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WineExtra SEPTEMBER 2013

Wine Barrels

The craft of Cooperage

Lance Witten It’s All in the Region


Muscadel – A Sweet Delight Livin’ the Life wine whisperer

Official SA Media Partner

Dating for wine lovers - Veronica Canha-Gibbert - Big Easy

Contents SEPTEMBER 2013

Editor’s letter Taste Team


Livin’ the life



Wine Whisperer

Muscadel – A Sweet Delight

We’ve been drinking


Ernie Els Big Easy White 2013

Special report


The Craft of Cooperage



Lance Witten

Table Talk


Now you’re cooking


Veronica Canha-Gibbert

Get out


Our pick of the very best viticultural-based events in Cape Town, Jo’burg and Durban

Born and raised in Cape Town, ETV news anchor and radio personality with Heart FM, Lance Witten knows his Robertson from his Stellenbosh.


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Editor’s letter Maryna Strachan Follow us @WineExtra

Those who know me, will emphatically tell you that I am solar-powered. So it is with great trepidation that I face the cold, dark and wet winter months of the Cape. This year, however, has not yet proven to be as miserable or cold, although we are only at the beginning of August. I do believe in global warming, but there are times when I also question the severity of it and all of the doomsdayers out there who prefer to exaggerate things. For the wine industry, a good winter means that the vines get a good rest. This means that when they start budding in springtime, they are refreshed and invigorated to produce quality berries, which will in turn, give us top quality wine. It is then that I relent and wish to see the snow-capped Hottentots-Holland mountains and rather stock up on some fire wood and gas for the purpose of heating the home. Anyway, sipping away at a good glass of red in front of a crackling fire, a cosy blanket and some good company definitely has a special allure of its own‌ OK winter, you can come now.


TasteTeam Muscadel – A Sweet Delight

Muscadel is a fortified wine which has become very popular in South Africa. This wine is produced by adding alcohol to a red or white wine, and leaving it to mature or age. Muscadel, also known as Muscat, or Muscat Blanc, is most often drunk as a sweet dessert wine, although it can also be turned into a dry white wine. The latter is harder to find, as the sweetness of Muscadel is really the signature of the wine, and its familiarity as a dessert or drinking wine encourages wine makers to keep to that tradition and make a consistent number of sweet wines from the grape. This month we welcome two new members to the Taste Team. They have both previously served as guest tasters, but we look forward to reading the wine-musings of Blogger, Angelo van Dyk, and award-winning, Chef Tiaan Langenegger, on a monthly basis.

From left to right: Orange River Cellars White Muscadel 2011, by Orange River Cellars RRP: R40. Lutzville White Muscadel 2010 by Lutzville Vineyards , RRP: R40. Merwida White Muscadel 2011, by Merwida, RRP: R40. Slanghoek Red Muscadel 2012, by Slanghoek , RRP: R60. Boplaas Red Muscadel 2013, by Boplaas , RRP: R50. Badsberg Red Muscadel 2012, by Badsberg Wines, RRP: R65 6 WINE EXTRA SEPTEMBER 2013

Daisy Knowles PA at an investment company, she has a love for the tourism industry. She loves food, all aspects of vino, dinner parties, writing, her pyjamas, copious amounts of tea, her make-up bag and her legendary furkid.

Orange River Cellars White Muscadel 2011 RRP: R40 ; Stockists: Pick ‘n Pay liquors, Checkers and TOPS at Spar

honey syrupiness that dominates upon first sip, but thankfully is not too cloying. A light floral element sweeps through to save the day as it glides gently down my throat and there is also enough acidity to keep everything in check for a pleasant sipping experience. Silas says: Not since Byron (I can’t remember his last name) had his pinyata themed birthday party, have I come across something as sweet as this drink. I have different associations with different ports and dessert wines and their levels of sweetness. This particular one makes me wonder just when the chocolate factory became a real place.

“Something that would accompany afternoon tea on the stoep whilst listening to the rain fall.” Daisy says: With an orangey-red hue to it, sun-kissed sultanas greeted the nose with a smell transporting me back to lunch-box-school-days when my Mum would pack a handful of them in for me. This aroma carries straight through to a syrupy palate, accompanied by a musty, almost-medicinal element and a nuance of litchis. The sweetness of this wine certainly gives rise to a thwack of the lips. Charlotte says: Intense wafts of dried pear, peaches, fig and golden sultanas jump out at my nose, and there is a subtle mustiness in the background also. This certainly would satisfy my sweet tooth with its large dollop of aromatic

TasteTeam Guest Taster – Eugene says: Being the first wine of this style, I found it hard to prepare the nose and palate for the sweetness that was to follow. Fortunately, this wine had a distinct smokiness. Both the aromas and taste showed an unusual versatility for a dessert wine that left the palate with a musky aftertaste, faintly reminiscent of Champagne or Cognac. Pairing this with a pecan nut pie with cream should make for a sublime combination.

Lutzville White Muscadel 2010 RRP: R40; Stockists: From the Cellar door or

Angelo says: Rich sultanas and alcoholmarinated grape aromas were so prominent on the nose. This wine’s mouth feel was beautiful, with a silky smooth texture that really impressed, and it tasted like rooibos tea and fresh orange peels. Something that would accompany afternoon tea on the stoep whilst listening to the rain fall. Comfort in a glass. Tiaan says: This fortified wine has a sweeter tone on the nose, reminiscent of fresh apple and pear – simplistic natural flavours, which make me think of summer! A smooth mouth-feel, yet lively on the palate with honey and butterscotch tastes dominating.

Daisy says: This feminine, elegantlyshaped bottle held a beautiful pale golden coloured liquid. Its nose gave rise to whiffs of honey and dried apricots. It saturated the mouth, but wasn’t cloying. I found this one to have a lighter finish


TasteTeam than the Orange River Muscadel, but more lasting. Delectably sweet, it has a faint citrus taste rounding it all off. Charlotte says: In a weird, yet wonderful way, my first sniff of this reminded me of an old cellar full of pineapples. It really did have almost stale elements, but before I could recognize this as being off-putting, a burst of fresh pineapple zoomed in to save the day. As I swirl gently, it opens up and softens out to give a beautiful creamy vanilla character-one that anyone would struggle to not find appealing. Even with my distinct lack of a sweet tooth, I could actually see myself enjoying a small glass of this one alongside some strong, smelly aged cheese.

Charlotte Spicer Charlotte is known amongst her friends and exasperated family as a professional “Intoxicologist”. She has worked in the wine and spirits industry for a number of years now. Apart from enjoying the odd glass or two of wine, she is partial to a wee dram of whisky and also likes to think she puts Nigella to shame in the kitchen – but doubts that she could lick her spoon that seductively…

Angelo says: Well, hello there tastiness. The nose was immensely impressive, with roasted oats and that happy moment when the honey you are drizzling hits the cereal you’re about to spoon in your mouth. There were wonderful flavours of apricot and dates and a hint of toasted nuts. Decadent, perhaps, but oh-so lovely. Tiaan says: At first sight and smell I am impacted by the flavour, scent and colour of sultanas. On my palate, the honey-like richness is balanced by a good acidity, as if there was a dash of lime added. The wine has a good structure with a drier, clean, fresh finish. Guest Taster – Eugene says: This wine had a first aroma of caramel, with a light peach undertone coming through when you swirled the glass. These flavours were fused with a hint of melon somewhere on the back palate and a very pleasant lingering taste of winter fruits. This wine was not overpoweringly sweet, which made it one of the softer wines of the line up.

“…it opens up and softens out to a give a beautiful creamy vanilla character, one that anyone would struggle to not find Merwida White appealing.” Muscadel 2011

Silas says: A few years ago I attended my then best friend Lisa’s mother’s wedding. As was typical of Alyson, she decided to have the entire wedding party get drunk on the good sweet wine she had purchased and the drink she bought was only rivaled by her feisty nature. This drink reminds me of that one. One that is very easy to steal and drink with an accomplice deep in the tresses away from the others.


syrupy wine, which I felt would make a lovely aperitif, or possibly even to accompany a rich and spicy ragout.

RRP: R40 ; Stockists: TOPS at Spar and Liquor City Daisy says: This sweet wine was a rich golden colour and had you tasting summer sun in your mouth. Raisins and Turkish delight were noticeable on the nose and these carried straight through to the palate. I tasted a faint honey element on the back palate too. A fairly

Charlotte says: I know smells are entirely subjective and memory based, but this one really did smell just like a bowl of my favourite cereal growing up. The name escapes me now, but that winning combination of honey and puffed oats still made my mouth water in anticipation. It had a very different taste though, with layers of zingy, yet sweet summer fruit bursting forth on the palate – paw-paw, melon and guava. The overt sweetness lingered a bit too long for my taste, but served ice cold, it may restrain it for a better finish. Silas says: The very first thing I think of here is a memory of how when I was younger we would visit my grandfather’s farm out in Limpopo and after every trip, without fail, we would reach Jo’burg smelling of paw-paw for a good week. Whilst I have never been a

Silas Lekgoathi Graphic Illustrator, Silas Lekgoathi describes himself as a fun loving, adventurous and artistic traveller. He feeds off new experiences and escapades and finds himself in a transitional period of his life.

big fan of the fruit, the idea that this wine can remind me of good memories gives it a win in my heart. Angelo says: FRUIT! So much tropical fruit. I liked the fact that this wine was focused on primary fruit without trying to overcomplicate itself. Paw-paw and summer melon were doing the cancan in the glass, and minding himself in the corner was Mr Herbaceous, surreptitiously doing the twist. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a party wine, but rather fruit expressing themselves in the way they deem best.

Slanghoek Red Muscadel 2012 RRP: R 60; Stockists: : Ultra Liquors, Liquor City and Pick ‘n Pay Liquor

Guest Taster – Eugene says: Through the initial onslaught of sultanas on the tongue, there gleamed a ferocious flavour of paw-paw, lightly rounded with hints of honey. This wine was extremely pleasant and left you with the feeling that you had been standing in the warm afternoon sun. I feel this is perfect to be enjoyed with fresh fruits and cheese or possibly a light, tart sorbet.

nature entirely, yet once the syrupiness dissipated that fragrant nature returned to linger long after swallowing, which was a pleasant surprise. Silas says: Although I can’t place the scent from this glass, I do find a pleasant raspberry taste to it. Unlike the other wines I have tried, this particular one is not as over-bearing in its sweetness. You would manage a few good glasses without feeling as though you might be at some dodgy wedding reception Angelo says: This wine was oh so sweet! Fresh guavas, ripe cherries and cheeky raspberries greet you on the nose. Delicate and convivial, the fruit was welcoming and it kind of took me by the hand. The syrupy flavours of dried fruit roll and grapes stuck out above the rest as being sweeter and higher in sugar than the rest of the flight.

Tiaan says: The syrupy, straw coloured wine shows butter and tropical sweet tones on the nose and palate – paw-paw and sweet melon being the predominant flavours. Personally I found this wine too sweet, but perhaps served as an addition over ice cream might make all the difference.

“Paw-paw and summer melon were doing the can-can in the glass…”


Daisy says: A light brick-red wine with a pronounced smell of raisins and crème brulee on the nose. On the palate I picked up tastes of those delicious dark-sugar combs which one finds atop desserts, as well as a faint and delectable marmalade component. I would like to pair this with a very strong, mature cheddar cheese served with oat biscuits. Charlotte says: The most fragrant nose on the line up - exploding with fresh rose petals, tart yet sweet cranberries, raspberries as well as those boiled strawberry and cream sweets. This one really pushed my sugar boundaries though. The rich Turkish delight and berry coulis flavours continued onto the palate, with an intense sweetness that overwhelmed my delicate savoury

Tiaan says: This wine has a seductive colour, which follows to a ‘strawberries and crème caramel’ aroma on the nose. The sweetness of flavour is laced with rich red berries and red fruit. The wine is well balanced, slightly fuller and has a lingering finish.

“You would manage a few good glasses without feeling as though you might be at some dodgy wedding reception.”


TasteTeam Guest Taster – Eugene says: This is a smooth Muscadel, with a taste predominantly of raisins, but with a whisper of pomegranate as an afterthought. This cuts through as a delectable contrast to the immediate sweetness. Easy to drink and reminiscent of Christmas pudding. A soft, fruity texture, which I think would easily pair with a Malva pudding and crème fraiche.

Boplaas Red Muscadel 2013 RRP: R50; Stockists: Pick ’n Pay Liqour stores, Tops at SPAR

Angelo is a blogger, photographer and adventurer, Angelo, whose love of all things gastronomic and vinous is somewhat contagious. A passionate born and bred Durbanite, he now finds himself in Stellenbosch, and this foodie is never far off the trail of something craft or modish.

to my taste buds. This Muscadel had a lingering finish and I would like to see it on crushed ice with a slice of orange. Charlotte says: By this stage of the evening, I think everyone was on a bit of a sugar high, so my notes comparing this one to a rose petal and lime martini may sound a bit strange, but bear with me. That powerful Turkish delight fragrance is once again dominant, but there is a lovely acidic twang alongside it – like a green lime fizzer from my school tuck shop days– that balances out the mouth feel nicely. I can imagine a glass of this as a digestif alongside a decadent dessert would go rather nicely. Silas says: Beginning with the scent, this seems promising. Perhaps it is the fact that this is so very sweet on the old buds which takes away from fully enjoying what is a decent drink. As for standing out amongst others, I would say this one stands up well. It also looks pretty good in its packaging, so in essence a really good example. Angelo says: This wine just made me think of Sundays when you get back home from a pop in at the local deli, and you sit down to freshly baked breads and cured meats and pickled goodies. This wine was floral and fresh on the nose, and had hints of confected fruits and candy sweets. Flavours of bergamot

Daisy says: A light ruby colour with a nose of jasmine and fresh fruit pie hot out of the oven. On the palate, however, this came across more as stewed fruit. I could also pick up a slight cardboard element to the taste – not to its detriment, it was simply just apparent


“This Muscadel gave the distinct feeling of standing in a small flower shop crammed to the hilt with roses.”

citrus and bright green apples made for a beautifully rounded wine. Tiaan says: This wine had a certain zesty freshness to it. The fruity tones to balance the acidity reminded me of boiled raspberry sweets and Turkish delight. There is a slight herbaceous tone, which compliments the sweetness to create a floral characteristic in this wine. Delish! Guest Taster – Eugene says: This Muscadel gave the distinct feeling of standing in a small flower shop crammed to the hilt with roses. It became apparent that the rose theme wasn’t reserved for the aroma alone, the taste also held distinct tones of Turkish delight. I couldn’t help but return to the wine a few times to savour the rose garden allure. It had a very pleasant sweetness and will work marvellously with a baked cheesecake

Badsberg Red Muscadel 2012 RRP: R65; Stockists: Makro, Liquor City and Ultra Liquors Daisy says: This fortified wine showed off a deep brick-red/coppery colour with nuances of caramel and a bit of burnt toffee on the nose. The palate was sweet and quite intense. One was reminded of those dangerously addictive cough syrups. Rather than have this merely on its own, I think it would do well paired with another equally powerful flavour like a blue cheese or Stilton.

Tiaan Langenegger has been crowned Sunday Times Young Chef of the year in 2013 as well as Unilever Senior Chef of the year in 2012 and is currently a finalist in the KykNet Kokkedoor competition. He has a love for good food and wine, shared with friends and family.


of strawberries, squished them into a kettle and allowed it to simmer for some time. But as horrible as that sounds, it is actually this wine’s winning card, because you don’t have to strain yourself to taste what should be already a familiar taste to you. If you enjoy your fruit drink, then this would be the one for you.

Charlotte says: Unusual nose on this one – flavours of cherry cough syrup, candied red apples and pomegranate juice all come together for a unique offering, whilst lashings of raisins give each sip a bold sweetness. There is a

“Brooding, clean cut and oozing confidence, this wine’s nature reminded me of the main character of a Tarantino film.” strong honey and toffee layer in there, which makes this a bit too cloying for my personal taste, but those with an insatiable sweet tooth would no doubt enjoy a few glasses tremendously. Silas says: There is something very strawberry about this Muscadel. It is almost as if somebody took a handful

Angelo says: This wine has a huge whack of red berry fruit, raspberries and cherries and was brought to life by an incredible herbaceous, buchu note on the nose that lifted its complexity. Brooding, clean cut and oozing confidence, this wine’s nature reminded me of the main character of a Tarantino film. He’ll ride in horseback, whip you around the ears and leave you remembering his name for years to come. Tiaan says: Another rich, ripe red fruit and raisin profile on both nose and palate. My first impression was the sweet familiar deliciousness of red lolli-pops! This flavour progressed to sweeter strawberry nuances and finishes slightly drier with tones of pomegranate. Guest Taster – Eugene says: The nose, at first, held a slightly herbal and liquorice nature. This was followed by secondary aromas and tastes of honeyed-prunes, finishing off with notes of plum as an aftertaste. Due to the residual sweetness of this wine, my opinion would be to pair it with cheese – either a Gorgonzola or mature Brie – slightly warmed and adorned with toasted nuts.

Guest Taster: Eugene van der Walt – Born and raised in Johannesburg. Eugene studied in Stellenbosch where he now works as a Systems Analyst. He has a passion for literature, food, wine and anything to do with the ocean.

Special Report

Caption head: How did winning the Miss Universe pageant in 1992 shape you into the person you are today?


The Craft of Cooperage

ooperage, the making of wine barrels, is an age-old craft, today still practiced without change resulting from mechanization and industrialization.

England have been found. A column of the Roman Emperor Trajan, constructed in 98AD, shows casks being loaded. By the time the Romans left Britain, coopered vessels were in use throughout Europe.

Dating back as far as 2690 BC, Egyptian drawings illustrate cooperage in the form of wooden tubs with bands around them. Further evidence of a type of coopering may be found mentioned in the writings of the Greek, Herodotus, who speaks of transporting wine in “palm tree wood vats”, similar to the barrels we know, down the Euphrates River in boats.

The word ‘cooper’ seems to have originated from the Gallic word ‘cupal’, which meant the wooden vessel in which wine was stored. The German word ‘kuper’ or ‘kufer’ was probably also derived from the Gallic word.

Remains of coopering during the Iron Age in 12 WINE EXTRA SEPTEMBER 2013

Coopering later evolved into three categories: dry, wet and white coopering. A white cooper basically made pails, while the dry cooper made casks as we know them (similar to the ones the wet cooper

Special Report made), but which were used for holding dry materials only. The reasons for the popularity of the cask and its rapid spread through Europe and the rest of the world, as well as the fact that it is still being used today much as before, are evident. A cask consists of staves, two heads and hoops. The staves at the ‘belly’ of the cask are bent, employing the principles of the double arch. This construction makes a cask remarkably strong and because the bulk of the content is in the ‘belly area’, a cask may be rolled and handled with ease. The ancient casks were made from palm tree wood. The English however, found they needed a strong, robust wood for their barrels, which had to withstand the pressure of brewing beer. They turned to oak wood and imported Memel oak from Northern Europe and the Baltic countries.

In the wine trade, oak wood from France was traditionally used. Out of the over 500 species of the genus Quercus, only a few are used in the wine industry. Limousin is the most famous type of oak wood used for making wine casks. It comes from the rough, hilly area of Haute-Vienne, where the soil is granitic and deficient in lime and iron. As a result, the trees are short and squat and the wood coarse-grained. Almost as well-known is the oak wood from the area around Nevers, where the soil is rich and moist and the wood regular and tightly grained – most suitable for the manufacture of casks intended for wine maturation. Nowadays, the oak wood is graded according to its grain, rather than district of origin. Therefore all coarse-grained oak is called Limousin and all tightgrained oak, either Nevers or Tronçais from Central


Special Report France. Both these types of wood are suitable for maturing wine in and the winemaker decides which to use for his specific wine. South African oak wood is unsuitable for using in the manufacture of casks, because it is too porous. As a result of our relatively warm winters, the oak trees here do not become dormant and therefore grow very quickly, yielding an inferior quality oak wood. After the oak tree has been felled, the log is sawn into the required lengths of the staves. Then it is split into staves, along the grain of the wood. The staves remain watertight if they are split along the grain. They are then stacked outside to dry and also to allow the rain to wash out some of the tannin, which the wood naturally contains. The result is that the bitterness in the wood is removed, ensuring that no foreign matter will influence the taste of the wine matured in the cask made from such oak wood. Fast kiln-drying does not produce the same effect, as the tannins and bitter compounds remain in the wood. Once the wood has been ‘seasoned’, it is ready for using to make a cask. The staves are sized on a mechanical rotating table, with their lengths ranging from 90cm for a relatively small cask, to 105cm for a Cognac cask of 350 litres and 115cm for a 450 litre cask. The staves are then ‘listed’ by


the cooper, which means that they are angled to become narrow towards their edges. Then they are shaped on the outside and slightly hollowed on the inside. The cooper now has to get all the staves upright and held in the raising hoop – a true art and quite a juggling trick! Once the hoop is filled with staves, it is tightened by hammering it down. An open fire is prepared, and the raised-up cask is placed over it, in order to heat it sufficiently to bend the staves and hammer down the remaining hoops. Throughout the firing, the inside of the cask is dampened to prevent the wood from charring. If firing is done correctly, the staves ‘set’, so that they will retain their bent shape even if the hoops are removed. The heads or ends of the cask can then be fitted. A groove is cut at both ends of the cask, all the way around the inside and the heads will fit into this groove. To fit the heads, the hoops are loosened, and once they are fitted into the groove, the hoops are hammered back into place. After the cask has been sanded, it is ready for use – the highly skilled task of the cooper is complete. To become a qualified cooper anywhere in the world still requires a remarkably, but justifiably, long apprenticeship. In South Africa, the period is

Special Report four to five years, and in England it is seven years. An amazing amount of wood is required to make one cask: as few as 10 staves are sometimes cut from one tree, and the average cask needs 40 staves. The usual wine cask requires approximately two-and-ahalf trees. Furthermore, an oak tree takes 150 years to reach the stage when it is fit for felling! Ageing wine in an oak vat is therefore far more costly than most people would ever imagine. Finally, on the subject of cooperage, it is interesting to note the origin of the phrase “as drunk as a lord”. If a cask was not raised up perfectly straight, which resulted in a misshapen cask, it was referred to as a ‘lord’. Coopers were not known for their sober habits, and when they were under the weather and staggering a bit, they were referred to in the same terminology as their leaning casks: “as drunk as a lord!”


Exclusive interview

Lance Witten Born and raised in Cape Town, ETV news anchor and radio personality with Heart FM, Lance Witten knows his Robertson from his Stellenbosh. Images by: Mark Freeborough Shot on location at: The Victoria Junction Hotel


Lance witten with the sommelier who was working there at the time. He’d decide on a theme for the night and we’d have a whole session on wines from specific regions or particular cultivars. There was definitely a point when I would’ve been able to discern which wine came from which region, but that has now faded away a bit.

We know you from E-News and more recently Heart FM, but who are you and where do you come from?

I was born in Mowbray Maternity, like many brown people from that part of town. I remember growing up in Lansdowne in a wonderful family environment in our 80’s style house with its ‘trendy’ sunken lounge and building tree-houses in the garden. I attended high school at Pinelands High as my dad had a very good job with Old Mutual and we relocated to the area situated near his work. Today I’m still living in Pinelands with my own family and I love it. When did you first start to drink wine?

I was about 20 years old and was going through a pseudo ‘culture phase’ where a beer and ciders just wasn’t going to cut it and life was all about chilling out in hotel lobbies other than hanging out in grubby bars whilst quoting Tolstoy or some or other rubbish. My cousin was actually working at The Vineyard Hotel at the time and he got me a job at the hotel when he left. I built up a great relationship

To this day, I know I like Shiraz from the Robertson valley and I don’t like Merlot’s from the West Coast. I like to learn new things and it was definitely a case of me throwing myself into this at the time, in order to get to grips with it. It was in my late 20’s that I started to get into Scotch Whiskey a fair bit and my thirst for wine tapered off somewhat, until I realized that you really can’t drink Scotch with a meal. I have found that I can no longer drink a beer with food. It simply always has to be a wine, yet never a white wine. My body doesn’t like the acid of white wines very much. Do you ever visit any wine farms?

I used to, but with my television work, I was mostly working over weekends and simply didn’t have any time to do that kind of thing. That said, I always thoroughly enjoy visiting them when I do. I remember visiting wine farms with my Dad and his mates, especially because I couldn’t drive yet, so there were no worries from my side about drinking and driving, which is a real issue today. My friends and I are always threatening to organize a day out, organize a driver and go out for the day, get smashed and have a total jol where you’re not even tasting the wine anymore, you’re just soaking in the atmosphere and vibe that the winelands offer. Somehow we just never get there!


Exclisive interview

Which farms do you particularly enjoy to visit when you do have the time?

My very favourite farm to visit is not particularly the farm from where my favourite wine comes. I merely love the setting, the views and the estate. It is just phenomenal. For me, Fairview is simply spectacular. I have always enjoyed visiting Delheim too and Hidden Valley with Overture is simply incredible. Bertus Basson’s food is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Do you have any favourite wines that you enjoy?

Let’s see… That’s ANY Merlot from Robertson. I’m partial to Shiraz, and Pinotage can only come from Stellenbosch. I’m not really a Cab Sav fan. I particularly enjoy the Shiraz from Boschendal and the Mulderbosch Merlot is also great.

Vineyard. We used to go on these wine ‘journeys’, taking a varietal at a time and looking at various examples from all the different regions to see how they compare. It is truly fascinating. Nowadays when I go into a wine boutique, I don’t choose a wine by the farm, I pick them by region. I would rather choose a couple of different bottles from one region, which also allows me to sample something different every time, rather than sticking with the same thing and not expanding my knowledge. This is something my Dad taught me actually. When I started driving, he gave me the car keys and said, “Get in the car and get lost, because if you never get lost, you’ll never find your way around”. So that’s what I do, I get lost in wine.

What a great way to describe your favourites!

If you had to pick up a bottle of wine from the local supermarket on the fly, which would be your go-to wine, which you know won’t let you down?

Well it all really goes back to the wine education and appreciation I got whilst working at The

Allesverloren Cabernet Sauvignon would be my table wine. Even though I’m not a big Cab Sav


Lance witten drinker, I know many people are and it’s just one of those really good, pleasant all-round wines, which pairs well with anything. Alternatively, the Boschendal Pavillion Rouge is always a fail-safe option for me. If a wine were to be made in your honour, what would it be and what would it be called?

It would be called ‘Il Vino du Musicante Blu’, which means ‘The Wine of the Blue Musician’. I was going to open a restaurant at one stage and it was going to be called ‘Il Ristorante du Musicante Blu’. I was a musician who could never make it in the music industry and therefore I was very sad, so I wanted to open this restaurant with an open-mic concept where any musician could come in and take the stage to showcase themselves. The thought was that there would be a very high culinary standard… but the music not so much… The wine itself would more than likely be a Shiraz with peppery, spicy, musky and dark flavours. It would be like that woman that you see in some crowded public space. She’s got violently red hair and she’d look at you through the hair with a glint in her eye. You’d make an instant connection, knowing that you can never be together… that’s what my wine would be like. Have you ever done anything a little bit crazy, silly, naughty or embarrassing after having too much wine?

When I was very young, I threw up on my shoes outside Cavendish after drinking way too much Pavillion Rouge at JB Rivers. It wasn’t the most sexy moment of my life. I’ve made a few bad streetvendor food choices immediately after having too much red wine and that didn’t turn out too nice either. I must add that I am 100% convinced that it was the quality of the food in question as opposed to the quantity of the wine. Every time. Fact.

Is there perhaps a particular wine that you’re keeping in there for a special occasion?

*Whispers* Wine doesn’t last very long in my house… [Sounds about right! – Ed]. I’ve tried to keep them, but before you know it, you’ve opened it. What is your ideal scenario for enjoying a glass of wine?

I wouldn’t willingly choose a glass of white wine, however, a crisp, chilled white on a hot summers day under some dappled sunlight with a nice chicken salad or salmon fillet is simply idyllic. When it comes to red, it’s more about a big rowdy dinner with friends. It’s loud, it’s music, it’s banging on the table when you’re laughing at a joke. Where is your favourite place to enjoy a glass of wine?

I enjoy those late lunches that spill over into the evening, especially when they’re impromptu, whether with family or friends. If everyone is on the same page, it can turn out to be the most amount of fun. I also enjoy lying on a deck chair at The Bay Hotel with a chilled bottle of white wine and watch the sun set over the ocean. We were drinking the Stellar Organic Fairtrade (No Sulphur Added) Shiraz 2012. Lance’s thoughts on the wine:

“It’s quite nice. It’s got those typical peppery notes that I like and has a lot of fruitiness to it.” RRP: R48

Do you have a cellar at home?

I don’t, however I have a very old house and it’s always quite cold inside, with thick walls and solid wooden floors, so I keep my wines in a special cabinet. 19 WINE EXTRA JULY 2013

TableTalk This month: Christie’s withdraws suspect DRC from New York auction The Worlds Most Expensive Champagne A dating site for wine lovers? New Wine Gadget Allows Wine-Tasting Without Removing the Cork

Christie’s withdraws suspect DRC from New York auction Article courtesy of


omaine de la Ro m a n é e - C o n t i ’s co-owner, Aubert de Villaine, has praised Christie’s for withdrawing a magnum of La Tâche 1962 from auction at the eleventh hour, due to concerns it is a fake. Christie’s confirmed to Decanter. com that it had removed the magnum ‘of its own accord’ from its fine and rare wines auction which took place in New York over 30 and 31 May. It is understood to have pulled the wine, which carried a top estimate of US$24,000 excluding buyer’s premium. ‘In keeping with our multi-step process for authentication, we have already been in contact


with the domaine regarding the variations in labelling that often come with wines of this era’, said a Christie’s spokesperson. Aubert de Villaine, co-owner of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, welcomed the decision. While he has only seen a photo of the magnum in question, he said there were ‘justified doubts’ over some aspects of the labelling and bottle cap. ‘It is therefore right that Christie’s has withdrawn [this wine] from sale pending a more complete expert opinion,’ he told Doubts about the magnum’s authenticity were raised by lawyer and Burgundy collector

Don Cornwell, via a forum post on the Wine Berserkers website. Cornwell listed various errors with the label as shown in the Christie’s catalogue, including a circumflex over the ‘a’ in ‘Tâche’, which should not be there on a 1962 vintage. He added that not all of the type on the label aligns, and questioned the wax-bottled cap. Magnums of this vintage would normally have a foil cap. He also s u g g e st e d t h e m a g n u m m ay have originated from alleged wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan, because the defects ‘are identical’ to several of the pre-1978 DRC bottles sourced by Kurniawan including those withdrawn from a Spectrum Wine Auctions and Vanquish sale in February 2012.

TableTalk The Worlds Most Expensive Champagne


out de Diamants h ave e n l i s t e d the help of luxury designer Alexander Amosu to help create the world’s most expensive champagne bottle. Mr Amosu has hand crafted the packaging from 18ct solid white gold, weighing approximately 48gsm of solid gold, centred by a single flawless deep cut white diamond weighing 19cts. The label is also handmade in 18ct solid gold and weighs approximately 36gsm, handcrafted and personalized. Commenting on the design, Alexander Amosu said: “The bottle already has a distinctive look with its natural design, all I had to do is bring it to the next level of ultimate luxury.” Brand founder, Shammi Shinh, said: “All our bottles come as standard with a n exq u i s i t e d i a m o n d themed bottle design encrusted with a diamond cut Swarovski crystal. We wanted to take it one step further and create a one off masterpiece for one of our private wealthy clients and we are very pleased with the results.”


TableTalk A dating site for wine lovers? Article courtesy of


irst came ’Eater Dating’, which seemed like some kind of joke, but is definitely real. Now comes VineaLove, a dating site for wine lovers, from Frenchwoman Françoise Pauly and her 25-year-old daughter Roxane Brooke. A former wine journalist and professional who now runs a wine job search site Vinea.Jobs, Pauly came up with the idea just two months ago. Doing some research, she found “dating sites for people who like pets, or heavy metal music, or computers. And not one for wine. And I was astonished.” The site is not just French, but international and will feature content in many languages, including English. “The more people I talked with in the wine industry,” she says, “the more I became convinced it was a good project. I was dreaming of having an international platform for wine lovers and so we decided to make it also a social network and professional network as well.” To that end, she’s recruited 10 “wine ambassadors” to promote the site on social media and by holding wine events where members can meet. The idea is to have a presence in every wine-consuming country around the world. In the U.S., the ambassador is Raphaelle Pasquier, a wine educator who is setting up a wine school in New York. In a phone call, Pauly explained how the site works. “When you fill in your profile, you have to state whether you’re looking for love, friendship


or business and whether you are single or in a relationship.” The form also asks you to list your favourite wines, wine regions, wine bars and wine shops, etc. Who knows? Maybe you can find someone to share your obsession with orange wine or obscure sherries. Or indigenous grapes that begin with the letter z. She stresses that the site is not just for dating. “Wine people love above all to talk about wine and exchange experiences and to meet people and drink wine with them. That’s what the platform is meant to be, really.” The site will also include a blog and a forum. The idea is that if you’re in Tokyo or Marseilles or even Los Angeles, you can find suggestions for a good wine bar and maybe find someone who wants to go out for a glass of wine. Quick! The first thousand members get free membership for six months. Normally, the cost will be $15 to $20, depending on the country. Email for a free subscription form or check the VineaLove USA Facebook page for more details. There, Pauly writes, “I believe that life is too short to #1 drink bad wine and #2 drink it in bad company!“ Amen.

TableTalk New Wine Gadget Allows Wine-Tasting Without Removing the Cork Article courtesy of


ine lovers can now taste their wine without removing the cork, with the help of a gadget devised by Coravin, a US manufacturer. The gadget, which is known as Coravin Wine Access System allows pouring out any quantity of wine without pulling the cork out. The cork and the foil get penetrated with the help of a hollow needle and the wine is then pressurised with Argon gas, which is an oxidation reducing agent. Once the wine is poured out, the cork gets sealed on its own and the leftover wine in the bottle stays unaffected by the exposure and continues maturing. This gadget has been created by a medical device developer cum engineer Greg Lambrecht, who studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It took 13 years for creating this gizmo and he used many gases and various pressures for testing purpose and took samples from the same bottles at different times.

“I want to eradicate the phrase “too good to drink” from the English language,” Lambrecht told The Decanter. “I drank a bottle of 1961 Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion with about 14 people over the course of four years.” Lambrecht has been treasuring several bottles over the years. An ex-Christie’s Hong Kong wine chief and Coravin advisory board member Charles Curtis tasted the wine and spotted no disparity in the taste of the wine. “It is absolutely unique. I’ve blind-tasted numerous wines (preserved using Coravin) and fresh samples, with sommeliers, Masters of Wine and other experts, and we could not detect any difference,” Curtis said. “When a winemaker can’t tell the difference between a Coravin sample and a fresh sample of their own wine, that means it’s pretty much fool proof.” This wine reviving gizmo Coravin costs approximately £200 (R3,000).


Veronica Canha-Hibbert


eronica started her career in 1999 at The Mount Nelson as an apprentice under Garth Strobel and during this apprenticeship she worked at Quinta do Lago, in Almancil Portugal. After qualifying Veronica left to work in Five Star establishments in England including The Grove Resort , Hertfordshire England. She returned to Cape Town in 2008 and joined Ellerman House as Executive Sous Chef, by September of that year Veronica was promoted to Executive Chef and has worked at Ellerman House in that capacity ever since. Veronica takes inspiration from many different sources and enjoys the challenge of creating daily bespoke menus for the guests of Ellerman House and Villa. As Ellerman House has evolved so has the cuisine. The exclusivity of Ellerman House means Veronica’s dishes have a select and very discerning audience and these are tailored to the specific guests

Steamed West Coast Crayfish - Serves 4 Ingredients 4 x 500g West Coast crayfish Maldon salt and cracked black pepper, to taste 1 Ripe avocado 1 Shallot, finely diced 5ml Garlic, finely chopped 50g Smooth cream cheese 15ml Lemon juice ½ tsp Cayenne pepper 300ml Caster sugar 500ml Water 2 Baby fennel bulbs 2 Lemons 2 Cinnamon sticks 1tbsp Fennel seeds 3 Star anise 500ml Vegetable oil 1 Head garlic, cut in half lengthwise 2 Rosemary sprigs 3 Thyme sprigs 30g Italian parsley (washed) 30g Chervil (washed) 30g Coriander (washed) 30g Dill (washed) 30g Chives White wine vinegar (to taste) Method: Crayfish: Remove the tails from the crayfish bodies and skewer the tails. Steam for 20 minutes then refresh in iced water. Once cooled, remove the shell, keeping the tail meat intact. Trim the ends to neaten the tail and slice diagonally into five slices. Season with Maldon salt and cracked black pepper. Avocado mousse: Peel the avocado and remove the stone. Spoon out the flesh and place into a blender, then add the shallot, garlic, cream cheese and lemon juice and blend till


smooth. Season to taste. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Candied fennel: Preheat the oven to 100째C. Dissolve 100g sugar in 200ml water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Boil this sugar stock for 5 minutes before removing from the heat and allowing it to cool. Using a mandoline or slicer, slice the whole fennel bulb lengthwise into thin strips. Dip the fennel into the cooled sugar stock and arrange in a single layer on a silpat and place in the oven for 30 minutes before turning. The fennel should be crisp but not coloured. Remove from the oven and store in a cool dry area till ready to use. Confit lemon segments: Peel and segment the lemons, ensuring the segments have no pith and are uniform in size. In a small saucepan dissolve 200ml sugar in 300ml water and add the cinnamon, fennel and star anise. Bring to the boil and cook for 5-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the liquid to cool slightly. Add the lemon segments and allow the liquid to

cool down completely. Herb dressing: Pour the oil into a small saucepan then add the garlic, rosemary and thyme. Infuse over a low heat until the garlic starts to turn golden. Turn off the heat. Stand till cool then strain. In a blender add the infused oil and all the remaining herbs, and blend until smooth. Decant into a bowl, add the vinegar and season to taste. This dressing will last for 4 days if refrigerated. To serve: Use a black slate plate 20 x 25cm. Slice the steamed crayfish into five diagonal slices and fan out slightly in the centre of the plate. Scatter five drained confit lemon segments around the crayfish. Garnish each segment with a piece of candied fennel, micro cress and a sprig of dill. Quenelle the mousse using dessert spoons and offset onto the crayfish tail. Top with a teaspoon of caviar. Dress the plate with a drizzle of dressing and olive oil.

Pair it with Dawid Niewoudt Ghost Corner Semillion Retail price: R160


Livin’thelife by Maryna Strachan

Peter Unsworth, Debbie Hathway, Annie-Claude Bergonzoli, John Wardall & Maryna Strachan

Wine Whisperer I remember it clearly: 4 Friends road-tripping from Bloemfontein (yes, I’m a boeremeisie from the Free State) to Durban to board the ‘Melody’ on a 5 day cruise to the Portugese island of Bazaruto and back.




t was the summer of 1999… No, I’m not referring to the song that was made famous by Prince, or The Artist, or whatever he’s calling himself these days. I’m referring to the one and only time I went on a cruise. I remember it clearly: 4 Friends roadtripping from Bloemfontein (yes, I’m a boeremeisie from the Free State) to Durban to board the ‘Melody’ on a 5 day cruise to the Portugese island of Bazaruto and back. I can clearly recall all of the activities, the copious amounts of food and just lazing on deck all day long, whilst trying to get over the hangover from the night before. There were all kinds of shows and I was even hypnotized on stage and led to believe that I had an enormous crush on someone who could easily be likened to a toad… Aaaaah, those were the days… So, imagine my excitement to be invited on board the incredible vessel from Silversea Cruise lines, the Silver Whisper. OK, it was only for lunch and a tour while she was berthed here in Cape Town harbour, but I most definitely was not going to miss the opportunity to at least have a sniff at the type of experience that could be expected on one of her round-the-world cruises. Upon arrival, we were greeted by our hostess for the day, Relais & Chateaux African Delegation Director, Annie-Claude Bergonzoli. We were escorted on

Thomas Harrison - Silversea Cruises, Elmari Cuyler - G.M of Ellerman House & AnnieClaude Bergonzoli, Relais & Châteaux

Connoisseurs Club

Livin’thelife to the magnificent vessel and led to one of the Show Lounge where we were treated to regularly topped up glasses of Moët & Chandon and delicious canapé’s whilst watching the most spectacular video clip showcasing the various trips, routes and benefits of joining a Silversea cruise. From exploring the Galapagos islands or spotting polar bears in the Arctic on one of their Expedition vessels, to any of their 6* rated luxury cruises to just about anywhere your heart desires.

featuring luxury products and ultimate comfort. They’re also all sea-facing, with the majority having private balconies. Pure, unadulterated relaxation and pleasure to my mind!

Following this, we had a guided tour through the Silver Whisper. It’s as if you’ve pressed your personal ‘Pause’ button. I can imagine spending as little as a week lounging on the pristine pool deck, watching amazing shows in the Show Lounge, browsing the boutiques and enjoying sumptuous meals around the clock in one of her many restaurants. With a service compliment that practically sees one staff member to each guest, you can be assured of unparalleled service and attention to detail unlike no other.

Here we were treated to a fabulous lunch prepared by Ellerman House Executive Chef, Vanessa CanhaHibbert (see ‘Now You’re Cooking’) with each dish expertly paired with the amazing wines from our very own Waterford Estate and presented by Kevin Arnold himself.

Each suite is spacious and beautifully appointed,

The Silver Whisper


Our last stop was Le Champagne, one of the Relais & Chateaux wine restaurants. Only on the luxury cruise ships of Silversea will you come across one of these, which are stocked with wines from the world’s most distinguished wine regions.

After saying our goodbyes and disembarking this marvel of the seas, sated and sauced, I couldn’t help but imagine myself relaxing in total harmony with the ocean on one of these ships one day… when I’m all grown up… and have won the lottery…


We’ve Been Drinking Ernie Els Big Easy White 2013


ince its launch more than a decade ago, Ernie Els Wines has grown and matured into a successful and multi-award winning enterprise with a magnificent portfolio of South African wines. Ernie himself is passionate about wine and has always been involved in the tasting process for his Signature wine. His head winemaker, Louis Strydom, has also been one of the key success factors, having produced every single vintage of Ernie Els Wines since the maiden 2000 vintage. Louis brings a vast amount of experience as one of the leading vintners in the South African wine industry for more than 15 years, and has recently stepped down as the outgoing Chairman of the Cape Winemakers Guild. Louis has been acknowledged as the only South African winemaker to have made a wine that was nominated four years consecutively as one of the Top 100 wines in the world in a leading US wine publication. The year 2010 marked a significant and exciting period of expansion for Ernie Els Wines as it introduced additional red wines to its portfolio. This bold initiative gave Ernie Els Wines greater diversity and also extend its products across a wider price range, at the same time introducing the brand to a larger audience worldwide. 2011 saw further development within the Ernie Els Wines business with white wines will be released for the first time. These wines, a Chenin Blanc and a Sauvignon Blanc, are sourced from selected vineyards around the Western Cape, with specific styles in mind to further extend the consumers that Ernie Els Wines can reach. This 100% Chenin Blanc in 2013 oozes with ripe mango, litchi and guava. Layers of spice and a steely acidity add to the sleek texture and powerful embrace; it is certainly Big, and yet ‘Easy’. Classic Loire-like dried straw and wet-pebble notes give


a slight savoury component to the pure racy fruit. The finish is full and long, leaving your palate with a sensation of peaches and cream. A dreamy wine with the structure to develop over the next 2 years. Price: R75 Available from: Makro

Get Out Caption head: How did winning the Miss Universe pageant in 1992 shape you into the person you are today?

August/Sepember 2013


This month: Franschhoek Winter Wines Franschhoek Mystery Nedbank CWG Auction Showcase Wines From Weekend Around The World The Big Bottle Festival Strandveld WinePaired Dinner Bottelary Hills Winemakers Lunch Complimentary Monday Wine Tastings Simonsig Vintage Wine Day More.....










Get Out Franschhoek Winter Wines Bid a fond farewell to winter in style and make your way to the Franschhoek Motor Museum, L’Ormarins Estate on Saturday, 17 August for this year’s Franschhoek Winter Wines. Participating wineries include, amongst others, La Bri, Morena, Colmant, Môreson, Anthonij Rupert Wines, Franschhoek Cellars, Bellingham, Noble Hill, Leopard’s Leap, La Motte, Solms-Delta and Haut Espoir. Relax and unwind in a warm and cosy environment, taking in the beauty of your surroundings as live entertainment throughout the day assures you of a memorable experience. Car enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice as the Franschhoek Motor Museum offers visitors a unique opportunity to look back at more than 100 years of motoring history. This includes an extraordinary and exciting collection of vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and memorabilia in the magnificent setting of L’Ormarins. The festival will be open from 12pm until 5pm, and the tickets cost R180 per person, which includes your entrance fee to the event, tasting of all the wines on show and admission to the Franschhoek Motor Museum. Tickets can be purchased directly from and booking is essential as tickets are limited. For more information or bookings contact the Franschhoek Wine Valley office on 021-876 2861 or

Franschhoek Mystery Weekend - Join us over the weekend of 16 and 17 August in Franschhoek for the next in our series of Mystery Weekends. For just R2,390 per couple, for the whole weekend, you’ll experience the best our little village has to offer. We - Franschhoek Wine Valley - randomly select a range of amazing Franschhoek adventures and create your unique couple Mystery Weekend Package. This means that you have no idea where you’re staying, where you’re eating or what other experiences are in store for you. Every Franschhoek Mystery Weekend Package includes the following: • Two nights of accommodation (for two people sharing) at one of Franschhoek’s excellent 4/5* hotels, B&B’s or guesthouses; • A meal voucher (for two) to one of Franschhoek’s renowned fine dining establishments; • Two breakfasts (for two); • Two tickets to The Screening Room at Le Quartier Français; • A discount voucher (per couple) to use at the participating Franschhoek retail outlet; • Two different wine tastings (per couple), each taking place at an award-winning participating Franschhoek wine farm; • One other surprise Franschhoek experience (per couple). For bookings or queries please contact Carmen Kleinschmidt on

Nedbank CWG Auction Showcase On Thursday, 22 August, the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Showcase at the Jasminium Conservatory (Ground Floor) of the CTICC offers wine lovers a preview of the wines crafted exclusively for the prestigious Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction. Meet the Guild members and sample exceptional wines with a creative edge and great diversity of styles in an informal and interactive environment from 18:00-21:00. The Showcase also features a silent auction of rare wines in aid of the Guild’s Development Trust. Since its inception in 1985, the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction has become a quality benchmark of what can be achieved by South African wine producers Tickets cost R170 per person and are available from


CAPE TOWN Wines From Around The World Satisfy your inquisitive palate as you taste your way around the world at Durbanville Hills Wines on 22 August and discover how Sauvignon Blancs and Merlots from some of the finest wine-producing regions differ in style. Led by cellar master Martin Moore, the wines of Durbanville Hills will be included among a selection from Chile, France, New Zealand and Australia. The difference in production methods, style and taste profile between these wines will be discussed, offering insight into the factors that determine the character of wines made from the same cultivar in different parts of the world. The tasting will be followed by a Thai green curry dinner and coffee or tea served with biscotti. The event will start at18:30 for 19:00 and costs R220pp (includes welcome drink, comparative tasting, dinner, coffee or tea served with biscotti). Booking is essential as space is limited. For reservations contact Simone Brown on 021-558 1300 or by sending an email to

The Big Bottle Festival The Big Bottle Festival celebrates South Africa’s finest “Big Bottle” masterpieces during a weekend-long festival. Unique in concept and execution, the festival brings together South Africa’s foremost winemakers and chefs de cuisine. The third Big Bottle Festival will be hosted on the weekend of the 23rd to 25th August 2013 at the renowned five-star Cellars-Hohenort Hotel in Constantia. This weekend of exceptional food and wine comprises a Rare Champagne Tasting on the Friday evening, an exclusive Gourmand Five-Course Dinner Experience on the same evening. On the Saturday and Sunday there will be a Walk-Around Big Bottle tasting and 3-course Champagne Breakfast on the Sunday. The sumptuous Gourmand Five-Course Dinner Experience is prepared and presented by renowned sommelier and wine consultant Jörg Pfützner and award-winning chef Peter Tempelhoff on the evening of Friday, 23rd August 2013. The five courses will be accompanied by exclusively selected wines from classic international regions such as Bordeaux with the tasting of an iconic 1983 Chateau Gruaud-Larose as well new cult wine Ladredo from re-emerging regions like Ribeira Sacra. Other wines which will be served on the evening include the 2011 Soalheiro Alvarinho Dócil, 2003 Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs from England, 1994 Quinta de Bágeiras from Portugal, 2006 Schloss Gobelsburg Grüner Veltliner Tradition Kremstal from Austria, 1983 Chateau Gruaud Larose from Bordeaux France and 1998 Niepoort Colheita Port most of which will be served from rare Magnums, Imperials and Methuselah. The Champagne Tasting, which takes place on the Friday evening, will centre around extremely rare champagnes which are not easily found locally with eight notable 2002 vintage cuvees from such houses such as Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, Dom Pérignon, Louis Roederer Cristal, Jacques Selosse Blanc De Blancs Grand Cru Brut Millesime and Egly-Ouriet Pere et Fils Brut Grand Cru. The Big Bottle walk-about and tasting on Saturday and Sunday the 24th and 25th August allows food and wine lovers to experience the various wines from selected wine farms that have been invited to participate in the event. This will centre on the few wineries and estates in South Africa who are able to bottle wines in large bottle formats. Participation is strictly by invitation only and estates such as Bouchard Finlayson, Hamilton-Russell, Iona, Delaire Graff Estate, Buitenverwachting, Neil Ellis, Jordan, Thelema Mountain Vineyards, Tokara and Klein Constantia will be participating. Tickets for the Big Bottle Festival are available through Webtickets ( with the Walk-Around Day Pass priced at R400 (this includes food and wine), the Gourmand Dinner Experience priced at R1,980 and the 2002 Prestige Champagne Tasting priced at R2,300 per person. For more information please visit the Big Bottle Festival website:


Get Out Strandveld Wine-Paired Dinner The Square Restaurant at the Vineyard Hotel & Spa continues its wondrous winter winepaired dinner series as they host a dinner paired with award-winning Strandveld Wines for a special once-off culinary experience. On Friday, 23 August Strandveld Wines will be showcasing a selection of their fantastic wines. This estate produces a range of easy-drinking and limited run wines that are made from grapes grown on Africa’s southernmost vineyards near Cape Agulhas. The Square Restaurant’s Chef Chris Law will creatively pair his selection of sumptuous dishes to the estate’s wines to ensure an evening of culinary delight. The cost of experiencing this four-course wine-paired dinner is R279 per person and the evening kicks off at 18:30. The Vineyard Hotel is also offering a special bed and breakfast accommodation rate that is inclusive of the wine-paired dinner. Single rooms are available from R950 for the night and double rooms available from R1,590 (this rate is applicable for the night of the event only). To make a booking for the dinner and/or overnight stay, please contact The Square Restaurant on 021-657 4500 or eat@vineyard. Alternatively visit for more information.

Bottelary Hills Winemakers Lunch Escape the daily humdrum of life in the fast lane for an enchanting food and wine experience in a time-honoured cellar under the ground and make your way to the Bottelary Hills Wine Route on the outskirts of Stellenbosch when Hartenberg Estate plays host to the route’s seasonal ‘Pop Up’ Winemakers Lunch on Sunday, 25 August. Celebrating winter with a warm cosy setting in the underground maturation cellar guests can look forward to an exciting bistro style four- course feast where a selection of finest wines from this award-winning winegrowing area is paired with the fabulous food. Resident chef Maia du Plessis relishes devising meals to complement the exquisite wines of the region. The Bottelary Hills Winemakers Lunch costs R250pp, which includes a four course meal and the wines on the day. To book your seats call 021-886 8275 or send an email to Pre-bookings are essential as seating is limited.

Garagiste Winemaking Course with Stellenbosch University The Garagiste winemaking course of the Department of Viticulture and Oenology, University of Stellenbosch, has established itself over the past seven years as the premium winemaking short course for people interested in producing quality small-scale wines in the comfort of their homes. In small-scale winemaking, wine is normally produced from 20 kg to a tonne or two of grapes. Those wishing to attend the course will have the opportunity to observe the use of small-scale winemaking equipment, as well as taste a large number of wines that were produced on small scale. The course has been updated with new activities. Attendees will receive a bottle of wine that they have bottled. On the Saturday night a semi-formal dinner will also be held where a lecture on small scale cheese production will be given with a wine and cheese tasting. The course will be presented by Dr Wessel du Toit, senior lecturer in Oenology (Wine science) at the Department of Viticulture and Oenology at the University of Stellenbosch. Partakers will also receive a comprehensive set of notes and a list of companies selling small-scale winemaking equipment. The course will be presented in English, but partakers can receive either English or Afrikaans notes. Upon completion of the course, each partaker will also receive a certificate. The course will take place on 30, 31 August and 1 September 2013 at the JH Neethling building, Victoria Street, Stellenbosch and costs R2,950 per person (including notes, certificate, refreshments, dinner and cheese tasting on Saturday night and all wine tastings). Those interested can contact Wessel du Toit for a registration form by emailing


CAPE TOWN Simonsig Vintage Wine Day

Complimentary Monday Wine Tastings Every Monday evening during the month of August a selection of firstclass wines will be on offer in The Garden Lounge at the Vineyard Hotel & Spa as part of a series of complimentary wine tastings showcasing select wine estates. On 12 August, Rare Earth Wines will showcase some of the quality South African wines they have sourced from various vineyards in the Western Cape. Also on offer in the month of August are the superb wines from the Saager family’s Eikendal Wine Estate in the picturesque “Gold Triangle” of wine growing between Stellenbosch and

Somerset West on 19 August. The last complimentary wine tasting event of the month allows guests to experience the tastes of the award-winning wines from La Motte, the breath-taking estate owned by the Rupert family, on 26 August. A representative from the respective wine estates will host the wine tasting from 6-7pm and will act as a guest sommelier. The wine tastings are free of charge to all who attend. For more information or to make a booking, email or please call 021-657 4500. Alternatively visit for more information.

Red Wine Blending at Durbanville Hills Learn the essence of creating a masterpiece along with Durbanville Hills’ red winemaker Wilhelm Coetzee as he shares the technique of blending red wines at the cellar on Thursday, 29 August at 18:30. This hugely popular evening allows you to create your very own Bordeaux and Cape-style blends and discover what it takes in creating these extraordinary wines. Wilhelm will assist teams of four in creating their own unique wine, which will then be bottled, sealed under cork and labelled. After the blending experience green olive and lemon chicken tagine and couscous is served followed by coffee or tea and biscotti before claiming your goodie bag and your signature red wine. Durbanville Hills’ wines will be on sale throughout the evening. The experience costs R230 per person (includes welcome drink, wine blending, dinner, coffee/tea, goodie bag and your own labelled bottle of wine). Space is limited and booking is essential. Please contact Simone Brown on 021-558 1300 or e-mail


Seize the opportunity to taste and buy rare vintage gems and enjoy a family day out filled with hearty foods, music and children’s activities at Simonsig’s Vintage Wine Day hosted on Saturday, 24 August when this landmark Stellenbosch estate showcases a fine selection of older signature wines held back for release at optimal maturity. With vintages dating back to the early 90’s, cellarmaster Johan Malan has dug deep to share his private selection from the stash of Simonsig greats which will be available exclusively at the Simonsig Vintage Wine Day. Wine enthusiasts keen to learn more and take an in-depth look at these wines should not miss Johan’s master classes presented at the Vintage Wine Day. Offered free of charge exclusively to festival goers, these classes will offer interactive vertical wine tastings and will start at 11:00 and 14:00. Only a limited amount of Master Class seats are available, for reservations email info@dnaevents. Tickets to the Simonsig Vintage Wine Day are available online at at R150 per person. Early birds booking online can take advantage of the Vintage Day special offer, which includes a complimentary ticket to the event and a selection of six vintage wines at R600. A limited amount of tickets will also be available at Simonsig Estate on the day of the event. To add to the festivities Chef Lucas Carstens and his team will whip up a variety of festive foods. Whilst parents enjoy the vintage wines, children can immerse themselves in a myriad of supervised activities. For more information call 021-888 4912 or visit

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You think you can trust your palate? The South African Wine Tasting Championship is a public event calling for all talents to test their abilities at tasting wines. Wine lovers will finally be the center of a wine event. The SAWTC will aim at two goals: Recognise and Award the Top 50 Wine tasters in South Africa and Select Team South Africa going to the World Blind Tasting Challenge. The event, open to all over the age of 18, will take the format of a wine tasting presented by some of South African greatest wineries. Then the competitors will enter the blind challenge area, where they will try to recognize some of the wines they just tasted. This benchmarking is much harder than it actually sounds! Along with testing their palate memory at this blind challenge, a knowledge quiz will assess their wine culture to select the best of the best, making them Team South Africa, going to the world championship. Whoever feels ready to face the challenge, whether wine lover or wine maker, sommelier or amateur, or just willing to evaluate your palate, diarise the 31st of August 2013 and join the best wine tasters of the country. For more information, contact Jean Vincent Ridon on 021-4225206 or or email info@

Hidden Valley Gourmet Braai ticket at R350 (R50 for kids under 12) gets you a gourmet braai feast, cooked and Wine Festival Reckon you’re a braaing legend? Think again! Join us for a Gourmet Braai Experience that’s guaranteed to make you re-evaluate all you think you know about braaing! Bookings for our Gourmet Braai Festival are now open. Make a booking, bring the family and enjoy a taste experience. 3 dates available: 31 August, 14 September and Heritage “braai” day, 24th September 2013. The party starts from 12. There are no walk-in or at-the-door tickets, so make sure you get tickets today. Each

to perfection by the legendary chef Bertus Basson, a Barrel Wine Tasting, a Hidden Valley Wine Tasting of our award winning wines, a bottle of Hidden Valley Pinotage or Sauvignon Blanc to share on the day, all day entertainment for adults and children and live music by Natasha Meister and Janie and the Beard. Book now at 021-880 2646 or info@ No tickets ava i l a b l e a t t h e d o o r. Ad va n ce bookings only!

Franschhoek Uncorked Superb wines, great food, live entertainment and picture perfect views all set the scene for the annual Franschhoek Uncorked Festival, which takes place over the weekend of 7th and 8th September. Be sure not to miss some of the live entertainment at select farms and some new themes and offerings. Some of the themed offerings include Italian (Terra del Capo at Anthonij Rupert Wines), Spanish (Lynx Wines) and Latin (Noble Hill). Wine enthusiasts can look forward to bespoke tastings at select farms, which must be booked beforehand as seating is limited. As an added extra each farm will have one wine available for purchase at a discounted price, for the duration of the weekend only. To assure you of an unforgettable experience, visitors to the festival will be issued with an Uncorked Weekend Pass, at a cost of R120 per person is available from The pass includes a tasting glass and free wine tastings of select wines at these wineries for the duration of the weekend. For more information contact the Franschhoek Wine Valley office on 021-876 2861 or visit


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Chefs Who Share A unique star studded gala evening destined to become the black tie event of the year, featuring 14 acclaimed South African chefs, seven adept sommeliers and seven celebrated artists all under one roof in aid of youth development, will be held in the Cape Town City Hall on Thursday, 5 September 2013. Presented by Mercedes-Benz South Africa, ‘Chefs who share – the ART of giving’ will treat guests to an evening of glamour, culinary artistry and fine art – all for a worthy cause. All the monies from the ticket sales and the proceeds of an art auction will go towards two youth development charities: Make a Difference Foundation (MAD) and Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. The chefs are from all over South Africa and will be divided into pairs to share their culinary genius and individual menus with limited groups of guests. Each chef duo will be joined by a highly respected sommelier who will ensure that every dish is paired to perfection with a top South African wine. The evening will culminate with an auction of original works of art donated by participating artists. The chefs and sommeliers, all acclaimed masters of their craft, have been paired as follows: · Margot Janse (The Tasting Room, Franschhoek) & David Higgs (Five Hundred at the Saxon, Johannesburg) with sommelier Francis Krone of the Saxon · Bertus Basson (Overture Restaurant, Stellenbosch) & Peter Tempelhoff (Greenhouse at the Cellars-Hohenort, Cape Town) with sommelier at large, Higgo Jacobs · Rudi Liebenberg (Planet Restaurant, Cape Town) & Christiaan Campbell (Delaire, Stellenbosch) with sommelier Carl Habel of the Mount Nelson · Jackie Cameron (Hartford House, Mooi River, Kwazulu-Natal) & Reuben Riffel (Reuben’s, Franschhoek) with Chairman of the SA Sommelier Association, Neil Grant · Darren Badenhorst (Grande Provence, Franschhoek) & Chris Erasmus (Pierneef at La Motte, Franschhoek) with sommelier Pierre Theron of Pierneef at La Motte · Harald Bresselschmidt (Aubergine, Cape Town) & Chantel Dartnall (Mosaic at The Orient, Pretoria) with sommelier Germain Lehodey of Mosaic · Marthinus Ferreira (DW Eleven-13, Johannesburg) & George Jardine (Jordan Restaurant, Stellenbosch) with sommelier Isabella Immenkamp of Jordan Restaurant Tickets to this rare culinary showcase are available at R3,000 per person. Early booking for individual tickets or entire tables is recommended to secure your preferred chefs for the evening. For more information visit, email or call 021-433 1699.

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Nedbank CWG Auction Showcase Johannesburg The Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Showcase in the Atrium at Nedbank›s Head Office in Sandton offers wine lovers a preview of the wines crafted exclusively for the prestigious Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction. Meet the Guild members and sample exceptional wines with a creative edge and great diversity of styles in an informal and interactive environment. The tasting takes place at The Atrium, Nedbank Sandton, 135 Rivonia Road from 18:00-21:00 on the 29th of August 2013. The Showcase also features a silent auction of rare wines in aid of the Guild›s Development Trust. Since its inception in 1985, the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction has become a quality benchmark of what can be achieved by South African wine producers. Tickets cost R170 per person and are available from


The Winery of Good Hope Wine Paired Dinner On the 20th of August, The Winery of Good Hope, in association with Tsogo Sun will be hosting an exclusive dinner featuring 6 fantastic wines from their award-winning ranges, including Radford Dale and Land of Hope, of which 5 will be expertly paired with sumptuous dishes as prepared by the chef of the Sun Coast Casino Durban. The dinner starts at 19:00 for 19:30 and tickets can be booked in advance by emailing or call 021888 8815. Kindly note: these events are very popular and booking is essential. Full pre-payment required to confirm bookings. Cancellation carries 50% refund.

The Winery of Good Hope Wine Paired Dinner On the 21st of August, The Winery of Good Hope, in association with Tsogo Sun will be hosting an exclusive dinner featuring 6 fantastic wines from their award-winning ranges, including Radford Dale and Land of Hope, of which 5 will be expertly paired with sumptuous dishes as prepared by the Executive Chef of the Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga. The dinner starts at 19:00 for 19:30 and tickets at R390 per person can be booked in advance by emailing Samantha@twsmedia. or call 021-888 8815. Kindly note: these events are very popular and booking is essential. Full pre-payment required to confirm bookings. Cancellation carries 50% refund.


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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher

Wine Extra September 2013  

South Africa's favourite wine magazine, packed with info on what to do in the winelands, what to try and what to buy.

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