A surprise announcement yesterday was that Graham Beck Wines will consolidate all the wine interests in its Graham Beck brand portfolio in its Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) range. The Graham Beck MCC focus will be supported by a ‘substantial financial investment‘, its CEO Chris du Toit has announced. Continue reading →
This weekend Franschhoek will celebrate its fourth ‘Franschhoek Uncorked’ weekend, and all indications are that the weather will be reasonably kind to the event. Eighteen Franschhoek wine estates invite visitors to Franschhoek to visit them, not only to taste their wines, but also to enjoy the unique food and entertainment at each estate.
The Franschhoek wine estates offer visitors the following:
* Noble Hill: Eat at Cosecha Restaurant, gourmet Tachos on grill, music by The Studebakers. Tel (021) 874-3844
* Vrede en Lust: Cocktails with strawberries, to celebrate Spring. Tel (021) 874-7611
* Plaisir de Merle: One of the wine estates capturing the French heritage of Franschhoek the best. Serving pancakes, live music. Tel (021) 874- 1071
* Allée Bleue: Live jazz, free wine tasting, French foods (Flammkuchen, Bouillabaisse, cheesecake with strawberries), fresh herbs for sale, new vintage Brut Rosé, picnics at R145 per person, meals at The Bistro. Tel (021) 874-1021
* Solms-Delta: Celebration of ‘van die Kaap’, with Cape music, food, wine and traditional music. Pairing of ‘Cape fusion cuisine’ with Cape wines. Tel (021) 874-3937.
* Anthonij Rupert Wines: Complimentary tastings of Protea and Terra del Capo wines. Boules. Franschhoek Motor Museum displays and demonstrations, as well as drive in vintage and classic cars. Tel (021) 874-9000
* Graham Beck Wines: Fresh oysters, fresh basked breads, cheeses, charcuterie, from Oude Bank Bakkerij to complement tasting of wines and Mèthode Cap Classique. Master classes by winemakers Pieter Ferreira and Erika Obermeyer, at 11h00 on Saturday and Sunday, at R75 per person. Tel (021) 874-1258.
* Lynx: Spanish fiesta includes tapas, live Spanish band. Tel (021) 867-0406
* La Chataigne: Live music, Boules. Tel (021) 876-3220
* La Motte: Live music, Special menu for the weekend Festival at Pierneef à La Motte. Tel (021) 876-8000
* Rickety Bridge: Live band, Boules, chipping competition, braai. Tel (021) 876-2129
* Grande Provence: Marimba band, Boules, art exhibition, Oriental Tapas. Tel (021) 876-8600
* Franschhoek Cellar: Truckles cheese tasting, Huguenot Fine Chocolate Tasting, La Bourgogne olive oil and olive tasting, Pick ‘n Pay sushi bar, cheese lunches at R85, live jazz band. Tel (021) 876-2086
* Dieu Donné: Cellar tours, live music by Adagio, Micro Brewery beer tastings, bridal exhibition, freshly baked produce stall, Sunday Brunch 10h30 – 15h00. Tel (021) 876-2493
* Haute Cabriére: Ratafia ball throwing competition, Unwooded Pinot Noir 2011 tasting, cellar tours and sabrage Saturday and Sunday at 11h00, and at 14h00 on Saturday. Special ‘Uncorked’ menu at re-opened Haute Cabriére Cellar Restaurant. Tel (021) 876-8500
* La Bri: Art by Hamlin, sale of plants, bulbs and seeds, fresh baked breads, cheeses, soups, picnics, three course dinner with winemaker on Saturday evening at R350 per person. Tel (021) 876-2593.
* Holden Manz: Live band, cocktails, fun activities, Official Uncorked After Party, Saturday, from 5 pm. Tel (021) 876-2729.
* Boekenhoutskloof: Release of Chocolate Block 2010. Barbeque Extravaganza by Reuben’s. Kitchen Jamming Blues Band. Tel (021) 876-3320.
Franschhoek Uncorked, 3 – 4 September. R100 allows multiple entries to the wine estates over the weekend. Book via www.webtickets.co.za Franschhoek Wine Valley supports responsible drinking, and has a number of shuttle services listed on its website www.franschhoek.org.za. A number of wine specials are available this weekend, and are listed on the Franschhoek Wine Valley website too.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Last week Allée Bleue launched its first sparkling wine, the Brut Rosé 2009, and dressed up its lunch venue in pink, in contrast to its blue corporate colour. Flowers on the tables were pink, pink and white balloons decorated the entrance to the venue, and GM Wolfgang Leyrer wore a pink jersey in honour of the event.
The new Brut Rosé is made from 53% chenin blanc and 47% pinotage, and has “delicate flavours of strawberries, rose petals and candy floss”, according to the tasting notes. The wine spent 10 months on the lees. Only 6000 bottles have been made.
Using the colour and flavour descriptions as a cue, the food and wine journalists and bloggers invited to the celebration of the new bubbly were treated to a most wonderful lunch:
* The starter was a Trio of Salmon, with wasabi cream, beautifully presented.
* The main course was Chicken Supreme and prawns in a saffron sauce
For the past 18 months Allée Bleue GM Wolfgang Leyrer has been driving the development of the wine estate, now the largest venue in Franschhoek as far as weddings go, and he was proud to announce that 50 weddings have been booked for the season ahead already, held in their new Grand Hall, which was launched in March and can seat 300 guests. The new Brut Rosé will largely be used for wedding events, and will only be sold on the estate, at R89,50.
Winemaker Van Zyl Du Toit introduced his new Chenin Blanc 2010, made from Walker Bay and Franschhoek grapes, which was also served to the guests, costing R39. It is so new that it still has to be labelled. A Rosé 2010 was also served with the lunch, with a distinctive deep pink colour, and a dry taste. It costs R32.
A new chef Glen Ferris has been appointed for the Bistro, and he is currently doing an exchange at Schwarzer Adler, a Michelin two-star restaurant in the Black Forest in Germany.
Allée Bleue is a wine estate to watch, as it is constantly moving ahead with new developments, within a culture of German excellence. The owners of the wine estate are the Dauphin family from Germany.
Allée Bleue, R45, Franschhoek. Tel (021) 874-1021 www.alleebleue.com Twitter: @AlleeBleue
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.comTwitter: @WhaleCottage
For the third year running, twenty of Franschhoek’s wine farmers are inviting wine and food lovers to visit their wine estates this coming Saturday and Sunday (4 and 5 September), to taste their new vintages, to eat specialities from the Gourmet capital of South Africa, and to enjoy French-style activities over a weekend of food, fun and wine.
Tickets for Franschhoek Uncorked cost R80 each, and can be bought at Computicket, or at any participating wine estate. The full programme offered by the 20 wine estates is as follows:
* Vrede & Lust will have a cigar lounge, Aston Martins will be on display, chocolate can be tasted and diamonds will sparkle
* Plaisir de Merle will serve more of their lovely pancakes, offer live music, and for the first time offer bread made from flour ground in a historic water mill on the wine estate.
* Allee Bleue will offer live jazz, and a tasting of their new Brut Rose’. Smoked salmon croissants, Flammkuchen, Chicken Tandoori wraps, and Shrimp Guacamole wraps will be available for sale.
* Solms-Delta will offer “Kaapse” music, food, and wine.
* L’Ormarins has the Franschhoek Motor Museum on its property, will make its Antonij Rupert Protea and Terra del Capo wines available for tasting, boules can be played, and gourmet sandwiches can be bought
* Graham Beck will offer its Methode Cap Classique bubblies as well as wines to taste, and oysters, cheese and charcuterie platters will be available to eat. Winemakers Pieter Ferreira and Erika Obermeyer will host masterclasses at R 75 a head, on Saturday and Sunday, at 10h00 and 14h00
* Lynx Wines will have a Spanish Fiesta theme again, and live Spanish music will be played. Tapas served include serrano ham and calamari
* Topiary Wines will release their Rose 2009 and their Cabernet Sauvignon 2007. Visitors can blend their own wines. Live music is offered.
* La Chataigne offers boules and live entertainment
* Moreson offers live music, and a food market
* Maison is the newest Franschhoek wine estate, and belongs to Chris Weylandt of Weylandt’s, and is now also a winemaker. Food, jazz and wines will be offered.
* La Motte’s new and Franschhoek’s latest restaurant Pierneef a La Motte offers Cape Winelands cuisine, a Farm Shop sells wines, gifts and farm-baked bread. The new La Motte Art Gallery, one of the rooms dedicated to the priceless paintings by Pierneef, has opened, and a classical guitar recital will be hosted on Saturday evening.
* Glenwood will host a Boules Trophy, and is pairing its wines with gourmet food prepared by Camil and Ingrid Haas, previously of Bouillabaisse and Camil’s, serving Bouillabaisse, Chicken Curry and Crepe Suzette.
* Rickety Bridge offers tapas too, and its Top 10 Shirazes. Live music, boules, as well as farm rides in their Dodge truck are also available.
* Grande Provence offers live music, five vintages will be paired with five dishes, a Chef’s Table is offered, and the Grande Provence Pinot Noir will be launched. Cheese and charcuterie boards will be available.
* Franschhoek Cellars offer cheese and wine tastings, as well as cheese lunches
* Dieu Donne offers live music, Vineyard platters, “wine-infused casual food”, and micro-beer on tap
* Cabriere offers a wine tour and tasting, with a Sabrage, at 11h00 on Saturday and Sunday
* La Petite Ferme offers wine tours, and salmon and wine pairing at R120.
* Boekenhoutskloof will launch The Chocolate Block 2009, a band will provide the “gees” and Reuben Riffel will offer his famous Reuben’s Barbeque Experience.
Further details can be obtained from the Franschhoek Tourism Bureau, Tel (021) 876-3603.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com