Thursday, February 13, 2020

Harvest Celebration at Jordan wine estate, Stellenbosch

We were invited to this week's Jordan Harvest Lunch for trade customers and media
A very welcome drink was their Chameleon Rosé, made from Merlot and Shiraz; beautifully cool on a hot summer’s day
So nice to see Kathy Jordan here for the harvest. Gary will be arriving from their English property soon
Next to Kathy is Jacques Steyn CWM, the MD of Jordan Wines
Robert and Cathy Badela, owners of Just Badela restaurant in Soweto, Johannesburg
When everyone had arrived, Kathy told us a little about the harvest and what we would be tasting in the cellar
Apparently the Assyrtiko vines planted last year are doing very well. Lunch would follow outside the new Tasting Room
She also told us how their Chardonnay and Pinot (noir & meunier) vines were doing at their Mousehall vineyard in East Sussex;
they have grown well but slowly - the climate is very different from Stellenbosch
They will be returning to prune them soon and it will be a few years before they get their first crop
Some just harvested Chardonnay grapes for visitors to taste
Into the spotless wine cellar
Jacques explains that we will be tasting juice from just pressed grapes, juice that has just begun fermenting
and juice that has been fermenting for a while, including some newly released 2019 wine that is about to be bottled
We really like this sort of tasting; it is extremely educational and also gives one a view
of what the harvest has been like and what it will produce
Winemaker Sjaak Nelson takes us through the juices and the wine
We began with a tasting of the new 2019 Outlier Sauvignon blanc. 60% has been in barrel. Lots of pepper and green pyrazines
on the nose, clean crisp citrus and green pepper notes on the palate; very refreshing
The yield of Jordan grapes this year will be lower because of the climate, but are of very good quality
Time to taste the juices and wine. First, a Sauvignon Blanc base wine from filtered lees showed just what we expected to see
It needs time but will be a classic Sauvignon Blanc. Then some sweet fizzy juice, just beginning to ferment. This was lovely
Pouring out some tastings of the fermenting juice
Then a Fermenting Sauvignon Blanc from the tank. 2020 grapes harvested two weeks ago. Showing beautiful flavours of grape,
citrus and green pepper. It has a residual sugar level of 170 gm/l and has just begun fermenting
grapey, with grey notes and some cherry flavours! Everyone had lots of questions for Jacques and Sjaak
The fermenting juice is very yeasty, of course, and you must not swallow or you will also start fermenting
Buckets were provided for spitting out the fermenting juice
A happy winemaker. Sjaak Nelson has been with Jordan for 20 years
They use Vin 13 and Vin 7 yeast which has a nose of sweaty feet
Some retort vessels were passed around so we could smell it
Christian Eedes, editor of, has a go
Marketing Manager Thea van der Merwe 
The different juices in various stages of fermentation. We tasted the 2020 Chenin Blanc which has Vin 7 yeast
It has sherbet on the nose, orange lolly, granadilla and real lemonade flavours in layers, and an r/s of 250. Exciting
Then some Sauvignon blanc grape juice which was racked that morning. Yeast had not yet been added
This was from the highest vineyard on the farm. It was redolent with fresh ripe figs on both the nose and the palate,
lovely flavours and very sweet juice with a residual sugar of 220, so it will ferment well
Um ... are you in the right place? Trinity Brits and Sebastian Phiri of Gorgeous George restaurant in Cape Town
And we met this year’s Interns. L to R:
Winemaker Hendrik is the only local and he is from Somerset West; he is the son of Bertus van Niekerk of Osbloed wines
and has done harvests in Oregon in the USA, Eikendal & Lourensford
Then Hugh, from Leicester in England, has done harvests there and quit his job to come and do the harvest here
Libby, sommelier and winemaker from Brno in the Czech Republic where her parents own a vineyard and a restaurant
and finally Sarah and Pete from Lancashire, who have been travelling and have worked in Oregon and then New Zealand
Winemaker Wade Roger-Lund introduced them to us
and told some funny stories of what happens during harvest and power cuts
Then it was time to head down to the Tasting Room for lunch
Two long tables set in the shade of the trees and a couple of umbrellas. It was warm but not too hot
Like the T shirt!
The menu. The food was served family style on the tables for us to share
Freshly baked vegetable focaccia and a good Cape seed loaf with a compound butter in the centre
Excellent bread and very moreish
Italian Coppa ham and Salami Napoli. The menu said biltong, but we think it must have been in a dip?
The cheeses were local Camembert, Brie, Stanford and Boerenkaas, served with dried fruit and a beetroot & orange chutney
Kathy Jordan's own black olives, tiny jars of garlic aioli, and a picante pepper spread
Didn’t see the Thai chicken paté at our end of the table
The fire-charred fresh pineapple slices in a honey and lime dressing were superb
Smoked sliced chicken on top of a 'jewelled' Tabbouleh salad with roasted nuts and a citrus dressing
And with coffee, and a pot of mint tea for Lynne, came some irresistible petit fours. Slices of pecan pie, fresh fudge,
a very good sharp lemon curd tart and an astoundingly good salted caramel tart topped with chocolate
We drank a selection of good Jordan wines, the Real McCoy Riesling, Outlier Sauvignon, Inspector Péringuey Chenin blanc
and two red wines. Just a lovely relaxing summer selection of food and wine
Customers of The Bakery restaurant were enjoying their food and wine from that restaurant’s menu on the deck
Or you can treat yourselves to a gourmet meal at top chef George Jardine at Jordan
booking is essential at this time of year.
Thank you, everyone at Jordan, for a great Harvest experience
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