Thursday, January 23, 2020

Chenin and Pizza Party 2020 at The Grand on the Beach

Invited to the annual Chenin & Pizza Party at The Grand on the Beach, at the edge of the V&A Waterfront,
we were delighted to see that they had opened up this great tasting of South Africa's best Chenin Blancs to the public
It was on a sizzling summer Wednesday from 4 till 8 pm. Flip flops and beach wear were obligatory and essential
This event is so ably organised by Ina Smith and Jan Sleet and the team of the Chenin Blanc Association
Winemaker Roger Burton, and Shelley Sandell, owner of Tierhoek in Piekenierskloof,
were showcasing the Tierhoek Old Vine Chenin and their Straw Wine made from Chenin. A great place to start
Paul Kruger, who handles sales for Villiera
Their 2019 Barrel Fermented Chenin really impressed with its background of soft wood and clean elegance
Villiera Cellarmaster and joint owner Jeff Grier
"This too shall pass" is not a tattoo you can miss!
Amorous moments in the sun
The Spier wines always impress, The 21 Gables is one of our preferred Chenins for drinking when out at Restaurants
as it is on so many menus, full, rich and fruity, totally memorable and a great match with food
The Ideology takes Chenin to another level of sophistication and class
The Radford Dale Revelation is one indeed, having something you don't often find in Chenin, pyrazines
and they come from the Durbanville vineyard from which the grapes are harvested
We were puzzled at first but really enjoyed this stand out wine
Nicely presented
Perdeberg Vineyard Collection MCC is crisp and lively and SO good and refreshing in the heat of the day
Jeremy and Emma Borg of Painted Wolf Wines
Their Lycaon (named for the African Wild Dog//Painted Wolf, Lycaon Pictus) Old Vine Chenin
really impressed with its layers of intense fruit and elegance
A portion of profits from their wine sales goes to the conservation of African Wild Dogs and their natural habitat
Oh to be in that boat. At 5pm the heat was so intense  that Lynne was tempted to throw herself into the water
Instead she threw herself onto the deck when her sandal tripped her up climbing it!
Nothing a quiet moment or 14 close to the water, in the shade, with a glass of Chenin didn’t sort out
No bruises, thank heavens. And no, she had not had too much Chenin, just too much heat for a pale skinned gal...
Photographer Gavin Withers and Zelda Furstenburg
Prosper Gundura and a friend with Richard Kershaw
Sheltering under the shade. A fan was a great idea
Shadows lengthening! It was beginning to cool down
Ken Forrester and an admirer making a selfie
Ken's Dirty Little Secret Chenin blanc was getting lots of attention, as was he. It’s a cracker
Winemag editor Christian Eedes, Ken Forrester and Andre Morgenthal of the Old Vines Project, hard at work
And then a cool breeze appeared and everyone moved closer to the sea
Morné Vrey of Delaire Graff with his incredible Swartland Reserve Chenin, which blew us away
It comes from hot country grapes, but has the elegance and restraint of something from the Loire. So well made
Morné pours a glass for Maggie Marais, who handles Delaire Graff sales 
Everyone was having fun
Oh we were so sorry to have missed tasting the Mont Blois Chenin;
their two magnums had run out by the time we got to their stand
And Spice Route have come up with a rather good idea for the Bloemcool (cauliflower) Chenin
The label soaks off and is impregnated with cauliflower seeds for you to plant
Perhaps not a great idea if the cellar floods though. On second thought, no, we have a drought
Good to see Sommelier Tinashe Joseph Dafana enjoying his day off
Boys just want to have fun. Tom Mills, Prosper Gundura, Jean Vincent Ridon, Joseph Dafana
When the fairy lights were turned on, we realised it was time to head home
We didn’t, couldn’t, taste more than a third or less of the wines
but were so impressed with the scope and quality of the Chenins on show
And on the way back to the bus stop, Lynne heard a faint hoot and above us in the tree were two owls
Sadly, one had flown by the time John took this shot. What a lovely ending to a great event
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