM Apart from its recently acquired collection of Pierneff paintings, and contemporary art, La Motte exhibits tapestries and ceramics by French artist Jean Lurçat (1892– 1966), who spear-headed the movement to reinstate tapestry as an art form in France. La Motte, R45, Franschhoek, 021 876 3119, www.la-motte.com

21st Ben Schoeman & Cape Philharmonic Orchestra MUSIC 22nd Turn with the Sun with Jika Nelanga MUSIC th 27 & 28th Landskap/Lanscape MUSIC C

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...Congratulations to... Rob Cowling and all at the Quantum Spa at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Waterfront. The spa has made it through to the final three of the World Spa Awards for Africa in the Hotel Spa category. The winners will be announced at a gala function at the Hilton Hotel International, Park Lane, London on the 4th of March.

09:00 TILL RDAYS 14:0 U T 0 SA LIVE MUSIC

Fabulous French Festivities 21 January 2012

Celebrate the start of 2012 and join us for our first market of the year as we celebrate all things French. Don your bright French beret, sip freshly brewed coffee and enjoy a croissant as Eric the accordion player keeps you entertained. Bring along your friends for a fun game of boules, enjoy Laborie’s Blanc de Blanc bubbly or relax under the oak trees while watching our French acrobat. Car enthusiasts will be kept enthralled by the Citröen car display, with some dating back to 1933. IN THE OLD BARREL CELLAR LABORIE WINE FARM | MAIN ROAD PAARL T. 021 807 3390 | www.laboriewines.co.za | 33 45’ 57.64” S 18 57’ 31.84” E n Find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/laboriewines

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Curiouser and Curiouser Margie Cunnama enjoys coffee at Hudson’s

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ne of the more pleasurable activities to enjoy in the glorious Cape Winelands countryside, is a leisurely afternoon ‘tea time’ drive. If you’re looking for an alternative to that popular, loudly South African ‘social café’, where the friendly welcome precedes martinis and tapas, rather than coffee and cake, head out towards Vredenheim Wine Estate on the R310 in Stellenbosch, and their lovely restaurant, Husdson’s. The attractive brick-paved driveway that leads to Hudson’s is lined with pens housing an amazing collection of animals such as European Reindeer, Eland and Gemsbok, and it’s not unusual to find Zebra and Ostriches grazing happily alongside cows and horses. Don’t be alarmed at the somewhat distracting sign in the foyer that directs visitors to the “Lions” - there is indeed a lion park on the property. “Curiouser and curiouser”, to quote Alice; Wonderland readily comes to mind. On the day of our visit we were warmly welcomed by Bridgette, more hostess

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than waitress, and made our way to the garden. Bridgette had no trouble persuading us to try the chocolate brownie and the banoffie pie - both delicious offerings are baked in the restaurant kitchen and shout ‘EAT ME’ even before they reach the table. Accompanied by an excellent cappuccino using good strong coffee from local roasters Peacock, in a nice big cup, topped with an impressive swirl of foam and a sprinkling of chocolate powder, we were soon convinced that we were in Wonderland indeed.

Award Winning Wines

Bistro Restaurant & Deli

Celebrations

Farm Stays

Experience our new Tasting menu at Cotage Fromage: 6 tasty courses paired with 6 matching wines for only R299 Open from Monday to Sunday - Free Nanny Service Vrede en Lust Tel: (021) 874 1611 | Cotage Fromage Tel: (021) 874 3991 Corner of R45 and Klapmuts Simondium Rd, Paarl | www.vnl.co.za

Enjoy Responsibly. Not for Sale to Persons Under the Age of 18.

The indulgence gave us a great excuse to end our visit with a leisurely turn around the gardens and our pleasure continued as we strolled (or rolled) across sweeping lawns and admired the well-kept flower beds, packed with glorious specimens. The garden seems to stretch all the way to the foot of the Helderberg Mountain and is a popular spot for picnicking families and adventurous kids. Hudson’s proved to be a serendipitous journey down a rabbit hole for us… and we can’t wait to return!

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11/21/11 1:02 PM

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Thinking a-round: Mapping Sculpture Julia Meintjes extolls the virtues of 3D thinking

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he first sculpture one sees on visiting the current exhibition at the Tokara Winery is Marco Cianfanelli's 'Mind's vine', which stands at the winery entrance. The intricate stainless steel group of vines that supports webs of words about sensory experience and wine-making history was commissioned by Tokara and installed last year. Cianfanelli’s laser-cut sculptures and Egon Tania’s carved wooden figure, which also forms part of the exhibition, don't seem conventionally compatible counterparts; nor are pieces by Lyndi Sales and Claudette Schreuders next to those by Sydney Kumalo and Phillip Rikhotso. It is precisely these combinations - from the tongue-in-cheek wall pieces of Brett Murray or the provocative Conrad Botes ‘Shoe Cabinet’, to the fragility of life depicted in Lyndi Sales’s installation or the narrative and mythological characters of Phillip Rikhotso or Edoardo Villa’s abstracted bronze panel, that provide the exhibition with an aesthetic which pays tribute to our continent as an incubator of major three-dimensional thinkers. The expression of that thinking isn’t only depicted in those dimensions, however, and

visitors are sure to appreciate the spirit of exhibition embodied in two drawings by John Murray, ‘Sunbeam’ and ‘Upapa Africa’. ‘Thinking a-round’ is the latest exhibition at Tokara Winery and runs until the 29 th of February. It brings together six provocative, renowned contemporary South African sculptors under one roof for the first time - Conrad Botes, Marco Cianfanelli, Jacques Dhont, Brett Murray, Claudette Schreuders and Egon Tania – and combines their sculpture with work by nine other African and South African artists who ‘think in the round’. ‘Thinking a-round’ complements the sculptures on display at Tokara’s Delicatessan, also on until the end of February and Julia Meintjes Fine Art Curator Ian Maree suggests that “For anyone interested in South African art, it is worth visiting both the Winery and the Delicatessan this season to see a compelling range of sculpture by artists of our continent.”

For further information please contact Julia Meintjes Fine Art on 011 788 0820 or 083 675 1825 or at art@tokara.com or visit www.juliameintjes.co.za

“At Guardian Development Projects we understand the emotive nature of building a dream home. We provide that vital independent and professional service to plan, lead, organise and control the management of projects and programs, from inception to reality.”

The private residential market is typified by the quest for unique designs and exclusive luxury which are often beyond the client’s desired budget. We offer real solutions to maintaining a budget without compromising the look and feel of the home. Our turnkey offerings include complete project management, delivery support and design services through all phases of the development process. We evaluate the brief with regard to time, cost and quality, devising a procurement solution to suit individual needs. At the same time we administer a suitable contract between the respective parties, ensuring that a binding legal agreement is in place. We offer consistently high standards of services, on appointments ranging from modest homes to luxury residences. Please visit our offices at The Polo House, 268 Les Lions Street, Val de Vie Estate, Paarl, 7646.

T: +27 83 641 8887 F: +27 (86) 665 1813 info@guardianprojects.co.za www.guardianprojects.co.za

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Bontebok National Park, Swellendam

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he smallest of South Africa's National Parks, the Bontebok was initially proclaimed in 1931 to protect the last 30 Bontebok left in the wild and sits just outside Swellendam on the banks of the Breede River, about 240km from Cape Town. As well as spectacular views of the Langeberg Mountains to the North and refreshing swimming in the Breede River, the park offers much for lovers of nature, from a diversity of indigenous animal life to over 200 bird species. For active sorts there are hiking and mountain bike trails and, as part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, there is something in bloom all year round to visually enjoy. Conserving the species has been a great success, substantially adding to world numbers, but today the 2,800 hectare park keeps just 160 Bontebok - some tame enough to be unbothered by the presence of snaphappy visitors (see picture). Somewhere in the marketing I read that the Bontebok offers passers-by and local residents ‘a great braai location or a place to bring the kids’ and, I’m afraid to say, that’s how it feels. Although undoubtedly beautiful and peaceful, it’s what I might call a ‘family’ park and often, whether it’s hearing the call of ‘small adult’ life or seeing the neighbouring farms across the river, serious

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nature-lovers will be reminded just how small it really is; and it’s far from being in the middle of nowhere. The accommodation is mainly camping with electricity or, on the banks of the river, without. The newly-built rest camp is called ‘Lang Elsie’s Kraal’ and is named after the 'Hessekwa' khoi-khoi chieftainess who lived there with her clan in the 18th century. It comprises ten chalets that sleep up to four people with two single beds and a double sleeper couch, with private sun-decks to the south and west sides of the units and an outside braai area. Lang Elsie would have approved, I’m sure. Keeping an eye out for slow-moving tortoises, game viewing is done from your own vehicle and follows a circular route from the camp. In addition to the eight endangered Cape Mountain Zebra (that we missed), you’re likely see Red Hartebeest, Grey Rhebok, Steenbok and Grysbok out there in the veld or even the largely nocturnal Caracal, Bat-Eared or Cape Fox and Aardwolf. On the river, look out for the Cape Clawless Otter and large birds like the Blue Crane, Spur-wing Goose and Secretary bird, the graceful Double Collared Sunbird and, for the more serious birders, the Fiscal Flycatcher, Acacia

Pied Barbet and Red-faced Mousebird are evident. We had the pleasure of a pair of Pearl-breasted Swallows nesting just next to the braai in our chalet. Three nature-hiking trails, starting and ending in the rest camp area, take in much of the river frontage and birdlife viewpoints, and angling and kayaking are encouraged - but you’ll need your own equipment. Yet, for fear of sounding like Simon Cowell, although the park ticks all the boxes it somehow doesn’t deliver the X-Factor. Having said that, it is undoubtedly scenically beautiful, the river especially, and peaceful out of the camp. No matter for this spoilt naturelover - an end-of-day swim beckons!

For more information email Bontebok National Park or call 028 5142735

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Fashionably Yours

Annamé Lotz takes a look at this season’s fashionable accessories

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t’s a New Year and time for some new accessories, and there’s no reason to resort to anything plain when there are so many gorgeous choices out there! If you’re young at heart, don yourself in the colours of the rainbow and celebrate the last bit of the holidays like a child. Brightly coloured belts, funky sunglasses, fun pumps and a quirky handbag should do the trick! Just keep it simple; stick to two colours that complement each other and suit your complexion. If you insist on wearing a colour that clashes with your complexion, wear it as a belt or a wallet – whatever is the further from your face! For the old soul there is always ‘vintage’. Whether it is authentic or vintage-inspired, if you do it right, this look will never let you down. The trick is to choose pieces that can be combined with modern fashion to give it a nostalgic touch. You don’t want to look like something a timecapsule spat out; you want to look like you have a good knowledge of different eras and a good eye for timeless pieces. When buying authentic vintage pieces, only buy that which is still in good shape. If

January 2012

it’s discoloured, moth-eaten or has a peculiar smell to it, don’t buy it! If you don’t feel comfortable walking around with other people’s belongings, the shops are just overflowing with vintage-inspired pieces – from the trilby hats of the 30s to the platform wedges of the 70s – there are so many to choose from! What about snake skin, animal print, bold copper colour clutch bags or the like? It’s in, but to keep this look classy, stick to one animal-print at a time and pair it with more classic outfits. Even if it is the most gorgeous Dolce & Gabbana leopard print heel, paired with the wrong outfit it’ll quickly take you from Zoe Saldana to Joan Collins. Take some inspiration from the high-end designers, and if you are still unsure, play it safe and show off your animal print by making it the accent piece of your outfit. Another great look that falls into this group is metallics. Play around with coppers and burnished gold to keep it more vintage and classy. The same rule that applies for animalprint also applies for metallics: keep it simple.

Now that you have an idea what’s out there, pick a look to suit your mood and have some fun! PHOTOGRAPHER: Ashley-Marie Myles STYLIST: Annamé Lotz

descriptions (FROM TOP CLOCKWISE)

Errol Arendz Stephania Orange wedge, R1299.95 / French Connection Bitter Chocolate belt, R499.95 Beaded Vanilla bangles, R399.95 Diamond Trilby hat, R349.95 / Natural weave clutch, R449.95 / Jules strappy heel, R1499.95. all Witchery Marion and Lindie Animal Print clutch, R1499.95 / GAP Copper clutch, R899.95 Errol Arendz Ohara Sling-back heel, R899.95 / Witchery Christina Snake handbag, R599.95

Hunter Aubrey Navy Pump, R1199.95 Paul’s Boutique Quilted handbag, R999.95 / Bead & Knot necklace in Denim and Magenta, R399.95 each Yves Blue scarf, R399.95 / Pippa Black sunglasses, R549.95 / Orange belt, R329.95 / Orange wallet, R599.95. all Witchery

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Rand “Plummets” pulease! Feiran Greede argues that, in defence of the market, a dose of perspective always helps the way) weakening of the Rand, speculators (and to a lesser extent, politicians) bore the brunt of the blame in the media. As they would say in the corporate world, what is called for here is a ‘standstill’ – just to put things in perspective.

Like politics, the way that financial prices are reported can cause great alarm. And because they frame perceptions in the mind of the reader, the stock holder and the overseas traveller, journalists carry a huge, if not realised, responsibility. With the recent (long called-for, by

Although the US is not our major trading partner, the value of the Rand against the Dollar is a price that is important to us, evoking a great deal of emotion about our view of the state of the country within which we live. The exchange rate is our ‘external purchasing power’ and, in the sense that it’s depreciation lessens that power, our ‘external rate of inflation’. What matters is the long-

term level of the currency - not short-term fluctuations in price. Perceptions that speculators are somehow to blame for market woes, driving financial markets in the ‘wrong’ direction, are plainly wrong and I’ll tell you why. Speculators interact with the market in the pursuit of profit and, because they operate over the short-term (usually to eliminate the uncertainty of overnight risk), they cannot, by definition, have any effect on the long-term direction of the market. Shifts in fundamental inputs or policies that are reflected by position changes in long-term positions are what moves the market! Speculators are simply market participants (not policy makers), who merely operate within a system they can neither influence nor fashion. And why should they care? Their job is to anticipate what is likely to happen - not frame what should happen. Real perspective comes from comparing where the Rand is to-

day versus where it has been in the past. The last major move in the currency was back in late 2001 when the Dollar, at its peak, bought just shy of 14 Rands. Over the next three years it steadily lost value until the end of 2004 when it bought little more than 5½ Rands and, by the end of 2008, the market had traded back up to almost R12. Since then, it has moved back down to R8 (where it is today) in the meantime making an intermediate low of about R6½. On this basis, you could say that it is relatively strong beneath R9½ and relatively weak above that and, although simplistic, the longer the cross trades beneath R9½ the more comfortable it is there. So if a move from R7½ to R8½ is reported as the currency ‘plummeting’, or worse, that speculators are somehow destroying our external purchasing power, you should be able to do what the financial journalists can’t, and keep it in perspective!

Not Pretty, perhaps, but Effective The most important part of the game of golf is from 40 meters out

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couple of months back we looked at how technology has changed everything about golf and how newer, technologically-advanced clubs can lower your score by enabling straighter, further hitting and that with more consistency. Yet the business end of the golf hole is the one with the flag on it, not the tee, so it is to there that we now go in search of the one shot that’s going to save our high handicapper souls from the golfing graveyard. We spoke to PGA professional and Pearl Valley-based SwingFit coach, Pierre van Vuuren, and asked him to explain the old adage – ‘you drive for show and putt for dough’. “It’s quite simple really,” says Pierre, “if you take 90 shots to get round the course, 60 of these will have been played on or around the greens. Yet practice nearly always focuses on the Driver and Longiron shots, banging balls up the range.” The solution to lower scoring is to get up and down from 30 to 40 metres out and the high-handicapper option of playing a wedge is usually the wrong one.

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“Most high handicappers will take a pitching wedge with a wide stance, give it a full swing, lose control (or collapse) and fluff the shot,” he says. “As an alternative chipping shot, we recommend a ‘half 7-iron bump-and-run’ where you position the ball back in the stance, in line with the back foot, forcing you to make a clean contact. Then take half a swing and, because the clubface is more closed, the ball should come out low, in a ‘punch’, nice and straight and run up to the hole.”

For more info call Pierre on 081 4744695 or email him on PierreV@ swingfit.co.za

It should be seen as a chip shot – taking the club slowly back and accelerating through the ball with good tempo – and obviously, when there is an open path to the green. However, if players just spent half their time on the range practicing it they’d see their score come down appreciably. “It’s not the prettiest but it’s definitely the safer option,” he says, adding that the shot offers little room for the aim errors that you’d have with a wedge. “Remember,” says Pierre, “the scorecard does not ask how the ball got in the hole - it just asks for a number!”

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Spending Your Way Out of Trouble The Publisher suggests we allow the ‘Paradox of Thrift’ to do its job

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TO SPEND

e’ve written plenty about the rating agencies in The Month, (most recently ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place’ in the August edition) and one rating agency, Moody’s, recently lowered its outlook of South Africa from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’. A rating agency, you will recall, rates a country’s credit worthiness (its ability to pay back a loan) and the lower our rating, the higher the interest rate our debt has to carry to be attractive to investors. When pressed on what could change the rating, Moody’s said that besides “sustainably stronger growth, restrained debt accumulation and the maintenance of sound economic policies” that “higher domestic savings” would support a future rating upgrade.

Higher savings? What the world is struggling to deal with right now is a huge drop in demand and, with governments having borrowed to the hilt and unable to make up that demand, the whole push is towards higher private spending. So is Moody’s just throwing the Economics 101 book at us, or do they have a point? Well, perhaps. Having read the book carefully before throwing it, they’d have learned about the ‘Paradox of Thrift’ – the theory that to increase savings you need to spend more. Exercising ‘thrift’ (saving more and spending less) means lower company revenues with less jobs or lower salaries the result, and both impact demand negatively, of course. Conversely, therefore, we should be spending more since by doing

so we’ll raise demand, income and, with it, savings – hence the paradox. Besides a short blip in the late 80s, most people under 50 have never experienced a real recession in their adult lives, so the reaction to a drop in their personal wealth (from losses in house values or stock portfolios, perhaps) needs to be managed properly. The natural response to a lowering of personal security is to cut back – yet too much paying down of debt saps the very engine (consumer spending) that will increase income and with it our credit rating. So we tread a fine line between personal responsibility and the greater economic good. At worst, you can ‘go mal’ this January Sale time and feel good that you’re doing it for the country!

47 All-Out? Dave Rundle contemplates the Eurozone Crisis during the November Test at Newlands the big fight back by South Africa, bowling Australia out for 47! The target in the end was easily chased down, with Smith and Amla both getting centuries. In all my days of playing and watching cricket, I have never witnessed anything like it.

What a good feeling it was to sit at Newlands and watch a cricket Test match between Australia and South Africa in November. It was an amazing event, which South Africa eventually won in just over two-and-ahalf days. From start to finish, this enthralling competition between two great cricketing sides was truly outstanding. At one stage the Australians were well on top, having bowled out South Africa for 97. But then came

January 2012

It reminded me a little bit of managing clients’ investments during 2011. Markets and investments went up and down like a yo-yo whilst the authorities tried to sort out the mess in Europe. It was very much like the November Test match with the result that due to the very weak outlook for the global economy, continued very low interest rates and deteriorating fundamentals for local financial markets, investors should prepare themselves for the likelihood of a lower return environment. So what’s going to happen in 2012? Will the Eurozone end up ‘47 all-

out’ like the Australians and lose the game? Or will they manage to get through this mess and force a draw? I think a win is out the question at the moment. Most economists and fund managers believe we are playing in a Test match and not a Oneday game - it is going to take a long time to sort this out. With this in mind, where is the smart money going? I attended many presentations in the final quarter of 2011 and the common theme was that offshore equities will be the place to be in 2012. They all say that many of the large companies are actually in good shape, sitting with a lot of cash on their balance sheets and I tend to agree with them. However, I think it should be part of a diversified portfolio and investors must be prepared to experience a few ups and downs along the way, viewing any investment in shares as ‘long-term’ and

not panicking and selling if the market goes down. Anyhow, good luck to everyone this year. I hope you all have a very successful 2012 and that the decisions you make turn out well. This article is solely intended to provide you with objective information about financial products and services and is not intended to constitute a recommendation, guidance or proposal with regard to the suitability of any product in respect of any financial need you may have.

Dave Rundle 083 658 8055 Rundle Management Services

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Bless You

Jeanri-Tine van Zyl enjoys the new menu at Longridge, with the blessing of Archbishop Tutu

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ith vistas stretching to Table Mountain in the distance, and surrounded with lush vineyards, Longridge Wine Estate on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain on the outskirts of Stellenbosch is, truly, postcard perfect.

tone at The Restaurant @ Longridge, but it is the fresh vegetable and herb garden which truly completes the scene. Here you can enjoy the freshest seasonal produce as whiffs of celery and basil call you from across the well-tended garden - its produce harvested in front of your eyes.

In fact, it is this picturesque perfection which attracted the Dutch Van der Laan family to South Africa in 2006. “My parents visited here for their 25th wedding anniversary,” owner Jo-Anne van der Laan explains, “and they fell in love.” So seductive were the vineyards, sun and sweeping valleys the family decided to claim a piece of this heaven to call their own.

Culinary consultant Marilou Marais created the in-season menu with newly appointed chef Bruce von Pressentin responsible for its execution.

Today Longridge has been revamped to mirror the beauty of its surrounds, with a classy tasting room and a beautiful restaurant – The Restaurant @ Longridge – allowing visitors to have an equally beautiful experience. Guests at a recent launch of its upgraded tasting room and restaurant included the Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu who attended in his role as ambassador for the Medical Knowledge Institute (MKI), an international non-profit health organisation which has the support of Longridge Wines. Archbishop Tutu opened proceedings with a prayer and blessing, before we were invited to savour the restaurant’s new summer menu. A wrap-around porch, crisp white table settings and airy interiors set an inviting

Signature dishes this summer include poached duck egg served on white and green asparagus (delicious when paired with Longridge Chenin Blanc 2010), as well as a flavoursome mushroom lasagne with thyme butter, truffle oil and parmesan shavings. Other substantial dishes include fillet with home-grown terragon béarnaise sauce and roasted leg of springbok served on paprika mieliepap, while fresh line fish, salmon and trout offerings ensure that the menu caters for all tastes and most dietary requirements. Before the main course was served I asked Archbishop Tutu whether visitors can expect to see him at the winery’s tasting room. “My wife will be tasting wine, she is very discerning,” he joked, “I have graduated to Red Grapetiser!”

The Restaurant @ Longridge is open for lunch and dinner on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and for lunch only on Sundays. For more information, visit www.longridgewines.co.z a

The Month - Quick Crossword #12 DOWN 1 Done to butter on toast (6) 2 Practical (6) 3 Close by (4) 4 To the rear (6) 5 Instructors (8) 6 Record player (10) 7 Formally revoke (8) 8 Stammers (8) 14 Successful completion of high school (10) 16 Caption (8) 17 Sums paid (8) 18 Fighting against (8) 22 In current fashion (6) 23 One or the other (6) 24 Without warning (6) 27 Promissory notes (4)

ACROSS

COMPETITION: All competitions close on the 24th of the current month (unless otherwise stated); winners will be contacted by phone or email, must be over 18 (unless otherwise stated), must be prepared to allow their names to appear in print in The Month, and may be required to pay delivery costs; the Ed’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into - unless the Ed is having a really great day.

SMS: SMSs charged at R1.50/SMS. Free SMSs do not apply. Errors billed. Sender must have the bill payer’s permission. You may be contacted in the future by SMS unless you opt-out.

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9 Have (7)

16 Female singing range (7)

28 Disappointment (7)

10 Show (7)

19 Slave traders (7)

29 Compress (7)

11 Impose (7)

20 Swampy lake (5)

12 Devise (7) 13 Determination (9) 15 Pasture (5)

21 Brochures (9) 25 Inflammation of the

ileum (7)

solution pg 18 DON’T CHEAT!

26 Wandered (7)

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the month THE MONTH

January 2012

Nectar of the gods Margeurite Lombard goes in search of Laborie’s brandy heritage

H

istory, they say, has a way of repeating itself. In the mid-1800s, wine farmers - just as they do today - fretted about poor wine prices, pending financial doom and the glut of wine on the international market. The problem started with the Napoleonic Wars (1800-1815) and the enormously lucrative export market it created for local growers. Wine farmers in the Cape became comfortably wealthy, and happily mortgaged their farms to plant new vineyards. They, however, left one very important factor out of the equation: in those days Cape wines did not compare favourably with those produced on the Continent. So once peace had been restored in Europe, the English wine consumers happily returned to drinking French wines and, faced with the enormous surplus of wine, the Cape farmers started to produce brandy - a higher value product that would be sold in the interior. A number of brandy distilleries were established in Paarl during the 1830s and 1840s including Die Paarlsche Stokery (c1830), the Paarlsche Spiritus Maatschappy (1841), Illes, Jones & Company (1831) and the Paarl Wine & Brandy Company (1856). By 1860 Illes, Jones & Company near Paarl Station and the Paarl Wine & Brandy Company in Paarl Main Street (opposite Zomerlust) were the largest distilleries in the town. Two of Laborie and Picardie’s owners - Pieter Roux and Jacob de Villiers - can both be linked to this period in the Cape’s fledgling brandy industry. Pieter Roux bought the two farms in 1814 and had during the boom period bought

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and rented enough land to increase his vine plantings from 160,000 to 1,000,000 vines by 1817. This expansion period was short-lived, and by 1825 he had reduced his farming operation to 160,000 vines! Roux, however, continued to produce a significant quantity of wine and brandy, and it is likely that his small commercial distillery was the forerunner of the Paarlsche Stokery that was established on the property a decade later. After his death in 1825, his widow subdivided the estate and sold the portion that included the distillery to Jacob de Villiers. De Villiers maintained the distillery and when he died in 1842 the trustees of his insolvent estate ran advertisements in the De Zuid-Afrikaan in which they sold several items that would have been part of his commercial operation - including a “covered traveling wagon, 30 leaguers of wine, 60 pipes and a complete Distillery Apparatus”.

had shares in the business. In 1842 the Louws placed several advertisements in De Zuid-Afrikaan to sell distillery equipment. These advertisements ran concurrently with the De Villiers advertisements. Their auction list included several leaguers of wine, brandy and vinegar, oxen, wagons, pressing tubs, buckets, funnels, fermenting tubs, and a brandy still.

large tract of land on the southern border of the farm Picardie.

De Paarlsche Stokery was sold the following year to De Paarlsche Spiritus Maatschappij which in 1902 still owned a

The article was based on research done by DC Heritage Consultants, Paarl.

The distillery and winery in question was situated just south of the Harvest at Laborie restaurant on the farm Picardie. When the building was demolished in the 1970s, large vats were discovered under the building’s wooden floors.

Once peace had been restored in Europe, the English wine consumers happily returned to drinking French wines and, faced with the enormous surplus of wine, the Cape farmers started to produce brandy

Mr Illes, the future owner of Illes, Jones & Company, also owned shares in the business and it is possible that Jan Rudolph Louw of the neighbouring farm De Zoete Inval and Adriaan Hermanus Louw also

The interior of a wine cellar c1899, photograph from the Drakenstein Heemkring’s Gribble Collection

The Month / 27


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scene and

heard

- AT THE FRANSCHHOEK MCC FESTIVAL -

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The Month January 2012