Views issue 1

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T H E J O U R N A L O F D E L A I R E G R A F F E S TAT E

ESTATE Delaire Graff Estate’s Renaissance

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Launch Issue

DINING Michael Deg‛s Culinary Artistry

ART Lionel Smit‛s Morphous

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C U I S I N E

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S P A

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B O U T I Q U E

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A C C O M M O D A T I O N


Capri • St Barth • Bal Harbour • Roma • Sicily • Delaire Graff Estate • Beverly Hills • Firenze • Ibiza www.100capri.com


W E LCO M E

CONTENTS

CONTENTS Welcome to the launch issue

I

n 2003, Laurence Graff had a vision to create an extraordinary wine and hospitality estate on the slopes of the picturesque Botmaskop Mountain. Today, Delaire Graff Estate is just that, offering an unparalleled Cape Winelands‛ experience.

Issue one, 2015 04...... Delaire Life A Winelands’ renaissance Delaire Graff Estate has undergone a renaissance in its first six years, with new innovations in every aspect of luxury.

At Delaire Graff Estate, we take great pride in excelling; at being the absolute best at what we do, whether it’s an overall experience for our esteemed guests, or attending to the smallest detail. With this in mind, we are delighted to introduce the latest addition to our blossoming portfolio of elegant offerings at Delaire Graff Estate: Views, the official journal for the Estate.

06...... Graff Diamonds Beyond compare The fabled history of the most fabulous jewels in the world and their journey to the Delaire Graff Estate boutique.

We are looking forward to building upon our achievements in 2015. We’ve come a long way since our 2009 inauguration, a triumph we celebrate in this issue’s opening article. There have been a number of new developments that will define the coming year: the appointment of Michael Deg, head chef for Delaire Graff Restaurant, and the addition of Lionel Smit’s latest sculpture, Morphous, to our private art collection. We also pay tribute to the innovative work of the FACET Foundation. We continue to release new vintages and expand our portfolio of award-winning wines having recently launched our first Méthode Cap Classique – the Delaire Graff Sunrise Brut.

07...... Art Monumental artistry Lionel Smit’s immense artworks are an integral part of the Estate, and his latest work, Morphous, is a magnificent centrepiece to the Estate’s gardens. 08...... Feature Natural taste Delaire Graff Restaurant embraces the seasons by making use of the culinary bounty of the Cape Winelands under the watchful eye of head chef Michael Deg. 10...... Wine A new dawn The Delaire Graff Sunrise Brut makes a groundbreaking contribution to South Africa‛s Méthode Cap Classiques.

We look forward to welcoming you to Delaire Graff Estate and hope you enjoy our first issue of Views.

12...... Showcase An estate of mind A glimpse at the picturesque Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa, a serene sanctuary at home in the natural beauty of the Delaire Graff Estate. 14...... Giving Back Foundations for the future Graff ̓s charity foundation, FACET, is set to benefit children across the Western Cape with their latest initiative, the Graff Mobile Learning Centres.

JOHANN LAUBSER, GM DELAIRE GRAFF ESTATE

DELAIRE GRAFF ESTATE TEAM

PUBLISHING TEAM

ESTATE GENERAL MANAGER JOHANN LAUBSER info@delaire.co.za

PUBLISHER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR ANDREW BURKE andrew@purepublishing.co.za

Distribution: VIEWS is distributed bi-annually by Delaire Graff Estate, available in print at the Estate or online at www.delaire.co.za, otherwise on request by emailing info@delaire.co.za.

MANAGING EDITOR JESSICA GLIDDON jess@purepublishing.co.za

All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited.

SENIOR DESIGNER TESS GREEN tess@purepublishing.co.za

SOCIAL MEDIA

MARKETING & PR MANAGER TANJA MACKAY-DAVIDSON marketing@delaire.co.za LODGES & SPA GM JONATHAN LITHGOW hotel.gm@delaire.co.za MARKETING EXECUTIVE KERRY SEARLE marketing.executive@delaire.co.za

CONTRIBUTOR JANE BROUGHTON

@delairegraff #delairegraff

VIEWS is designed and published by www.purepublishing.co.za For business enquiries, call Andrew on +27 (0)21 424 6918 or email hello@purepublishing.co.za V I E W S, I S S U E 1 | 03


DELAIRE LIFE

A WINELANDS‛ RENAISSANCE Six years since its opening, Delaire Graff Estate has gone from strength to strength, offering an unparalleled experience of food, wine, art and beauty, and ushering in a new era of luxury in the Cape Winelands

This page, clockwise from top: The interior of the Delaire Graff Restaurant; the sommelier in Delaire Graff Restaurant; the interior of the Owner’s Lodge; a piece by Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi.

Opposite page clockwise from top: The Estate reception corridor and Graff Diamonds store; 100% Capri.

WORDS | JANE BROUGHTON

W

hen Laurence Graff purchased a rustic wine farm called Delaire in 2003, he fell in love with the property’s awe-inspiring views. As one would expect, he had unearthed a true gem. Situated on the crest of the vertiginous Helshoogte mountain pass, between Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, the 40-hectare property is at the heart of South Africa’s most historic and prestigious wine-growing region. Today‛s Delaire Graff Estate includes an ultra-modern winery with an elegant wine lounge, two restaurants, a tranquil spa and a collection of villa-style lodges. The architecture is contemporary and sophisticated, while remaining uniquely South African. Thatched roofs, sleek gables and polished plaster walls in earthy tones are part of the Estate’s modern interpretation of Cape Dutch vernacular style. The property’s glamorous interiors, oozing local provenance and impressive attention to detail, were masterminded by the David Collins Studio. Iconic design elements, like riempie chairs, beaten copper, stone-packed walls, peach-pip floors and white-washed rietdak ceilings are a marvel of old-fashioned craftsmanship. With the appointment of winemaker Morné Vrey, Delaire Graff‛s elegant, terroir-driven wines have gained momentum and recognition over the past decade, winning significant awards. Adjoining the winery is the flagship Delaire Graff Restaurant, with eye-catching tangerine leather banquettes and impactful artworks. It extends outdoors onto a shady terrace with panoramic views stretching into 04 | V I E W S, I S S U E 1

the Banhoek Valley of the surrounding vineyards, orchards and mountains. New head chef Michael Deg’s modern bistro-chic cuisine is inspired by seasonal produce procured daily from the Estate’s greenhouse, gardens and local farmers. Elegant lunchtime dishes, including seasonal salads and local seafood burst with fresh, vibrant flavours. An evening at Delaire Graff Restaurant offers a choice of an à la carte or tasting menu, paired with an extensive wine list. Dishes are expertly executed and beautifully plated in this chic setting. A year following its opening in 2009, the Estate‛s already comprehensive luxury offerings were enhanced by the addition of 10 exquisitely appointed lodges, a spa and a second flagship restaurant. Each lodge resembles a private villa, complete with a spacious living area, a marble bathroom stocked with Aromatherapy Associates‛ products, a butler‛s kitchen, and a private heated infinity pool. Two of these elegant suites are designed for four guests, featuring two bedrooms and larger living spaces.


DELAIRE LIFE

of renowned and emerging South African artists. Sculptures by Dylan Lewis, Deborah Bell and Anton Smit enhance the indigenous floral gardens designed by horticulturist Keith Kirsten, while paintings by William Kentridge, Sidney Kumalo, Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi, Durant Sihlali and Kendell Geers adorn the interiors. Laurence Graff ‛s personally curated art collection has been a lifelong passion. Many years ago, the soughtafter original of Vladimir Tretchikoff’s Chinese Girl, one of the world’s most recognisable and reproduced paintings, ignited his interest in art. Today, its beautifully rendered deep colours may be appreciated in the entrance of the winery framed by two luxury boutiques.

A YEAR FOLLOWING ITS OPENING IN 2009, THE ESTATE’S ALREADY COMPREHENSIVE LUXURY OFFERINGS WERE ENHANCED BY THE ADDITION OF LODGES, A SPA AND A SECOND RESTAURANT The spa‛s four luxurious treatment suites are an integral part of the lodges, with each offering a hydro-massage bath and private terrace. Aromatherapy Associates’ products, rich in pure essential oils, are used for indulgent nourishing skin therapies, while the active plant cells in the Swiss Perfection range accelerate cellular renewal in anti-ageing, hydrating facials. Innovations include diamond-tip micro-dermabrasion, which uses the polishing effect of diamonds to give skin a youthful radiance, and LED technology utilising coloured light energy to boost circulation and stimulate collagen and elastin production. The spa features an outdoor heated pool, sauna and steam room and discreet lounge, where lodge and day journey guests can relax with a pot of loose-leaf tea or a glass of freshly pressed juice.

personalised dining experience at Indochine, the hotel’s intimately scaled restaurant and bar. Fragrant and spicy Asian-influenced cuisine is served under the restaurant‛s iconic Swallows in Flight installation. Each dish is executed with creativity and precision by head chef Virgil Kahn, and matched by impeccable service.

Jewel blue leather chairs, beaten copper-topped tables, bamboo ceilings and handmade David Walters crockery set the scene for an original,

A portion of Laurence Graff‛s extensive contemporary collection of South African art is displayed across the Estate, featuring the work

Over the years, Delaire Graff Estate has become a benchmark of excellence in South Africa, rated in equal measure for its views, food and wine, service culture, gardens and art collection. While it has already raised the standard of luxury travel in Africa, there is more to come.

The founding of Graff Diamonds in 1960 by

age of 15, and was only 18 when he founded his

diamonds,” Graff says. “It was an inherent feeling

Laurence Graff marked the start of a journey

first company. His unique eye for precious

that has turned into a lifelong passion. I truly

spanning over five decades. From a humble entry

stones complemented his entrepreneurial flair,

believe that working with diamonds is what I

into the diamond world as an apprentice jeweller

as he quickly became well known for his

was born to do.”

in London, Graff built up a company that now

exquisite arrangements of diverse and precious

boasts over 50 stores around the world. An avid

jewels, with diamonds remaining the signature

Since its inception, Graff Diamonds has

collector of modern and contemporary art, a

element of every piece.

been known for its work with only the most

The jewel box interior of the Graff Diamonds store is adorned with a signature chandelier, marble and Indian rosewood interiors. It showcases an exclusive collection of bracelets, solitaire rings, earrings, pendants and luxury watches handmade in London by Graff ‛s master craftsmen. In the 100% Capri store, Italian designer Antonino Aiello’s island living-inspired pure linen clothing collection is complemented by a beautiful homeware range. Both stores are firsts in Africa, taking retail therapy to glittering new heights.

THE GRAFF LEGACY The visionary founder of both Graff Diamonds and Delaire Graff Estate, Laurence Graff OBE is an industry legend

exceptional quality jewels, and Graff’s expertise

world leader within the diamond industry and an equally devoted philanthropist, Laurence Graff

Laurence Graff is said to have handled more

in every aspect of the business has helped it

has created a lasting legacy, so much so that he

diamonds of notable rarity and beauty than

flourish. Graff’s passion and distinctive style

received an OBE in 2013.

any other jeweller, and to this day continues to

has inspired not only generations of jewel

inspire the world's most discerning clientèle with

connoisseurs, but his own family; his son

Laurence Graff began working in London’s

both his international stores and Cape Winelands

Francois has followed in his footsteps as

jewellery quarter, Hatton Garden, at the tender

estate. “I have always been fascinated by

the CEO of Graff Diamonds. V I E W S, I S S U E 1 | 05


GRAFF DIAMONDS

BEYOND COMPARE Internationally regarded as one of the world’s pre-eminent jewellery brands, Graff Diamonds creates the most fabulous jewels in the world, boasting gems of perfection and unrivalled elegance

The enchanting Classic Butterfly collection was first incorporated as a simple sequence of marquise and pearshaped gemstones. Today the butterfly has been incorporated into a diverse set of collections, from the Butterfly Silhouette to the Butterfly Medallion. In 2009, Graff added the Graff Luxury Watch collection to the company’s repertoire. Each timepiece is inspired by the unique faceted design of the classic cut of a diamond and is equipped with a fine Swiss movement. The masterpiece of this collection is the ‘Hallucination’, which perfectly encapsulates the marriage of fine timepieces with exquisite jewels, featuring a kaleidoscope of over 110ct of extremely rare coloured diamonds. It is purported to be the most valuable watch ever created. After more than five decades at the pinnacle of the luxury jewellery industry, Graff continues to push the boundaries of innovation and excellence.

THE

BOMBÉ COLLECTION

D

iamonds are Africa’s most precious resource, inspiring passion unlike any other, and no one knows this better than Laurence Graff, the founder of Graff Diamonds. So when the world’s leading diamantaire decided to open a wine estate in tribute to Africa’s fine gemstones, it was only fitting that he would choose South Africa to house the exclusive locale for Africa’s flagship Graff boutique.

South Africa has long been integral to Graff Diamonds. Graff owns the South African Diamond Corporation (SAFDICO), and most of its diamonds are cut and polished at these facilities. At Delaire Graff Estate, a collection of jewellery and watches has been exclusively assembled for the Graff boutique featuring a contemporary open grille punctuated by the distinctive Graff Icon motif. Created by Graff Diamonds’ Monaco-based interior design team, each detail of the Graff store draws influence from African and Cape Dutch styling, incorporating a rich colour palette and a luxurious array of fixtures and fittings. Opulent showcases line the walls of the store, while stitched leather and ebony desks provide the perfect place for clients to appreciate the fine craftsmanship of Graff Diamonds’ distinctive designs in finer detail. Graff ’s unique statement pieces showcase the artistic skill, meticulous attention to detail and design ingenuity of the company’s master craftsmen and talented designers. Intricately articulated with 06 | V I E W S, I S S U E 1

invisible settings and expertly set by hand, their gems feature in exquisite brooches, necklaces, rings, bracelets and tiaras. Graff ’s unique pieces are a divine statement of delicacy, boldness and effortlessly elegant style, graceful combinations of rarity and timeless design. One of Graff’s finest jewels boasts Delaire Graff Estate as its namesake, the Delaire Sunrise, the largest Fancy Vivid Yellow square emerald cut diamond in the world, at 118.08cts. Like this incredible gemstone, many of Graff ’s stunning stones are steeped in myth and history. In 2008, Graff acquired the 15th largest diamond ever discovered – the 603ct Lesotho Promise, which yielded 26 magnificent flawless gems set into a stunning necklace. Perhaps one of the rarest and most historic diamonds of all time, the Wittelsbach-Graff was repolished by Graff, transforming it into the largest Fancy Natural Deep Blue Internally Flawless diamond in the world, at a magnificent 31.06cts.

The Bombé Collection is one of Graff Diamond’s most exquisite, drawing inspiration from a ring created by Laurence Graff shortly after Graff Diamonds was established in 1960. At the beginning of his career, Mr Graff met a diamond trader who advanced him 33 small diamonds. Where most jewellers would have subsequently created 33 separate rings, Graff audaciously combined them all into one. The ring sold immediately.

Modern and classic, graceful and feminine, each Graff jewellery collection is distinctly unique, often incorporating the lineage of the company in its designs. For example, the delicate lines of the Graff Icon collection draws inspiration from the renowned ‘Hair and Jewel’ coiffure made by Laurence Graff in 1970, which can be appreciated in the captivating Graff Icon jewellery collection.

The Bombé Collection echoes this early foray into jewellery, emphasising the brilliant beauty of each shade of stone as it is presented in hand-selected clusters, featuring rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds. The collection is available as elegant cocktail rings, striking earrings, bold pendants and

One of Graff ’s signature motifs is the butterfly, drawn from nature for its innate poise and grace.

shimmering necklaces and can be viewed at Delaire Graff Estate.


ART

MONUMENTAL ARTISTRY Lionel Smit’s immense artworks are an intergral part of Delaire Graff Estate. His latest work, Morphous, is an exercise in emotional portraiture and painterly craft that complements the Estate’s lush surrounds WORDS | JESSICA GLIDDON

A

t the entrance to Delaire Graff Estate hangs a painting of Laurence Graff. Abstract strokes of red and blue paint are intermingled with his likeness. Laurence Graff has long been a loyal supporter of South African artists such as Anton Smit and his son, Lionel. “I first came into contact with Laurence Graff through my father,” Lionel Smit says. “A conversation started about my work, and Mr Graff began buying my pieces. Ever since, I have had a close relationship with Delaire Graff Estate.” The spacious grounds of the Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa offer a perfect canvas on which to display Smit’s latest monumental sculpture, Morphous. The dual faces look in opposite directions, watching over the grounds with quiet grace. “Delaire Graff Estate is definitely well suited to exhibit my works,” Smit enthuses. “I think it is one of the most beautiful places in the world.” The mirrored faces invite multiple interpretations around identity and duality. “The concept of Morphous started when I was working on a series of works inspired by the Rorschach inkblot,” Smit explains. “I wanted these double-painted images to be translated into sculpture, but once I did this it referenced other things like the mythological Roman Janus head, introducing the idea of one head looking into the future and the other into the past. This connected well with my recurring Cape Malay model, since my work also revolves around the idea of identity; how we have changed and morphed into different cultural identities. This work could be asking the question: where do we come from and where are we going?”

Although the artist’s subjects are mostly Cape Malay women, their expressive realisations reflect a universal aesthetic. “Most of the works are inspired by actual people, but I use them as a reference, and that becomes the idea of someone,” Smit says. Morphous is dripped with blue patina, allowing the sculpture to appear as though it were forged from the substance, offering a complex exploration of intersecting art forms. “The surface itself is part of an ongoing language that I am trying to achieve in my sculpture, to mimic the idea of paint into the bronze, and treating it like the canvas,” he explains.

SWALLOWS IN FLIGHT Swallows in Flight is an unprecedented

LIONEL SMIT'S STYLE HAS BEEN INSPIRED BY EVERYTHING THAT HE LOVES

collaborative project bringing together renowned South African artists Lionel Smit and André Stead. Their shared vision has resulted in the striking sculpture depicting the upward flight of a flock of swallows that overlooks Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa’s signature restaurant, Indochine. Indochine offers an enchanting fine dining

The grand scale of Morphous is akin to most of the artist’s works, lending them an air that inspires reverence. “I love working big, with the way you have space to move across a canvas or sculpture,” he explains. “It also translates the relationship between the abstract and the figurative very well. There is always a push and pull between them.”

experience that marries sophisticated flavours with touches of Asian inspiration. Exotic influences can be seen in everything from the vibrant blue and copper colour interior to touches of Asianinfluenced flavours in the dishes. Curated by head chef Virgil Kahn, the harmonious experience is brought together under the immense artwork, framing the majestic views stretching across to

The strong bands of colour that merge with his portraiture interrupt concrete interpretation, reflecting influences of the American action painters, but his works defy classification. “I always struggle to define my style, but all I can say is that it has been inspired by everything I love,” Smit says. “And I love almost all types of art. I think I bring all of this together subconsciously.” Morphous might just be his greatest realisation of this amalgamation yet.

Table Mountain. André Stead is an accomplished artist whose work has been featured at numerous exhibitions and art fairs, well known for his metal work as a partner at the Bronze Age Art Foundry. Stead says of

Swallows in Flight: “The installation is a symbol of freedom and endurance that describes the innate liberty and graceful beauty of the human spirit.”

V I E W S, I S S U E 1 | 07


F E AT U R E

NATURAL

WORDS | JESSICA GLIDDON

TASTE Delaire Graff Restaurant embraces the seasons by making use of the culinary bounty of the surrounding Cape Winelands. It’s a philosophy upheld with a passion by head chef, Michael Deg

L

ike everything at Delaire Graff Estate, the cuisine at Delaire Graff Restaurant is meticulously crafted and inspired by its natural surroundings. “Every morning when I travel up the Estate driveway, I appreciate how green it looks,” says the restaurant’s head chef, Michael Deg. “It flows throughout the Estate, from different scenery to different colours, everywhere you look. I take this inspiration onto the plates.” Every dish Deg serves has been inspired by his experience on the Estate. “There is nothing more relaxing than walking through the garden and picking herbs for the dinner guests after a long lunch service,” Deg says. “Every morning, Jerry Gumunyu, our vegetable gardener extraordinaire, comes to us with a list of produce ready to be harvested: from tomatoes, green beans, artichokes, peppadews and courgettes, to a huge variety of salads and herbs. I like to use our estate vegetable garden and greenhouse as a reference for what is in season for the menu.”

Fresh, natural ingredients are central to the work of many contemporary chefs, and Deg’s authentic cuisine fits easily into this philosophy. The Estate’s garden brims with verdant gems with each new season. “In winter we have an entirely different crop to look forward to than in spring,” Deg says. “When we see the first sign of broad beans, we know summer is around the corner. It’s so exciting to live with the seasons; to have such variety just outside the kitchen is a chef ’s dream.” 08 | V I E W S, I S S U E 1

On a sunny afternoon, Delaire Graff Restaurant’s scenic terrace offers a relaxed bistro-chic atmosphere, backed by sweeping views across the Banhoek Valley. “At lunch, we strive for a relaxed approach to dining, as we want the customers to take in the whole experience of Delaire Graff Estate, rather than focusing upon an overly complex menu,” Deg explains. Delaire Graff Restaurant’s dishes are vibrant in flavour, and every detail reflects this.

Clockwise from the top: One of Deg’s artfully plated dishes; Michael Deg harvests fresh produce from the gardens; a dish incorporating fresh flowers; the scenic terrace of Delaire Graff Restaurant.

“Beautifully presented dishes are very important,” says Deg. “I like my plates to look as if they are flowing with natural colours; I always plate from left to right to represent the flowing motion of the garden. We use a lot of edible flowers from the Estate, which pop with colour and bring the dishes to life.” The menu boasts fine cuts of meat and fish, framed with sophisticated flavours; from pan-seared line fish, delicately complemented by tangy fennel and mussels, to a sirloin of prime beef, ornamented with a rich aubergine puree. Incorporating ingredients such as Franschhoek trout, braised Karoo lamb and Saldanha Bay mussels, each dish boasts local origins. “We support local farmers,” Deg says. “For example, most of our mushrooms come from Nouvelle Mushrooms located less than 10 kilometres away; our trout is farmed just outside Franschhoek; Ryan Boons from Paarl supplies our free-range meat; and we use Farmer Angus from Spier for our grass-fed beef sirloins.”

EVERY MORNING, OUR VEGETABLE GARDENER COMES TO US WITH A LIST OF PRODUCE READY TO BE HARVESTED

Delaire Graff Restaurant is an integral part of South Africa’s internationally regarded Winelands’ culinary scene. Both Deg and his predecessor, executive chef Christiaan Campbell, have followed an ethos of using the freshest local and seasonal produce out of an instinctual desire to use readily available high quality resources. “We use only South African produce,” Deg says. “It wouldn’t make sense to buy scallops flown halfway round the world. We have wonderful produce on our doorstep, so we make use of it.” It’s a practical philosophy that produces magnificent results.


I LIKE MY PLATES TO LOOK AS IF THEY ARE BRIMMING WITH NATURAL COLOURS; I ALWAYS PLATE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT TO REPRESENT THE FLOWING MOTION OF THE GARDEN. WE USE A LOT OF EDIBLE FLOWERS FROM THE ESTATE, WHICH POP WITH COLOUR AND BRING THE DISHES TO LIFE

Q&A

with Michael Deg

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING THE HEAD CHEF AT DELAIRE GRAFF RESTAURANT? “Working with my wonderful team of 20 chefs, who all give their best and work hard, long hours. It really is special to see our brigade working during a busy service to one common goal.” WHAT IS CURRENTLY ONE OF YOUR FAVOURITE DISHES THAT YOU ARE SERVING AT THE RESTAURANT? “Our custard slice infused with toast, served with banana sorbet, praline mousse, caramelised popcorn and coconut crème. Our head pastry chef, André Steyn, is a master of his craft and really comes up with magical desserts. It is a pleasure having someone of that calibre working with us.”

WHO IS YOUR CULINARY IDOL? “Padraig Hayden, whom I worked for as a sous chef in Dublin, Ireland. He not only taught me how to cook properly, he taught me how to work hard. As a head chef, he would never miss a service. He was always the first chef in the door and the last to leave. He also taught me that no job is too small. I try every day to bring this work ethic to my kitchen.” WHAT CULINARY TRENDS DO YOU FORESEE BEING BIG IN 2015? “Foraging is a trendy word these days: during mushroom season, my chefs love picking wild mushrooms and return with buckets full of them. I love nothing more than when one of the chefs comes to work with a big bag of freshly foraged nasturtium, a firm favourite of mine. Chefs will continue to strive for fresh and healthy cuisine, because at the end of the day, customers want natural products.” WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO COOK FOR YOURSELF AT HOME? “Durban lamb curry with basmati rice, and poppadums with Mrs Ball’s chutney takes me home every time.” V I E W S, I S S U E 1 | 09


WINE

A NEW DAWN The first vintage of Delaire Graff ’s Sunrise Brut, inspired by the Loire and named after a famous Graff Diamond, is a groundbreaking contribution to South Africa’s Méthode Cap Classiques

The Delaire Graff Estate winemaker’s next inspired move was the decision to include a small amount (eight per cent, to be precise) of Cabernet Franc in the blend, in the same way that most Champagnes contain a small amount of clear white juice from the red-skinned Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier grapes. The variety performs surprisingly well in the Cape, ripening beyond the herbal notes typical of many of the Loire’s reds, and delivering firmness of structure with an almost spicy fragrance that would be the envy of many Bordeaux estates.

M

éthode Cap Classique has a history dating back to the 1970s, a time when there were virtually no plantings of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the Cape. The first producers of Champagne-method sparkling wines found themselves forced to make do with the varieties at their disposal, such as Chenin Blanc, Pinotage and Clairette Blanche.

With the launch of the first vintage of Delaire Graff Sunrise Brut, it is clear that Vrey has been able to make a unique and striking statement in the context of Méthode Cap Classique. The wine is really beautiful to behold, a green-tinged pale lemon yellow delivering fresh gooseberry and sweet melon aromas on the nose. The palate shows finesse and intensity, with a fine, perfectly integrated mousse. Lime, pear-drop and delicate vanilla notes emerge, together with the faintest hint of grapefruit pith. Zesty and fresh, it is harmonious, persistent and inescapably moreish.

Ample supplies of Chardonnay and Pinot became available in the 1980s, changing the winemaking landscape. Grape growers responded to the burgeoning demand by planting them expressly for sparkling wine producers. Today, almost all the benchmark Méthode Cap Classiques derive their style and aesthetic from the wines produced in the Champagne region of France. In conceiving the Delaire Graff Sunrise Brut MCC, winemaker Morné Vrey felt the state should not simply follow convention. He instead looked to a Champagne-method sparkling wine made with an unlikely blend of Loire and Champagne grape varieties. “South Africa has the most extensive plantings of Chenin Blanc anywhere in the world, and the Cape makes many of the benchmark examples,” Vrey says. “We also have an amazing old-vine resource at our disposal. It’s an obvious choice if you have the freedom to move beyond the conventional.”

10 | V I E W S, I S S U E 1

While Vrey’s work was something of a first for Méthode Cap Classique producers, it’s not unheard of in France’s Loire Valley. There, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay are widely used in the production of Crémant de Loire. With extensive plantings in the vicinity of this majestic river, Cabernet Franc, too, has become a regular partner in the Crémant de Loire base wine. During a stint in this part of France some three years ago, Vrey tasted this sparkling wine blend. Undoubtedly, the challenge of mapping his own course through this largely uncharted territory – at least in terms of Cape sparkling wine – drew him to the Crémant de Loire model.

IT IS CLEAR THAT VREY HAS BEEN ABLE TO MAKE A UNIQUE AND STRIKING STATEMENT IN THE CONTEXT OF MÉTHODE CAP CLASSIQUE

It is this elegance, balance, fragrance and restraint that sets it apart from the more traditionally styled Champagne-varietal wines produced in the Cape and almost everywhere else, where bubbly is based on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. A nuanced consistency through the nose, palate and finish, rather than creamy opulence, is its defining statement. It offers food versatility as well as the pleasure of a thoughtful yet refreshing aperitif in equal measure. No wonder its release has been hailed as a defining moment in Cap Classique wine.


WINE

WINEMAKER

MORNÉ VREY

Morné Vrey is an accomplished winemaker, whose knowledge of viniculture is responsible for the creation of Delaire Graff Estate’s finest Cuvées, born from the grapes that are harvested from the

Since its reintroduction in 2009, the flagship blend has become South Africa’s most awarded red wine, acquiring a near-cult status in the wine community

crest of the panoramic Helshoogte Mountain Pass. Production of the Botmaskop Bordeaux-style

the lookout point to sight sailing ships entering

Vrey began his career as assistant winemaker

blend has increased fivefold and is set to reach

Cape Town’s Table Bay harbour 50 kilometres

at Hazendal Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, and

60 000 bottles. A powerful, yet elegant blend

to the west. Such an event would elicit a

went on to widen his experience with harvests

with classic aromas of dark berry, fruit, spice

cannon shot, a signal to surrounding farmers

in France, Germany and New Zealand. Today, he

and cassis, Delaire Graff Estate’s 2013

alerting them to a potential market for their

uses his expertise to create a portfolio of wines

Botmaskop wine is an approachable, yet serious

fresh produce.

in the New World style, with a clear focus on

Bordeaux blend made with estate-grown

freshness and balance. He takes a keen interest

Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot,

For winemaker Morné Vrey, the 2013 Botmaskop

in the manner in which his grapes are harvested

Petit Verdot and Malbec grapes at the foot of

is the pinnacle of Bordeaux blending. “The wine

to ensure the freshness translates through to the

Botmaskop Mountain, the namesake of this

is powerful, but elegant and polished at the

bottle; other fruit is meticulously sourced from

sophisticated blend.

same time,” he explains. “This is a beautiful red

selected vineyards managed by the Delaire Graff Estate’s viticulture team.

blend with classical aromas, soft tannins and Originally named Bootmanskop, meaning ‘Boat

balance in structure which completes the wine

Man’s Peak’, the Botmaskop Mountain served as

on the palate.”

Vrey has a bold, but honest winemaking vision: to keep the integrity of the superlative grapes without over manipulation. They come bursting with a pure flavour brought about by using authentic winemaking methods – capturing

South African awards

the essence of the earth and our South African

• Platter Wine Guide – 5 Stars

summers in every grape, bottle and glass.

• Classic Wine Trophy Awards – Bacchus Trophy for Best Red Blend • Tim Atkins Report – Listed on South Africaʼs Best Bordeaux Blends • Old Mutual Trophy – Trophy for Best Red Blend and Best Red Wine Overall • Decanter Wine Awards – Gold • Classic Wine Trophy Award – Gold for Best Red Blend Category

THE BOTMASKOP 2013 DISPLAYS THE PUREST EXPRESSION OF THE VARIETALS FROM WHICH IT HAS BEEN CRAFTED V I E W S, I S S U E 1 | 11


SHOWCASE

AN ESTATE OF MIND Delaire Graff Estate’s idyllic lodges and serene spa offer all who visit a genuine retreat

A

s the sun descends across the undulating valleys lining the Helshoogte Pass, light ripples through stony outcrops and dappled hills, drawing the eye to the lush rows of grapes winding up the hillsides. Amidst these vineyards is nestled a collection of discreet buildings, their ornate pediments echoing those of traditional Cape Dutch architecture. These elegant retreats make up the Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa. The pairing of the Estateʼs accommodations with its spa in a quiet corner of the grounds offers a serene atmosphere that speaks of unlimited hours of secluded relaxation. Guests can drift between the spa and the lodges, needing never to encounter the activity of the main estate. The spa lies to the left of the Main Lodgeʼs entrance, where four elegant suites offer guests a luxurious escape. Within these peaceful halls, sophisticated treatments from innovative spa brands are employed for a range of therapeutic benefits, used to nourish, renew, revive or detox. Spa escapes take a holistic approach, promoting physical, mental and spiritual well-being, and are customised not only to the guests, but the surrounds of the Estate, with a new experience offered to complement each season. In the gentle dusk of evening, filled with a sense of replenishment and serenity following a spa journey, there is a sense that one has discovered the true heart of the Cape Winelands.

12 | V I E W S, I S S U E 1


SHOWCASE

S PA

TERRES D‛AFRIQUE

Terres d’Afrique’s refined range of spa products in many ways

Opposite page:

shares the ethos of the Delaire

A therapist walks down a corridor of

Graff Estate. These artisan

the Delaire Graff Spa; a scenic view

elixirs incorporate the finest

of the Estate beneath Botmaskop peak.

of African natural ingredients,

This page top to bottom:

utilising native plants such as

The elegant reception area of the Main

baobab, marula, aloe ferox and

Lodge in the Lodges & Spa; a sunset

kigelia, and are inspired by

over the spa deck and pool; the tranquil

the ancient use of botanical

terrace of the Owner’s Lodge.

healing ointments in African cultures. Keeping true to their natural roots, Terres d’Afrique products use no addititives or artificial ingredients, remaining beautifully pure. Their masks, creams and serums are organic and produced ethically without harmful chemicals or detriment to animals. Every ingredient is harvested sustainably, making for a truly harmonious product that reflects our own meticulous attention to detail.

V I E W S, I S S U E 1 | 13


G I V I N G B AC K

FOUNDATIONS FOR THE FUTURE Graff Diamond’s FACET works to develop and support programmes that enrich the quality of life for those most in need in sub-Saharan Africa

I

n 2008, Laurence Graff established the FACET Foundation, which stands for ‘For Africa’s Children Every Time’, designed to support the education, health and well-being of the people of sub-Saharan Africa. The FACET Foundation offers Graff Diamonds a unique opportunity to give back to the land from which its jewels are sourced. “In Africa, we see the devastating impact of poor health on local communities and the lack of the most basic standards of education for disadvantaged children who have the right to life and development,” comments Graff. “Through FACET we are working with partners to develop programmes which will make a fundamental difference to the lives of Africa’s children. We would like to give something back to the country which gives us our remarkable diamonds.”

FACET identifies critical areas of need and establishes strong partnerships with governments, organisations and local communities to implement sustainable programmes. The foundation is responsible for many initiatives across Southern 14 | V I E W S, I S S U E 1

Africa. In 2008, FACET partnered with Help Lesotho to build the first Lesotho Graff Leadership Centre, which enrols high-risk vulnerable girls on courses to improve literacy, employment and leadership skills, and to tackle health issues around HIV and self-esteem. In May 2011, the Graff

IN AFRICA, WE SEE THE DEVASTATING IMPACT OF POOR HEALTH ON LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND THE LACK OF THE MOST BASIC STANDARDS OF EDUCATION FOR DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN WHO HAVE THE RIGHT TO LIFE AND DEVELOPMENT

Leadership Centre in Mochudi, Botswana was completed in partnership with Stepping Stones International. The centre is dedicated to creating a supportive environment through innovative educational and psychological support programmes for vulnerable children and orphans from 12 to 18 years of age. FACET also hosts fundraising events to benefit these programmes, including a charity art auction held at Christie’s in London and an auction for South African art held in November 2011 at the Delaire Graff Estate. In addition to these initiatives, a discretionary donation is added to every bill at Delaire Graff Estate’s two restaurants. One of FACET's most recent initiatives is the Graff Mobile Learning Centres, created in partnership with the Pebbles Project, which will benefit children across the Western Cape with the implementation of a unique vehicle carrying computers and libraries to those in need of educational facilities. Should you wish to support the FACET Foundation with a donation, please email marketing.executive@delaire.co.za.


G I V I N G B AC K

IN THE AREA

THE CAPE WINE AUCTION

MOBILE LEARNING

The finest wineries in the Cape Winelands know that the stunning surrounds where they

FACET and the Pebbles Project have united to help children across the Western Cape with the Graff Mobile Learning Centres

make their fine wines need nurturing to continue to flourish. This is why giving back to the area’s children is the focus of the Cape Wine Auction Trust, a charity initiative that looks to uplift underpriviledged communities through education.

For many children in South Africa’s developing rural communities, limited resources mean limited

THROUGH THE

ESTABLISHED IN

educational prospects, whether due to lack of

VALUABLE WORK OF

2014, THE CAPE WINE

funds or infrastructure. Like diamonds in the rough,

FACET AND THE PEBBLES

AUCTION TRUST

untapped potential.

PROJECT, MUCH-NEEDED

WAS CREATED TO

The Graff Mobile Learning Centres have been

EQUIPMENT WILL PROVIDE

ASSIST EDUCATION

THESE CHILDREN WITH

IN THE WINELANDS

FURTHER EDUCATION AND

AND TO UPLIFT

POSITIVE LIFE CHOICES

LOCAL COMMUNITIES

South Africa’s disadvantaged rural children hold

created to address these limitations. Conceived in partnership with the Pebbles Project, this forwardthinking venture allows advanced technology to be brought to remote areas, using vehicles equipped with a computer lab and a library, delivering

The 2015 AfrAsia Bank Cape

previously inaccessible resources to the Cape Winelands’ smaller communities.

of FACET. “Bringing hope and helping young people

Wine Auction was held at the

to realise their dreams and ambitions is what giving

Boschendal Wine Estate this

These mobile centres offer a wide range of facilities.

back is all about. For many growing up in South

February. The spectacular event

The laptop computer lab has an experienced IT

Africa’s Winelands, computers are a luxury they

raised over R10.6 million in

specialist on board to assist learners. Enabling

simply can’t afford. Through the valuable work

funds to support education in

children to access information online will help them

of FACET and the Pebbles Project, much-needed

South Africa’s Winelands. The

not only complete their school assignments, but

equipment will provide these children with further

previous year’s event raised R7

expand their opportunities for educational growth.

education and positive life choices.”

million which was distributed

By developing their skill-sets, children can gain the

to 13 organisations to support

confidence and capabilities to progress to further

FACET first partnered with the Pebbles Project in

educational causes. Among

education, providing invaluable life experience.

2013 with the aim of enriching the lives of children

the beneficiaries were the

and young people in the Winelands of South Africa.

Click Foundation, MAD ‘Make

A second van features a book-borrowing facility,

Sophia Warner, the founder of the Pebbles Project,

A Difference’ Charity and the

containing hundreds of fiction and non-fiction

explains: “FACET and the Pebbles Project have the

Pebbles Project, a frequent

books designed to encourage children to practise

same vision; a world in which children are receiving

collaborator with FACET.

their reading skills at home. The vehicles travel

the best educational support possible, have greater

The 2015 event was an elegant

around the Winelands, visiting 11 farms, reaching

potential and a bright future. By encouraging

affair offering attendees

over 1 200 children and adults in the region.

the children and young people of this region, we

exceptional wines from the

aspire to motivate, educate and provide guidance,

region’s leading wineries, seasonal

“It is a great privilege to be involved in such a

enabling the best possible childhood experiences,

local cuisine and live music.

wonderful initiative,” said Laurence Graff, founder

through to future employment opportunities.” V I E W S, I S S U E 1 | 15



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