Thursday, October 23, 2014

Blaauwklippen Blending Competition winners' lunch

There was a huge surprise this year at this annual blending competition which is open for entry to all South African wine clubs. Who won? Well in the greatest coincidence (which has never happened before), six wine clubs all managed independently to get the same winning blend. So they were all there for the fun award ceremony at Blaauwklippen in Stellenbosch this week.  We had a meat and cheese platter lunch prepared by Steve Jeffery during which the awards were announced and we got to meet many of the winners. The winning wine was served to us with lunch. Click here to see the list of winners
Cellarmaster and GM Rolf Zeitvogel and Natalie Campbell of Blaauwklippen warmly welcome us
Filo parcels of spinach and feta
Pinwheels of rolled mozzarella and smoked meat
Beautiful Blaauwklippen
We all assembled in the garden with glasses of their Sparkle to refresh us
Rolf welcomes us and tells us about the awards to come and about the new tasting room
The old barrel cellar. These enormous barrels hold a lot of red wine
Opening the ceremony
We had speeches from all the finalists. This is Andre du Plessis
George Holmes
Steve Jeffery of The Charcuterie is now doing the food in the tasting room at Blaauwklippen and for the awards lunch
Anita Swart reads out her introduction
Estie Terblanche
Our lunch platter of cheese and charcuterie, olives rocket and a rather good mini quiche
Winemaker and judge Albert Basson, who had to make all the blends entered for the judges
We are introduced to the new label for the blend. This is the 31st annual competition they have held
And the trophy this year goes to... six different clubs who all made the same blend. There were three clubs hailing from Pretoria, namely Wine 101, Baronne Wynklub, and Vaal Ja-Pe Wynproe Groep , the Versapper from Centurion, Weskus Wyngilde from Vredenburg and last, but not least, Oude Molen Wynkring from Potchefstroom.
Prizes for the winners included wine from Blaauwklippen, glasses from Vitria and a weekend at the Protea Hotel Stellenbosch, both sponsors
The dessert table
For 2014 the clubs were tasked to create a consumer friendly, every day, easy-drinking, juicy, modern red blend, consisting of the following wines, Cabernet Franc 2012, Malbec 2013, Shiraz 2013 and Zinfandel 2013. A minimum of three of the four base wines had to be used in the final blend, and Zinfandel and Cabernet Franc had to be included in restricted quantities in the recipe.
After the clubs had determined the ideal percentage of blending components to create their final wine, the blends were tasted by a panel of wine judges to determine the finalists. Six wines stood out with exactly the same blend, 30% Zinfandel, 20% Malbec, 15% Cabernet Franc and 35% Shiraz, which created a playful, yet elegant red wine.  This is the wine, bottled in magnums with its new label
Receiving the trophy which will be shared
The winners with the trophy
Rolf with the girls from East London
Rolf with the judges: Cape Wine Master Clive Torr, Karen Glanfield Pawley and winemaker Albert Basson
Rolf with the well known label designer Frans Groenewald, who has done many of these labels for Blaauwklippen and other wine farms
It will hang in the hallway with the others
A view of the new tasting room
They also sell very good chocolate
The comfortable brandy lounge
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

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