Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The 2016 Veritas Awards dinner at the CTICC

A glittering evening at the Veritas Awards
This Annual Competition has been running since 1991 and is one of the largest wine competitions in South Africa, with 1 670 entries this year. Five overseas judges Joe Wadsack (UK), Thomas Lüber (Germany), Janåke Johansson (Sweden), Guido Francque (Belgium) and Denis Lahouratate (France) joined over 100 local wine experts to taste these wines blind over four day. We were invited to this year's Awards Ceremony, which is a black tie event, with dinner in the Ballroom at the CTICC
The huge Ballroom venue can seat up to 800 guests. It was full
The parade of Bubbly glasses. We could have the Taillefert or some Villiera with some good age. They served canapés as well, our favourite was the prawns on a pea puree in a Chinese spoon
David Biggs, Lynne and Karl Lambour, GM of Tokara
The wine industry gets together in the jam packed foyer
Bedecked table full of glasses
We were delighted to find we were seated with Johann and Gera De Wet and just out of the picture Peter de Wet from de Wetshof
Vice Chairman Bennie Howard opened the evening. This year's competition had entries from 209 contenders. 1 670 wines were entered and 1 289 medals were awarded: 38 double gold, 167 gold, 484 silver and 628 bronze. See the details at
Chairman Charles Hopkins began the awards to the Living Legends of the industry. This annual award recognises the contributions these people have made to the industry over the years, to acknowledge their commitment and pay homage to the marks they have made
This year there were four awards. The first went to Giorgio dalla Cia, synonymous with wine and spirits in South Africa, spending more than 25 years pioneering Bordeaux style red blends and then Grappa
Also awarded were Nico Retief of Van Loveren and his younger brother Wynand who took over winemaking. Together they made the success the farm is today, establishing the iconic Van Loveren brand. They were joined by their four sons who pioneered the Four cousins brand. The Van Loveren wines are among the most recognised and enjoy huge demand in local and overseas markets
Lourens Smith began his winemaking career at Ashton Cellar and in 1976 he was appointed general manager at Breërivier Botteleringskoöperasie (BBK) in Worcester. During his 38 years at the helm, this company grew to provide wide-ranging central services of outstanding quality to the greater Breede Valley wine region. This is Alicia Boshoff
The menu

Our starter was 'just smoked' succulent hot peppered salmon, topped with mustard seeds, with pickled octopus served with pickled cucumber, curried beetroot, asparagus spears and squid ink chips and a mustard purée. A very enjoyable and pretty dish, but we’re not sure if salmon and beetroot are a good flavour combination. This dish was made by renowned Chef Garth Stroebel
The main course was tender and juicy Lamb rump, perfectly pink, with a lamb shank tagine croquette, a good potato fondant, a slice of rich charred aubergine, minted courgette, a dab of Hoisin yoghurt and a parmesan velouté. We liked the cheese sauce, but can’t be sure why the Hoisin yoghurt was there. This was prepared by Executive Chef Henrico Grobbelaar of the Cullinan Hotel
Lizelle van der Westhuizen of Arendsig with Gera de Wet
Johann and Peter de Wet with their Double Gold medal for the De Wetshof Limestone Hill 2016 Chardonnay
Two chefs in Springbok Colours. Garth Stroebel and Henrico Grobbelaar are on the Chefs Association South African Culinary Team, who are off to compete in the IKA Culinary Olympics, the oldest and most prestigious global culinary competition, which will take place from 22nd to 25th October this year in Erfurt, Germany. Applauding them is Warwick Thomas, Executive Chef of the CTICC
Winners of medals for their brandies: Mare-Lou Prinsloo (Richelieu), Riaan Bredell (Flight of the Fish Eagle) & Marlene Bester (Van Ryn's)
Having a taste of some of the winning brandies after dinner: Pieter de Bod (KWV), Christelle Reade-Jahn (SABF), Mare-Lou Prinsloo (Richelieu), Marlene Bester (Van Ryn's) & Riaan Bredell (Flight of the Fish Eagle)
A very happy Esmari & Jacques Erasmus of Spier celebrating their wins
Pretty ladies with their medals and Charles Hopkins
The team from Spier
Johan Jordaan, Jacques Erasmus
Frans Smit, Johann Smit
Dessert was a pannacotta, poached pear with a chocolate mousse, an apple ice cream dipped in pale green tinted white chocolate with jellies of apple, vanilla, cranberry and Wheatgrass. Also on the platter a sliver of Dalewood 12 month Huguenot cheese, which was the SA Dairy product of the year. This was prepared by Executive Chef Warwick Thomas of the CTICC
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016

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