Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sunday visit to the Helderberg Festival

We started at La Masseria on the R44 near the Annandale road and were welcomed by this lively faced, inquisitive but not at all fierce ostrich in their petting zoo
The restaurant La Masseria
Jacques Bredell  of JP Bredell and Wrensch Louw from RouLou gave us a tasting of their wines. We bought a little of each. Sadly, We didn’t get the name of the chap in the middle who also works for RouLou
The buffet in the restaurant costs R140 a person and there was lots of food.
Including antipasti and salads
Serenaded by the professional accordionist with Italian, Spanish and French songs, we  sang along.
Informal eating on the terrace, 
there is also room inside when the weather is not so great
Lynne's dish of seafood linguine
Johns choice was the dish of three pastas of the day: 
Potato and fontina cheese ravioli, gnocci bolognaise and pesto linguine
The charming owner sings while his professional accordionist and a very talented amateur play for us.  The song was Volaré which we sing along to each week at the Biscuit Mill
And mamma joins in
Our bill for two pastas and two glasses of Kleine Zalze Chenin Blanc
A beautiful "tree of bottles" sculpture at Chabivin winery
Relaxing on the grass in front of their tasting room
Hendrik Snyman, the friendly winemaker, giving us a taste of some of his best
Guy Charbaut, champagne vigneron of Reims and Stellenbosch - we tasted his Millesime
Johan Meyer, who is the winemaker at Meerhof in Riebeek West, was showing his own wines and we were very impressed . He has made a perfect chardonnay – rich full and elegant. Wooded but only showing  and supporting the structure of the wine very subtly. It is not over wooded.  We predict this wine will win prizes, IF he has enough for any competitions. 
His Pinot Noir also impressed us very much – lots of burgundy style fruit with a good liquorice end, it will be ready to drink in about 3 to five years time and possibly much longer.
We had to order a case of each and here is Johan packing and labelling the wines for us. Very much a hands on wine maker.
We loved the basketwork’ sculpture’ of a champagne cork in the front garden.
 On to Post House wines to talk to Nick Gebers,the owner winemaker, and taste through his wines in his barrel cellar
It was the end of a long four day festival and we were all very relaxed
The small cellar behind his house...
... and the stunning view of the Helderberg hills from the house
Teenage geese being shepherded through the vineyards by their parents
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus cc, 2012
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