Entries tagged with “Lomond”.


imageThe FNB Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Top 10 wines were announced over a lunch held at Val de Vie today!

Invited guests included the Top 20 Finalists for the awards, and tasting tables had been set up to allow the twenty Finalist wines to be tasted. No one knew who would make the Top 10 list.  A shelf had been set up to display all top twenty (more…)

Veritas Wine top achieversKWV, Spier, and Nederburg are our country’s top three wine estates based on the number of Double Gold and Gold Awards they received at the 2014 Veritas Awards Gala Dinner at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Saturday evening, making up almost half the 51 Double Gold awards. The Veritas Awards are viewed as the ‘Oscars of the South African wine industry‘, with close to 1800 wines entered, a slight decrease on the number of 2013 entries.

KWV was announced as the Best Wine Producer for the fourth year running, and increased its Double Gold awards from four last year to seven this year.  KWV also won 2 Double Golds for its Brandy.  Spier has greatly enhanced its Veritas performance, with 7 Double Gold awards, compared to only one last year. Nederburg increased its Double Gold tally from four last year to six.  Flagstone won Best Performer in the less than 10 wines entered category, and the KWV won in the 11+ wines entered category.

Four wine industry legends Danie de Wet of De Wetshof, Diaan de Villiers, Professor Diko van Zyl (author of historical works on (more…)

12 Apostles Shell plate Whale Cottage PortfolioYesterday was a picture perfect day to try out the new Summer menu of new Executive Chef Christo Pretorius at Azure restaurant at the 12 Apostles Hotel, at the invitation of its GM Horst Frehse.   The amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean is brought into the restaurant and reflects in the menu too.

Chef Christo was promoted when Chef Henrico Grobbelaar left the hotel to head up the kitchen at Equus restaurant at Cavalli Estate in Stellenbosch a few months ago.   He had previously worked at De Huguenot (no longer operating) with Chef Tanja Kruger, and at the Cape Royale before joining the 12 Apostles.  He travels overseas every year, to experience international cuisine. He acknowledged that he is nothing without his team, and that he delegates to his staff, mentors and trains them. 12 Apostles Chef Christo Whale Cottage PortfolioChef Christo focuses on ingredients that are seasonal, and sources them as locally as he can, the game coming from Uitenhage and Oudtshoorn.  Only green-listed SASSI fish is served.  He has a good relationship with his suppliers, and knows that they will assist him when he has urgent requests.  His focus at Azure is on ‘flavourful food‘.  Horst shared that they have had very good feedback about Chef Christo’s menu, and that the chef comes out of the kitchen as much as he can, to meet the guests and to obtain their feedback. (more…)

Springfontein Eats interior 2 Whale Cottage PortfolioIt was restaurant reviewer and now Platter’s  South African Wines 2014 publisher JP Rossouw who told me about Springfontein Eats outside Stanford, asking me at the launch of the wine guide whether I had already eaten there.  Having spent the past weekend in Hermanus, I drove to the restaurant on Saturday, finding a culinary oasis, with former 1 star Michelin Chef Jürgen Schneider preparing a lunch feast justSpringfontein Eats Chef Juergen Schneider Whale Cottage Portfolio for me!

I had booked for lunch and was the only patron in the restaurant, despite it being a long weekend.  The restaurant opened two months ago. Springfontein was bought by Jürgen and Susanne Schneider as well as by Johst and Jen Weber in 1994, then a cattle farm. The farm had belonged to David Trafford’s father in law, and it was suggested to them that the abundance of water, the terroir, the limestone soil, the nearby ocean location, the difference in daytime and nighttime temperatures, and the slope on the farm, would be ideal for wine production, which advice they followed and they started planting vines eleven years ago.   They were laughed at initially, being ridiculed for the ‘vinegar’ that they would be producing, but they have proven their critics wrong!   Springfontein is the oldest wine farm in Stanford.  They sold their grapes to Hamilton Russell and to Rupert & Rothschild initially, until they started making their own wines 7 – 8 years ago.

The road to Springfontein is not the easiest to find in Stanford, one driving down Stanford’s main road, and then turning left into Moore Road, and carrying on straight, the road becoming a gravel one and taking one to Springfontein 5 km along.  The road signs are tiny, not brown tourism ones, as I had expected.  Gravel roads are not my favourite, due to a childhood experience of a car accident on such a road, but the condition of the road was reasonable.

Three cottages on the farm have been transformed into guest accommodation, and the Springfontein Winery wine cellar was built.  The old homestead was transformed into Springfontein Eats restaurant, the most recent of the facilities on the wine estate to open.  I asked Chef Jürgen why he would leave a lucrative and successful Michelin star graded restaurant Strahlenberger Hof in Schriesheim they have run for 18 years,  (more…)

The Hermanus Wine & Food Fair is more low key than similar ones in Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, and Riebeeck Kasteel.  This year the Fair is expanding its reach by putting close to 50 wine producers’ more than 250 wines, from Elgin to Elim and including Hermanus and Stanford, on show over the Women’s Day long weekend, from tomorrow until Sunday, in the Hemel-en-Aarde Village at the entrance to Hermanus.  The proceeds of the Fair will go to the nearby Camphill School for children with special needs.

This is the 15th year that the Fair will be staged.  The wines on show represent a wine region which has more 4 and 5 star Platter-rated wines than any other in South Africa, says the Fair write-up in Bay.

For the first time an interactive website www.thevine.co.za will allow winelovers attending the show to rate and review the wines they have tasted, and so build up a history of their wine tasting experiences, and share these with other wine lovers.  The producers who will present their wines, many of them on the Hermanus Wine Route, are the following: Arumdale, Almenkerk, Ataraxia, Barton, Beaumont Wines, Belfield Wines, Black Oystercatcher, Boschrivier, Bouchard Finlayson, Brunia, Creation, Domaine des Dieux, Feiteiras Wines, Ghost Corner, Henry, Hamilton Russell, Hermanuspietersfontein, Hornbill, Iona, Jakob’s Vineyards, Jean Daneel, La Vierge, Lomond, Newton Johnson, Raka, 7Springs, Southern Right Wines, Spioenkop Wines, Spookfontein, Strandveld & First Sighting, Stanford Hills – Jackson’s, Southhill, Sumaridge, The Berrio, Vaalvlei, Whalehaven, Walker Bay Vineyards, William Everson, Winters Drift, and Zandfontein.  Paul du Toit, owner of Wine Village, is the co-ordinator of the Hermanus Wine & Food Fair.

The food at the Hermanus Wine & Food Fair will be provided by the restaurants in the Hemel-en-Aarde Village centre, including The Class Room, B’s Steakhouse, and Season.  EAT will run a Peroni Beer and wine bar.  In addition, cheeses, olive products, charcuterie, buchu teas, bee products, herb liqueurs, nuts, sundried tomatoes, pomegranate products, pesto pastes, artisanal chocolates, and breads will be available for tasting and to purchase.

Hermanus Wine & Food Fair, Hemel-en-Aarde Village, Hermanus. 9 – 11 August, 11h00 – 19h00. R 95 per day, or R200 for 3-day pass. Free parking.  www.hermanuswineandfood.co.za. Book via Computicket.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

A number of wine competition results announced last week were recorded on www.wine.co.za on Thursday, and South Africa’s good performance in these, and that of Spier in particular, was noted.  Spier was the only local wine estate to have won Gold medal awards in each of the four competitions.

In London, the International Wine Challenge 2011 results were announced at the London International Wine Fair.  South Africa won 13 out of 406 Gold Medals (3%), and two of these went to Spier, for its Creative Block 3 2009 and Landmark 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2009.   The other Gold medal winners were Backsberg Family Reserve White 2009, Edgebaston Berry Box 2009, Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2005, Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Semillon 2010 and its Unfiltered Viognier 2010, Groot Constantia Grand Constance 2008 and its Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Kaapzicht Steytler Pentagon 2007, Nederburg Winemasters Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2010, Oldenburg Chenin Blanc 2010, and Tokara Reserve Collection Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2009.  

The Decanter World Wine Awards 2011 were also announced at the London International Wine Fair, and attracted 12252 entries.   South Africa won 26 out of 237 Gold Medals awarded (11%), and these included Spier Mitchells Pass Malbec 2010.  Other gold medal winning producers were Asda, Beaumont, Cape Point Vineyards (Chardonnay 2009, Isliedh 2010), Dieu Donné, Drostdy Hof, Fleur du Cap, Holden Manz, Jordan, Kleine Zalze, KWV, Lomond, Longridge (Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Chenin Blanc 2010), Nederburg (Private Bin Edelkeur 2007, Winemasters Reserve Chenin Blanc 2009),  Quoin Rock, Rickety Bridge, Rijk’s, Saronsberg, Saxenburg, Steenberg, Stellenzicht, Thelema, and Waterkloof.  KWV The Mentors Orchestra 2008 was the category winner for ‘South African Red Bordeaux Varietal over £10’, while Klein Constantia Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 won the ‘South African Red Bordeaux Varietal under £10’.

The Syrah du Monde 2011 evaluated 383 Syrah/Shiraz wines from 24 countries, and South Africa won 6 gold medals out of a total of 34 (18%).  Spier Private Collection Shiraz 2008 won a Gold medal, as did Durbanville Hills Rhinofields Shiraz 2008, Franschhoek Cellar Baker Station Shiraz 2009, Groot Constantia Shiraz 2008, Number One Constitution Road Shiraz 2008, and Oldenburg Vineyards Shiraz 2008.

At the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2011 7386 wines from 49 countries were evaluated, and South Africa won 45 out of 683 gold medals (6%).  Spier Private Collection Shiraz 2008 was one of only three South African wines to be awarded the highest honour, the Grand Gold Medal, as were The Grande Provence 2006, and Dieu Donné Cabernet Sauvignon 2008.  Gold medals went to Spier’s Creative Block 3 2009, Creative Block 3 2008, and Creative Block 5 2009. 

Our congratulations go to all the award winners, and a special toast to Spier for winning gold in each of the four competitions, a unique achievement.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Twitter: @WhaleCottage

Raka Biography Shiraz has won The Ferroprint Grand Prix Trophy in the International Michelangelo Wine Awards, as the highest scoring wine of the more than a thousand entries. It has been described as a “world class Shiraz”, according to the Bolander.

South African wines won six gold medals, more than any other country, in the Decanter World Wine Awards, reports the Cape Argus. Award-winners were Amani Vineyards Cabernet Franc/Merlot 2006, Lomond Single Vineyards’ Sauvignon Blanc Pincushion 2007, Paul Cluver’s Chardonnay 2007, Tokara White and Rustenberg Wines’ Five Soldiers 2006.