Monday, April 19, 2021

Well-known wine family celebrates four decades with a refined new look

Robertson Valley’s Van Loveren Family Vineyards relaunches its heritage range

Forty years after the Retief brothers Wynand and Hennie, sons of the founders, established the well-known, modern-classic Van Loveren brand, the label, focus and appearance have been polished towards an even brighter future for the popular wine range.

Celebrating a remarkable family wine business in which the next generation has taken charge, the revitalised branding was inspired by the Retiefs’ tightly-woven personal heritage and the deeply-rooted ethos of this outstanding winery. Theirs is a way of doing things that has positioned the family at the centre of the contemporary South African wine industry. It’s a constant process of renewal and investment in the future.

Central to the celebration is the launch of the Van Loveren heritage range’s smart new packaging and look. These are the stylish, cellar-crafted wines that have thrilled so many South African wine lovers the last four decades – now with elegant new packaging that make a subtle modern salute to the winery’s origins.

Phillip, third generation Retief and Managing Director, says the brand renovation is the result of Van Loveren’s long-time commitment - over generations - to encourage individual strong suits skills for the collective good in a shared vision.

 “This played out successfully when the team contemplated a reboot for Van Loveren wines during the pandemic’s cellar-door lockout, it struck them how much the idea of family features.

 “This both in the sense of the wines, but, of course, also in the owner-relatives and our employees’ relationship.”

In fact, this ‘group of families’ is the brand’s unique selling position.

And so the packaging design was inspired by the stories, sites and benchmarks across the Van Loveren estate, winery and gardens. The eye-catching graphic on the label is from the original invitation to the wedding of Hennie Retief senior to Jean van Zyl, who acquired the farm in 1937 and named it after one of her ancestors, Christina van Loveren.

Featuring that date in the branding is a nod to the past, but also a reminder of the Van Loveren Family Vineyards commitment to rejuvenation and growth, ever sensitive to consumer appeal.

 “Our story has always been defined by legacy and driven by a pioneering spirit – building on the past to create a rewarding future, marked by innovation, dedication and enthusiasm for the wines we nurture,” Retief said.

The wines of the Van Loveren Family Vineyards cover an appealing wide range, with the new-look packaging focused on the contemporary wine lover who enjoys sparkling to fortified wine, white and/or red, single varietals and expert blends.

The top-end is represented by the Christina’s Trousseau and Retief Reserve brands, while easy-drinking Tangle Tree and de-alcoholised Almost Zero round off the selection.

Van Loveren wines are widely available from all major retailers and wine stores, as well as online at www.vanloveren.co.za.

ISSUED BY                     :               ON THE MARQUE PR & COMMUNICATIONS

ON BEHALF OF            :               VAN LOVEREN

MEDIA QUERIES         :               PIPPA PRINGLE |ON THE MARQUE PR & COMMUNICATIONS |

071 461 6692 | pippa@onthemarque.co.za 

Follow us on Facebook

All content in this article is © John & Lynne Ford, MENU

Stellenbosch Wine Route celebrates 50 wonderful years

To celebrate their 50th Anniversary, the Stellenbosch Wine Route sent us a huge box of goodies this week so that we could enjoy the route's golden anniversary at homeThe wine route was founded in 1971 when three intrepid winemakers – Spatz Sperling of Delheim, Neil Joubert of Spier and Frans Malan of Simonsig, after a visit to France, realised the marketing potential and necessity of such an endeavour, and the rest was history as it spread across our winelands to much success. Stellenbosch Wine Routes paved the way for the creation of the country’s wine tourism, an industry that contributes R7.2bn to GDP per year

#StellenboschWineRoute50

The box, individually labelled and hand delivered

The explanation.  Normally they would have invited media to a party
but, in these Covid days, it was not possible, so we applaud their solution

The contents: Left to Right: Two Canelé pastries (of which Lynne is very fond), two pork pies and a jar of Spicy Aubergine dip from Joostenberg, a bottle of Simonsig Cap Classique (one of our favourites) and a good 2015 bottle of Delheim Cabernet Sauvignon to enjoy, a bottle of tiny pickled onions from Companiesdrift farm, Huguenot cheese portions, two round rolls, and a jar of olives from Joostenberg. We have been enjoying things from this trove all weekend

and a rather large chocolate cake from Blõs bakery
 Thank you to all concerned; it certainly is a celebration of produce from Stellenbosch

Most Western Cape wine farms are open to visitors and to taste and buy wine. They suffered huge damage to their businesses while they were forced by the government to close for five months last year; an uninformed decision of very doubtful merit, as research is now demonstrating

So we urge you to enjoy a day out, include a wine estate or two en route and help them to recover from the damage,
but please be responsible if you are driving

Comprehensive information is available on the Stellenbosch wine route website
Click here to see maps and details about the farms on the route

We have received the following press release from Stellenbosch; it has a lot of interesting information:

Stellenbosch Wine Routes celebrates half-century of leadership and innovation

SA’s first wine route to remain collaborative pace-setter in wine tourism

The Stellenbosch Wine Routes celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, a milestone that also marks the birth of South African wine tourism.

Beyond offering the highest density of exceptional premium wines in South Africa, the Stellenbosch Wine Routes paved the way for the creation of the country’s wine tourism, an industry that contributes R7.2bn to GDP per year.

 “The occasion of our 50th comes at a most opportune time,” says Stellenbosch Wine Routes chairman, Mike Ratcliffe. “The wine industry and indeed, the country, is undergoing one of its most challenging seasons and reflecting on historic achievements is important for the inspiration it provides given the work that awaits us.”

Since its first step 50 years ago, the footprint of wine tourism has extended to wine-producing regions in five provinces with 23 recorded wine routes. The development of wine tourism in South Africa has also led to the transformation of the rural landscape in these wine routes, with state-of-the-art wine estates, graded hotels and event facilities having been added for guests. More than half of member wineries have incorporated food-related experiences into their wine-tourism offering.

Today, the Stellenbosch Wine Routes comprises a myriad of world-class wine tourism encounters in addition to wine tastings. From wine safaris to award-winning gourmet affairs, the Stellenbosch Wine Routes justifiably earns its reputation of being the biggest visitor attraction outside of Cape Town. Every year, hundreds of thousands of guests traditionally visit the area, which is a staple of trips to the Western Cape – for both local and international guests.

In 2019, the Stellenbosch Wine Routes became a founding member of Visit Stellenbosch, the town’s official Destination Marketing Organisation. This joint initiative is unifying Stellenbosch tourism stakeholders under one umbrella with the objective of growing the tourism and experience economy in Stellenbosch for the benefit of all communities.

The same year, the organisation became the first Southern Hemisphere wine region to join the Porto Protocol. Here, it committed to accelerating its focus and efforts on good environmental practice principles and executing projects oriented towards local sustainability. “Stellenbosch’s success is due to the unique combination of several critical factors. These include the quality and number of wineries; the beauty of the surrounding landscape, collaboration; and, availability of cultural tourism that augments wine tourism,” says Ratcliffe.

The Stellenbosch wine region has received the most wine awards per capita than any other of its kind in South Africa, underscoring a link between quality of wine and successful wine tourism.

 “As the first and largest wine route in the country, Stellenbosch Wine Routes will continue to lead the way. Included in our mandate is challenging local, provincial and national government on issues that affect our members and the industry, collectively addressing climate change as a member of the Porto Protocol and driving the social agenda,” Ratcliffe says.

 “Stellenbosch recognises the leadership role it must play on climate change and socio-economic issues too. We are committed as the wine and tourism ecosystem of Stellenbosch to drive environmental protection and social cohesion and foster good principles among all our stakeholders.”

On the effects of the pandemic, Ratcliffe says it demonstrated once again how in times of crisis communities pull together. The industry itself has faced seemingly insurmountable crises in the past and risen to meet the challenges every time.

Vinpro estimates that more than R2.5bn in revenue was lost between March and July 2020, with most losses incurred at the tasting room.

 “The impact to profitability, employment and the financial stability of the communities that are dependent on this sector cannot be underestimated either,” says Ratcliffe.

Quick off the mark when COVID-19 arrived on our shores, Stellenbosch rallied fervently to support economically vulnerable people living in and around the winelands. Among the initiatives was Stellenbosch Unite, through which last year it fed 690 000 people with 207 000 litres of soup and 36 800 food parcels.

This year, it co-ordinated the donation of hundreds of care packages to staff across all roles in the medical sector, including nurses, cleaners, porters, security guards, administrative officers, clinic workers and support staff.

Stellenbosch was also the first destination in sub-Saharan Africa to implement World Travel and Tourism Council-approved stringent health and hygiene safety protocols for the wellbeing of staff and guests. “As a wine route, we continue to put a firm focus on ensuring our wine and tourism eco-system continues to implement these protocols consistently for the safety of our staff and guests,” Ratcliffe says.

The Stellenbosch Wine Routes was founded by a now-famous fearless threesome who sought to change the existing status quo in the 1960s of grapes being sent to co-ops to produce the final product. At the time, the industry was controlled by KWV and co-operatives due to oversupply and vineyard owners could not sell wine under their own labels.

During a trip to Burgundy in 1969, Frans Malan (Simonsig) and Niel Joubert (Spier) discovered the famous Routes des Vins at Morey St Denis and saw the possibility of a similar scenario being established in Stellenbosch. Returning home, the two regrouped with Spatz Sperling (Delheim) to form the new organisation and so the Stellenbosch Wine Routes was officially launched in 1971.

The three founding members were soon joined by Groenland, Koopmanskloof, Blaauwklippen, Verdun, Overgaauw, Neethlingshof, Hazendal, Uiterwyk, Muratie, Mooiplaas, Hartenberg and Koelenhof.

At its inception, the Stellenbosch Wine Routes created an organised network of wine farms offering cellar door tastings and, in some cases, light meals. The consumer could then drive from farm to farm to taste and buy wine. The law of the day prescribed that wine had to be sold in cases of 12.

Today, the wine route has five sub-routes offering diverse wine tourism experiences, from all-inclusive luxury wine estates with tasting rooms, restaurants, and accommodation to small boutique wineries. It currently has over 120 wine and grape producer members within the boundaries of Stellenbosch Wine of Origin classification.

Notable accolades:

  • Named Wine Town of the Year by the Munskänkarna Swedish Wine Club
  • Drinks Business Awards: shortlisted for Best Contribution to Wine Tourism
  • Cape Winelands Mayoral Tourism Awards: shortlisted Tourism Event of the Year
  • Cape Winelands Mayoral Tourism Awards: shortlisted Tourism Event of the Year and Service Excellence
  • Three-time winner of the title Best Promotional Body, Drinks International Wine Tourism Awards
  • Shortlisted twice as Wine Region of the Year in Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Interesting anecdotes:

  • A competition to find a logo for the Stellenbosch Wine Routes in the 1980s produced an unusual result. Many entries were received, including six from Germany. The winner was announced in 1981 on the 10th birthday of Stellenbosch Wine Route, and the logo was adopted and trademarked. The winner, Stan Black, was from outside the region and was acting head of the art department at the Cape Technikon.
  • The Stellenbosch Wine Routes still has its original phone number. In the 1980s, the number was 4310 at its first office at 33 Plein Street. Today, it is 021 886 4310.
  • The first wine festival in South Africa was hosted in the Stellenbosch Town Hall in 1973 in collaboration with the Stellenbosch Fynproewersgilde.
  • Founding members of the wine route were instrumental in the establishment of the Wine of Origin system.
  • Frans Malan and his founder colleagues of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes challenged the road authorities and in the late 1970s the first road signage for wine farms was approved.

For more information, email info@wineroute.co.za or call 021 886 4310. Learn more about Stellenbosch’s reputation for fine wines, food, history and culture at www.wineroute.co.za and www.visitstellenbosch.org.

Use @stellwineroute to connect with Stellenbosch Wine Routes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

All content in this article is © John & Lynne Ford, MENU






A light lunch with friends at Green Point Park's Café

We often need to find places that are wheelchair accessible so we can meet with friends who can’t come to our house, as it is not very disabled friendly – on a steep hill and with lots of steps. The Green Point Park restaurant has recently opened with new owners and this seemed like a good opportunity to try it out while meeting our friends

There was a lovely large group of toddlers visiting the park that day. They were so excited

Our indigenous blue water lilies were in full bloom in the ponds, accompanied by loud frog croaking

Seagulls were having a lovely freshwater bath near the waterwheel

A Eurasian or Common Coot (Fulica atra)

The restaurant is easy to find in the middle of the park, not far from the parking
The entire pathway is wheelchair friendly and there is a ramp

Our friends had already arrived and taken a table on the side

The interior is nice and fresh and the tables are well-spaced

The menu with prices is on a board above the counter, but printed menus are also on tables

The menu is simple, but there is something for everyone
Many of the beverages were out of stock however, so a delivery was needed

Judi's Falafel Bowl was huge and it came on a bed of rather chewy barley grains

Dave had the Egg Mayo Toasty

Lynne and Denise ordered the Scrambled egg, with Crème Fraiche and smoked Trout
with a Bos Rooibos Iced tea for Denise and an Appletiser for Lynne. The fresh juices were sold out

John ordered a Heineken Zero, but it was out of stock, so he had a Devil's Peak Zero to Hero beer instead at R40

with his Chicken Parma Zarma Toasty which has mozzarella cheese with the ham
Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the Park

Our bill for five people came to R528 plus 10% service










The 2021 Old Mutual Trophy Wine and Spirits Shows

The 2021 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show and Old Mutual Trophy Spirits Show will be judged at the end of May and first week of June. Results will be announced in July. This is a reminder to both the wine and spirits industries to enter the competition/s by Friday 23 April.

This year, judging takes place in the heart of the Mother City, at the Westin Cape Town. Michael Fridjhon is chairman of the judges for both competitions. Per last year’s format, all panellists are South African experts, and in the case of the spirits’ judging, also have a wealth of international product experience.

The entry kit and entry form for each of the competitions is available on the respective websites:

Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show: https://www.trophywineshow.co.za/

Old Mutual Trophy Spirits Show: https://trophyspiritshow.co.za/

For any further information, please contact:
Monica Mountjoy: monica@outsorceress.co.za
Tel: 083 783 1551
Or
Janice Fridjhon: janice@outsorceress.co.za
Tel: 083 302 2197

Issued by:
OutSorceress Marketing

A False Bay day with lunch at Kalky's

It is still summer, but we often feel that we are shutting ourselves away. We have made a resolution to go out to a different area at least once a week and so we decided to go to the False Bay coast to have a lunch of Fish and Chips. The views from Boyes Drive were magnificent; the day was clear and fresh. Looking down on the Vleis and Muizenberg brings back lots of memories for Lynne of her early years when she used to come fishing and kite flying here with her father.  And, of course, swimming off Muizenberg beach

The vista of the blue mountains and a windless sea

At Kalk Bay harbour, the seals were basking on the dockside, waiting for fish scraps from the stalls

Not much to do today, but scratch and groom

Drying flecked snoek

Or how about a doze in the sun while you let people know you are here by raising flipper and tail fin

Kalky’s has been here for years and it is the place for fresh fish.  Covid queues are in force, so they have a window where you pay and are given a number.  If you haven’t brought cash, they do have an ATM inside.  We found a small table very quickly, under the shade

A very disciplined queue; quite short and quick

Our bill, with the message we wanted, crisp chips

The tables have been spaced apart, further than before

Just the thing to enjoy with fish and chips - one of our favourite unwooded, crisp chardonnays,
2019 Limestone Hill from de Wetshof in Robertson. And yes, we do take our own glasses

The hake and chips. The message about crisp chips is sometimes hard to get across
The fish is delivered on top of the chips, so soggy just happens

The tables are sanitised before you sit down

Fishing off the end of the dock

Fresh fish on the slab - yellowtail

and two Kabeljou.  We heard a price of about R200 for a fish

And they can be expertly filleted for you
Do tell them you want the bones and head if you want to make stock

A row of Kalk Bay fishing boats
It was a lovely escape, with a good supermarket trip in Constantia Village on the way home


All content in this article is © John & Lynne Ford, MENU




Easter lamb braai

We do a traditional Easter meal every year and daughter Clare joins us for dinner. This year, we had a deboned leg of lamb, so it went into John's amazing marinade the day before. It’s an easy recipe with soy, red wine, lots of garlic and fresh lavender and/or rosemary. You can see it after the photographs. The lavender adds an unusual and delicious flavour

Getting the coals hot in our ancient Weber

and sunset over the sea with a long, long tanker passing by

Coals ready, lamb on

This does not take long to cook and with the different thicknesses everyone can have their favourite 'doneness'
we do like pink lamb

Timed to perfection, ready for carving. It does rather look like a map of Africa!

And the final plate. Lynne made duck fat roast potatoes, steamed broccoli, carrots, courgettes, minted baby peas and a good gravy. The wines served were De Wetshof 2017 Bon Vallon Chardonnay, crisp and elegant, which went well with our starter of Chicken liver pâté with almonds and Amaretto. The best wine for the lamb was the 2011 Saronsberg Shiraz; soft and supple and spicy

It was a lovely summer evening and we ate on our deck

The Recipe:

Braaied Butterflied Leg of Lamb

Ask the butcher to debone the leg (or do it yourself) so that there are two half legs, joined in the middle, with fat on one side only. Place the meat in a large bowl and prepare a marinade of

Half cup Olive Oil
Half cup Soy Sauce
1 cup red wine Vinegar, Red Wine or Verjuice
Grated peel and juice of 1 Lemon
6-8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Several sprigs of Lavender or Rosemary

Chop the lavender/rosemary leaves, having stripped them off the stalks. Whip the oil and soy sauce and the other ingredients. Pour the marinade over both sides of the meat, and cover the dish. Marinate for ± 12 hours with the cut side down, turning it occasionally to ensure that the marinade penetrates evenly.

Light the fire, and, just before the flames have completely died, put the meat on the grid, cut side down, to sear for 5-10 minutes.

Turn the meat over, and leave it fat side down, with the lid on the Weber, for ± 30 minutes for a small leg and ± 45 minutes for a larger leg. Baste the leg occasionally with the marinade (More frequently over an open fire).

SERVING – (Use a razor-sharp knife)

Cut the meat down the middle into two “fillets” and carve each one from the meat side toward the fat into very thin slices. The thick parts will be rare, becoming more well-done as the meat becomes thinner.

Serve as you would roast beef

Friday, April 02, 2021

Muratie's Summer Wine Down

On a late March, end of summer Saturday, we headed to Muratie to attend their very first Summer Wine Down event. We were promised a tasting, some history of the farm and some lunch and some live music. Assured of stringent Covid regulations, how could we refuse

Another stunning landscape from the farm is their view of the Simonsberg mountain behind their vineyards

It is a very popular place to stop off for runners and cyclists as they can sit and have breakfast, brunch, lunch or a wine tasting on the outside tables of the Muratie Farm Kitchen under the shelter of the ancient oak trees. Open from Wednesday to Sunday, Breakfast is from 9am – 11am and lunch from 11am – 3.30pm

Owner Rijk Melck returning from his Saturday morning cycle in time to meet us all

We met in the garden in front of the very pretty late 18th Century Manor House for a wine tasting
The lovely green venue in front of the house can also be used at weddings

And were welcomed with a glass of Muratie’s Blanc de Blanc Cap Classique, a very good example of the style, with a good prickly mousse, crisp, long and dry with the classic flavours of Chardonnay, apple and lime. Just our style too

Desmond Binneman, National Sales & Marketing Manager was our host
He told us about the farm’s history and led the tasting

Tables nicely spread far apart, we chose the one at the back

It is an extremely pretty venue, very green and lush,
the garden has been well planted and you sit in the shade of ancient trees

Dr Rijk Melck, Winemaker Hattingh de Villiers, and P.R.O. Posy Hazell

Some snacks of crisp samoosas and spicy spring rolls. Instead of handing round these or doing a buffet, each person got their own portion, much safer because of no general hand contact with the food. We enjoyed them very much, but they did blow the palate a little; luckily the Blanc de Blanc calmed it down

Desmond told us some of the history behind the names of the wines, all previous owners of this very historic farm, established in 1685. In front of the Winery is a small white house which is now the art gallery. This was the first home that the first owner Laurens Campher (1685 -1735) built for his family. Beside the house is the oak tree his wife, Ansela van de Caab, planted. Theirs is a very romantic story, Ansela was a slave and he had to get her freedom before they could marry and move to Muratie where he was establishing the farm. He had to walk for three days to get to Cape Town to see her. And then three days back

We then did three vertical tastings of Muratie wines. It is always an extreme privilege to see how wines develop and change with age and a great learning experience for people new to wine, who are often excited to see what happens with time

The first wine was the Lourens Campher, which is a blend of Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Verdelho and Viognier. From left to right: 2013 has a hint of smoke and spice, shy fruit initially, then lots of apple. Dry - not influenced by the tough of Viognier, rounded with good complex fruit flavours on the palate and a little wood on the end. It has aged well

2017 Golden fruit on the nose; the Chenin predominates with some spice and good expectations. Sweet summer fruit, golden delicious apples, nice gentle wood integration and it yells for food

The current vintage 2019 has beautiful perfumed fruit on the nose. Guava and spice is on both the nose and the palate, crisp fruit acids, mid palate of loquat then lime, lemons and wood point to a very good wine with aging potential developing

Hearing some more of the interesting history of the farm. The aged tasting room with its cobwebs is not allowed to be changed; it is almost a national monument!


Marketing Assistant Jean-Mari Reyneke is always so helpful and friendly

Desmond tells us about the wines and the history of their names - they are named after previous owners of the farm or their family. Muratie has gone right back to the first owner, Laurens Campher, who established the farm in 1685, when it was granted to him by Simon van der Stel, who was Governor of the Cape of Good Hope at the time

Then three Muratie Merlots. The first does not bear a previous owner’s name; it was a lucky discovery in their vinoteque and we were very privileged to be tasting it

2001. What a lasting nose, quite awesome. It does have a hint of Brettanomyces, but that is what can make red wines long lasting. On the palate, rich red berry fruit, dark damson plums and cherries with some licorice wood and even some chalky tannins

The 2013 Alberta Annemarie Merlot has intense wood and dark red and black cherries, good wood, and is perfumed with rose and jasmine. A fine nose. And it is lovely on the palate with rich plum, ripe mulberry and black cherry fruit, with dark toasted wood on the end. It needs to be drunk with good steak or rich meats. Excellent

The 2017 current vintage is still a bit shy with hints of plums, cherries and wood on the nose. Great fruit on the palate - reminded us of Rowntree blackcurrant fruit pastilles, crisp fruit acids and chalky tannins and wood. A wine which has all the components it needs, in waiting, and with the 2013 we can see what it can become

Alberta Annamarie Canitz, after whom the Merlot was named, inherited Muratie from her father Georg. She sold it to Rijk Melck’s father Ronnie in 1987, knowing that he would hold on to the long traditions of the farm, especially as it had belonged to his family in the 17th and 18th Centuries. It was acquired by Martin Melck in 1763

Rijk swirls the wine before nosing

The final flight was the Cabernet Sauvignon, named for Rijk's ancestor Martin Melck. He owned the farm from 1763 to 1781 and it was passed down in the family until the late 1880's when it was sold

Left to Right: 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. Sweet and sour berries, lots of cassis and perfume. Dark, dark toasted wood, stewed berry fruit, long flavours with chalky tannins holding

2013 is quite pale for a Cabernet with light cassis and cherry notes. Soft, sweet dark berry fruit and a good kick of crispness. Soft and chalky tannins supporting; a respectable Cabernet with long flavours

2015 has a different nose, with vegetal hints. It is silky on the palate, full on cassis berries and leaves, good chalky tannins and good structure. It is just waiting to bloom and it will. It became more juicy with time as it opened in the glass

Autumn is suddenly with us, almost a month early

Time for lunch and it was good to see the terrace full of people attending the event. Everyone has their temperatures taken on arrival, and has to give their name and contact details in case they need to be contacted. It is a very happy place

We were entertained by The Bulllets with nostalgic 1960s pop music 

Kim Melck is in charge of the Muratie Farm Kitchen as well as being its talented chef

The exciting menu for the day on the Media table, with choices for all

Our starter was a perfectly made Caesar salad, with a perfect oozy poached egg, shaved parmesan, cos lettuce, crisp croutons and the correct sauce tasting of anchovies. Hidden beneath were succulent slices of delicate cooked smoked chicken. Delicious and a meal on its own. Beautiful with the Laurence Campher and ....

.... we enjoyed it with the Muratie Isabella wooded Chardonnay; Crisp limes and golden oak

We always tell people that you will find the best lamb shanks in Cape Town at Muratie and today we were overjoyed to have them for lunch. Served in a rich lamb jus, with creamed potatoes, heritage carrots and lots of good fresh green vegetables they were a treat. We drank some of the Martin Melck Cabernet Sauvignon with the lamb and the Alberta Annamarie Merlot, both were excellent choices

The lamb is succulent and just falls off the bone, all the fat has disappeared in the long slow cooking

And for dessert a perfect vanilla pannacotta, topped with a zingy berry coulis and a fresh raspberry. An excellent meal, well matched by the Muratie wines

A chance to taste the 2000 Muratie Pinot Noir was gratefully accepted and appreciated. It is a very good Pinot Noir, with lots of class and full of the classic Pinot flavours, soft and silky. Muratie was the first farm to plant Pinot noir in South Africa and their Pinot was used with Cinsaut (aka Hermitage) from a neighbour farm to create the Pinotage cross

Lots of chat on the long media table; nicely spaced apart and then it was time for carriages home after a really enjoyable day. Thank you so much to all at Muratie. So good to see some of the other media people and Posy too, after a very, very long time of Covid

A beautiful Queen protea, Protea Magnifica, which decorated our table

and Lynne spotted this magnificent beastie walking across the path. It was about 8 cm long. It is a Death's head hawk moth (Acherontia atropos) larva/caterpillar