Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cape Wine 2012

The food on offer was a disgrace: this was a quiche in the Jasminium restaurant that looked at least 4 days old. The sandwiches were worse
The selection of Pinots Noir for tasting at the Hemel and Aarde tasting presented by Peter  Finlayson
Peter explains the difference of the wines on the Ridge and in the valley in the Hemel and Aarde
Completely full seminar
The wines we tasted:  Bouchard Finlayson’s 2010 Galpin Peak, Hamilton Russell 2010, La  Vierge 2010, Domain des Dieux 2010 Josephine; Bouchard Finlayson’s 2011 Galpin Peak, Creation 2011
Amazing old wines from some classic producers for a tasting being held by Michael Fridjhon. Sadly, we were not invited to this tasting. We did See Michael doing the pre tasting check on the bottle and he said they were all amazing. Only one bottle was corked.  We do have one or two of these in our cellar so there is an incentive to open them now.
Michael Fridjhon taking a photograph of the wine box wall, 
watched by an amused Simon Back
The attractive Constantia stand
Andrew Gunn wearing his Gunn tartan on his Iona stand
Benny Howard leads us amusingly into the wonderful Pinotage seminar
The 8 Pinotages we tasted 
The panel discusses the wines and tells us the history of the grape
Jovial Beyers Truter with his Pinotage
Dave Hughes in his Pinotage Association shirt
The panel: Benny Howard, Dave Hughes,  Beyers Truter, Abrie Beeslaar, Duimpie Bailey and Niel Groenewald
The wines we tasted were (in order):  Lanzerac 1964; Zonnebloem 1975; Kanonkop 1999; Spier Private Collection 2004; Rijk’s 2004; Stellenzicht’s Golden Triangle 2005; Kaapzicht’s Steytler  2006; and  Beyerskloof’s 2009 Diesel  (Beyers’ beloved dog) – he says he cried for 3 weeks when Diesel died
Behind the scenes – backup stock of wines for tasting
Ina Smith of the Chenin Blanc Association and colleague with Niels Verburg of Luddite
Rows and rows of exhibitors
Tasting and selling
Anthony Rawbone-Viljoen and a potential buyer
The Distell stand and a bored observer
Going green – biodiversity and sustainability
The Graham Beck crew, marketer Arnold Vorster between cellarmasters Erica Obermeyer, and Pieter "Bubbles" Ferreira
In the Swartland corner, it was exciting and very busy, especially with Adi Badenhorst there to make things happen
Pieter Ferreira preparing for a tasting of Robertson chardonnays
The art of elegant expectoration – Pieter Ferreira shows how
Mr Ferreira presents…
Six superb chardonnays: Graham Beck Blanc de blanc 2008, DeWetshof Limestone Hill 2012, Graham Beck 2010, Springfield Wild Yeast 2009, DeWetshof Bateleur 2009, Springfield Methode Ancienne 2009
Schalk Burger senior, Welbedacht owner, very serious about his excellent wine
Painted Wolf, Jeremy Borg and interested parties
Architect, winery designer and Kleinood owner, Gerhard de Villiers
Across the passage: Vindaba, selling South African wine tourism – most important
Robertson Wine Valley PR Manager, Elizma Spangenberg-Botha talks about 
her fascinating terroir

 Photographs © John Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2012

Dinner at Gold Restaurant

Being shown the reception area by Cindy Muller, the inspiration behind the designs
Staff in front of the organ pipe reception desk
The organ was in situ, now it is being restored. A Mali puppet at play
Moroccan style tiles in reception on the ground floor
Carved calabashes with gold leaf interiors are the lamps in the stair well
The Kenya room has pictures of the Masai Mara thrown up against the wall while you eat
The very large function room, which you can hire for events...
.... with the stunning carved doors
Drums you use for the drumming sessions which teach one a lot 
about rhythm and working together
A comfortable seating area where you can meet your friends for a drink before dinner
The bar and our table
The top floor open air terrace with the living wall of plants
Moroccan tiles and Moroccan leather sofas!
The open stairwell with a view of one of the restaurant floors
Staff and the organ pipes
These decorative fish are actually headdresses
Two of the Mali puppets, the organ and some superb art made from palm fronds
Our charming, elegant waitress, Prossy Nabukwasi, is from Uganda
The view from our table
What went so well with dinner, Paulina’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2010 
from Rickety Bridge
The 10 course Winter set menu we were served.  This is now being changed for their Spring menu. The menu changes with the seasons
Spicy tomato and chilli soup served with a vetkoek 
(a savoury, deep-fried doughnut type bread)
One of the entertainers about to perform
The next course of four dishes, from top left:  Gogo onder die kombers (Granny under  a blanket) Beef and Ostrich meatballs wrapped in cabbage leaves with tomato ‘smoor’ (sauce); Game Sosaties with Rooibos Apricots (marinated beef kebabs); Moroccan Prawn Brouiats (parcels);  Potato and pea samoosas; served with Creamed fruit chutney.
Mali puppeteer just about to dance around the tables
Two singing dancers with enormous enthusiasm
Main course, with colourful crockery.  Beans and fresh corn from Nigeria, a very mild Kenyan Coconut chicken curry served with Lemon and peanut rice & mango atchar and Congolese Morog (rural spinach) with peppers, tomatoes and chilli.
John’s loaded plate, and we had lots over - the portions are very generous.
A drummer
Performers on the stairs
Dancers showing us lots of regional styles
Dessert is Boeber a Cape Malay milk pudding with vermicelli, sago, sultanas and roasted almonds and spices. Not to everyone’s taste!  Especially if they went to boarding school.
All the toilets are unisex
More gold leaf lined calabash lamps
As we exited we saw the small shop in the entrance.
Photographs are © John Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2012