You’ll find some fascinating and affordable wines in this charmingly laid back rural setting
N EXT Saturday farming families of the Voor Paardeberg wine ward will congregate at the Agter-Paarl visitor centre on the David Frost estate to welcome visitors to the third annual Wine Fair.
The laidback rural charm of this area is still comparatively undiscovered, but its seven producers make some fascinating and affordable wines from vineyards that sprawl across flatlands north of Durbanville, north-west of Paarl and south of Malmesbury, with the iconic “horse mountain” making a central beacon.
The festival will be a family affair, with children well catered for and alternative activities like boules and a putting green adding to the attractions of stalls laden with country fare. Make up your own picnic from chicken curry, lamb pies, deli items and sweet treats and take home wine and raw honey, biltong and nuts. The products of Ayama, Bernheim, David Frost, Horse Mountain, Oude Denneboom, Scali and Vondeling add up to more than 40 wines to try, with shiraz, pinotage, cabernet and red blends vying for top honours along with a couple of white blends that show real depth. Uncommon varietals recently planted are coming on stream, promising to expand the range still further. This is also olive country with some cellars producing quality oil as a sideline. Tickets cost R100, children under 18 go in free of charge, and the fair takes place from 11am to 6pm. Visitor numbers will be limited. Bookings and inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 083 376 9924.
Staying with shiraz, the Americanowned Helderberg cellar Dombeya this week released their long-awaited Haskell Syrah Vineyard series, ahead of the 2010 World Cup and just after their five-star Platter label became the first South African wine to win both Best Red Wine and Best Wine on Show at this year’s TriNations Challenge, the annual contest between wines of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
For winemaker Rianie Strydom it’s the culmination of five years’ work – with these aristocratic and pricey limited editions of Haskell Pillars Syrah and Haskell Aeon Syrah, both 2007 vintage, judged to be ready to take the market by storm.
Wellington is also good shiraz country and here boutique winery Dunstone is bursting with pride at being awarded five stars for their ‘08 shiraz, the first Wellington wine to reach these heights. Taste it at their pretty cellar in the Bovlei valley – they also have an appealing guest house.
Fans serious about shiraz should make a point of heading to the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Thursday, where the first SA Shiraz Showcase takes place from 5.30pm to 8.30pm. Tickets at R100 will be limited to 300 visitors who can sample the products of 60 South African producers of fine shiraz. The Shiraz SA association was recently formed to promote the image of this wine which many think offers proof of local success in straddling the Old and New Worlds of wine.
Book at Computicket on 083 915 8000, or phone Elsabe Ferreira on 083 309 7621 for more information.
As the mercury soars sauvignon blanc will, once again, be the first choice for thousands of local and international visitors to the Cape.
They will experience some of the finest wines that we have produced from this Gallic grape – the 2009 vintage is, in a word, exceptional. The nine sauvignons from Durbanville which come packaged as “ward-in-a-box” offer fans superb tastes of this hilly region, with some offering crisp green refreshment, others fruitier blends with lower acidity. Fleur du Cap’s brilliant unfiltered limited release sauvignon has attracted praise from all quarters but, at over R100, is not for everyday quaffing. But their regular ‘09 sauvignon blanc is a delicious blend of herbaceous and melon flavours, and its pricetag of around R40 makes it far easier to swallow...
The results of the 2009 Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 contest organised by Wine magazine were released recently.
Attracting 226 entries, the judges awarded five stars to Delaire, Havana Hills and Graham Beck Pheasant’s Run 2009 vintage, while Avondrood, De Grendel, Nederburg Manor House, Durbanville Hills Biesjes Craal, Nitida Club Select, Fleur du Cap Unfiltered and Graham Beck Pheasants Run 2008 are the remaining winners.
● WIN: Five double tickets to the Voor Paardeberg Wine Fair can be won. To enter, tell us how many producers will
present wines at the fair? E-mail your answer to email@example.com along with your name, daytime telephone number and “TGW ticket giveaway” in the subject line.
Entries must be submited by the close of business on Tuesday, November 10. Winners will be notified by telephone.
IN FESTIVE MODE: The wine ward of Voor Paardeberg with the ‘horse mountain’ in the background.
BOLAND BOOST: Haskell winemaker Rianie Strydom and Springbok rugby coach Peter de Villiers show off their Tri-Nations silverware.