Cape Town - While Lanzerac no longer makes headlines as often as it used to, the gracious manor house with its elaborate gables maintains its position as a historic Jonkershoek icon with the farm marking its 320th birthday this year.
It’s a great venue for hosting the inaugural Fine Wines Celebration this month, where some of Stellenbosch’s top wines will be on show.
Organised by DnA Events, an ultra-modern marquee will house a vinous treasury from cellars renowned throughout South Africa.
Among those taking part are Muratie and Delaire, Morgenster and Simonsig, Remhoogte and Neil Ellis, Jordan and De Trafford – a selection of premium producers from several Stellenbosch sub-routes.
Running from noon until 5pm, from September 15 to 16, winemakers will be on hand to chat to guests, and a formal tutored tasting, limited to 20 visitors, will be held on both days. Entrance costs R250, which includes a booklet of tasting coupons and the formal tastings cost an extra R50. Lanzerac will cater for those wanting informal fare. Visitor numbers will be limited to 500 on both days.
Unique achievements for young cellar
Set among wine farms that boast more than three centuries of history, Hoopenburg is a youngster, established in the heady days of the early 1990s. Today it’s a well-established cellar in the Greater Simonsberg, producing 20 000 cases a year. The Schmitz family who own the estate and cellarmaster Anton Beukes and team can point to unique achievements, one of which is that the 35ha farm is the only estate where the entire vineyard consists of dry-land bush vines, their low yields promising pleasing intensity of flavour.
Both the chardonnay and shiraz grapes are organically grown.
Hoopenburg offers consumers a choice of three ranges: leading the pack are the Integer wines, with the ’09 chardonnay (R90) continuing to impress as did its award-winning predecessors; it offers all most expect from a chardonnay, balancing citrus and buttery richness with wood in layers of flavour and depth. Also in the range are a new Cap Classique (R90), a 2007 syrah, an ’08 cab, and an ’09 syrah/ mourvèdre/carignan blend, none of which I have sampled.
The reds cost R115 and score 4 and half stars in the Platter guide.
The Hoopenburg is a range of single cultivar wines, priced between R47 for the sauvignon blanc to R93 for the pinot noir 2009, which is a classic example, its earthy character complemented by spice and plum, and well priced to boot. Also in this range are a chardonnay, shiraz, merlot, cab and a recent addition, a 2011 rosé.
There’s also a pair of budget-beaters in the Guru range, a sauvignon blanc 2012 and a 2008 merlot, both selling for R39. The latter is one which merlot fans should try – well matured, offering dark intense flavours that include, says winemaker Beukes, black olive.
Find Hoopenburg on the Old Paarl Road, where the tasting room is open on week days.
Get tips from Reuben… before National Braai Day
September being Heritage month and with Heritage Day – also celebrated as National Braai Day – falling on Monday, another long weekend awaits.
Reubens restaurant at the Robertson Small Hotel is tempting carnivores and vegetarians alike with a Grills Gone Wild food and wine event on September 15 headed by celebrity chef Reuben Riffel.
He will share his expertise during demos of smoking and braaiing of meat and side dishes, while guests can take a turn at cooking the perfect beef fillet in a contest over coals. Local beer will augment valley wines during this al fresco feast. Cost: R450 a head. To book, call 023 626 7200 or e-mail [email protected]
Also celebrating their win of the Pietman Hugo trophy is Spier whose five wines entered got the highest marks, and three were voted class champions.
More than 2 000 wines were entered into this, SA’s oldest and biggest wine show. - Weekend Argus