Wednesday, November 01, 2017

New Parskuip neighbourhood market at Windmeul Cellar

We were invited to the media launch of this new marketplace at Windmeul and they very kindly organised transport for us from the V&A Waterfront. Sadly, it was on a really harsh wintery day and we had to take shelter in the MyCiti bus station while we waited for the driver to arrive
A really wet day in Cape Town and how can we complain when we need every drop we can get
Windmeul Cellar is on the R44, en route to Wellington
Welcomed by Ronelda Visser of Peridot Communications
They have changed the cellar in which they had their huge cement wine tanks (Kuipe in Afrikaans) into a lovely area with individual shops
We were treated to coffees from the coffee shop and amazing Breakfast Bacon and Egg pizzas. These cost R90 each and would happily feed a family! Lots of eggs, bacon and tomato and topped with lots of crisp and gooey cheese and rocket, they have crisp thin bases
Marketing Manager Liza Geldenhuys told us we would be having a presentation on olive oils and buchu later
This is the new Marketplace
Lots of local produce for sale and, of course, Windmeul’s wines
Curried Pickles and Beetroot from Dercia
The wines and some cheese boards
A freezer and a fridge with fresh local meat
Some lovely temptations
Some beautiful handmade wooden toys
Crockery and pans
Windmeul win lots of awards for their wines
Time to sit down and hear from Elsabe du Plessis about her Olive oil and Buchu products. She is such an informed and amusing presenter. She soon realised most people were au fait with olives and oil - she did pass on some good tips about other uses than culinary, so she concentrated on telling us about Buchu
She told us this herb has been used for centuries as a medicine, it has good anti-inflammatory properties. There are 117 different species but only 2 can be cultivated. That is what she and her husband do on their farm. This is the short round leaf Buchu Agathosma betulina. Oil is extracted which, in France, goes into perfume, in the USA into food and in Britain and Germany it goes into pharmaceutical products as well as tea. To make the tea pour on hot water (it should not be boiling) to 1 tsp of dried buchu and steep for 2 to 3 minutes, sieve and drink. She says it is excellent for prostate and high blood pressure. Never for low blood pressure however
Elsabe steeps hers in some good brandy. Good for the stomach, bloating, nausea. She says you can also use whisky or rum.... She is a very amusing raconteur and very knowledgeable. We also learned that bedsores can be improved if washed with buchu water, and buchu salve is applied. It is used in the animal kingdom on pregnant pigs and ostriches and is useful for kidney problems. Obviously a miracle herb
She had made us some buchu shortbread. It does not have any of that characteristic rather cat’s pee smell and was slightly herbal and delicious
We also sampled that Buchu brandy - you can tell it does you good - but it was not to everyone’s taste. She also told us the extraordinary fact that buchu earns the farmer something in the region of R28000 a ton! So definitely worth farming, even in these drought years
Then we moved through to the tasting room to try some of the Windmeul wines. This is the 2017 Chenin Blanc. Many people say that this is the best area for Chenins. Dust and tropical fruit on the nose with granadilla, peaches, guava and pineapple; with fresh acidity and clean flavours of melon and guava on the palate
They have a pairing of roosterkoek (fire damper bread) and wines they wanted us to taste for lunch. It is R50 a tasting for three different variations
The first one was fried fish with avocado and a touch of horseradish; then chicken mayonnaise with cheddar, apple and pecan nuts and finally sliced steak with a tiny piece of brie on a creamy mushroom sauce. Not sure the brie is needed; the sauce is rich enough
We then tasted the about to be released 2017 Wooded Chenin Blanc. More herbal with a whiff of smoke then some pyrazines and tropical fruits, layers of peaches, limes and apricots. Rich good mouth feel and the wood is prominent. This is a dry land bush vine Chenin. Cellar price R80; 12 months in wood. The 2016 was a Top 10 Chenin; dark toast on the end
Danie Marais has been cellar master at Windmeul for 18 years via Bovlei and McGregor
Then we had some more pizzas from the restaurant
An avocado, bacon and peppadew, one of our personal favourite combinations
It went very well with the Wooded Chardonnay which has a yeasty nose with white peaches. It is a nice and clean crisp chardonnay with some smoky wood, filled with limes and apples. No faults
We also tasted the 2015 Pinotage, lactic on the nose with vanilla oak from the 100% French barrels and some rhubarb. Sweet cherries and plums, tight chalky tannins with some green leaves, rust and some red velvet with a slightly bitter end

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