A real gem for fes­tive sam­pling and shop­ping

Buiten­verwacht­ing’s sig­na­ture sau­givnon blancs demon­strate the su­pe­rior char­ac­ter­is­tics of Con­stan­tia wines table­top

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODDRINKING - MYRNA ROBINS

IT’S TIME to look to wineland des­ti­na­tions for fes­tive sam­pling and shop­ping – and where bet­ter to start than in the cra­dle of our wine in­dus­try, the mag­nif­i­cent Con­stan­tia val­ley?

One of the jew­els that draws vis­i­tors from around the cor­ner and across the world is Buiten­verwacht­ing, with its 18th-cen­tury farm­stead, and even older out­build­ings en­clos­ing a grassy court.

Fluc­tu­at­ing for­tunes saw the farm built into a flour­ish­ing wine farm, later sub­di­vided and ne­glected, then re­united by the Louws in the early 20th cen­tury.

Nearly 80 years later, modern ad­di­tions of a wine cel­lar and el­e­gant restau­rant cat­a­pulted the es­tate into the news for su­perb wines at rea­son­able prices, gourmet din­ing and peace­ful pic­nics in a tran­quil and time­less set­ting.

To­day, owner Lars Maack, hav­ing im­ple­mented ad­mirable so­cial con­di­tions for em­ploy­ees, is fo­cus­ing on green mat­ters, in­creas­ing stretches of in­dige­nous veg­e­ta­tion, in­stalling so­lar panels and re­duc­ing en­ergy con­sump­tion.

While the pop­u­lar­ity of con­sis­tent blends like Buiten Blanc is on­go­ing, it’s the farm’s two sig­na­ture sauvi­gnon blancs that demon­strate the dis­tinc­tive and su­pe­rior char­ac­ter­is­tics of Con­stan­tia. The reg­u­lar sauvi­gnon blanc 2011 (R70), which is dry, bal­ances green pep­per with fruity suc­cu­lence, and has a long fin­ish. The 2010 Hussey’s Vlei (R90) is pow­er­ful and full-bod­ied, with green­gage and lime com­ple­ment­ing flint. It at­tracted dou­ble gold from Ver­i­tas and gold from the Old Mu­tual Tro­phy show.

More win­ners to sip in­clude wine­maker Brad Pa­ton’s in­no­va­tive white blends. The Batavia 2009 (R80), a more-ish meld of ries­ling, chenin and viog­nier (the last two bar­rel fer­mented), makes de­li­cious sum­mer drink­ing. Max­imus 2009 (R150) blends sauvi­gnon blanc with 15 per­cent semil­lon – grapes that were picked late and en­joyed long bar­rel fer­men­ta­tion and fur­ther age­ing – to pro­duce a part­ner for gourmet white meat and seafood.

An­other dou­ble gold win­ner is Pa­ton’s ger­wurz­traminer, or G 2010 (R100), the char­ac­ter­is­tic per­fume be­ly­ing the dry­ness, a wine wait­ing to com­ple­ment aro­matic fare.

Turn­ing to red, along with the flag­ship blend Chris­tine, try the cab franc 2007 ( R150), with its choco­late, red pep­per and to­bacco notes, as a part­ner for veni­son, os­trich and more. For more info, see www.buiten­verwacht­ing.com.

Din­ers look­ing for re­laxed fare can opt for high tea, ta­pas in the court­yard, or book a pic­nic on the lawns – a pop­u­lar choice for all age groups, priced at R125 a head and R45 for chil­dren un­der 10.

In the airy and el­e­gant restau­rant, chef pa­tron Edgar Oso­jnik presents an à la carte menu that changes ac­cord­ing to sea­sonal avail­abil­ity of prefer­ably or­ganic ingredients. Ex­pect gourmet cre­ations like first cour­ses of oys­ters with caviar, scal­lops with risotto, cold-smoked tuna with soya jelly or quail touched with chilli, orange and asparagus.

Main cour­ses in­clude cray­fish ther­mi­dor with a cit­rus ravi­oli, smoked monk­fish, grilled kingk­lip, and duck breast with grilled melon. Clas­sic pre­sen­ta­tions of beef fil­let, spring­bok and lamb make red meat choices.

Desserts such as rasp­berry souf­flé, apricot strudel and vari­a­tions on choco­late re­flect the chef ’s Aus­trian back­ground. To book, call 021 794 3522.

WIN! A bar­rel of fes­tive prizes from Buiten­verwacht­ing awaits win­ners this week. Two TGW read­ers will each savour a sump­tu­ous five-course fine-din­ing din­ner, with paired wines, for two. Two read­ers can each win a five-course ta­pas meal for two, part­nered by Buiten­verwacht­ing sauvi­gnon blanc.

And two read­ers will each win a tu­tored wine tast­ing and vint­ner’s plat­ter for two. There are also two Buiten­verwacht­ing pic­nics for two up for grabs and 10 read­ers can each win a twin pack of the farm’s qual­ity wines.

To stand a chance of win­ning one of these prizes, send an e-mail to Sandy­bai­ley@telkomsa.net by the close of busi­ness on Wed­nes­day, with the an­swer to this ques­tion:

Which two grape cul­ti­vars are found in the Max­imus 2009?

In­clude your name, day­time tele­phone num­ber and put Buiten­verwacht­ing/tgw give­away in the sub­ject line. Only one en­try per e-mail ad­dress is valid for the draw.

EX­TEND­ING THE RANGE: Wine­maker Brad Pa­ton has added ex­cit­ing white blends to the Buiten­verwacht­ing line-up.

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