Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Chenin Blanc Winter Showcase at Delaire Graff

The gathering on the spacious deck of Delaire Graff
President of the Chenin Growers Association, Ken Forrester, opens proceedings
Ben Kruger, CEO of the Standard Bank, tells us about their new sponsorship. It is a very worthy prize. He announced the signing of a three-year sponsorship agreement between the Chenin Blanc Association of South Africa and Standard Bank, in support of a new competition to be known as the Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top Ten Challenge. The competition will be open to all the ± 100 Chenin Blanc Association members. Entries open on 1st July 2014.  An awards ceremony announcing the winners will take place at Delaire Graff Estate in Stellenbosch on Wednesday 27th August. Winners will receive R20 000 each and the money must be used for the economic and social upliftment of the workforce
Past president Jeff Grier of Villiera
The hand that rocks the cradle. Ina Smith is the Manager of the Association and keeps it all together with marvellously quiet and gentle organisation
Line up of the first flight of Chenins
We get down to serious tasting
Johann Laubser, GM of Delaire Graff, wine maker Morne Vrey and Ken Forrester listen to Geoff Grier in the background as he takes us through a flight of Chenin
Many lunchers on the terrace with one of the best views in Stellenbosch, up at the top of the Helshoogte pass
As the vines shut down after harvest, the leaves turn all sorts of pretty autumnal colours
Delaire Graff’s winemaker Morne Vrey on his way to lunch at Indochine restaurant
Calm blues and hints of the orient make this a comfortable place to have lunch
Sean Griffiths of Mulderbosch, Wade Bales and Alan Mullins
We meet Ben Kruger, CEO of the sponsor, Standard Bank
Handsome restaurant manager Alex von Ulmenstein with two of the Chenins previously tasted and now on offer to go with lunch
The lunch menu
The wines on offer
Ken Forrester thanks Ina Smith for all the very excellent organisation
Johann Laubser, GM of Delaire Graff, who sponsored the Showcase
Willie du Plessis of Standard Bank Marketing
Ken Forrester signing the agreement with Standard Bank
Sponsors and heads of the Chenin Blanc Association. CEO Ben Kruger of the sponsor Standard Bank, President Ken Forrester, Willie du Plessis of Standard Bank and Jeff Grier
Ken Forrester with a bucket of wonderful chenin
The Amuse was a seared tuna slice with broccoli and black garlic puree
Our starter was a beautifully presented arrangement of lovely flavours, textures and aromas. Daikon radish wrapped beef tartar and pickled mushrooms, flavoured with chilli, black bean puree, and ponzu served in pickled onion ‘cups’ and topped with crisp deep fried noodles
Writer Johan Crafford also having a great day
The main course was small pieces of chicken and prawn covered in a tikka masala sauce on a cauliflower puree with a fresh chutney and topped with a mini bok choy  We were very impressed with the food. The chef at Indochine, who works under Executive chef Christiaan Campbell, is indeed worthy of a mention - his name is Virgil Kahn
Ina Smith
Dessert looks deliciously simple and yet was full of very intense flavours.  Coconut ice cream, lime curd ice cream and a pineapple sorbet. With intricate and delicate spicing one tasted echoes of melktert, and coconut lime pie, but it was so fresh and light.  A masterstroke by the pastry chef.
Another autumn view of the Delaire Graff vineyards, hugging the hillside.
This impressive place is filled with great artworks
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2013

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