Tag Archives: Kristopher Tillery

Rosé Rocks 2015 Top10 winners announced, ‘fantastic future’ for Rosé!


The winners of the inaugural Rosé Rocks competition have been announced, with Tamboerskloof Katharien Syrah Rosé 2015 named the overall winner.

The 160 Rosé and MCC Rosé wines were evaluated by a panel of judges, which was chaired by Woolworths’ Allan Mullins. Wines were tasted blind, without information provided about the vintage, wine estate, and technical analysis. The results were audited by Grant Thornton South Africa. Continue reading →

‘Cook Franschhoek’ heats up Franschhoek this weekend, getting back to cooking basics!

Cook Franschhoek 3A number of Franschhoek’s top chefs will pair their delectable dishes with the wines of the local wine estates at ‘Cook Franschhoek’, running from 13 – 15 June, sharing their special cooking tips, reflecting the food trend of getting back to basics.

Spread around the wine estates and restaurants of Franschhoek, the participating chefs will allow workshop participants into their domains, and share their cooking secrets, while the winemakers will guide the attendees on choosing the most suitable wines to pair with each dish made.  At the end of each workshop, the dishes cooked and the wines paired will be available to taste.  It also allows one to interact with the chefs and winemakers in small groups, and to ask more specific questions.

The participating Franschhoek chefs subscroibe to the cooking basics, such as ‘snout-to-tail’ food usage, meaning that every piece of an animal such as a pig is used (such as witnessed on MasterChef SA Season 2 when Chef Chris Erasmus of Pierneef à La Motte cooked a pig’s head to make a terrine); sourcing ingredients fresh from the farm to the table, within close proximity to the restaurants; smoking meats, charcuterie being the speciality of Chef Neil Jewell of Bread & Wine; cooking over a fire, including a rotisserie, a Green Egg, and Weber; and Nordic cooking techniques of pickling, fermenting, and preserving. Continue reading →

Noble Hill launches ‘The Longest Day’ Sauvignon Blanc on the longest day!

I was invited by Noble Hill to join a small group of guests (including viticulturist consultant Rosa Kruger, Platter wine taster Winnie Bowman, sommelier Greg Mutambe from the Twelve Apostles Hotel, sommelier Josephine Gutentoft from the Grande Roche, wine writer Christian Eedes, and Babylonstoren Food & Beverage Manager Annelle van Tonder) on the sail training yacht, the s.t.y. Howard Davis, to celebrate the launch of their new ‘The Longest Day’ Sauvignon Blanc 2011, on the longest day of the year, being the summer solstice yesterday. This is the first Sauvignon Blanc made by winemaker Bernard le Roux at Noble Hill, with just over 2300 bottles, receiving 4,5 stars from Platter.

Owner Kristopher Tillery explained the name of the new wine, in that the grapes are grown at high altitude (700 m) at Kaaimansgat in the Elandskloof, in the Villiersdorp area, receiving an above average amount of sunlight, with a long but cool growing season, the grapes ripening in March. The grapes were harvested by hand and delivered in a refrigerated truck to the 30 ha Nobel Hill winery on the Simondium-Klapmuts Road. Their land once formed part of the neighbouring Babylonstoren. The fruit was cooled to 5°C before crushing and pressing into stainless steel tanks for fermentation. The wine was racked and occasionally stirred for eight months before bottling, to give the wine complexity and richness, after primary fermentation.   Fruit notes include melon, passion fruit, green apple, and gooseberry, with some green fig, nectarine and peach.  The wine is balanced with ‘racy acidity balanced by rich fruit’. The wine is ideal to drink with good friends and food ‘in the dog days of summer’, says the Noble Hill information sheet.  Yesterday the sun rose at 5h32, and set at 19h57, giving 14 hours and 25 minutes of sunshine on the longest day of 2011.  The wine is recommended to sell at R95.

Winemaker Bernard le Roux studied at the University of Stellenbosch, and has worked at Flagstone, Hamilton Russell Vineyards, and Vilafonté before joining Noble Hill.  He has good sea legs, pouring the wine and remaining upright without much effort, despite the bumpy ride. He sailed around the Seychelles and the Maldives a few years ago, he told me.  Noble Hill first started producing wines ten years, and the Tillery family bought the farm five years ago.  It is known for its unique ‘leaf and stem water potential irrigation’, the write-up in Platter states.

Noble Hill already produces a Sauvignon Blanc, as well as Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and the 1674 Signature Red Blend, each receiving 4 stars in the latest Platter Guide.  Kristopher studied at Harvard University, and lived in Nigeria for fifteen years.  The family regularly came to Cape Town on holiday since 1994.  He was a consultant to the largest USA insurance company, and approached the family’s new acquisition as he would a consulting job, ‘asking the right questions’, he said, and focusing on balancing production and sales.

Our sail was an exhilarating one, with a heavy swell until we reached Clifton, so much so that most of us stopped eating Kathleen Tillery’s lovely snacks and had more of ‘The Longest Day’ to calm our nerves!  The return journey to the V&A Waterfront was a breeze, so to speak, and we didn’t want to leave the yacht.  The Howard Davis was designed by Kurt Öhlmann, and was commissioned by the South African Merchant Navy in 1965.  She participated in the first Cape to Rio yacht race in 1971, and has since been restored to its former glory by its current owners.

Noble Hill, Simondium-Klapmuts Road to Franschhoek.  Tel (021) 874-3844.   www.noblehill.com Twitter: @NobleHill Monday – Sunday.

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