The Chenin Blanc Association knows how to throw a good party. Their Chenin Parties at Grand Africa Café have always been fantastic fun so with great excitement we attended the first Chenin in the Winelands Picnic at Spier.
It was the perfect day out. 60 South African Chenins to taste, a beautiful picnic on the lawn with the best weather and live music by Bottomless Coffee Band.
Wine is definitely about chilling out, relaxing, connecting with friends.
The 2020 Chenin Party, held again at the very trendy Grand Beach Café right on the water’s edge next to the V&A Waterfront, clearly hit all the right spots! It was a scorcher of a day – with the rest of Cape Town struggling against the fierce South Easterly wind, but the sheltered beach café was the perfect venue to get away from the Cape Doctor
There were plenty of excellent Chenins and being so very hot I decided best to focus on my favourite for summer, viz the bubblies.
4th Annual Fizzytherapy Festival at Villiera – ‘Bubbles and Bling’
The Cape Winemakers Guild is like an old boys club (the boys getting a little older than the young guns they once were!), but there are a few new youngsters and women - which is good to see.
The bidding was fairly slow with new auctioneers on Saturday 5th Oct - but picked up and finally realised R9.4m+ - not too shabby in an economy under severe stress.
Villiera ended off a month Europe by attending H M Witt’s 40 year anniversary in Bremen. Traders attended from all over Germany, and suppliers from around the world.
Then on to Waddinxveen in The Netherlands for a very well attended and organised Trade Event put on by Delta wines.
The harvest at Domaine Grier is in full swing. We have a new winemaker, Patrik, who is tackling his first vintage with us but lives in the area and has been making wine there for a while.
Raphael remains in charge of the cellar and has taken on more of a sales role too.
There are a number of interesting family run fine wine shops scattered all over Germany. Travelled over 1000 km in 4 days and saw dozens of traders. One where the demijohns were hanging from the 'dak' instead of fermenting on the 'dak' as is the case for our Dak Wijn. Met a surfer or two - one who went surfing with Miles Mossop in a pond.
September was a busy month for Villiera in Europe. It kicked off in the UK with a tasting for The Wine Society's clients at One Great George Street. The Old Bridge in Huntingdon is a must with proprietor John Hoskins. And the on to Roots where brothers James and Tommy Banks are making a name for themselves for their excellent food and great wine combinations.
This year we took our Winter feast to Johannesburg. DW eleven -13 matched each wine pairing with some amazing food and all 9 wines served were done so in a different Riedel glass to show them at their best. We poured a 1974 Riversaltes Ambre from the South of France just to show how Dak Wijn could potentially age.
We held a Winter Feast in the Villiera cellar on Saturday 27th July 2019 to celebrate Jeff Grier’s 35 years as a winemaker at Villiera. Jeff, Xander and Nathan showcased some of our new and reserve wines to our guests. Craig and Beau of The Goose Roasters matched each pair of wines from Villiera and Domaine Grier with a dish as only they can do.
The Chocolatiers did taste all of our bubblies and specially created chocolates to match the flavours they found and then we tasted them and made further changes. So these chocolates, shapes and flavours and 100% unique to Villiera and match only our Cap Classiques.
The one that pairs with the Domaine Grier is in a croissant shape to add a touch of French humour.
Friday 9th June saw plenty of friends of Dave Hughes, coming together to honour him at Neethlingshof. Celia Gilloway organised this fitting event, which was such a wonderful gathering of the (mostly older) South African Industry. Tall tales told by old friends Jan Boland Coetzee and Duimpie Bayly had us all a-giggle!
Mike Ratcliffe auctioned off the most spectacular lots of mostly wines, but also a few dinners, one of which will be catered for by top chefs, Pete Goffe-Wood and George Jardine, who also prepared the dinner for the tribute on Friday, alongside Reuben Riffel and Bertus Basson.
This year's Stellenbosch Wine Festival looked more like a music festival than a wine fest - with the biggest stage I have ever seen! Plenty of wine stands, foodie delights and I was very pleased to discover that Stellenrust has in fact made (possibly) the first ''Prosecco" styled bubbly in South Africa - and then with a Chenin of course.
Stellenbosch Harvest paints City of Oaks red Colourful community celebrates winemaking camaraderie The oak-lined streets of Stellenbosch were invaded by a colourful community of winemaking charismatics on uniquely adorned ‘chariots’ on Saturday, January 28, when the annual Harvest Parade ushered in the grape harvest season with convivial cheer.