Monday, October 31, 2016

This Week's MENU. Sauvignon Top 10, Robertson Wine on River, Laurel Cottage, 3 Robertson farms, Ocean Basket Med menu, Veritas tasting, Prescient Chardonnays, Caroline's White Wines, Green Wines 2016, SA wine farm conditions, Cederberg Chenin, Quesadillas

Wine farm workers fishing from a weir. Breede River, Robertson
The madness continues, but there are signs that it will soon slow down. Each week seems to bring more events that we cannot miss and this week has more stories than ever. It keeps us young and energetic, we still enjoy it and we hope that you do, so please read on... or click any of the following links to look at a story
2016 FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 Awards at Nooitgedacht, Stellenbosch     Every year the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group runs this competition, which is sponsored by First National Bank, "To celebrate and recognise excellence amongst local producers who have dedicated countless hours to perfecting their craft". This year there were 169 entries judged and this was our chance to see the winners and taste the wines. The award ceremony was held at Nooitgedacht Estate in Stellenbosch, and was followed by lunch
Robertson Wine on the River 2016     We and many of our fellow media colleagues really favour this festival. Held on the banks of the Breede River in the middle of vineyards, they put up lots of marquees and you get to sample the wares of the Robertson valley over three day. We went on Saturday and Sunday and had a marvellous time, although Saturday was perhaps a bit young and rather crowded for us. Sunday is calmer and more relaxed. We like bumping into many of our readers and like to see lots of you enjoying yourself at these festivals
A weekend at Laurel Cottage, McGregor    The Robertson Wine Valley asked us to come to Wine on the River and offered us accommodation for the weekend. We were given Laurel Cottage in McGregor and had a very comfortable stay
A day in Robertson discovering new places and old friends      When we travel long distances out of town, we reckon that, if we have paid for the petrol to drive the distance, we might as well stay over and explore the area in more depth, find new wine farms and farms we haven't visited before and re-establish old connections. This time we spent Monday in the McGregor area and in Robertson visiting three wine farms. The first was Lords Winery
Lord's near McGregor     Not to be confused with Lords Guest House, (also owned by the winery but way down the valley), Lords is set right up the McGregor Valley on the "Road to Nowhere" to the Boesmanskloof pass where you can take the long walk across the mountains to Greyton. It's a great stop for refreshment either way. We were so warmly received and entertained we really enjoyed our visit and will definitely return soon. The views from the farm are superb and the wines really impressed
Tanagra Winery and Distillery     The owners Robert and Anette Rosenbach have been pressing us to visit for several months; we were so pleased we could finally get there. It's a small farm in the McGregor valley with interesting wines and lots of different grappas and other tempting fruit and grape spirits. They also have guest accommodation and we were taken to see one of the most beautiful houses for hire, set in the middle of the wilderness. If you feel the need to get away from it all and contemplate nature, this is the place for you. Especially with a bottle or two of Heavenly Chaos red wine and some Eau de Vie de Lie
Zandvliet     We used to love going to Zandvliet as part of the Wacky Wine Weekend for their salmon braai. Paul de Wet sold the farm last year to A N B Investments owners of holding company ClemenGold and Citrogold citrus brands, a huge producer of naartjies (Clementines) and other citrus n Mpumalanga, so we were keen to go to the farm to see what its future holds
To Ocean Basket to try their new Mediterranean menu     Ocean Basket had contacted us to come and try out this new menu and what better time to go than after a three day break in Robertson area. Lynne didn't have to cook supper and the drive to Camps Bay was quick, once we had greeted the cats and unpacked our car at home
Tasting Veritas Gold and Double Gold    Shortly after the Veritas Awards ceremony comes the public tasting of the top wines, this year held in the Ballroom at the CTICC. We got to sample some old favourites, some new and innovative wines and one really old treasure - a 1933 Muscadel from KWV, a wine so thick and syrupy with age and full of robust flavours and aromas you had to change your glass afterwards as they lingered to overtake any following wine.
Prescient Chardonnay Report 2016     This annual event (now in its 6th year), sponsored by Prescient, was held this year at Smith Studio, an art gallery in Church Street and there were some really good winners who were awarded the top scores. Judged by Christian Eedes, Roland Peens and James Petersen, they tasted 60 invited wines. The competition is by their invitation only. They score the wines out of 100 and any wine getting over 90 is awarded this accolade. The wines do have more of a drier French slant, rather than some the generous buttery chardonnays that are also delighting the public (there are some, most notably the Tokara). But this is to be expected, as the wines are always tasted by the same three people and obviously they would veer more towards their personal tastes, especially as the wines are invited to enter. All of them are excellent. You will find the list of top Chardonnays on the web site. We have not been sent anything
Caroline's White Wine Review 2016     The second of Caroline Rillema's annual wine reviews, this showcases her pick of the best White Wines out there, those that have scored highly in the industry with points and awards and wines she likes and sells. It is always a tour de force of amazing wines. We always struggle to taste that many wines, but it is such a good tasting
Green Wine Awards     Knowing what a long hard path you have to take to become classified as Organic or IPW (Integrated Production of Wine) in the wine industry, your respect should soar for those farms who achieve it. This achievement is lauded and celebrated every year with these Green Wine Awards now in their 8th year, held this year at Rozendal in Stellenbosch. 120 wines were entered in the two categories: Best wines made from Organically Grown Grapes and Best Wines from Integrated Production of Wine. Judges in the Best Farming Practices category looked at not only what goes into the bottle, but considered the wellbeing of farm employees and surrounding communities and the wider impact of farming on the surrounding environments. The Awards are sponsored by Nedbank and Getaway Magazine
WOW! (World of Wine) VINEXPO 2017 in Bordeaux will have an area entirely dedicated to organic and biodynamic wines
We just received this announcement from Vinexpo. A very radical move, let’s hope some of our best producers, many of the above, will be assisted by the industry and the Government to attend. We think we have lots of great wines to show the world
It's easy to distort. A Danish film about South African wine farms     A film "Bitter Grapes - Slavery in the Vineyards" has been released in Scandinavia by Danish filmmaker Tom Heinemann. It shows wine farm workers living in horrific conditions on South African wine farms. We can’t say anything about the agenda of the people who produced the film. What we can say is that it is very easy to take three farms out of over 1000 wine producers and make a story which tarnishes a country whose wine industry has more Fairtrade accredited wine producers than there are in any other country. There are bad apples in every barrel and, if left to fester, they will spoil the whole crop. By all means expose them and work to bring about change. But it is wrong to paint a distorted picture. An enormous amount of effort has gone into cleaning up the wine industry in the last 20 or so years and a film like this which emphasises the bad without telling about the much larger good side of the story can undo the benefits in a short time. It does appear that the producers of the film used obsolete material to illustrate current financial factsRead on
Tropical, aromatic, with guava, grass and granadilla on the nose, these follow through on the palate with a lovely racy acidity and warmth that deals so well with spicy food. A long lime finish too. Cellar door price is R98 per bottle
We had beef leftovers again and the need for a simple quick supper. We always keep sliced, pickled jalapenos and peppadews in jars in the fridge and tortilla wraps in the freezer. We always have grateable cheese, fresh tomatoes and we live off avocados. So this fits the bill. We have made the recipe for two, but you can double up. We used a combination of local and English cheddar and some halloumi cheese, it's what we had. As long as it melts, it will do. The main mistake most people make with tortilla wraps is that they forget to toast them first, if you don’t do this, the texture is a little slimy and raw. Do this in a dry pan for just a couple of minutes each side to warm and lightly toast; you will see small brown circles, and the tortilla will become soft and floppy and malleable - then they are done. Don’t let them crisp. If you have any basil, coriander or other micro herbs you can add those. And you can add sliced avo if you don't have guacamole. And any other cold meat or chicken would work just as well
2 wraps per person - 300g thinly sliced cold roast beef or steak - 50g grated cheese - 3 or 4 jalapeno peppers - 5 peppadews - 6 baby tomatoes, sliced - 3 T chipotle salsa - guacamole - cream cheese
Turn your oven on to 180C. You will need two shelves. Put in two dinner plates to warm. Roughly chop the jalapenos and peppadews, mix with the sliced tomatoes and the chipotle salsa. In a flat dry frying pan, toast two tortillas and put one on a hot plate, keep the other warm. Cover the base of the tortilla with half of the cheese. Spread over half of the salsa mix, top with half the sliced beef. Cover with the second tortilla and put into the hot oven. Make the second one. Leave them for about 5 to 6 minutes in the oven until the cheese has melted. Serve topped with the guacamole and the cream cheese and a simple salad. And the wine of the week

31st October 2016
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Recommendations of products and outside events are not solicited or charged for, and are made at the authors’ pleasure. All photographs, recipes and text used in these newsletters and our blogs are © John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus. Our restaurant reviews are usually unsolicited. We prefer to pay for our meals and not be paid in any way by anyone. Whether we are invited or go independently, we don’t feel bad if we say we didn’t like it. Honesty is indeed our best policy. While every effort is made to avoid mistakes, we are human and they do creep in occasionally, for which we apologise. This electronic journal has been sent to you because you have personally subscribed to it or because someone you know has asked us to send it to you or forwarded it to you themselves. Addresses given to us will not be divulged to any person or organisation. We collect them only for our own promotional purposes. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please click here to send us a message and if you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please click here to send us a message.

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