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the month novembeR 2011

the discerning reader’s guide to the good life

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November 2011

FROM THE EDITOR

IN THIS EDITION...

FROM THE EDITOR...

Smoke on the Water

4

Dining Out: Mesopotamia

5

The Power of Perception: Reuben Riffel

6

Sweet Success: Bijoux Chocolates

7

Paarl’s Latin Lovers: Noble Hill and cosecha

8

Quintessential Franschhoek: Café BonBon

9

Fairly Impressed at Fairview

10 Cool Whites for Hot Summer Nights 11 A Red Hot Couple

12 For the Love of the Bean: Hazz Coffee 13 Fashionably Yours for Summer 14 Kiss the Cook at Laborie 15 Property Section

19 Not too far from here… The Agulhas Rest Camp

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November ...

3

Boutique

from the editor

20 What’s On

22 Stellenbosch at Summer Place

24 Children of Oil – an environmental plea Finding the Sweet Spot - Golf

25 Stitched Up: Rundle on investment 26 Social Pics

Horsing Around at Villiera

27 The Wine Ou takes on the establishment

The Fine Print The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Month or its affiliates. Having said that, we generate practically all of the material printed in each edition ourselves; please

t a recent family gathering, one of the pre-schoolers took great delight in calling our attention to his newlyacquired diving skills – which he planned to demonstrate from atop a low veranda wall, some distance from the pool. With his knees together and head tucked into his armpit, he threw himself in rather spectacular fashion face-first into the lawn. Bemused he got to his feet and spat the dirt from his mouth, as I launched into a belated warning about the dangers of diving head-long from veranda walls. When I finally paused to catch my breath and check that all his teeth were in place he looked at me calmly and said “It’s not dangerous because of the wall; I was diving too fast!”

His response reminds me of Sibusiso Ndebele, the South African Minister of Transport, who’s simple solution to the high number of road deaths experienced annually is to propose that the maximum speed limit on our national roads be reduced from 120km/h to 100km/h. His motivation is probably sound, after all we all know that “Speed Kills”, but the problem the average road user faces is not the speed limit, it’s that drivers have no real incentive to stick to it. If he could deal with the problem, we’d be okay; but he can’t.

don’t reproduce any part of it without the 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

Sadly, Minister Ndebele has demonstrated that he suffers from a condition that seems to be endemic with the powers that be in South Africa – when the solution is hard to come by, change the problem. It’s not all doom and gloom though… You see, we’ve had an interesting problem here at The Month; how to get more magazines to more people, but not incur the cost of printing more copies. Rather ingeniously we found a solution by changing the problem! Residents in some areas of Cape Town are set to receive copies in an alternating distribution pattern that will see our distribution grow to an effective 32 000 copies. Should you not get a copy of The Month, please visit TheMonth.co.za for a list of our distribution partners. We also have some changes coming to our website and will soon start with an email newsletter, subscription to which is free and simply requires registration on our website. Thanks for your help Mr Minister. And to close: It’s summer! Which means time for sun, sea, sand and beautiful sunsets. Our front page pays homage to the beauty of this time of year and I hope it serves as an inspiration to all who read The Month.

WHY ‘THE MONTH’ IS THE BEST ADVERTISING OPTION Now ending its third year of publication, The Month is a unique, winefocused magazine published in the Winelands and is available across the Western Cape for FREE, each month. 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,

... AND IT APPEALS TO THE RIGHT MARKET The ‘discerning buyer’ does not respond to consumer-driven sales pitches or read advertorial, but rather 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 20,500 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.

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.

... 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 make-up 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, personallywritten 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 may be booked online. All standard advertising packages are subject to a signed contract available from the website. To have a representative from The Month contact you, please call either David Foster on 084 827 3986 or Brett Garner on 083 260 0453 and we will arrange a visit.

083 260 0453 brett@themonth.co.za Publisher: David Foster The Clear Thinking Group 084 827 3986 david@themonth.co.za Sales and Marketing: Lize Briedenhann 082 883 6218 lize@themonth.co.za Graphic Design & Layout: Nicole de Vries 076 837 8990 design@themonth.co.za Photography: The Month Distribution: Primedia CONTRIBUTORS The White Wine Ou wineou@themonth.co.za WINE Johan Delport winemaker@waverleyhills.co.za

Paula de Villiers paula@winefolk.co.za WINE TOURISM Jill Peper jill@capecountrycalls.co.za FASHION Annamé Lotz CanalWalk.Shopper@stuttafords.co.za MOTORING Michele Lupini michele@carsinaction.co.za FINANCE Dave Rundle dave@rundle.co.za HISTORY Marguerite Lombard mlombard@mweb.co.za

WHERE TO GET YOUR COPY Door to Door Camps Bay Constantia Bishopscourt Durbanville Stellenbosch Paarl

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Pick up Points: Wine Farms, Restaurants & Other 4000 Paarl & Franschhoek 2700 Stellenbosch Cape Town Shopping 800 Centres & Hotels/Events

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OUR RATES (QUOTED IN RANDS, EXCLUDING VAT, INCLUDING AGENCY COMMISSION) PAGE

Editor: Brett Garner

Lorraine Geldenhuys lgwines@gmail.com

Why Choose The Month? from time to time, covers stories from other wine-producing regions.

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2 / The Month

November 2011


the month THE MONTH

November 2011

Smoke on the Water The Publisher is reminded that where there’s smoke, there’s a Smokehouse

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s soon as Spring arrives and things start to warm up, I know to expect a call from the Aphrodisiac Shack’s Sean Hormann who will have come out of his winter hibernation at Villiersdorp’s only smokehouse on the banks of the Theewaterskloof dam, to remind The Month that anoth-

er season of his now famous ‘Moonlight Markets’ is about to begin. The Moonlight Market takes place on the first Friday of the month during summer and features a roaring fire, live music and plenty of local suppliers selling their goods. “Actually, we started already - and had 400 people at the first one,” he said when we pre-empted him with a call of our own. The market, it seems, is old news. What’s new is his ‘By the Dam’ picnics. So we took the scenic drive over the mountain, turned down the wrong track a couple of times, got barked at by Bessie and were finally welcomed by the lovely Jeanette, the epitome of healthy country living. The Aphrodisiac Shack still cold-smokes fresh organic local produce like vegetables and garlic (and even eggs!) and hotsmokes mostly meats, with the plentiful supply of local apple wood to impart a uniquely Overberg flavour. The ‘Smokery Deli’ is now open and includes tours of the smoking process to interested visitors who can choose from a whole range of smoked products: chocolate, honey, vegetables, olive oil, balsamic vinegars, garlic, salamis, meats and butter.

Award Winning Wines

Bistro Restaurant & Deli

Celebrations

Each of these is now available for the picnic too, which can be taken anywhere on the grounds that get noticeably larger as the water level drops over the summer. Picnic baskets include crockery, cutlery, glasses, freshly baked bread and a complementary bottle of the local Stettyn wine (Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc or Shiraz Rosé) or a large Apple/Grapetiser or bottle of water. Customers can then choose from an appetizing deli selection including their nowfamous apple hot-smoked trout, coldsmoked trout, duck prosciutto, free range apple-smoked chicken and duck breast, cured loin fillet, salami and chorizo, and a selection of hand-crafted cheeses, rollmops, paté and various relishes. The welcome, the atmospheric surroundings, the delicious fare - everything about the Aphrodisiac shack exceeds expectations; but not the price – at R100 for two and R150 for four as basic including blanket, the picnic offers old-world good value for a relaxed, unhurried and somewhat original day out.

Contact Sean on 083 682 5030 or go to www.ashack.co.za for more information. Children welcome.

Farm Stays

Open from Monday till 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.

November 2011

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November 2011

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The Kurdish Way

Lize Briedenhann visits Mesopotamia Restaurant in Cape Town

O

ff the corner of Church and Long Streets, Cape Town, is a flight of wooden stairs that leads up to the Mesopotamia restaurant. With its beautiful kilim rugs underfoot and antique kettles, lanterns and dishes that adorn the walls, a step inside means leaving all signs of South Africa at the door. Having taken our seats, or rather, large cushions on the floor, I was glad that I had chosen to wear my comfortable jeans and soft shoes. Oh, and clean socks. Our charming Kurdish hostess, Cido, explained the interesting culture of the Kurdish people, whilst rhythmic strains of Kurdish music seemed to lure us even further from the world outside. Deciding on the set menu, our first course of cheese and garlic Nan bread arrived with a mouth-watering selection of spreads (or mezes) with exotic names like Alinazik, Rojda and Kizartma (there’s an explanation of each on the Mesopotamia website, which is worth a squiz). Feeling rather satisfied, and not expecting anything to top the excellent start, the main course arrived to a chorus of “Oohs” and “Aahs”. The delicious selection of Yagni lamb chops, Chicken Guvech and more, had us attacking our plates like teenage boys after a rugby game. A bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from the restaurant’s advertising sponsor, Durbanville Hills, at R85 a bottle was an appropriate accompaniment (though not had we been teenage boys) and a good reminder that not everything South African had been left behind at the door. Satiated, we had to turn to our dessert stomachs to make room for a helping of Baklawa, and a delicious reminder that Kurdish food is characterised by its bold and oh-so-moreish flavours courtesy of the many spices, nuts and

herbs used in the cooking process. Having said that, most of the dishes are mild enough to suit any chilli-fearing palate, so there’s every excuse to try some of the ‘more exotic’ items or even share the odd bite across the table. Mesopotamia is known as a popular venue for year-end functions and birthday parties, and even a few weddings we were told, as the convivial atmosphere is particularly infectious with large groups. Then, of course, there are the weekend belly dancers whose gyrations may cause a couple of jaws to drop and generally make for an unforgettable evening’s entertainment. Mezes are less than R30 each, mains range from R64 to R90, and the set menu is as enchanting as Mesopotamia at only R175.

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DO GOOD FEEL GOOD The Grier family of Villiera are environmentally responsible producers of award winning Cap Classique sparkling wines. Solar Powered

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

4 / The Month

November 2011


the month

November 2011

THE MONTH

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

The Power of Perception 5 Minutes with Reuben Riffel aterdelicate w guavas and anspek, sp d he “From ripe es tfl s..” s to swee unchy apple blommetjie ielies and cr m w llo ye bright too good! It all sounds

the first book sold out, there was a lot of interest and the bookshops were asking whether we would reprint but with everything going on, I was too busy. Eventually Craig* and I got together and honed the concept of what we really wanted to do and, when the time was right, we went for it. He’s a great guy to work with which made it easier.

TM: So, which is your favourite recipe in

the book?

RR: Is that a serious question? TM: No. Here’s the serious question. All

three Reuben’s restaurants (at the One & Only, in Robertson and in Franschhoek) are known to cater for the tourist visitor, yet the book caters for the local. Is there an inconsistency there?

R

euben Riffel has been a busy man since The Month last chatted to him about his first book, Reuben Cooks; finding time for gourmet safaris, starting a family and his big move to the One & Only in Cape Town. Now thirty-five, the Franschhoek-born superstar is still, however, a country lad at heart. So when we caught up with him and his new book, Reuben Cooks Local, we asked him, is it because it’s World Cup year that he’s going for the rugby-player look on the cover?

Reuben Riffel: Ask my wife! You

know what, I get asked to do an awful lot of things these days and, from time to time, people want to present me as something that I’m not. This picture is me, this is who I am:

November 2011

unshaven, hard-working and real! In any case, Maryke insisted that Craig* use this shot.

The Month: Behind every

successful man is a surprised woman! With all this attention, do you think of yourself as a Celebrity Chef?

RR: Not at all. I think a Celebrity Chef is one who sets out as a personality first and a chef second – that’s not me. People know me, of course, and they know who I am because of the TV ads, but if you knew how much stuff I turn down by way of public performances, talks, shows, etc, you’d realise that I’m still the same guy that feels most at home in the kitchen. TM: But you’ve just published your second book ‘Reuben Cooks Local’ – isn’t that celebrity chef-ish? RR: (Laughs) Well, I suppose it is, but I don’t intend to just churn out books. After

RR: Not at all! How Reuben’s is perceived and how it actually is are very different indeed. We get a lot of locals at Reubens, especially here at the One & Only. I have been surprised and pleased by how well we’ve done in the ‘off’ season; we’re getting busier and busier - perhaps more so than the other hotel restaurants. In the book I explore the best way to combine the freshest ingredients using uncomplicated cooking techniques to maximise flavour. There – that speaks to everyone with an interest in cooking!

things are going. But I do know this: whatever happens with the brand, however it works out, my philosophy hasn’t changed and if I end up cooking in my own little restaurant one day somewhere, I’ll be content with that.

TM: Thanks Reuben, good to catch up. Reuben’s cuisine is eclectic with a concentration and focus given to the best local and seasonal produce available. His new 220 page book ‘Reuben Cooks Local’ is available at R390. *Craig Fraser, of Quivertree publications. www.quivertreepublications.com

WIN WIN WIN... Reuben Riffel and The Month are pleased to offer one reader the chance to own a signed copy of Reuben’s latest cookbook: Reuben Cooks Local. Simply tell us where you most like to eat in the Western Cape (and obviously “In front of the TV” doesn’t count). SMS Month Reuben and the info above to 36968* or email reuben@themonth.co.za and the book could be yours. TAC EaOE

TM: Lastly, Reuben, in the book it says you ‘keep things simple by bringing out the natural flavours of the produce and when combining flavours, to strive for perfect balance’. Is that an allegory of your life at present? RR: Now that’s a question! You know it’s been a year when I’ve had to figure out where I’m going with the brand and I want to find a comfortable balance there between delivery and marketing. And juggling home and work responsibilities is not easy – so balance does become critical but, so far, Maryke and I are happy with the way

The Month / 5


the month Sweet Success November 2011

THE MONTH

The Month discovers a “hit with the ladies” at Bijoux Chocolates ice-cream and chocolate. A chocolatier is someone who makes confectionery from chocolate, and is distinct from a ‘chocolate maker’, who creates chocolate from cocoa beans and other ingredients. Joshua, who was also born and raised in Franschhoek, worked with Bertie after he finished school and found his passion for chocolate. “I have always found Bertie to be an inspiration - he plays a very important part in my life” says Joshua, adding that working with chocolates is his “dream come true!”

F

Bijoux Chocolates. Partners Bertie and Joshua will offer a delicious range of chocolates, made from the finest imported Belgian chocolate.

Bertie has always tried to take a different approach to his craft, and loves creating new designs for chocolate believing that passion leads to success. “When I met Joshua,” says Bertie, “I realised we shared the same passion, and together we decided to branch out on our own, with Bijoux Chocolates the result.”

Well now a new chocolatier is opening its doors at the Bijoux Square in the main street of Franschhoek, called

Franschhoek local Bertie put in seven years of hard work at Huguenot Fine Chocolates before heading for Belgium to learn more about his craft and returned with a qualification from Anderlecht – as a specialist in marzipan,

Bijoux Chocolates is different, says Bertie, because it uses chocolate mousse rather than fattening chocolate, which tends to be heavy on the palate, and is sure to be a hit with the ladies. They plan to sell all over the country and be-

ranschhoek is synonymous with many things – its Huguenot heritage, its famous wines, its awardwinning restaurants, its shopping and, ever since three young locals left for Belgium some years back to qualify as chocolatiers, its chocolate.

yond, through their ‘soon-to-go-live’ website www.bijouxchocolates.com They also plan to teach local youngsters the art of tempering chocolate – the ‘secret’ to professional chocolate products. Chocolate that has been tempered is smooth, with a shiny finish and a satisfying ‘snap’. “Tempered chocolate behaves properly, is both tasty and beautiful and will keep for months at a cool room temperature,” says Joshua, although we doubt chocolate that tastes this good will be left uneaten for that long!

Visit Bijoux Chocolates at Bijoux Square, Huguenot Street, Franschhoek or call them on 021 876 3407.

ESTATE fresh, latin-inspired cooking with vineyard views

Harry QBar Functions Weddings

021.874.3844 www.cosecharestaurant.com

Harry Q bar serves pub meals & sharing food as well as braai evenings and specials. It has a wind-free courtyard and large lawns with games, so the kids can run and play, while you relax... A great place to meet for drinks after work or watch the sport. Perfect for a private birthday party.

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With unsurpassed mountain views, deHuguenot Estate is a stunning venue for your wedding or year end function. The entire Estate can be utilised for your event. Our fully equipped restaurant and kitchen are available along with a list of approved caterers and service providers. .

10 minutes from Stellenbosch and 15 minutes from Franschhoek, in the village of Johannesdal (next to Pniel) on the newly upgraded R310, Helshoogte road. Call 021 885 1240 / 083 772 9449, www.dehuguenot.co.za, info@dehuguenot.co.za

6 / The Month

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2011/10/13 6:17 PM

November 2011


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November 2011

THE MONTH

Monneaux Restaurant at the Franschhoek Country House & Villas

NEW SUMMER MENU Our new and exciting summer menu has started! Join us for lunch on the fountain terrace or for dinner in our cozy dining room. Also available - Enjoy a light lunch, three course tasting menu including wine @ R200 p.p.

Tel: +27 (0)21 876 3386 email: info@fch.co.za For more information visit our website at www.fch.co.za

Paarl’s Latin Lovers The Editor is reminded that looking for a little Latin inspiration is a Noble endeavour how things fit together, in the greater scheme of things. My particular interest on the day was to sample Noble Hill’s recently bottled Sauvignon Blanc, to be released mid-December on the longest day of the year, if the timing all works as planned, and which will bear a name befitting the day. Noble Hill is known as an estate producer, with their grapes sourced from the 30 hectares under vine on their Klapmuts property. This particular wine will use grapes that are not, however, from the farm. Sourced from Kaaimansgat in the Elandskloof, that sits at an altitude of about 1000m above sea level in the mountains close to Villiersdorp, the grapes are exposed to a cool climate and many hours of mild sunshine – conditions which mean that the Sauvignin Blanc grapes were picked exceptionally late, which adds flavour and a complexity to a wine that immediately sets itself apart as something exceptional.

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hat do you do when you’re at the head of a brand that seems to have found its feet, produce decent wines that get kudos from wine aficionados and consumers alike, have a restaurant in an idyllic setting with an offering that is different enough to set it apart from the rest and ensure a steady stream of patrons and to top it all, you’re supported by a good team and have access to great local and international networks? Well, if you’re Kristopher Tillery, of Noble Hill Estate, you set about making your repertoire even more appealing. Never one to tire of hard work, I met with Kristopher and Kathleen Tillery and winemaker, Bernard Le Roux, at cosecha restaurant recently to take stock of some of the new things on the menu, so to speak, at Noble Hill. I was immediately struck by the sense that the members of the Noble Hill team function extremely well together and that there is a distinct absence of dead wood. The result is that each person seems deeply immersed in a particular role, but has an intimate knowledge of

November 2011

A hottie in her own right, Chane chatted informally about the ingredients that go into guacamole and gave us some tips on which ingredients to favour, or avoid, depending on taste and the intended purpose of the meal. “Not too much onion or garlic if it’s a business lunch,” she smiled. Or a first date, I thought and reached forward to polish off my wine.

wouldn’t be out of place on a chilly day yet proved to be particularly appropriate for our al fresco summer lunch. The use of chilli is subtle (apparently the kitchen had been instructed to prepare things ‘mild’ so as not to frighten me away) and I found the dish comforting in its familiarity – after all, every South African knows ‘frikkadels’ – but a little more exotically flavoured than is my norm.

I wondered how the Sauvignon Blanc would stand up to the oil in the Avo and the spices in the guacamole and noticed Bernard looking on, similarly perplexed. “I haven’t tried this wine with cosecha dishes; I don’t know if this is going to work,” he confessed.

“Well?” asked Kristopher, keen to hear if I thought the wine had stood up to the food, and vice versa. Hell yes! My first meal there come mid-December will be guacamole and the new Sauvignon Blanc followed soon thereafter by meatballs and some more of the new Sauvignon Blanc. I just have to work out how to get from now until the middle of December without every day feeling like the longest.

Before we had a chance to come to a verdict Chane encouraged us to try the albóndigas, traditional-style Latin American meat balls in a wonderfully textured tomato relish. The albóndigas surprised me, as the hearty dish

See their ad on page 6.

My first impression of the wine is that it has a remarkably similar mouthfeel to that of the Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Chardonnay that recently garnered a Veritas Double Gold. This is no mean feat given that Noble Hill is a tiny producer and that it’s Bernard’s first stab at this sort of thing. Think refined, structured, ‘age-able’ and limited quantities; this wine starts with Cape Gooseberries that give way to distinct mineral notes as the wine unfolds in the glass and has exquisite balance. It’s guaranteed to be a hit. A hit of a different kind is likely to come from the new menu offerings at Noble Hill’s restaurant, cosecha, too – a chilli hit that is. The restaurant is already known for its Latin-inspired dishes that come in ‘mild, medium or hot’ versions, so it’s no surprise that the two offerings that accompanied our tasting both featured the hot stuff. The first of the new offerings is not so much a new menu item as it is a new way of presenting a Latin staple – guacamole. A table laden with Avos, spices, garlic, onion and things that grow in a garden were brought to our table and Chef Chane set about preparing a generous serving in her ‘molcajete’.

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Quintessential Franschhoek

The Editor drinks his fill at a little place called Veruska’s

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hilst dining at a Franschhoek eatery recently, I commented to a Stellies local that people visiting Stellenbosch are spoilt for choice. My lunchtime companion nearly swallowed his cup. “What?” he cried indignantly, causing the tables close-by to go uncomfortably quiet. “This is Franschhoek,” he continued, no quieter, “if anyone is spoilt, it’s you!” He’s right of course – diners in Franschhoek are spoilt when it comes to choosing a decent place to eat (although I’ll stand by my comment that there are so many more, though not necessarily better, options in Franschhoek’s many larger neighbours; and don’t get me started on Cape Town itself…). One of the more popular Franschhoek destinations, particularly with locals, is Café BonBon on the historical working fruit and wine farm, La Petite Dauphine, on the road towards Boekenhoutskloof and the Three Streams Smokehouse. I was surprised to discover that my companion had yet to visit the Roussouwdescribed “rustic-chic café”, although he had a number of positive, and rather accurate, things to say about Chef Chris Smit’s menu, the onsite Wine Bar called Veruska’s (not that either of us could explain the name), the setting and the ducks. BonBon itself is located in a restored 200-yearold wine cellar and, as with all the buildings I’ve ever entered on the estate, is beautifully decorated in an Old Cape/French countryside style that’s appealing and comfortable without inviting you to put your feet up on the coffee table. Like the seasonal menu, there’s a sense of ebb and flow in the goings on at BonBon, and yet there’s a distinct familiarity about the place that my companion simply ascribed to “good taste”. I hoped he meant mine. As we had originally met to chat through my search for ‘Cool Whites for Hot Summer Nights’ for this month’s wine pages (and because there was that unanswered Veruska question) we made ourselves comfortable at the wine bar and proceeded to sample the whites of the Haut Espoir estate – which is exclusively represented at Veruska’s.

The bar is beautifully appointed in the same Cape/ French style characteristic of BonBon, but the dominance of wood in the venue makes it just a little closer to nature; which entirely befits the partnership with Haut Espoir given the latter’s BDI status and the Armstrong family’s reputation as committed environmentalists. The whites tasted were a Chardonnay, Semillon and a Viognier; and there are also a rosé and four reds in the collection on offer. The Viognier is a 2008 (R89) and a stunning example of why it is that Haut Espoir is so well respected. This particular wine is one of my favourites and has all the tropical fruit flavours needed to turn even the middle of winter into a summer’s day at the beach. Melon, firm peaches and a taste of honey are all there; whilst the honey in particular lingers on the finish and adds to the elegant feel of the wine. The Semillon 2007 (R69 – how do they do it?) is a full-bodied beauty with flavours and aromas to match its fresh green hues. We got lots of apple and something herby that the tasting steward identified as ‘fynbos’ (once they say it, it’s there!), with lime flavours and a pleasantly noticeable touch of oak. The wine is complex and has an extremely satisfying mouthfeel and stunning, long finish. If the Sauv Blanc was moreish, this wine is downright decadent. The lime-green Chardonnay 2008 (R119) is oaked on the lees for 11 months and surprised us with its fresh citrus/greengage flavours and aromas. There are pears on the palate and the wine shows hints of spice and more of the oak as it approaches room temperature. Like the Semillon the structure is fantastic and the finish bold but not bolshy. Talk about over-delivering at the price… Veruska’s Wine Bar and its Haut Espoir wines must surely serve as the quintessential picture of a Franschhoek outing – refined, opulent and yet unpretentious – no wonder we left with me all smiles and my companion just a little green.

Celebrate the art of living

Oh, Veruska is the name of the owners’ first Spaniel and the name serves as a subtle reminder of all the love that goes into getting things right.

See their ad on page 27.

Cultural Contrasts

Christmas Dining

New Year’s Eve

This solo exhibition explores African traditions within contemporary society with works by renowned Pretoria -based artist, Willie van Rensburg. View daily from 16 October -16 November at The Gallery, 10h00 – 18h00.

Enjoy fine cuisine at The Restaurant during the festive season with a six-course menu for Christmas Eve dinner at R500 pp*, Christmas Day lunch at R690 pp* and dinner at R500 pp.*

Celebrate the arrival of 2012 at Grande Provence in style – with fabulous seven-course dinner, complimentary Champagne on arrival & during countdown, live music, dancing and lots of fun. R790 per person*.

*Beverages and gratuities not included.

Reservations are essential to be able to secure a place for these events. Main Road Franschhoek Western Cape T + 27 21 876 8600 F + 27 21 876 8601 E reservations@grandeprovence.co.za www.grandeprovence.co.za

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November 2011


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Fairly Impressed

The Month goes in search of some cool whites for hot summer nights

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ay ‘Fairview’ to any wine lover and a number of thoughts are sure to immediately spring to mind: wine, cheese and goats for a start followed perhaps by accomplished, irreverent and clever. Fairview is, of course, the Paarlbased producer of a number of popular and award-winning wines and cheeses, home to a cheesery, the Goatshed Restaurant, a stunning tasting room, shop and deli and the Backs and their massive extended four-legged family and other wild hangers-on. It was on a hot and blustery day recently that we popped in to the Fairview tasting room in search of a copy of The Month and became distracted by some wild hangerson of a two-legged persuasion who had discovered La Capra wines. From his iPad, in broken English, one of them read the blurb off the Fairview website about La Capra: Fairview presents the amazing tastes, sights and sounds of the La Capra festival. Each glass will transport you to a magical place where the wine flows freely, laughter fills the air and you dance until the sunrise. Whoops and gyrations ensued and amidst the laughter I think I heard three of four words in a foreign language that are best not printed in a ‘family-friendly’ publication like The Month.

main area a standard tasting is R25 and includes six wines and a nibble of cheeses. The four wines chosen for this month’s review are simply the four that had us most excited about pouring a chilled glass on a balmy evening. 1. La Capra Pinot Grigio 2011, R200 for a case of any six Pinot Grigio seems to be on the up in SA and single varietal offerings of the wine are surfacing everywhere. This particular wine is made using grapes from a five-year-old block of vines in the Malmesbury area - so it’s a bit of a baby in some senses. Having said that, there’s nothing immature about this wine at all. On the nose the wine opens up beautifully in the glass, although on a hot summer night it’s best not to waste too much time before consuming it; think tropical fruit and perhaps a little potpourri. The wine is fun and uncomplicated, has a fresh acidity and a zesty finish and is possibly just a little too more-ish to be good for you. At 12.5% alcohol and with only 2.7g/l residual sugar a second glass is, fortunately, going to be in order.

Their excitement was infectious and our distraction extended to the point that we set about a wine tasting of our own, choosing to focus on wines that would suit our tasting theme in this Month’s edition: Cool Whites for Hot Summer Nights.

2. La Capra Chenin Blanc 2011, R200 for a case of any six Chenin Blanc is SA’s premier white varietal in terms of the number of vines planted. The style of Chenin produced seems to be limited only by the imagination of the wine makers and today there is a South African Chenin Blanc to suit every taste – what a great excuse to go exploring!

Fairview has a large selection of excellent wines that are generally very well-priced and literally fail-safe. To go through them all, whether in this edition or in person, is somewhat daunting – but the experience of spending time in the tasting room and the relative inexpense of tastings makes repeat visits to do just that, a no-brainer. The Beryl Back tasting room within the main tasting area is a must, where R60 buys the chance to taste eight wines (with themed tastings regularly on offer), whilst in the

This La Capra wine is made from grapes from the Paarl district and is fresh and fruity, with distinct tropical notes. As the wine is a blend of tank and barrel fermented portions, there’s a great mouth feel to it (although the barrel fermented portion is small) and flavours that follow from the fruity nose. The finish is excellent thanks to the 5.6 g/l acidity which in turn is well-matched by a 13.5% alcohol level. If you have a rubber winearm, beware; this wine cries “Drink me!”

3. Viognier 2009 Viognier is a favourite of ours and something and we keep stocked in the office. Interestingly Fairview was the first South African producer to plant and bottle Viognier and have produced this wine for more than a decade. The grapes for this wine came from the Fairview vineyards as well as another site in Agter-Paarl and were picked when quite ripe, early to mid-February 2009. Components of the wine are fermented in 1 st, 2 nd and 3 rd fill barrels as well as stainless steel tanks and the result is a complex, but never over-processed, beauty. Aromas of pears and apples abound on the nose and palate and the latter exhibits orange rind and marmalade flavours. The finish is good and benefits from the delicate touch the winemaker employed

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when working with the barrel fermented components of the wine. 4. Chardonnay 2010 ABC? Not at Fairview. This ‘lighter style’ wooded Chardonnay is the kind of thing that will win converts and bring a satisfied smile to the faithful. The delicate straw colour in the glass preempts the citrus and baked apple aromas and perfectly matches the almost-creamy vanilla palate. It’s not really a full-bodied wine but none-the-less shows off a plump structure and satisfying mouth feel. The balance of oak, acid and only 1.6 g/l of residual sugar makes having an empty glass as difficult as it is to keep it full. Roll on those hot summer nights! See their ad on page 8.

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crossword

solution

CROSSWORD PG 27

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

November 2011

VE AT LI IC NDS US E M EEK W

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November 2011

THE MONTH

Cool Whites for Hot Summer Nights A

deliciously chilled glass of white wine or bubbly is especially appropriate this month, given the balmy summer nights we’re set to enjoy. The Month approached The Vineyard Connection outside Stellenbosch, looking for some reliable advice on which wines to choose from the list of Five Star wines recently chosen for the soon to be released 2012 Platter’s guide. Here’s their advice: We had a lot of fun choosing four whites from four different regions, with each wine showing just how diverse and exciting those regions can be. A wonderful bubbly starter would be the Topiary Blanc de Blanc MCC 2009 (R100) from Franschhoek, which has received five stars in Platter two years in a row. At a great price and of excellent quality, this is a 100% Chardonnay, which has a leesy complexity, a citrus backbone and a scrumptious brioche aroma. Next, a crisp white to tickle your taste buds, with the Strandveld Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (R113) being our choice. As it’s from Elim,

this Sauvignon Blanc exudes minerality, interwoven with asparagus and green pepper characters.

The Vineyard Connection specialises in premier South African wines, is open seven days a week and is supported by an in-house freighting department.

A farm that makes Chardonnays that always please is De Wetshof in Robertson, and their new Chardonnay, De Wetshof The Site 2009 (R121), is no exception. The grapes for this wine are from a single vineyard, and are usually used to add depth and complexity to the other Chardonnays in their range, but as 2009 was such an exceptional vintage, they decided to bottle this under a new label. This wine was barrel fermented for ten months in new and 2 nd fill barrels and it has beautiful complexity with classical citrus and nutty flavours.

Their extensive knowledge of local wines translates into an offering of more than 400 labels that covers the range from ‘special’ to ‘good value’ and often features exciting new discoveries.

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Their FlexiWine Club is unique as it allows members to choose their wine style preference, quantity and budget as they taste their way through South African wine. The Month is happy to recommend The Vineyard Connection as a great one-stop destination for wine-lovers and travellers alike. Call them on 021 884 4360 for more information or visit them at the Delvera farm on the R44.

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And finally, from Riebeek Kasteel, the gorgeous Mullineux White 2010 (R171). This white blend is predominantly Chenin Blanc which is blended with some interesting Mediterranean white varietals such as Rousanne, Viognier and Grenache Blanc. This wine is also barrel fermented to add complexity to the palate and displays a floral character and a distinct minerality that shows through the C M Y citrus CM MY flavours. CY CMY K upfront

DAYS 09:00 TILL 14 TUR :00 A S LIVE MUSIC

Music at the Market! 5 November 2011

Enjoy live music throughout the day. Be entertained by Jo, a one woman band, and local performers The Wineberries … Breakfast burgers · Laborie wines and brandy · premium beer · croissants freshly baked breads · seriously good coffee · cupcakes · biltong · honey fresh juice · olive oil · fresh veg and herbs · delicious home-cured charcuterie quiches and tarts · Karoo lamb · funky clothes · entertainment for the kids and much, much more!

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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0558 SalmonBar Ad FINAL.indd 1

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November 2011


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THE MONTH

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Red Hot Variations on a Theme Lorraine Geldenhuys comes to a very satisfying conclusion

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his month Lorraine Geldenhuys, one of our favourite trusted wine experts, offers us two wines that are characterised by exceptional quality and promise. Whilst our wine theme this month is ‘Cool Whites for Hot Summer Nights’, everyone knows that banking on the weather in the Cape is a bit like banking in Greece at the moment – so her hearty reds are included here as a variation on the theme. Lorraine writes: Boschkloof Conclusion 2006, R223 The 2006 Conclusion is a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot and 4% Shiraz. I was especially excited to spend some time with the well-respected and practically legendary winemaker, Jacques Borman, as it’s not often that someone with 30 years of wine making experience takes time out on a Friday afternoon to share his immense knowledge with the likes of The Month. Much like the great wines of the past, whose character was immediately evident, even in a blind tasting, Jacques and his protégé, Reenen Borman, have set out to create the kind of identity for their wines that will see them stand out in a crowd.

The Dido Wine Company is one of the many innovations from wine marketing guru, Graham Knox. His progressive ideas and marketing initiatives are legendary (just have a look at website www.didowines.com if you need more than my word for it). The Italian grape Pinot Grigio is one of the fastest growing wine categories in the world and seems to be taking over much of the Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay market share; this is especially true in the US and UK.

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Conclusion is just such a wine. Never have I tasted a Bordeaux blend that has spent 27 months in new French oak that is not overpowered by the wood – but this wine is an exception. It almost doesn’t make sense! But I guess that’s what makes a complex wine “complex”. The oak flavours are integrated with fruit that remains fresh but subtle. It’s subtle enough, in fact, that there’s a spiciness discernible that is difficult to place and makes the wine almost mysterious. The tannins are soft and silky, but display an elegant structure that reflects the wine’s age. I was so impressed and intrigued by this wine that it haunted me for days and I was forced to open a second bottle to revisit some of my thoughts about it. Pulling the cork from the bottle I suddenly reached a Conclusion of my own: it is only with a lifelong vision and expertise that you can create a wine that speaks for itself. Beau Joubert Shiraz 2008 You’ll often hear winemakers say that “wine is made in the vineyard” and that top-quality wine can’t be produced from mediocre grapes. But it is also true that winemakers get most of the credit for the wines they produce.

Newly appointed viticulturist, Ian Engelbrecht, has made a number of remarkable changes at Beau Joubert recently, and these are already discernible in the wines of Christiaan Kuun. I was especially impressed with this Rhone style Shiraz the spiciness and white pepper aromas of which enhance what is a promising wine that boasts a flawless varietal Shiraz. The red fruit flavours of plums, cherries and raspberries remain concentrated and are supported by soft polished tannins to create a creamy texture and an aftertaste that lingers beautifully. Given its age, the wine has a structure that is already finely tuned and phenomenally accessible.

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If you do pay the farm a visit, be sure to meet the two young men at the helm of the wine creation process - based on the current quality of their efforts there will be many great reviews of both them and their wines in the future! Both wines are available at WINES Franschhoek 021 876 3185 who also deliver to any PostNet store or street address for R150 per six-bottle pack. Mail your wine-related questions to Lorraine at lgwines@gmail.com

the guru grape

Johan Delport, Cellar Manager at Waverly Hills, chooses our Wine Of The Month Dido Pinot Grigio 2009 I have heard it said that there is more Italian Pinot Grigio sold in the UK than there are vineyards for - you figure that one out! The grapes for the Dido Pinot Grigio come from the Rawsonville

region, but may just as well have come from somewhere in Elgin or up the West Coast, as the wine has a cool climate feel to it with crispy white fruit and mineral flavours. The second layer of flavours is reminiscent of fragrant

citrus and the palate is soft and round with a ripe, tropical finish that ends with complexity. The 2009 sells for about R44 per bottle but is selling rapidly – so move quickly if you’re keen to

try something that is sure to become a regular in your white wine selection. For those who can’t get their hands on the 2009, the 2010 has just been released and promises the same excellent value.

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November 2011

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For the love of the Bean Stellenbosch welcomes a new coffee boutique

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azz, the brand new coffee boutique in Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch, has taken no time to become ‘home’ to a number of businessmen (who seem to enjoy the wireless internet on offer as much the coffee) and a must-stop to a steady flow of coffee-lovers who pop in for their daily fix. The Month dropped in to see whether or not Hazz is likely to earn a reputation as crema of the crop. Walking into the modern, yet cosy, shop we were overwhelmed by the beautiful aroma of freshly-roasted coffee and just in time to witness a waterfall of Mozambique beans tumbling from the roaster. “We have our traditional blend available, and then once a week we roast a speciality singleorigin coffee, like this Mozambique blend,” Guy, the charming Congolese bar-

ista, explained. Thanks to his input, a double cappuccino (R20), a homemade muffin (R14) and a locally made pastry (R14), we’ll certainly be back. The popular Hazz traditional blend is a favourite, and even just joking with Guy it becomes apparent that the secret behind the five Arabica-bean blend is taken pretty seriously. In fact, some of the Hazz speciality blends are only served as espressos and it’s clear that the staff members take their passion for, and love of, coffee as seriously. It’s no surprise then that the Hazz Nicaragua speciality blend recently came 13 th in the international Cup of Excellence Awards. So, Hazz, it seems, is all it’s cracked up to be.

Tel: 021 882 9976, or go to www.hazz.co.za to order coffee blends online.

“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. Visit our showroom at the Stables Lounge, next to the Polo Pavilion, Val de Vie.

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

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November 2011


the month Fashionably Yours THE MONTH

November 2011

Annamè Lotz dreams of summer, in white A sarong or sheer shift dress does wonders to cover up problem areas, by drawing the attention towards the ‘positive flesh’ showing. ‘Positive flesh’ refers to your legs, forearms, décolletage, etc. These are usually the most beautiful parts of a woman’s body, so by showing them off, you draw the attention away from problem areas. This has a surprisingly slimming effect too, so go ahead and try it whether in swimwear or not.

Model: Tarryn Miller Photographer: Ashley-Marie Miles Hair, Makeup & Styling: Annamè Lotz For more info contact Annamé Lotz Stuttafords Canal Walk 021 555 1970 CanalWalk.Shopper@stuttafords.co.za

And before you let go of those flights of imagination, bring your holiday memories into your wardrobe, or even the office, by choosing items of clothing with a fun, summer element to them. Prints or accessories work best, but avoid, at all costs, the typical Hawaiian shirt! Keep it minimalistic and classy; a printed blouse or camisole and a fun accessory or two will have your friends and colleagues wishing they could live your dream.

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magine a long stretch of deserted beach; instead of ringing phones, buzzing air-con machines and artificial lights, you hear little crabs scuttling about and watch as a lonely seagull circles the blue crystal-clear waters. As your gaze shifts closer to home, you notice the dress you’re wearing: it’s a soft white cotton dress flapping in the summer breeze; and to keep the tropical sun at bay you’ve chosen a wide brim hat and a delicate scarf around your neck, both in white. Nothing shouts summer quite like a white cotton dress and all-white accessories. Just remember to choose the white that complements your complexion the best. If your skin tone is either dark (natural or tanned) or porcelain with dark hair, crisp white will suit you best. Those that fall somewhere in between should opt for softer shades of white.

November 2011

Your thoughts wander and you find yourself basking in the sun, a book in the one hand and a cocktail in the other. Your tropical-print halter-neck costume, adorned with gold accessories, makes you look like a ‘Bond-girl’ from the seventies. As winter, and all the comforting indulgence that goes with it, is an all-too-recent memory, you may feel compelled to cover up; do so by pairing your costume with a sheer sleeveless shift in a matching colour. This way you’ll hide what needs to be hidden, but still look stunning. Be sure to pick the swimsuit best suited for your body shape. The same rules we use in everyday wear apply to swimwear: put ruffles and detail where you want some accentuation and keep it simple around the areas you want to avoid showing off.

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November 2011

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Kiss the Cook!

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Marguerite Lombard helps us rediscover Laborie’s forgotten watermill and bread oven A portrait by an unknown painter said to be of Johannes Haupt’s wife, Ester Loret (Louw family)

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id you know that ancient Egyptian wisdom included the instruction to mothers to send their children to school with plenty of bread and beer for their lunch? Or that it will take about six months to consume the amount of bread produced from one bushel of wheat, if you ate a sandwich for breakfast, lunch and supper, every day? Whether it’s an Artisinal loaf from a Slow Food market or a bag of Sliced White from the corner café, few of us give the humble loaf of bread much thought – but a couple of centuries ago entire families would in some way contribute to the sowing, harvesting, threshing, milling and baking processes that would lead to the serving of their daily ration of fresh bread. In South Africa the mechanisation of food production started in the late 1800s and early 1900s; which roughly coincides with the lifespan of Tobias Louw (1850-1930), one of the owners of the historic Paarl wine farm, Laborie. This transition period in agriculture is captured in the book Pêrel van die Paarl, which Tobias’ son Henri (1892-1988) wrote about his childhood on Laborie. In the Louw household baking was a family affair, and took place in an exceptionally large baking oven in the homestead’s old kitchen. Henri, who was one of 14 children, describes how his older brothers took turns to knead the dough in a large antique yellow wood kneading trough and how several loaves were baked at a time - enough to feed the entire Louw family and provide for all Laborie’s farm workers and their families. Mosbolletjies – buns (often dried to make rusks) made using the must of freshly

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pressed wine grapes as a raising agent and typically flavoured with aniseed were a family favourite. Henri writes that his mother’s mosbolletjies were highly sought-after at the Strooidak’s annual church bazaar and that she produced dozens of loaves using old paraffin tins as baking forms. In those days Laborie also had its own watermill with a moolensloot (canal) fed by a perennial mountain stream that today fills the Victoria Dam on Paarl Mountain. The mill was demolished in the late 1800s. The history of Laborie’s exceptionally large bread oven and possibly even the watermill can be traced to one of its earliest owners - Johannes Jacobus Haupt (17611813) - who was a baker by trade and who became a licensed baker by the age of 22. Haupt acquired the farm Laborie in 1790 when he married Hendrik Louw’s widow, Ester Loret, and settled in Paarl. It is quite likely that he continued to work as a baker, as the Kompanje’s buitepost at Klapmuts would have required a steady supply of bread to feed the soldiers and slaves working there. When he died in 1813 his estate included the farm Vergenoegd in Paarl, and here too one of the outbuildings is described as ‘een bakerij’. Although Paarl’s watermills and bread ovens are all but forgotten, bread is as popular today as it was back then – just remember when next you buy a loaf, that legend has it that whoever eats the last piece of bread has to kiss the cook! The article was based on research done by DC Heritage Consultants, Paarl.

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PROPERTY & LIFESTYLE

November 2011

Big on Property The Editor learns that there’s real value in being really big

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hen Bradley Tyler sent me an email to inform The Month that Franschhoek’s Jager Estates would henceforth be trading under a RE/MAX banner, I’ll admit that I was a little perplexed. It’s not that I was surprised that the well-known local real estate broker, and founding principal of Jager Estates, Peter Hager, would choose to don the colours of South Africa’s largest real estate network, it’s just that The Month speaks to a very broad audience and I wondered whether the news was relevant to those who enjoy the mag in Cape Town or online in the UK or US.

his appropriately stylish Franschhoek offices and set about trying to get to the bottom of his decision to own an independent RE/MAX franchise. Peter soon made it clear that the benefit of being part of a global network that has more than 6500 offices in over 80 countries makes perfect sense. Moreover, the RE/MAX Prestige brand, within which the Franschhoek office will operate, features top end properties from all countries and will showcase prestige Franschhoek properties to a spectrum of discerning buyers that, until now, were out of reach of the local real estate market.

It struck me though that the news is very relevant, particularly to those of us who have a vested interest in the property market and who have chosen to make investments based on the predicted potential of property in areas like Franschhoek and the Winelands in general. Was Peter’s move a vote of confidence I wondered, or a desperate attempt to bail out a sinking ship?

Peter’s wealth of experience, gained over two decades of property trade in the Franschhoek Valley, his status within the community and his proven track record as both a property buyer and seller are an obvious complement the massive potential client-base and exposure that RE/MAX brings to the region.

With that question in mind, though not articulated, I made time to visit Peter at

According to Peter, Franschhoek has, and always will be, a sought-after and highly desired location for foreign in-

vestors. He believes that his clients will take comfort in his association with South Africa’s largest real estate network and went on to tell me that, in keeping with the RE/MAX slogan of “Outstanding Agents, Outstanding Results”, his office had opened with the sale of a property that had listed for barely 12 hours. In anticipation of the hard work ahead of them, Peter is joined by Bradley Tyler as a real estate broker whose experience as a developer of a number of successful businesses and properties in Franschhoek, not least of which is the landmark Place Vendôme Lifestyle Centre at the entrance to the village, is sure to add considerable value.

See the RE/MAX advert overleaf, and don’t hesitate to visit them when next you’re in Franschhoek, like me you’re sure to find their confidence infectious.

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November 2011

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Balloon Variations

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PROPERTY & LIFESTYLE

The logos may only be used in the following variations:

G lamour B alloon

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Not Too Far From Here The Agulhas Rest Camp at the Agulhas National Park

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t just over 200kms from Cape Town (and a tad closer from the Winelands) the Agulhas National Park sounds a bit further than ‘not too far’ but it’s worth every scenic kilometre for the waves of relaxation that will wash over you at the point where the Atlantic and Indian oceans officially meet. If you head out on the N2 over Sir Lowry’s Pass to Caledon then turn right for Bredasdorp (stopping for refreshments at The Fox in Napier) and through to Struisbaai and Agulhas; swing past the continent’s geographical extreme and onto Suiderstrand on the dirt road, past the many ships wrecked by the Cape of Storms, you’ll soon find yourself at the gate of the park. Keeping your eyes peeled for snakes and tortoises, head toward the sea and within a couple of minutes you’ll be at the Rest Camp. Accommodation comprises a stilted row of two- and four-bed self-catering wooden chalets, en-suite with all the mod cons and balconies (with Webers!) looking out on the ruggedly beautiful Southern Cape coastline. The first four hectares of the park were proclaimed ‘Agulhas’ in September 1999 and since then has grown to over 20,000ha stretching nearly 30kms to the west from the iconic Agulhas lighthouse. SANParks always impresses – the

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chalets are clean, well-furnished (and include crockery, cutlery, cooking utensils, bedding, towels and soap as well as a microwave, fridge and ceiling fans) and daily housekeeping is included, except for washing dishes of course. The camp was only opened about a year ago so there’s still a sense of ‘undiscoveredness’ about it, meeting, as it does, high environmental standards and the only gripe is that the most recent upgrade includes DSTV – you’re not there to watch TV! So what do you do? Well, there’s one activity that all ages can enjoy and that’s walking along the bracing coastline that varies from sand to shale – a visible show of how over millions of years rocks become sand – picking up colourful shells or pottering around in the rock pools searching for starfish. There are plenty of walks in the park and it has exceptional birdlife, including the endangered African Black Oyster-catcher. Not many terrestrial mammals occur, but the Cape Grysbok is something to look out for in the coastal fynbos. In the ocean one can look out for Cape Fur seals and a variety of whales, dolphins and porpoises. The Southern Right whales

come to the bays to breed from August to November and fishing is a must, as is searching the beach beforehand for nature’s bountiful redbait – a fairly abundant sea squirt that the Mussel Crackers and Galjoen can’t resist. In fact the only people you are likely to meet are the local rock anglers who patiently wait for the turn of the tide to catch their daily share. But the stand-out, unique feature of the Rest

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Camp is the natural lagoon that fills up with the incoming tide and is warm enough to offer safe swimming in for most of the year. Rarely will you find such diversity and solitude as this.

For more information contact agulhasinfo@sanparks.org or call the park direct on 028 4356222

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THE MONTH

2011 11 NOV / 6.30pm / Guided Tour of the Taalmonument and Full Moon Picnic Taalmonument in Paarl, 021 872 3441 www.taalmuseum.co.za

4 NOV / 8pm / Cello and Piano Duo Prestige Concert Peter Bruns (cello) and Annegret Kuttner (piano) perform Schumann’s Five Pieces in Folk Style op 102, Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata in A minor D and Brahms’s first cello sonatas in E minor, Endler Hall, 0861 915 8000

Daily / Picnics at SolmsDelta While away a summer’s day at a quiet spot on the forested banks of the Dwars River or overlooking a private lake on the estate, cool off in the river shallows, enjoy Solms-Delta Lekkerwijn 2010, soft drinks or Solms-Delta Vogelvrij Spring Water along with a freshly packed picnic basket for two put together on your arrival, numbers are limited to ensure a level of privacy so prebooking is essential, R135 per adult and R65 per child, 021 874 3937 ext 115 www. solms-delta.co.za

4 NOV / 10am-5pm | 5 NOV / 9am-9pm / Cape Dairy Experience From ice cream eating competitions to old fashioned boeresport, Sandringham (next to the N1 between Cape Town and Paarl), tickets from Computicket, Checkers stores and at the gates, 021 975 4440

5 NOV / 6.30am / Devon Valley Fun Run Includes Strawberry Fair and Slow Food Market from 9am–2pm, 021 853 0814 5 NOV / 7pm / Beau Soleil Piano Quartet with Lucia Bi Blasio-Scott (violin), Marina Louw (viola), Cheryl di Havilland (cello) and Sandra Kettle (piano) who perform Brahms’ Piano Quartet in C minor and the Piano Quartet of 1907 by Turina, La Motte, Franschhoek, 021 876 8000 6 NOV / 4pm / Elvis Blue Ou Meul Teater, Paarl, 083 564 0056 www.oumeulteater. co.za/blog 6 NOV / 8pm / Michelle Breedt Endler Hall, 0861 915 8000

11 NOV / 8pm / Emile Minnie – SuperNOVa Ou Meul Teater, Paarl, 083 564 0056 www.oumeulteater.co.za/ blog 11-13 NOV / all day / 3 day Wines2Wines Mountain Bike Race Teams of two cyclists cover 230km, starts in Somerset West, traverses 13 wineries, 26 private farms and six mountains to finish in Hermanus, 021 883 2413 www.wines2whales.co.za

12 NOV / 8pm / Nina Schumann and Luis Magalhães play J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations BWV988 (arr. by Rheinberger/Reger), Anton Arensky’s Suite No. 3, Op. 33, Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues by the 20th-century American pianist/ composer Frederic Rzewski as well as Aaron Copland’s El Salón Mexico, Endler Hall Concert Series 021 808 2343 13 NOV / 4pm / Antoinette hou Konsert Ou Meul Teater, Paarl, 083 564 0056 www.oumeulteater.co.za/blog 17 NOV / 1.10pm / Lunch at the Konserve Sulayman Human (piano), Endler Hall, 0861 915 8000 18 NOV / 8pm / Sê jy ek is dik? Ou Meul Teater, Paarl, 083 564 0056 www.oumeulteater.co.za/ blog 20 NOV / 8.30am / Delheim Anna Foundation MTB Delheim Wine Estate, 021 888 4607 20, 27 NOV & 1, 4 Dec / 3pm / Tygerberg Children’s Choir Christmas Concert, Endler Hall, 0861 915 8000

25 NOV/ 6.30pm/ Vineyard Tour Vergelegen Wine Estate, 021 847 1346 25 NOV / 6pm / Festival of White Lights Spier, Stellenbosch, 021 809 1100 26-28 NOV / Synergy Live Music Festival with 60 local bands, live acts and electro artists, Goldfish, Prime Circle, Dirty Skirts, Van Coke Kartel, aKing, Taxi Violence and more, Boschendal, 021 794 7080, www.synergylive. co.za 26 NOV / 7pm / Christmas at La Motte – Libertas Choir La Motte Wine Estate, 021 876 8000 26 NOV / 5pm / Backsberg Concert Series Karen Zoid Backsberg Wine Estate, Klapmuts 021 875 5141 NOV 26 / 5pm / 'Summer Showcase' of popular classical music performed by the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (CPYO) and the Cape Philharmonic Youth Wind Ensemble (CPYWE), as well as a pre-concert appearance by jazz band, MoJazz, The Nederburg Manor House Recital Room, 021 809 8106 or 021 8098344.

Markets

Franschhoek Until 6 NOV / 9am-6pm / Franschhoek Christmas Market Franschhoek Town Hall, 072 254 7722 Until late APRIL 2012 / Sat 9am–2pm / Farmer’s Market Dutch Reformed Church, Huguenot Street, 073 967 3790 Somerset West Last Sat of the month and some public holidays / 9am–1pm / Country Craft Market Southey's Vines, 186 Main Road, 021 852 6608 or 021 843 3287 Stellenbosch Sat 9am–2pm / Fresh Goods Market Oude Libertas Estate, 021 886 8415 or 072 416 4890 Sat 9am–2pm / Organic Farmers Market off Annandale Road outside Stellenbosch (between R44 and R310) on the Spier Wine Estate, 082 969 5757

4, 5 NOV / 9.30am-4.30pm / Artemis Barn Xmas Gift Market Local and original products on sale (cash only) including jewellery, ceramics, gifts, wooden décor items, metal work, clothing, beadwork, handEvery Friday / 6pm-9.30pm / La Petite Ferme Novembags, art, mini deli, 37 Uitkyk ber lineup: 4th: Rivertones Reggae Band; 11th: Dixie Land Street, Franschhoek, Cindy Jazz Band; 18th: Off The Record – Rock ‘n Roll; 25th: Cape Douglas 072 383 3227 Dutch Connection (see the full lineup until end April online at TheMonth.co.za); R150pp for a meal, a bottle of wine per couple and mega entertainment. Children welcome! Franschhoek Pass, Franschhoek, reception@lepetiteferme.co.za, 021 876 3016 www.lapetiteferme.co.za

Exhibitions Until 28 MARCH 2012 / Mon–Fri 9.30am– 1pm & 2pm–4pm, Sat 10am–1pm / WILLEM STRYDOM Sculptures and other artwork showing “rich imagery [which] includes not only the animals and plant forms but also the people of [the austere South African hinterland]” (Tim Maggs), Rupert Museum, Stellentia Avenue, Stellenbosch, 021 888 3344 www.rupertmuseum.co.za

NOVEMBER Theatre Programme 2 nd Dan Patlansky MUSIC

17th FREE THURSDAY with

3rd FREE THURSDAY with Rob

Junie and the Junes MUSIC

Bolton MUSIC

18th Luna Paige MUSIC

4 th Bye Ma, Jaypee THEATRE

19th Hond se blink gedagte

5 The Graham Gilliot Band

THEATRE

MUSIC 10 FREE THURSDAY with Janie Bay MUSIC

23 Fleetwood Mack Tribute

th

th

Dorp Straat Restaurant Theatre,

11th KarooBlu by Reinie

Stellenbosch 021-88 99 158 info@dorpstraat.co.za www.dorpstraat.co.za

Adelbert MUSIC

20 / The Month

12th Zamar MUSIC

rd

MUSIC 24th FREE THURSDAY with Shotgun Tori MUSIC 25th Klopjag MUSIC 26th Klopjag MUSIC

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

4th Mr Cat & The Jackal MUSIC 5th Marissa can Zyl MUSIC 11th Anton Goosen MUSIC 26th Lize Beekman MUSIC November 2011


the month THE MONTH

what’s on

november

Christmas Markets not to be missed:

Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELC), Cape Town. 072 615 1560 16 DEC / Asara Christmas Food Market at Asara Wine Estate, Stellenbosch 021 888 8000 16 DEC / Earth Fair Christmas Market in Waterkant Street, Cape Town. www. earthmarket.co.za 18 – 20 DEC / Blaauwklippen Christmas Market at Blaauwklippen Wine Estate, Stellenbosch. 021 880 0135

Christmas Events:

26 NOV / Christmas at La Motte with the Libertas Choir. 021 876 8000 2 DEC / Carols by Candlelight at Willowbridge Shopping Centre 021 914 7218 8 DEC / Carols by Candlelight at Laborie Estate, Paarl. 021 807 3390 4 NOV / Moonlight Market Aphrodisiac Shack on the banks of the Theewaterskloof dam, Villiersdorp. 028 840 0313 5 NOV / Blaauwklippen Family Market at the Blaauwklippen Wine Estate, Stellenbosch. 021 880 0135 6 NOV / 7th Franschhoek Christmas Market Amelia amelia.schwenkeatgmail.com 072 254 7722 19 NOV / Kloovenbrug Christmas Market in Riebeeck Kasteel. 022 448 1635 28 NOV / Drostdy-Hof Country Christmas Market in Tulbagh at De Oude Drostdy 023 230 0203 1 - 3 DEC / Stellenbosch Fresh Goods Christmas Night Market at Oude Libertas, Stellenbosch. 021 886 8514 2 DEC / Willowbridge Carols by Candlelight & Festive Market Willowbridge Mall, Tygervalley 021 914 7218 8 DEC / Laborie Night Market at Laborie Estate, Paarl. 021 807 3390 14 – 16 DEC / Designer Maker Christmas Market with Carols by Candle Light at the

November 2011

14 – 16 DEC / Carols by Candlelight at the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELC), Cape Town. 072 615 1560 16 – 19 DEC / Carols by Candlelight at Kirstenbosch, Cape Town. 021 761 2866 19 DEC / Carols by Candlelight at Hillcrest Estate, Durbanville. 021 948 6577 EVERY FRIDAY EVENING / Woodmill Market with a focus on Christmas Gifts (and a gift wrapping service). Weekly entertainment in November includes:

by

November 2011

04 NOV / Playing with Fire the Balkan Klezmer Band / 11 NOV Sven GHB Freemouth Trio / 18 NOV Karlien van der Walt / 25 NOV Heather Waters www.thewoodmill.co.za

The Lazy House Wife’s answer to Christmas Dinner:

24 DEC Jordan Wine Estate, Stellenbosch 021 8813441 Proviant, Paarl Christmas dinner 021 863 0949

25 DEC Asara Wine Estate, Stellenbosch Christmas buffet lunch or five-course set meal, Tell: 021 8888 000 De Volkskombuis, Stellenbosch Christmas lunch set menu 021 887 2121 De Oewer, Stellenbosch Christmas Buffet lunch 021 887 2121 Flavours at Devon Valley hotel, Stellenbosch Christmas Lunch Buffet 021 865 2012 La Pineta, Stellenbosch Christmas lunch set menu 021 880 0293 Lanzerac restaurant, Lanzerac Hotel & Spa, Stellenbosch Christmas lunch buffet 021 887 1132 Le Pommier, Stellenbosch Christmas Lunch set menu 021 885 1269 Monneaux Restaurant at The Franschhoek Country House, Franschhoek Christmas lunch and dinner buffet 021 876 3386 Moyo at Spier Wine Estate Christmas Lunch buffet with live entertainment and gifts 021 809 1133 Restaurant in the Vines at Rickety Bridge, Franschhoek Special Christmas menu 021 876 2016 24 & 25 DEC Backsberg Restaurant Franschhoek 24 Christmas Lunch Menu / 25 Lavish Christmas Buffet, with kids’ fun and live music 021 875 5952 Bodega Restaurant at Dorniew Wines, Stellenbosch 24 Christmas Dinner Menu / 25 Christmas lunch buffet 021 880 0557 Bosman’s at Grande Roche Hotel, Paarl 24 Christmas dinner set menu / 25 Christmas lunch set menu 021 863 5100 Delair Graff Estate Restaurant, Stellenbosch 24 Christmas dinner Set menu /

25 Christmas lunch set menu and live music 021 888 8160 Mont Rochelle, Franschhoek 24 Dinner at Mange Tout / 25 Christmas lunch picnic 021 876 2770 Restaurant 1892 at D’Ouwe Werf, Stellenbosch 24 Christmas dinner set menu / 25 Christmas lunch 9 course tasting set menu 021 887 4608 96 Winery Road, Stellenbosch 24 Dinner / 25 Lunch 021 842 2020

Fun Gift Ideas:

Vrede en Lust Boet Erasmus 2008 in a beautiful Vrede en Lust magnetic gift box for R155 Vrede en Lust Reserve 2004 Magnums and Jeroboams in beautiful branded wooden boxes Vrede en Lust Sauvignon Blanc 2012 - R59 per bottle in cases of 6 Troll Beads Buy any Big Lock and get a Leather Bracelet FREE (bracelet value is R300 and suits Men and Women), offer valid till 15 November 2011. See their ad on page 19 Cullinary Co Bring an interesting “stir” to your Christmas gift this year. See their advert on

page 18 for details

The Month / 21


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November 2011

THE MONTH

Stellenbosch at Bertus Basson

went overseas to work at The Cavendish in London and held down a position as chef de Partie at the 1 Michelin star restaurant, Chez Bruce. In SA Bertus has worked with Garth Schnier at The Arabella Western Cape Spa’s Premiere Restaurant where he won the South African Chaine des Rotisseurs Junior chefs competition and went on to represent SA in the culinary Olympic Games. His first venture, All Things Culinary, with business partner Craig Cormack was an instant hit and today he is synonymous with the success of the award winning Overture restaurant at Hidden Valley Wines.

L 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

ast month we previewed the Stellenbosch at Summer Place celebration of wine, food, music and art to take place in Hyde Park on Wednesday, the 9th of November, by drawing attention to three of the 50 winemakers who will take part in the showcase. This month we feature two of the five fabulous chefs who will be forgiven once they return to the Winelands with reports that everyone who attended the festival in Gauteng was green (with envy, that is). At the Stellenbosch at Summer Place showcase, Stellenbosch Wine Routes will share 50 of the region’s top winemakers, more than 100 of its finest wines and add a little gourmet flair with delectable signature dishes. This year’s chef line-up includes Bertus Basson of Overture restaurant; the award-winning Terroir restaurant’s Michael Broughton; George Jardine of Jordan restaurant, Lucas Carstens, the newly appointed head chef at Simonsig’s Cuvée restaurant, and Waterkloof Restaurant’s talented Gregory Czarnecki, renowned for contemporary classics with a refined twist. As it’s a Winelands do, expect lots of music (think the trendy jazz vibes of Manouche and the rhythmic soulful blues of Gerald Clark), good company peppered with the odd shaggy dog story and enough food and wine to float even the always-in-thedry-dock Robben Island ferry. Add art work from the Sanlam Art Collection and may of the Winelands human objects of desire, and the R395 ticket-price will look like a miss-print. It isn’t, and last year’s event was a sell-out – so if you plan to attend, be sure to call Elmarie on 021 886 8275 or visit www.wineroute.co.za, soon. The Month is proud to present Chef Bertus Basson, who will be on show at Stellenbosch at Summer Place this month, along with Lucas Carstens, who we profile overleaf.

H

aving trained in the Mother City at Cape College, Bertus Basson is a home boy through-and-through. He spent time training with Bill Stafford,

22 / The Month

Online personality Jamie Who offers this delightful insight to the nature of the man: [Bertus] is a passionate, charismatic dude and runs the show from a small, open-plan kitchen. What struck me was Bertus’s maturity… Dishes are [clean], with no unnecessary ingredients on the plate. Everything is there for a reason and everything adds a dimension to the dish… And while Bertus’s mohawk might be gone, at least he’s replaced it with an Eddie-Vedderish ponytail. Hinting that while he might’ve grown up a bit, the guy still cooks like a rock star. (aficionado.co.za/jamiewho/2011/06/20/restaurant-review-overture) We threw some Rapid Fire questions at Bertus to see if he’s as cool when the chips are down as he is in the kitchen; here’s what he came up with:

The Month: What’s your worst kitchen nightmare?

Bertus Basson: The day no sculler

comes to work!

TM: What’s the most challenging ingredi-

ent to cook with?

BB: Fresh fish - it’s the easy ones that are always the trickiest… TM: Jamie Olivier or Gordon Ramsay? BB: George Jardine… TM: Pet hate when it comes to demanding customers? BB: “Demanding customers” is what we do; it’s a part of our world. TM: If you were an ingredient what would it be and why? BB: Salt – it’s a necessary evil. TM: Last meal on earth? BB: Something really simple, like sticky barbeque wings TM: Share one kitchen ‘cheat/trick’ with

us.

BB: No tricks - just one simple thing… SEASONING

November 2011


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November 2011

THE MONTH

Summer Place

SCULPTURES

We meet some of the dishes on show

“Top Quality Modern Sculptures that Compliment any Design or Architectural Style”

O

riginally from Nelspruit, Head Chef Lucas Carstens, feels completely at home in the Winelands kitchen of Simonsig’s Cuvée restaurant. Having honed his culinary skills at another Stellenbosch hot spot, Terroir, followed by a stint at Reuben’s at the five-star One & Only hotel in Cape Town, Lucas is ready to set his own course at this popular Winelands destination. Equally inspired by French Provençal flavours, home-grown South African tastes and Asian ingredients, Lucas is big on sustainability. “Today having your own vegetable garden or even breeding your own fish, and then serving it in your restaurant, is the way to go,” he says. The result is a pantry that is packed full of local ingredients and greens harvested from the herb and vegetable garden on Simonsig Estate. His menu takes a ‘back to basics’ approach and his offering is probably well-described as ‘honest’. Lucas is a laid-backguy who none-the-less handles the pressure of the kitchen with ease – not even cooking for Oscar-winner Denzel Washington had him flustered (guess he’s a bit like the Stig of the kitchen). “The Stellenbosch Winelands has a lifestyle second to none; we have access to beautiful ingredients, great local talent and an endless wine supply - what more could one want,” says the man who goes on to say that ginger is the ultimate ingredient… Like Bertus Basson, Lucas will be on show at Stellenbosch at Summer Place this month – and here’s how he fared with his Rapid Fire questions: The Month: What’s your worst kitchen nightmare? Lucas Carstens: Being unprepared. TM: What’s the most challenging ingredient to cook with? LC: Fish, it’s literally seconds between ‘perfectly cooked’ and ‘overcooked’ fish. TM: Jamie Olivier or Gordon Ramsay? LC: Gordon Ramsay TM: Pet hate when it comes to demanding customers? LC: When a guest requests a well-done steak with creamy mushroom sauce, and it’s not on the menu… TM: If you were an ingredient what would it be and why?

THE ORIGINAL “ROCK SHOP”

Pepper seared tuna with asparagus soy cream and pickled ginger. serves 4 ingredients: • 800g fresh tuna •100ml soya sauce • 1 cm ginger, finely chopped • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped • ½ onion, chopped • 500ml cream • 20 asparagus spears, peeled • black pepper, crushed • olive oil • 8 slices of pickled ginger

Cnr Main Rd/Bordeaux Str.

(Opposite Town Hall) Franschhoek

www.justrock.co.za

WE SHIP WORLWIDE

method:

Divide the tuna in 200g portion sizes, and keep aside. For the sauce: add the chopped garlic, ginger and onion to the cream and bring to a simmer, reducing the cream by half. Strain the cream and add the soy sauce. Keep aside. Peel the asparagus and blanch in a pot of salted boiling water, about 2min, and strain. Now dust the tuna portions in the crushed pepper, heat up the oil in a pan; when smoking add the tuna and sear each side for a few seconds, the tuna should be red inside. To serve place the hot asparagus on a plate, place the tuna on top and spoon the sauce around, and place the ginger on the side. Lucas Carstens

LC: An onion - because it has layers. Almost every dish starts with an onion. TM: Last meal on earth? LC: Roasted bone marrow, with toasted ciabatta and a gremolata. TM: Share one kitchen ‘cheat/trick’ with us. LC: Add one gelatine leaf more than the recipe states; just for ‘gees’!

November 2011

Become a fan

www.willowbridge.co.za | 021 914 7218 | 39 Carl Cronje Drive, Tyger Valley * Terms and Conditions apply

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the month

November 2011

THE MONTH

We are the Children of Oil The Publisher gives the layman’s perspective of the energy problem and ponders our collective response

O

ne thing is for sure – the fact that we are collectively thinking about how to solve the energy problem going forward is largely the result of the discovery of fossil fuels in the first place. Because without that, three out of four of us wouldn’t be here right now, and we couldn’t have grown our infrastructure, transport, communication and education to even get to the point at which we were able to have a collective opinion on anything. Our ability to think is because we are the children of oil. I don’t dispute the world needs energy, but that need is a function of the discovery of cheap forms of energy in the first place. The engine of our industrial revolution has been cheap, accessible energy that has pulled us out of hardship and created our civilisation. The last 150 years have been completely different to previous millennia - born before then and your lot in life was to be poor and, for the vast majority, life was hard. Yet, latterly, we’ve learned it’s not so cheap with the discovery that the burning of fossil fuels puts carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere, and is steadily warming the planet. Our collective response thus far has been to take our plastic to the bottle bank, turn down the thermostat and switch off the lights during the day – measures that may delay, but not solve our ‘energy problem’.

Yet the ‘solution’ is out there. If we could harness it efficiently, we’d apparently need less than an hour’s worth of all of the sunlight falling on the earth to satisfy the whole world’s energy needs for a year! It’s clean, it’s abundant, renewable and, despite the caveat of ‘if we could harness it efficiently’, solar ticks so many of the right boxes that you think we’d be moving rapidly to the sensible conclusion. But sense is not at play here – far more dangerously is the powerful vested interests in the fossil fuel business. No better is this summed up in a speech made by the main, fictional character in Ian McEwan’s Solar – a novel I reviewed a couple of months back: “Imagine we came across a man at the edge of a forest in a heavy rainfall. This man is dying of thirst. He has an axe in his hand and he is felling the trees in order to suck sap from the trunks. There are a few mouthfuls in each tree. All around him is devastation, dead trees, no birdsong, and he knows the forest is vanishing. So why doesn’t he tip back his head and drink the rain? Because he cuts trees expertly, because he has always done it this way, because the kind of people who advocate rain-drinking he considers suspicious types.” The American oil men will tell you honestly that people need cheap energy, and that oil is in-

credibly efficient at producing it. As long as that’s the case, they’ll drill from the Arctic to the Antarctic and advocate political control over every unstable oil producing area. Take a listen to US Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry who hails from the proud state of Texas that, according to US government data, releases more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than any other state in the great US of A. He does not believe in global warming science and suggests it is grounded in scientists manipulating data for financial gain. He even argued that America should not address "a scientific theory that has not been proven, and from my perspective is more and more being put into question." Because they drill for oil expertly, because they have always done it this way, because the kind of people who advocate alternatives he considers suspicious types. And that’s the point. We’re not addressing the energy problem sensibly because, as the product of cheap energy, we can’t imagine life without it. Had we not discovered it we would be growing at the pace of sustainable energy forms. The good news is that the exponential growth of our knowledge base can give us the answers. The equation, therefore, is perhaps more this. By the time fossil fuels run out, will our knowledge have grown sufficiently to efficiently replace them? Let’s hope so.

FINDING THE SWEET SPOT Golf is often described as a microcosm of life itself with its ‘testing’ nature but if there is one undoubted truth it is this: to really enjoy the game you have to be able to play well and to play well you need to play often. So if you’re too busy to play often, and don’t have the time to practice, you’re destined never to enjoy it, right?

been fascinating, with equipment manufacturers going to extreme lengths to eke out the extra metre for the average golfer by applying new technology to the grips, the shaft and the head.

Wrong; for help is at hand. If ‘playing well’ equates to lower scoring, then hitting straighter and further with more consistency is what you need - and it’s not just about practice. Golf club technology has made a phenomenal impact on the game of golf in the past 20 years, mainly focussing on the power and control of the club, which both lead to better aim and distance. All you have to do these days is to update your clubs and your game will follow.

Longer clubs also generate more headspeed but unlike steel shafts, which are too heavy, the huge advancement in the quality of the fibres that make up graphite shafts in the last decade, mean that they are now stronger (yet still light enough) even at the extra length.

Let’s take the driver, for example. The evolution of the modern driver has

24 / The Month

Traditionally, drivers were made from hardwood, but modern clubs have heads made from metal, or composite materials such as carbon fibre, which is lighter and explains why so many high-handicappers walk around with what look like ‘Webers’ in their bag. Lighter weight is critical to more distance because it enables the golfer to swing the club faster and a faster headspeed (and higher ball speed) means more distance.

a poor swing-shape or help you to hit a certain shape shot. Nowadays, manufacturers like Cleveland Golf are actually making their longest driver the lightest in the range. This lightness combined with the maximum regulated 460cc head, delivers a driver that is easy to swing, very accurate, and which drives the ball noticeably further. The new Cleveland

Launcher Ultralite XL270 Driver (pictured here) has a total weight of only 270grams, which is incredibly light by traditional standards. If you’d like to give it a go speak to your local PGA Golf Professional to arrange a custom fitting with Bryan Coleman, Cleveland Golf, Western Cape, and look out for more from Cleveland in the coming months.

Potential difficulty in squaring up the clubface is overcome by club heads nowadays being completely customisable - you can change loft, lie angle and face angle. For higher handicappers, this can either correct a poor

November 2011


the month THE MONTH

November 2011

Stitched Up! Dave Rundle contemplates the Perfect Storm no end in sight. The following table gives you an indication of the decline in the markets from January to September this year so far:

MSCI World Index MSCI Asia Pacific FTSE (London) Euro Stoxx FTSE/JSE All share

W

e were all relieved when September came to an end as it seemed like the world was in a real mess economically. When October arrived, I immediately thought of the ABBA song: “Mama Mia, here we go again” (you’re showing your age – Ed). The markets, when I wrote this article, were taking a real beating. Europe is looking increasingly sick, and this movie, with banks under pressure from holding bad assets, is into its second or third sequel.

Understand and accept that there will be storms out there, but if you try to turn your ship around in a big storm, there is a real risk of capsizing. So where is this thing going, I wonder? I have spoken to a number of people in the financial industry and the common response is that “the can is being kicked down the road”. The more debt raised now, the bigger the problem down the line. It is like a snowball getting bigger and bigger as it rolls down a hill. Surely the options available to the politicians to sort this out are decreasing? Interest rates are as low as they can possibly be and the amount of debt that they can handle is limited. Whilst they debate these options, the market becomes more and more nervous, with asset prices falling and

- 13,75% - 17,85% - 14,45% - 23,72% - 8,12%

This does not take into account the drop so far experienced in October 2011. In order for this to turn around, major decisions need to be made by the authorities to improve the existing very low confidence felt by investors. Unfortunately, I don’t see it getting sorted quickly - it is going to take time. I cannot tell you how long this is going to take, but my gut feeling is that it may take a while and this does not help decision-making on investments going forward. What I can say is that you should ensure your risk profile is carefully discussed with your financial advisor, as this will determine how your portfolio is constructed. Make sure it is diversified into a number of asset classes and then let the ship sail towards its destination. Understand and accept that there will be storms out there, but if you try to turn your ship around in a big storm, there is a real risk of capsizing. Also understand that your financial advisor doesn’t have the power to change the direction of the market. Hang in there, as things will eventually improve. 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

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

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

November 2011

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the month

November 2011

THE MONTH

Scene and Heard On the 21st of October, the Swartland wine region was represented by Kloovenburg Wine & Olive Estate, from the Riebeeck Valley, and Babylon’s Peak Private Cellar, located in the Paardeberg Mountains, at a gourmet wine dinner held at the Vineyard Hotel & Spa’s ‘The Square’ restaurant. Selected wines from each estate were paired with a series of dishes prepared by The Square’s sous chef, Alex Jenkinson, culminating in a gourmet four-course meal.

Pic: Natasha Taljard

Val de Vie recently celebrated the opening of the estate’s new tasting room and played host to everything from lowly wine maker to an Olympic Gold Medallist. All the smiles tell a story – the Val de Vie tasting room deserves a visit.

a Taljard Pic: Natash

Pic: Natasha Taljard

horsing around Lize Briedenhann enjoys a Happy Horse Trail and Villiera Wine Estate It’s no secret that The Month loves the Villiera Wine Estate. The estate is well-known for its environmentally friendly approach to winemaking, produces a number of excellent wines and bubblies and is committed to preserving and rehabilitating the natural environment through its use of renewable energy and the establishment some years ago of the 175 hectare Villiera Wildlife Sanctuary (Winery Review With a Difference, The Month, Oct 2010). When we first visited the sanctuary in 2010, we enjoyed the spectacle from within Simon Grier’s Landy, and given that some of the beasts that call the sanctuary home are just that – we were happy to chug about in the safe, but notall-that-green, mechanical horse. With the planting of 12 000 indigenous trees, the removal of many alien plants, the reintroduction of various buck, zebras, bush pigs, foxes and other critters, and their use of electric vehicles when conduction

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tours of the sanctuary, the Griers have proven their commitment to nature. Not content to rest on their environmental laurels, the folks at Villiera Wine Estate have now teamed up with their neighbours, Happy Horse Trails, to offer gameviewing excursions on horseback. Happy Horse Trails is a venture of Francois and Jodi Paul, whose relaxed and positive interaction with their horses ensures that the animals are extremely tame and very easy to control. I mention this specifically because I am petrified of horses, but in the hands of their capable masters the powerful creatures are so accommodating that it didn’t take long before I was thoroughly captivated by the tour, rather than my fear. In order not to scare any of the animals off, the tour itself is conducted at a very leisurely pace. It’s an approach that re-

ally works – the success of which became all too obvious as we got ‘up close’ to a group of beautiful Eland and a number of other buck species. I’m forever grateful that our ancestors never set about trying to domesticate the Eland… In addition we found ourselves amongst hopping white, black and ‘normal’ Springbuck; passed by a family of Zebras with three foals and were given the beadyeye by some Bontebok, Gemsbok and Red Hartebees. All-in-all it was an exhilarating, albeit physically relaxing, outdoor experience and a must-do on any ‘What to do in the Winelands’ list. Our trail cost R450 per person, with a minimum requirement of two people at a time. Our thanks to Francois at 072 888 7440, www.happyhorse.co.za, for his friendly and informative help and a fabulous experience.

November 2011


the month

November 2011

THE MONTH

Double Vision or Double Standards?

The Wine Ou goes in search of some middle ground

T

he recently released Human Rights Watch (HRW) report into labour conditions in the fruit and wine industries in the Western Cape raised temperatures locally to the extent that calling the industry’s reaction incendiary would be an understatement of note. Virtually every press release I read (and there were many of them) followed the same format: “The report is biased, slanted, full of generalisations and inaccurate. And oh, by the way, if these practices are happening in the wine industry WE ROUNDLY CONDEMN THEM!” This was of course accompanied by much metaphorical foot stomping, table pounding, and breast beating. I think it’s known as righteous indignation, which (if you’ll forgive my mangling of metaphors) goes before a fall. WOSA, along with other producer organisations, whiffled about the report ignoring what good has been done in the industry by the likes of WIETA, Fair Trade and the pitifully small band of producers who actually do believe their labour is not a mere commodity. In reading all 90 pages of the report it became abundantly clear to me that the good guys did get a proportionate mention. Although of the estimated 4 000 grape producers in the country, WIETA has 76 members and Fair Trade has 17, so that “proportionate mention” is appreciably small.

Given the indignant response, are we to believe that the entire report is a fabrication? Well, if you speak to WOSA’s Su Birch clearly not. Shortly after the report was released she commented to a local publication: “These practices must be going on to some extent, otherwise where would they have gotten the testimony from? But I do not believe they are as widespread as the report suggests.” So, even if the extent seems to be in question, she admits that there is a problem. It’s not the kind of response that should leave anyone satisfied. In April this year, a book titled Grape: Stories of the Vineyards in South Africa by Wilmot James, Jakes Gerwel and Jeanne Viall was released, which amongst other things, chronicles the same disgraceful labour practices that were highlighted in the HRW report. How come the industry didn’t slag it off as being biased, slanted, full of generalisations and inaccurate? I suggest that it’s simply because it was written by three locals who know what goes on in the industry. Clearly, there is a problem, and like the alcoholic seeking rehabilitation, the first step is to overcome denial. The industry must pull its head out of its collective butt, do the needed research to establish the magnitude of the problem, and set about fixing it before our “afterdinner talk, across the walnuts and the wine” turns to talk about the grapes of wrath.

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.

COMPETITION

WINNERS

The winner of last month’s ‘Boerebraai’ at Middelvlei Estate and six bottles of Middelvlei wine is Trish Tayler who picked up her copy of The Month at Val de Vie Ilse Gerlach of Sea Point loves coffee, which is just as well as she is the winner of our Le Creuset Coffee Cup give-away from October Well done to both of you!

The Month - Quick Crossword #10 DOWN 1 Government of the church by bishops (10) 2 Actress _______ Cuthbert (6) 3 A Semitic people (4) 4 Treat (8) 5 Pocketbook (4) 6 Heart rate (5) 8 Bowler hats (7) 12 Muse of lyric poetry (5) 14 Deviance (10) 16 Perfectly (7) 17 A city in Canada (8) 21 Gets pleasure from causing pain (6)

WIN WIN WIN...

22 Surpass (5) 24 Nemesis (4) 25 A tiny West Indian bird (4)

The Month and the Franschhoek Wine Valley are pleased as punch to offer FIVE readers a set of DOUBLE tickets to the Franschhoek ‘Magic of Bubbles’ Cap Classique and Champagne Festival, which takes place from the 2nd to the 4th of December.

ACROSS

Simply tell us your favourite brand of South African MCC, French Champagne or Bubbly form elsewhere. SMS Month Magic and the info above to 36968* or email magic@themonth.co.za and one of those sets of tickets could be yours. TAC EaOE

November 2011

6 Commonly liked (7)

15 Prima donna (4)

26 Technician (abbrev.) (4)

7 Outer (5)

17 Substantive (5)

27 Gossiper (5)

9 Sicknesses (4)

18 Anagram of "Rest" (4)

28 Ransack (7)

10 Auxiliary (10)

19 A citizen from Nairobi (6)

11 Explode (8)

20 Saw (8)

13 Slowly (musical term) (6)

23 Expanded upon (10)

solution pg 9 DON’T CHEAT!

The Month / 27


the month

November 2011

THE MONTH

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November 2011


The Month November 2011