Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Blaauwklippen Blending Competition awards lunch

Each year the label for the bottle is changed. This is the bright and fun painting of the label done by artist Frans Groenewald.  They will fill in the names of the winners when the label is printed
A welcome glass of Blaauwklippen White Zinfandel
Some interesting canapés:
Duck in puff pastry
Tiny feta and spinach quiches
The best were pancakes filled with smoked salmon and topped with a dot of cream cheese and salmon caviar with a sprig of dill
Alan Mullins, one of the originators of the blending competition with PR whizz Nicolette Waterford
Prizes?  No, gifts for all attending, which included some beautiful Vitria wine glasses and a magnum of the winning wine
Two long tables sit down for lunch and the awards
The menu for the day
Wine Maker and GM of Blaauwklippen Rolf Zeitvogel tells us the history of the competition and that the wine we will drink with our lunch will be the as yet unidentified winning blend
Our starter of chicken ballontine stuffed with olives, peppers and chicken farce, accompanied by a bangle of crisp cheese, atop a moist mushroom and feta quiche. The chicken was a little dry, but the stuffing was deliciously complex. Served with Blaauwklippen 2013 Chenin Blanc
Walter Finlayson, past winemaker at Blaauwklippen, tells us about his role in the formation of the competition before he went on to Glen Carlou
Anel Grobler of Spit or Swallow tweeting the awards to her followers
Rolf Zeitvogel and Walter Finlayson
Rolf chats to John, who was from the first wine club to win 30 years ago. They are also from Durban
Dave Hudson of Cape Town represented another previous winner

Dave and Janet Hudson

Cape Wine Master Clive Torr has been a judge of the competition over the years
Angela Lloyd tells us how the competition mushroomed from the original entries. They never imagined how long it would last and how enthusiastically it would be supported, by the sponsors and the wine clubs
Natalie Campbell of Blaauwklippen, PA to Rolf Zeitvogel and co-ordinator of the competition
Nicolette Waterford. Her public relations company, Waterford Communications, organised this very well run event
Media making notes: Chris von Ulmenstein and Norman McFarlane
Suzette Biermann, representing finalist Oude Molen Wynkring from Potchefstroom in the North-West Province
Nominee Laurence Davies of the Natalia Wine Society thought the wine tasted a bit familiar
Dwayne and Helen Embery, represented Web Wine Society from Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape
Alan Mullins enjoying lunch and the awards
Sasha van Zyl of  winemag.co.za, who won the media award
Blaauwklippen's assistant winemaker, Albert Basson

And here is the winning wine for us to taste
Our main course was an extremely tender roasted lamb rump on a smoked potato purée, (thank heavens not over-smoked) with a deep and rich black olive jus and perfectly cooked baby vegetables  This was served with an anchovy and caper butter, which Lynne felt added too much salty contrast to the rich sweet lamb, so she added only a tiny dab
 Denise Huff of Vitria Glass, one of the sponsors of the awards
Seated at the end of the table are the four most valuable members of staff from the cellar. They have to organise all the bottling of the wines to be blended, their packaging and dispatch to the clubs. Then they have to assemble the blends which are entered for tasting, as well as make up the final winning blend. Work well done
Walter and Jill Finlayson
First award is the Media award to winemag.co.za. Receiving it from Rolf is Sasha van Zyl
And the award for the best blend 2013 goes to Laurence Davies of Natalia Wine Society in Durban
He is delighted and amused that he spotted it when he tasted the winning wine with lunch
Lots of smiles from the award winners
Here, assembled, are all the finalists and the winners with Rolf and Albert
Laurence and Jenny Davies with Rolf Zeitvogel
Rolf with Helen and Dwayne Embery
and with the Biermanns from Potchefstroom
Laurence and Jenny, proudly taking the trophy home
And, finally, our dessert - soft stewed and macerated pear with a deeply delicious chocolate mousse, slices of chocolate Madeira cake, Chantilly cream and a strawberry vodka jelly, served with a glass of Blaauwklippen Zinfandel Noble Late Harvest
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2013

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