Thursday, July 11, 2019

Welcoming function for new Steenberg Cellar Master Elunda Basson

An invitation this week to a function at Steenberg, welcoming their new Cellarmaster (mistress), Elunda Basson. In what seems like the perfect fit, Elunda comes from her successful career at JC Le Roux to fill the place left by JD Pretorius after his move to Warwick. After studying viticulture and oenology at the University of Stellenbosch and completing her Diploma in Cellar Technology at Elsenburg Agricultural College, Elunda spent a harvest at Dry Creek Vineyards in Sonoma County in California. She has had an illustrious career spanning over two decades, making still and sparkling wines for industry leaders including Nederburg, Pongrácz and J.C le Roux. She began at Rickety Bridge in Franschhoek, followed by a seven year stint at Nederburg. During the past 12 years, she has excelled as one of the country’s MCC specialists and has been richly rewarded with a slew of awards. Her crowning glory was the 2018 Vertex award for Pongrácz Blanc de Blancs, as the overall champion wine at Veritas and she has won the World’s Best Shiraz trophy at the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC) and made the cut in the Top 10 Sparkling Wines of the World at Effervescent du Monde. Her J.C. le Roux Scintilla Vintage Reserve 2008 was adjudged the Best Museum Class entry in the 2016 Amorim Cap Classique Challenge. She is also a sought-after wine judge, serving on panels for the IWSC, Veritas and Cap Classique Challenge
“While Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) will always be my passion, I look forward to making still wines again,
especially Sauvignon Blanc from Steenberg’s exceptional cool climate terroir”, she says
And, of course, we were poured glasses of Steenberg’s 1682 Chardonnay MCC Brut from Franschhoek
Web broadcaster Jon Meinking and Klein Constantia winemaker Matthew Day with Ndaba Dube,
who tells us he has been selected for an exciting new position, beginning in September
Chef Kerry Gilpin served us some really good canapés. Calamari in a good tartar sauce on the  left,
tomato, herb and olive bruschetta on the right
Tiny warm cheese croquettes with a good sauce
Siobhan Thompson of WOSA and Pieter "Bubbles" Ferreira of Graham Beck
Wine ambassadors on the tasting room counter Zelda and Bhewe are both so good at their jobs and very helpful and friendly
They were tasked with keeping the room's wine glasses filled with the Flagship Black Swan Sauvignon Blanc
or the Steenberg Catharina, a blend of Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot
Winnie Bowman CWM, Elunda Basson and Gus Allen of Constantia Glen
Chris du Toit - CEO - Graham Beck Enterprises Pty Ltd told us about the search for someone to replace JD Pretorius, who had been with them for almost two decades. And how delighted they were when, after a long search, they discovered that Elunda might be and was available. “We are excited to follow Elunda on a new winemaking journey. With her depth of experience and prowess as a winemaker of both still and sparkling wines, as well as her astute leadership capabilities, energy and passion for the industry as a whole, we know our Steenberg wines will be in good hands”
Pieter "Bubbles" Ferreira and Elunda Basson, with Rob Gower of Woolworths in the background. Elunda and Pieter have known each other for several years and as Elunda is been vice-chairperson of the Cap Classique Association for the past 3 years,
she has worked closely with chairman Pieter Ferreira of Graham Beck, promoting the standing of MCC here and abroad
She told us that the appointment had come at just the right time in her career and she was so happy to be at Steenberg
where she is busy building relationships with all the staff and making plans with them for the direction they will take in the future
She will be managing the entire winemaking operation at Steenberg
Having a laugh with Pieter Ferreira!
Slivers of duck with a truffle oil were excellent
The dessert canapés looked delicious
Gus Allen of Constantia Glen, Christian Eedes editor of and Tony da Costa of Liquor City, Claremont
Siobhan Thompson  of WOSA, Greg Sherwood MW, Winnie Bowman CWM, Pieter Ferreira of Graham Beck,
Journalist and wine judge Fiona McDonald and PRO Gudrun Clark
Pearl Oliver, Sommelier at the One and Only Hotel and Steenberg Wine Ambassador Bhewe
We first met Pearl here about twelve years ago at the beginning of her successful career and she has climbed the ladder
and worked as a top Sommelier at some of our best Cape hotels
All content ©  John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus

No comments: