Wine fair

You’ll find some fas­ci­nat­ing and af­ford­able wines in this charm­ingly laid back ru­ral set­ting

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOOD WEEK­END -

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 info@zelda­fursten­ 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 info@voor­paarde­ 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.

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