Tag Archives: Olive oils

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headline: 13 November

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Provincial Minister Alan Winde is seeking greater powers in terms of liquor trading control, with amendments to the Liquor Act of 2008 to be tabled to the provincial Parliament. Changes proposed include searching premises without a warrant; repealing the restriction (150 liters) on the storage of liquor by private individuals; amending requirements for the granting of temporary and special events licences; prohibiting persons younger than 18 years from entering the area selling alcohol to be drunk on premises; and to simplify and clarify the trading days and hours in municipal areas not having defined such.  The public and trade will be allowed to comment on the planned changes to the Act, Minister Winde said. (received via media release from Minister Winde’s office)

*   Jordan Wine Estate was named South African Wine Producer of the Year at the 2014 International Wine & Spirit Competition Annual Awards in London yesterday, a welcome celebration of the wine estate’s 30th anniversary of planting its first vines.  Jordan also  won the Blended Red Wine Trophy as well as the Chardonnay Trophy at the awards. (received via media release from Jordan Wine Estate)

*   Babylonstoren offers its visitors guided tours of the estate, highlighting its heritage and produce, including wine and olives, and Continue reading →

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Cape wine drinkers and restaurant-goers are misled by unethical ‘reviews’!

Tweeters are starting to express their frustration at being misled by two Cape Town based reviewers, Lionel Lelyveld, Tweeting about restaurants as @IntertwEAT, and Michael Olivier, Tweeting as @FoodWineGuru about wines.

What the two Tweeters have in common is that neither reveal to the readers of their blogs/websites nor in their Tweets (nor to the Fine Music Radio FMR listeners) that they have received their meals for free in the case of Lelyveld, and that the wine reviews are part of an advertising package offered by Olivier, showing that both the reviewers have no ethics in misleading their Twitter Followers and blog readers, and radio listeners.

Michael Olivier has been around for a while, and appears to have needed a new source Continue reading →

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Wellington ‘Restaurant Route’: foraging fabulous fine food fare!

A weekend break at Grand Dedale on the Doolhof wine estate introduced me to the wealth of food produce available in Wellington.  With the help of Grand Dedale owner Angelo Casu, and feedback from the restaurants visited, we compiled the following list of suppliers:

· Vrugbaar is one of the oldest pork butchers in the Western Cape. Vrugbaar farm, Bovlei.  Tel (021) 864-1222.

· Foxenburg Estate supplies goat’s milk cheeses, including Chevre, Chabris, Cream cheese, Crottin, Foxtail, and Caprino Romano.  Agter Groenberg. Tel (021) 873-5617. www.foxenburg.co.za

· Bontebok Ridge Reserve has wild boar, which it is breeding in captivity, and supplies biltong, as well as venison (wildebeest, eland, springbok, and wild boar).   Tel 082 576 9657. www.bontebokridge.com

· Olive oils come from local farms Kleinfontein (Tel (021) 864-1202), Foxenburg Estate (Tel 021 873-5617), Upland Organic Estate (Tel (021) 873-5724), and Clarins

*  Olives come from Foxenburg Estate (Tel (021) 873-5617) and Bloublommetjieskloof Biodynamic Farm (Tel (021) 873-3696)

· Rabbit is supplied on a small scale to Wellington and Paarl restaurants by Stephen Taylor,  Tel 083 4511 775

· Wild boar is also supplied by Schalk van Schalkwyk, Tel 082 829 7161

· Buffalo Ridge is the only Buffalo Mozzarella and yoghurt supplier in the country, having imported 30 Water buffalo from Campana in Italy.  Tel 082 375 0977.

*   Butter, Yoghurt, Peasant cheese, Cottage cheese, and Feta come from Bloublommetjieskloof Biodynamic Farm.  Tel (021) 873-3696 www.bloublommetjieskloof.com

*   Compote, jams, and marmalade come from Bloublommetjieskloof Biodynamic Farm. Tel (021) 873-3696

*   Herbs come from Bloublommetjieskloof Biodynamic Farm. Tel (021 873-3696

· Cured meat comes from Walter Brink, the son of the Potjiekos king. 082 9224848

· Cordial comes from Wilde at Heart, and is available in amazing flavours: Victoria Rose, Lemon, Fresh Ginger, Indigenous Buchu. Wolvenhoek. Tel 084 734 2087

*   Organic asparagus in September and October, Wilde at Heart. Wolvenhoek. Tel 084 734 2087

· Honey comes from Ringrose

· Safari dried fruit and vinegar comes from S.A.D.

· Oyster mushrooms come from Foxenburg Estate. Tel (021) 873-5617

Wellington also has a number of restaurants, many of them using the Wellington produce. Some have opened recently, and are less well known than their counterparts in Franschhoek and Stellenbosch.  I popped in at some last weekend:

· Vino’s is the newest restaurant, only about 2 weeks old, and is owned by Kobus and Yolande Fourie.  ‘With Vino’s we have decided to bring back the good old steakhouse’, says their menu, and they explained that they don’t encourage children nor students to eat there, to keep it a romantic and special ‘spoiling’ restaurant for couples.  They serve 250g  ‘grade A steak’ with chips and a salad, and one can order sides.  They have a small Café Prive too for special dinner parties.  They describe themselves as ‘salt and pepper chefs’, and guests praise their ‘eerlike kos’. Snails cost R42 as a starter, 250g Rump and Sirloin R89, Fillet R105, and beef schnitzel R65. 600g of pork ribs cost R85. Cordon Bleu costs R89, beef burgers R 45, and hake and chips R45. Can seat up to 60 inside and outside. Monday – Saturday dinner. 111 Main Road, Wellington.  Tel (021) 873-5075

· Kristies belongs to the same owners as Vino’s, and is a day-time coffee shop, catering for local pensioners and students, their dish of the day (e.g. bobotie, chicken pie, tomato bredie) priced at R35 being hugely popular, discounted to R30 per day for regulars. Menu changed every week.  Cooked Breakfasts from R20 – R45. Hamburgers and chips R40/R45.  Lasagne and Curry and rice R25. Platters and free fruit in back garden in summer. It recently relocated to its new location, from Church Street.  Monday – Saturday breakfast and lunch, 8h00 – 17h00. 111 Main Road, Wellington.  Tel (021) 873-5075

· The Stone Kitchen on Dunstone opened over a year ago, with Johan van Schalkwyk as chef, but he left to open his own restaurant three months ago.  Owner and Chef Alli Wallace is now in charge. Supplies from the Estate vegetable garden, and guavas, grapes and lemons too. Winelist only has Dunstone wines, including Shiraz, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc.  Blackboard menu, with chicken pie (R85), venison casserole (R85), own-made thyme, marjoram and rosemary pork sausage (R65), fresh baked bread (baguette, ciabatta, rye, bagels and croissants) barrel boards at about R55, starters in two sizes/prices, desserts around R40. Special children’s menu.  Picnics to be offered in guava orchard, with live music, on weekends from November, with a childminder service. Spit braais once a month on family Sundays, starting on 14 October. Very friendly manager Rosanne.  Bovlei Road, Tel  (021) 873-6770. Twitter: @StoneKitchen10 @Dunstone Wednesday – Sunday 9h00 – 16h00

· Twist Some More is the interesting name of the new restaurant of charming Chef Johan van Schalkwyk, and he is proudly Wellington in sourcing his supplies of wild boar, rabbit, vegetables, herbs, cheeses, and more locally.  He is also slowly building up a Deli section to his restaurant, which will stock a cross-section of Wellington produce.  He is already stocking a granola mix, honey, olives and oils, charcuterie, cheeses, cordials, dried porcini mushrooms, nuts, dried fruit, cakes, cupcakes, scones, rusks, and muffins. Extensive innovative blackboard menu, with cooked breakfasts at about R55, starters at about R45, mains range from R65 for a wild boar burger to R115 for aged T-bone steak, desserts R45.  Winelist Proudly Wellington.  Hexberg Road, Bovlei.  Tel (021) 864-1467. Twitter @ChefTwist. Wednesday – Saturday dinner, Wednesday – Sunday open from 10h00.

· No 6 Restaurant at Welbedacht is a restaurant which opened in August in honour of Springbok Schalk Burger, who wears the number 6 rugby jersey, and who grew up on this wine estate.  Its table number 6 is for 6 guests, and is the best table in the house, closest to the fireplace.  A chef’s table will be set up soon.  The restaurant can seat about 80 guests  inside and outside, with more guests once they complete a pergola and deck all the way from the restaurant to the tasting room.  Tapas will be offered with winetasting.  Owned by Susanna and John Tecklenburg, who ran the Oude Wellington for six years.  Extensive menu of classics (e.g. Avocado Ritz, ox tongue, Coupe Denmark), Dutch specialities (e.g. Bitterballen), and local dishes such as waterblommetjie soup,  presented on black board.  Source supplies locally, from Goedehoop butchery in Paarl, and venison comes from Schalk Burger Snr’s farm in the Karoo. Picnics at the dam planned for summer, with an au pair service for the guests’ children.  High Tea at about R85 per person from October. Special private function rooms in the cellar.   Welbedacht wine estate.  Tel 082 836 8924/079 663 4039.  Wednesday – Sunday lunch, Wednesday – Saturday dinner.

· One of the best kept secrets of Wellington is the good restaurant at Grand Dedale, which caters for its accommodation guests, and accepts bookings from outsiders subject to demand. Its new chef is Daniel de Villiers, previously with Delaire Graff.  I spent a restful weekend there, using it as a base to ‘forage’ the Wellington ‘Restaurant Route’.  They serve a 5-course dinner which includes an amuse bouche and cheese selection for a reasonable R350.  The highlights I tasted over two dinners were a beef carpaccio with leeks and oyster mushrooms and a horse radish cream salad; Norwegian salmon with braised cabbage, baked crispy potato, mange tout, and a basil sauce, for which a fish knife was served.  The most interesting dish was a wild boar lasagne served with a brie sauce, the first time that I had tasted this.  I was expecting a wild taste, but it was not prominent. Grand Dedale owner Angelo Casu told me that they use wild boar for carpaccio, mince, and sausage.

Breakfasts are equally generous, with a range of cereals, a fresh fruit salad, two choices of yoghurt, a selection of nuts, honey, freshly squeezed juices, cappuccino, cold meats, cheeses, rolls, freshly baked bread, and a selection of wonderful cooked breakfasts, the Wellington Breakfast consisting of ingredients all sourced in Wellington, being free-range eggs from the Bovlei valley, back bacon from Vrugbaar butchery, sautéed oyster mushrooms from Foxenburg Estate, venison sausage from Bontebok Ridge Reserve, and fresh garden tomatoes.  Other options are scrambled free-range eggs, with smoked salmon roses, capers and crème fraiche; omelettes with venison sausage;  sautéed spinach, oyster mushrooms, Buffalo Ridge feta cheese; as well as crepes.  The salmon on rosti was a beautiful breakfast addition, and tasty too!

Grand Dedale, Doolhof wine estate.  Tel (021) 873-4089. www.granddedale.com Twitter: @GrandDedale

If there is anything to fault about all the Wellington restaurants, then it is that their portions are massive.  Their customers are not complaining!  It will be interesting to see how Wellington’s restaurants develop, with the excellent quality and variety of produce coming from this fertile town.

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

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Taste South Africa new multi-brand winetasting venue in Franschhoek

In walking around Franschhoek during the Bastille Festival yesterday, I was surprised to discover Taste South Africa, the most beautiful transformation of what was previously the Le Grange decor shop in The Yard, behind the Salmon Bar, off the main road in Franschhoek.  Taste South Africa belongs to Fiona Phillips of Cybercellar (“Where else can you buy virtually all your South African wine?”, her business card asks cleverly), and is the first multi-brand winetasting venue in Franschhoek.

Fiona started Cybercellar twelve years ago, having been an equity trader on both the London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges.  It represents more than 700 wine estates in South Africa, with deliveries of wines made by courier 3 – 5 days after purchase.    Taste South Africa will function as a tasting venue not only for South African wines, but for local products too, such as olive oils, and cheeses.  For the Bastille Festival, Fiona and her manager Dominic Adelbert, previously sommelier at Aubergine restaurant, have focused on twelve Franschhoek wine estates, including Chamonix, Topiary, Solms-Delta, Mont Rochelle, Vrede & Lust, Backsberg, Lynx, Boschendal, Noble Hill, La Motte, Rickety Bridge, and Holden Manz, giving them free exposure, to introduce their facility.

Not only is the concept unique for Franschhoek, but I was bowled over by the interior design by Xperiencemakers.  Lots of white on the floors and walls, with neat shelving, standardised presentation of information about each wine estate, and the most impressive red lamps, which contain the word “Taste” in South Africa’s official languages, create an interior of class.  A grey carpet has the following Ernest Hemingway quote printed on it: “Wine is the most civilised thing in the world”.   On display too are bronze sculptures by Vincent da Silva, an architectural student.  They add to the classy interior.

Wine will not be physically sold from the tasting venue, but orders can be placed via Cybercellar while one is at the tasting venue.  This Bastille weekend is a dry run for Taste South Africa, and it officially opens on 1 August.

Taste South Africa is an exciting new asset of Franschhoek, and a beautiful showcase of South African wines.  Exciting functions have been planned, including food and wine pairing events, bloggers’ dinners, Twitter tastings, and a live-feed Twitter screen is to be added.  The next Taste South Africa tasting venue will open at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg.

Taste South Africa, The Yard, off Huguenot Road, Franschhoek.  Tel 021 876-2649.  www.tastesouthafrica.co.za Twitter: @TastingSA

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

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New Franschhoek Wine Valley Food and Wine Route puts Franschhoek restaurants and wine estates on the map

The Franschhoek Wine Valley (the new tourism body name, the “Tourism Association” part of the name recently having been dropped) Food & Wine Route has been launched to the media, and soon will be presented in a new map, that will reflect the wealth of 42 restaurants, 48 wine estates and 3 delis and shops that sell foodstuffs in and around Franschhoek. The new Food & Wine Route is a good marketing reaction to the increasing dominance of Stellenbosch as the new gourmet center of South Africa, and its large number of wine estates, even though the tourism association’s website still refers to Franschhoek as the “Gourmet Capital of South Africa”!

Last year we wrote about the Food & Wine Route when it was first announced, and from the initial information it appeared to have a broader focus initially.  Now the Route is more focused, and will incorporate mainly the restaurants and wine estates that are members of Franschhoek Wine Valley.   Interestingly, the geographic delineation of Franschhoek has been broadened to incorporate the wine estates and restaurants on the R45 between Klapmuts and Simondium, including Noble Hill, Backsberg, and Babel at Babylonstoren, on the basis that they have become members of the Franschhoek Wine Valley association, even if they fall under the Paarl wine district.   Strangely, Glen Carlou has not chosen to be part of the Franschhoek Food & Wine Route, it being one of the first properties one passes when driving to Franschhoek on the R45.

Tania Steyn, the Marketing Manager of Franschhoek Wine Valley, explained that this new project consists of two parts.  The first is the Food & Wine Route map, in A3 size, which will list all the restaurants and wine estates, the one side featuring those in the village, and the other side those that are outside Franschhoek.   The Food & Wine Route map will replace the most handy Franschhoek Wine map, which guest houses and their guests have found to be useful in highlighting all the Vigneron members in Franschhoek.  The second part of the project is an e-commerce platform for specific Food and Wine Route Experiences, that one cannot visit spontaneously without a booking.  The bookings will be made on the website, and it is hoped that visitors to Franschhoek will book a number of such experiences, and will therefore stay in the area for longer.

The wine estates on the new Franschhoek Wine Valley Food & Wine Route are Akkerdal, Allèe Bleue, Anthonij Rupert Wines (L’Ormarins and Protea brands, and home of the outstanding Motor Museum), Backsberg, Boekenhoutskloof, Boschendal Wines, Chamonix, Colmant Cap Classique & Champagne, Dieu Donnè Vineyards, Franschhoek Cellar, Glenwood, Graham Beck Franschhoek, Grande Provence Estate, Haute Cabriere (with Pierre Jourdan sparkling wines), Holden Manz (previously Klein Genot), La Bri, La Chataigne, La Motte (with Pierneef art gallery), La Petite Dauphine, La Petite Ferme, La Manoir de Brendel, Leopard’s Leap, Lynx Wines, Maison, Mont Rochelle, Moreson, My Wyn, Noble Hill, Plaisir de Merle, Rickety Bridge, Solms-Delta (with interesting slave museum), Stony Brook, Topiary Wines (newest Platter 5-star sparkling wine in Franschhoek), Val de Vie, and Vrede & Lust.   These wine estates can be visited without appointment.

Those estates for which one must book a winetasting are Eikehof, Franschhoek Pass Winery (Morena sparkling wine), Haut Espoir, La Bourgogne, La Roche estate, La Vigne, Landau du Val, Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons and Von Ortloff.  Bellingham Wines, Klein Dauphine, La Chaumière and Veraison Vineyards are not open to the public at all, but their wines can be bought at the highly regarded Franschhoek wine shop La Cotte Inn on the main road in the village.

The Franschhoek restaurants and food outlets on the Food & Wine Route are Allora, Babel at Babylonstoren, Backsberg, Boschendal Restaurant, Boschendal Le Café and Boschendal Le Pique-Nique, Bread & Wine, Café Allèe Bleue, Cafè BonBon, Col’Cacchio Pizzeria, Cosecha Restaurant at Noble Hill, Dalewood Fromage (but not open to the public), Dieu Donnè Restaurant, Dutch East, Elephant & Barrel, Essence, Fizz Affair Champagne Lounge, Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz, Freedom Hill Restaurant, Fyndraai Restaurant at Solms-Delta, The Restaurant at Grande Provence, Haute Cabrière, Huguenot Fine Chocolates, Kalfi’s, Fromages de France (La Cotte Inn),  Le Bon Vivant, Dish @ Le Franschhoek, Le Verger The Orchard Restaurant (Le Franschhoek Hotel), The Common Room, The Tasting Room,  L’Ermitage Restaurant, Mon Plaisir at Chamonix, Mange Tout, Monneaux, Reuben’s, Rickety Bridge, Ryan’s Kitchen, Salmon Bar, The Country Kitchen, The French Connection, The Grill Room, The Jam Jar, The Olive Shack, and The Polo Club Restaurant (at La Vie). Oddly, Pierneef à La Motte is not listed, and one hopes this is just an oversight.   Other missing restaurants are Café Benedict, BICCCS, Chez D’Or, Cotage Fromage at Vrede & Lust, Crepe & Cidre, Café Le Chocolatier, Café des Arts, and the Franschhoek Food Emporium.

The Franschhoek Food & Wine Route Experiences which one can book include the following:

*   Solms-Delta Cape Music Tour, teaching participants about “Cape rural and vernacular music”. R 50 (minimum of 6 persons).  Monday – Sunday.

*   Plaisir de Merle “Award-winning wines wine tasting”. R 20, and R40 if cellar tour added. Monday – Saturday

Plaisir de Merle Flavour Sensation Tasting, food and wine pairing. R 50.  Monday – Saturday

*   Plaisir de Merle Wine & Chocolate Tasting. R 50. Monday – Saturday

*   Charcuterie Tasting with Neil Jewell. R 25 – R105. Daily before 11h00 and after 15h30

*   Franschhoek Cellar Cheese and Wine pairing. R 35.  Daily

*   Huguenot Fine Chocolates Chocolate Tour and Tasting. R 25.  Daily 11h00 and 15h00

*   Chamonix Grappa & Schnapps Tasting. R15.  Daily

*   Dieu Donné Micro-brewery and beer tasting. R15 beer tasting and R 35 for full bewery talk and tasters.  Daily

*   Babylonstoren Guided Garden Visit. R 20, Wednesday – Sunday 10h00 and 15h00.

*   Le Bon Vivant Surprise Menu. R 485 for 5-course meal and wine, R360 without wine. Daily except Wednesdays.

*   Food and wine pairing at Pierneef à La Motte. R 195 for 5 pairings, extra R 50 for glass of La Motte MCC. Tuesday – Sunday 12h00 – 14h00.

*   Cape Gourmet Delights Tour, with stops at Grande Provence, Moreson and Vrede & Lust. R1995 per day includes “light lunch”. 10 persons maximum.  Monday – Friday.

A walking tour as well as a talk on ceramics are part of this programme, but seem out of place in not having anything to do with Wine or Food.

One hopes that the Franschhoek Wine Valley Food & Wine Route map will indicate which wine estates, food shops and restaurants sell foods, such as the vegetables, breads and chocolates at the Farm Shop at Pierneef à La Motte; salmon products and breads at the Salmon Bar; the Mediterranean delicacies at The Olive Shack; wonderful freshly baked wholewheat bread at Grande Provence; breads and sweet treats at Café BonBon and Café Benedict; olive oils and balsamic vinegar at Allèe Bleue; heavenly chocolates as well as breads at Café Le Chocolatier; Truckles cheeses at Franschhoek Cellar; and a selection of home-made pies, preserves, dips, cold meats and breads at the new Franschhoek Food Emporium.   It would be good if the fortnightly Farmers’ Market at Holden Manz also be listed.

We salute the Franschhoek Wine Valley for putting together this initiative, and trust that the Food & Wine Route map will be finalised and printed as soon as possible, given that the summer season ends in two months’ time.   We encourage Franschhoek Wine Valley to add the names of the omitted Franschhoek restaurants, by encouraging them to sign up as members, so that the map can be as representative of the food and wine delights in Franschhoek as possible.

POSTSCRIPT 22/4: The new Franschhoek Wine Valley Food & Wine Route maps have been made available, and can be collected from the Franschhoek Tourism Bureau, or from Whale Cottage Franschhoek.  Oddly, it lists the two Pick ‘n Pays too, under the ‘Franschhoek Restaurants & Food section”.  Following our recommendation above, the Franschhoek Food Emporium was added, but Café Le Chocolatier, Café Benedict, BICCCS, Chez d’Or, Cotage Fromage, Crepe et Cidre, Café des Arts, and the new Le Coq are not on the map.  Other sources of food to buy, as listed two paragraphs above, are not indicated on the map.

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

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Restaurant News:Chefs Bertus Basson and Craig Cormack to open Sofia’s at Morgenster

Chef Bertus Basson of Overture and his catering company partner Craig Cormack are to open a new restaurant called Sofia’s at Morgenster, at the wine and olive estate in Somerset West, at the beginning of November.  The restaurant is named after Morgenster owner Giulio Bertrand’s passion for Sophia Loren, choosing to spell her name for the restaurant the Italian way. Photographs of Sophia Loren will adorn the restaurant.

The restaurant will be Bistro-style, with the emphasis on ‘real food’, simpler than at Overture, with only four choices per course, of which two will be Italian, and with good plating.  The menu will change weekly.   Craig will run the restaurant and will work with Bertrand’s wife Mirella in developing true Italian style dishes. Fresh ingredients will come from the farm in part, and Morgenster’s olive oils and wines will be a strong feature.  Affordability will be a focus.  A three-course meal will cost R210. 

Chef Bertus also reports that Overture has launched its first wine, made by Hidden Valley consultant winemaker Louis Nel, a Chenin Blanc called Collaboration.  More varietals are to follow next year.  Collaboration will only be sold at Overture and Sofia’s at Morgenster initially.

Always looking to reinvent himself, Chef Bertus recently visited Australia, and was impressed with the restaurants he ate at, including leading Sydney restaurant Rockpool.   Bertus says that South African food and service standards do not lag far behind those of Australia.   He is very excited about the season lying ahead, despite the tough winter the hospitality industry has gone through.

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

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Franschhoek celebrates Le Festival Bastille

For the 17th year, Franschhoek will put on its French dress, and Franschhoekers will dust off their berets, celebrating the 14 July storming of La Bastille.  “Again in 2010, Franschhoek’s Bastille Festival, which began as a village fete, will be a celebration of freedom for all!” says the Festival brochure.   The Bastille Festival takes place this weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday the Bastille Festival activities get off to a rolling start at 8h00 with a Boules Tournament on the Dutch Reformed Church grounds on the main road.  From 10h00 onwards there is “a showcase of artisanal food and fare” in the Town Hall and one can sit down at a Parisian cafe.   Locally made olives and oils, fruit preserves, honey products, tasty take-home treats, Cape cuisine, and fresh vegetables will be sold.

The highlight for regular Bastille Festival supporters is the marquee in the centre of town, that sees almost every Franschhoek winery (Akkerdal, Allee Bleue, Anthonij Rupert, Bellingham, Boekenhoutskloof, Boschendal, Dieu Donne, Glenwood, Graham Beck, Grande Provence, La Bri, La Motte, Lynx, Mont Rochelle, Rickety Bridge, Rupert & Rothschild, Solms-Delta, Topiary and Vrede & Lust) paired with almost every restaurant in town (Allee Bleue, Dieu Donne, French Connection, The Grillroom, The Restaurant at Grande Provence, Haute Cabriere, iCi, La Petite Ferme, Monneaux, Plaisir de Merle, Reuben’s, and Fyndraai).  The food and winetasting marquee is open from 12h00 – 17h00 on Saturday and Sunday, and entrance costs R 100, which entitles one to five tasting coupons.   Tickets can be booked at www.webtickets.co.za

The Porcupine Ridge Barrel Rolling competition starts at 14h00 on each of the two days, and a Waiters’ Race will be contested at the Food & Wine Marquee at 13h00 on Saturday. 

Whale Cottage Franschhoek has a Bastille Festival weekend accommodation package – write to winelands@whalecottage.com.  

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

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Franschhoek terroir achieves liquid gold

Terroir is equally important in producing award-winning olive oils as it is in making good quality wines.  

The 2008 S A Olive Oil award winner Burgundy Bourgogne in Franschhoek attributes its gold medal to the terroir of the Winelands Valley, offering a unique combination of the region’s soil, climate, slope and wind.    The olive oil variety harvested, and the timing of the olive harvest can also influence the quality of olive oil.

Burgundy Bourgogne’s award-winning olive oil was described as :”A fresh rich rounded aroma, full of nuances of fresh salad and nuts.   The nuttiness is carried through to the palate with a rich mouth feel.  The gentle bitterness and piquancy linger on, leaving a very pleasant after-taste.”

The S A Olive award for best table olives went to Karoo Olives from Renosterkop outside Beaufort West, winning silver for their black, flavoured and dried olives.   Reni Hildenbrand from Wellington was recognised for her passion and contribution to the development of the industry, winning the ABSA Achiever of the Year Award.

Rio Largo won the gold medal in the Delicate Extra Virgin  Olive Oil category, with Tokara: The Olive Shed and Willow Creek winning silver medals.   In the Medium Intensity category Burgundy Bourgogne, Foxenburg Estate and Olyfberg won gold, and Southern Right and Waterfall River winning silver.   In the Intensely Fruity category, gold winners were Olyven Houdt and Vesuvio, while Cascade Manor, Morgenster and Groote Vallei won silver.

The wetter weather this season has led to a softer character for the local olive oils, the judges said.

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