Category Archives: Elgin walker bay
The launch of the ‘Elgin Cool Wine & Country Festival,’ sponsored by Nedbank, is another exciting step in the future development of the Elgin Valley Wine Route. On Saturday, 4th May, fifteen participating wineries in Elgin will open their doors to festival goers promising a fabulous day of fine wine, hearty food and live entertainment.
It offers the perfect opportunity to discover Elgin’s wineries on a weekend getaway with family and friends.
The festival follows a completely unique format, never seen before in South Africa. The day is divided into 3 sessions – morning, lunch and afternoon – starting at 09h00 and ending at 17h00. Festival goers will book 3 winery venues of their choice, 1 winery per session. Each winery will offer some form of entertainment varying from live bands, boullè, art collections, tractor rides, kiddie’s playgrounds and more. Wines will be sold by-the-glass and bottle, with lunches available at all lunchtime venues.
Tickets are R100 per person which includes entry into 3 wineries, a free wine glass, a free wine pour, and a festival leaflet.
The Elgin Valley Wine Route is proud to have Nedbank as the main sponsor given our synergy in the promotion of green wines. As part of our commitment to sustainable wine production, Elgin has 4 Biodiversity & Wine Champions (BWI), an established eco-route known as the Green Mountain Eco-Route, a strong commitment to eco-tourism, and vines that grow alongside the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve – a Unesco Heritage Site.
For further information on the festival and to book tickets online, please visit www.elginwine.co.za.
The festival supports and encourages the use of designated drivers and the responsible use of alcohol.
The International Wine Education Centre is delighted to announce the first ever stand-alone general spirits courses starting in Stellenbosch in May.
The UK-based Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) teaches internationally-recognised wine and spirit qualifications which are the industry-standard in 60 countries around the world. WSET has been educating people about wine and spirits since 1969 and more than 43,000 people, studying in 16 different languages sat a WSET exam in the last academic year alone.
The WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits underpins the skills needed in all areas of the spirit trade – customer service, hospitality, retail and wholesale.
The course covers the history, production and style of spirits of the world: Cognac, Armagnac and other brandies; Scotch, Bourbon and other whiskeys; white spirits, including vodka, rum, Tequila, gin; and liqueurs and other flavoured spirits. Tasting is part of every session with around 40 local and international spirits tasted over the duration of the course.
The first course in South Africa will take place at Van Ryn’s Distillery in Stellenbosch and will be lectured by spirits aficionado Dave Hughes and artisan distiller Roger Jorgensen. The course will last 6 weeks with a multiple-choice exam at the end.
Who is it aimed at?
• People employed in the spirits industry needing information on the characteristics of the principal spirits and liqueurs of the world, to provide guidance on brand selection and assist with tasting and evaluating of spirits and liqueurs using the Systematic Approach to Tasting.
• People who are not employed in the drinks industry, but who have a serious interest in spirits and wish to broaden their knowledge in a fun, informative yet structured way.
• People studying for wine qualifications and who would like a structured spirits course to support those qualifications.
There are limited places available for this course, so for more information, please go to www.thewinecentre.co.za . For more information about future courses in Stellenbosch, Cape Town and elsewhere, please contact Cathy Marston on firstname.lastname@example.org
Course Code L2SWL0513
Location Van Ryn’s Distillery, Stellenbosch
Date & Time Wednesdays from 22 May – 26th June, 6.30pm- 8.30pm (6 weeks, 2 hours/week)
Exam Wednesday 3rd July, 6.30pm
Cost R4,990 per person
Includes All tuition, all course material, exam, tasting of at least 40 local and international spirits and a lapel pin & certificate for successful candidates.
23 to 24 February 2013
Round up your friends and join OBiKWA for a weekend crammed with action at the Totalsports Xterra trail run and triathlon weekend, kicking off at the Grabouw Country Club on Saturday, 23 February 2013.
The adventure is set to start at 07h00 with the New Balance 5km and 10km trail, while the Totalsports Xterra Lite will start at 09h00 with a 400m swim, followed by a 12km mountain biking expedition ending off with a 5km trail run. Veteran tri-athletes can look forward to the Totalsports Xterra Full event, which starts at 08h30 on Sunday, 24 February and includes a challenging 1.5km swim, 25km mountain bike and 10km trail run.
Whether you are there to take part or support friends, be sure to arrive with truck loads of energy and round off the day by rewarding your efforts with a glass or two of your favourite OBiKWA wine. Life is a journey worth celebrating with friends and family so go on –
stick your neck out and make a run for it!
For enquiries regarding the Totalsports Xterra Grabouw day, contact Still Water Sports on 021 883-2413 or for more on the event visit www.stillwatersports.com. For more information on the wide range of OBiKWA wines visit www.obikwa.com and join the OBiKWA tribe on Facebook.
Winters Drift Wines Stay On Track To Open The Restored Tasting Station In The Historic Elgin Railway Station Building
Winters Drift Wines, rooted in Elgin history, have opened their Tasting Station in the restored historic Elgin Station building on the Glen Elgin farm, where Winters Drift Wines are grown. Few wine ranges can tell a more captivating story than the extensive history of Winters Drift Wines, the wine brand of Molteno Brothers, bestowing authenticity and integrity to the location of their tasting venue.
ELGIN – MOLTENO BROTHERS’ LEGACY
The Winters Drift wines, named after the ‘winter ford’ crossing of the Palmiet River, on Glen Elgin, which formed part of the original ox wagon trail through the Overberg, honour the remarkable story and legacy of two pioneering and philanthropic bachelor brothers, Ted and Harry Molteno. These young men purchased Glen Elgin in 1903 and dedicated their entire lives to transforming Glen Elgin from a modest vegetable farm into a vast fruit-farming enterprise that spanned the valley. On the death of younger brother Harry in 1969, Glen Elgin was bequeathed to the Molteno Brothers Trust, with all profits to be used for the furtherance of ‘educational, cultural and charitable interests’.
In time ‘Elgin’ referred not only to the Molteno brothers property, Glen Elgin, but also to the railway station built upon their farm, and soon the entire farming area became known as Elgin.
Just as the Molteno brothers’ legacy changed the face of Elgin farming dramatically, so did the railroad and Elgin Station on Glen Elgin provide the crucial and fast route for their produce to the Cape Town market and the growing export trade. This became particularly important for Elgin’s burgeoning deciduous fruit industry.
The original railway line, which runs through Glen Elgin farm, is still active today with sometimes two to three grain-laden trains passing through daily. The Elgin Station building had fallen into disuse and disrepair after the 1970s, when road transport sidetracked rail, and had become the object of ongoing vandalism. Molteno Brothers, owners of Winters Drift Wines, bought the Elgin Station residential houses and embarked on lengthy discussions with Transnet to get permission to renovate the historic station building and finally to open the Winters Drift Tasting Station.
The comprehensive recreation of the interior and exterior of the Winters Drift Tasting Station has faithfully retained the atmosphere of the hustle and bustle of the Elgin Railway Station in its heyday. The interior has an industrial feel with metal fittings and shades of grey colour theme. Appropriately, the tasting counter is made from Jarrah, the wood used for railway sleepers. The Tasting Station has two rooms: one with the tasting counter and the other the Waiting Room, with comfortable chairs, couches and a fire place, reminiscent of an old-world railway station waiting room. The space has an uncluttered yet cosy feel. Period pieces adorn the room, including old suit cases, railway benches, clocks, and bell-telephones.
The Winters Drift Tasting Station is situated on the outskirts of Grabouw, just off the R321 to Franschhoek and Villiersdorp. The Winters Drift range of wines can be tasted and purchased and picnics can be booked in advance. Soon a delicatessen will be opening which will sell, in addition to delicious deli items and light lunches, fresh produce and flowers from Glen Elgin Farm, including cut fynbos flowers, potted proteas, honey and fresh fruit, with other local produce to follow.
THE WINTERS DRIFT CLOCK
The antique clock, steeped in the history of the Molteno brothers and Glen Elgin farm, and depicted on the wine labels, now passes time in the Tasting Station. Myrna Robins, in a recent article in the Weekend Argus, wrote insightfully, “The antique clock on the labels of Winters Drift wines is more than a symbol of the passage of time. This elegant timepiece, which ticked away the hours for more than 80 years in the Molteno brothers’ farmstead on Glen Elgin, will soon find a new home in the Winters Drift tasting centre on Elgin station. There it will link past to present in a stylish reminder of agricultural success and ongoing philanthropy.” The antique clock on the Winters Drift label, designed by Anthony Lane, shows the time as 19h03, the year in which the Molteno brothers bought Glen Elgin farm.
WINTERS DRIFT WINES
Winters Drift Wines were successfully launched last year, all of which can be tasted and purchased at the Tasting Station:
· Winters Drift Sauvignon Blanc 2011
· Winters Drift Chardonnay 2011
· Winters Drift Rosé (100% Merlot) 2011
· Winters Drift Pinot Noir 2011
All the grapes for these Winters Drift wines were grown on Glen Elgin farm and the white wines and rosé were made in the Gabriëlskloof cellar, a few kilometres beyond Elgin, under the watchful eye of winemaker Kobie Viljoen. The Winters Drift Pinot Noir 2011 was made by Koen Roose of Spioenkop Wines in Elgin. Only 700 bottles were produced, but bigger volumes will be available with future vintages.
The following wines will be available in 2013:
· Winters Drift Sauvignon Blanc 2012
· Winters Drift Chardonnay 2012
· Winters Drift Rosé (100% Merlot) 2012
· Winters Drift Shiraz 2011
The two 2012 white wines were made by Koen Roose and the 2012 Rosé and 2011 Shiraz were made by Kobie Viljoen.
For further details on Winters Drift Wines see Additional Information below.
TASTING STATION OPENING TIMES
Tuesday to Friday: 9am – 4pm
Saturday: 10am- 4pm
Sunday: First Sunday of every month
Monday: By appointment only
Contact: Emy Mathews (Marketing and Tasting Station Manager)
Telephone: 021 859 3354/2527 · Cell: 082 494 1265
Estate shines in numerous categories of
Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards 2013
Waterkloof Estate, a biodynamic marvel on the outskirts of Somerset West renowned for its sustainable wine farming ethics, reaffirmed its status at the Great Wine Capitals (GWC) Best of Wine Tourism Awards 2013 by clinching South Africa’s Best Architecture and Landscape title for the second consecutive year.
In addition to retaining this sought-after title, Waterkloof also excelled with second place in both the Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices and Wine Tourism Restaurants categories of this annual competition run by the GWC.
“To win for a second consecutive year is a great honour for the Waterkloof team. No bribery involved!” shares Waterkloof’s owner Paul Boutinot.
In 2009, this magnificently appointed ‘cellar in the sky’ – where even the steep incline provides functional advantages in their winemaking process – triumphed as the first South African architectural feat for Castle Rock Design. This Australian based company enjoys recognition for its innovation in the design and management of wineries, luxury resorts and hospitality related projects and its impressive CV includes numerous cellars in Australia and Europe. NMC Construction was the main contractor on Waterkloof’s building project.
The whole principle of its design was based around Waterkloof’s commitment to honesty, transparency and authenticity when it comes to producing its elegant wines and the building, soaring on the slopes of the Schapenberg, is a clear reflection of these principles.
From the first encounter with this aesthetic masterpiece it is clearly visible that unlocking nature’s true potential holds no secrets at Waterkloof. Cocooned in a contemporary glass and concrete sphere, the deep, open barrel cellar becomes apparent immediately as you enter the building and make your way to the slick wine tasting lounge that spills onto the ‘glass box’ fine dining restaurant which is gorgeously appointed in a 10 meter high glass promontory.
Massive walls of clear glass reveal an ultra-modern gravitational cellar with ranks of wooden, open top fermenters and create a majestic sense of space through the uninterrupted, outstretched views of Waterkloof’s amphitheatre of vineyards and full expanse of False Bay to Cape Point in the distance.
For more information on Waterkloof Estate contact Tel: 021 858 1292 or
visit: www.waterkloofwines.co.za. You can also follow the estate on Twitter: @WaterkloofWines and join its Facebook page: Waterkloof Wines.
As Eve offered Adam the forbidden fruit, she became the first seductress and he the first to experience seduction.
La Vierge, nestled amidst the cool climate rolling mountains of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley in the outskirts of Hermanus, is one of the main premium Pinot Noir producers in SA. With close to 18ha dedicated to this prime cultivar, Pinot Noir is the main focus at this private cellar. Their flagship wine is the award-winning La Vierge Noir, which reflects the premium quality of their selected blocks crafted into wine for connoisseurs. La Vierge is now releasing their Seduction Pinot Noir 2012, crafted to seduce the inquisitive minded wine lover into this elegant, feminine and sometimes elusive cultivar.
“Younger vines are used for this fruit-driven Seduction Pinot Noir 2012 wine, which is allowed to mature and age in French oak barrels for a period of five months. More accessible for day to day enjoyment, Seduction is a perfect choice when introducing Pinot Noir into your repertoire”, says Uschi van Zweel, General Manager of La Vierge. “Pinot Noir is all about carefully selecting clones most suited to the area, and following the Burgundian tradition of planting vines very close to one another, resulting in small crop loads, small clusters with tiny berried bunches that have intense flavours”.
Seduction has a clear, bright red hue with a purple tint and delivers ripe succulent raspberries and cherries with a warm spiciness to the nose. On the palate the wine offers seduction folded in waves of red fruit and savoury enticement.
Other wines in the luxurious collection also portrays the Garden of Eden theme with names and styles suggesting a lush paradise intertwined with purity, simplicity, innocence and temptation. The white wine stable offers a crisp Original Sin Sauvignon Blanc, a full bodied Jezebelle Chardonnay and The Last Temptation Riesling. The red blends on offer include a fruity Shiraz/Mouvedre, referred to as the Anthelia, a Bordeaux blend known as Nymphomane and an Italian Blend, Satyricon.
“Make good times with friends even better and enjoy Seduction with tapas snacks, cheese and light meals. Serve slightly chilled to reveal her true delicate nature”, concludes van Zweel. Seduction is available for purchase online at www.lavierge.co.za and at selected wine grocers and retailers. The suggested retail price is R89 per 750ml. Also look out for the La Vierge Noir at the La Vierge cellar, wine specialist stores and in fine dining restaurants at a suggested retail price of R180 per 750ml.
About La Vierge
La Vierge Private Cellar is situated in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley outside Hermanus, South Africa. They are passionate about making serious wines with a touch of artistic flair . The wines are made from cool-climate grapes grown in the newly Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge appellation. Other facilities also include the La Vierge Restaurant, the perfect romantic setting for a memorable wedding.
La Vierge encourages consumers to enjoy their products responsibly. Products are not for sale to persons under the age of 18.
For more information visit: www.lavierge.co.za or find us on Facebook – La Vierge Wines and Restaurant.
Elgin Vintners were overjoyed when their maiden Elgin Vintners The Century 2011 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blend was awarded Diamond status at the recent Winemakers’ Choice Awards.
Since its creation in 2008, the Winemakers’ Choice Awards has become a key competition within the South African wine industry. These awards are unique in that the wines are judged exclusively by winemakers, who assess the wines on technical excellence as well as their overall impression. Only approximately 10% of the entrants receive an award which demonstrates the strict criteria for selection. The wines can be identified on store shelves by the Diamond Award sticker that they are entitled to carry following their performance.
“We are particularly honoured to receive this significant thumbs-up from our winemaking peers, and delighted to achieve this mark of distinction for a wine dedicated to a highly esteemed gentleman, Douglas Moodie: centenarian, Elgin Valley visionary and pioneer and father of one of our Elgin Vintners partners,” enthused Nicky Wallace, Elgin Vintners business manager.
The grapes for the maiden release of the Elgin Vintners The Century were sourced exclusively from Eikenhof farm which is owned by the Moodie family. A blend of 65% Sauvignon Blanc and 35% Semillon, The Century bursts with intense aromas of guava, jasmine, pickled pear and spicy white peach. The palate completely delivers on expectation and combines both a femininity and core of minerality. It is an intriguing wine, a powerhouse of fresh summer stone fruits, full on the palate with a silky finish.
Elgin Vintners were also awarded an array of medals at the recent International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC). Eleven Elgin Vintners Wines were entered and ten wines received medals. Once again the Elgin Vintners The Century 2011 performed exceptionally well and received a Silver Outstanding Award as did the Elgin Vintners Chardonnay 2011 and Elgin Vintners Viognier 2011. Both these vintages are yet to be released. The current vintages of Chardonnay 2010 and Viognier 2010 received Silver and Bronze medals respectively. Other medals achieved were Silver medals for Elgin Vintners Agama 2007 and 2008, Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Sauvignon Blanc 2011 and a Bronze medal for the Elgin Vintners Merlot 2009.
“We are so thrilled with these results – although the Gold eluded us at the IWSC, we are encouraged by the strong set of results and believe we are on the right track. The wines from Elgin just keep getting better and better,” continued Nicky Wallace.
Elgin Vintners, ‘Publishers of Fine Wines’, is a close knit partnership of six dedicated wine growers from the Elgin Valley. Believing in the excellence of the Elgin terroir and diversity of their vineyards, the Elgin Vintners combine their resources to cultivate, produce and market their range of fine quality Elgin Valley wines.
The Elgin Vintners partnership includes: Paul Wallace, highly experienced viticultural consultant to the Elgin Vintners and owner of Wallovale Vineyards in Elgin, Alastair Moodie (Eikenhof farm which is a BWI Champion), Derek Corder (Beaulieu and Southern Cross Farms), James Rawbone-Viljoen (Blauwkrans, Helderfontein and Drumearn farms), Max Hahn (Elgin Orchards which is a BWI Champion) and Rob Semple (Brookelands farm). Paul’s wife, Nicky Wallace, although not officially a partner, is business manager and the glue that holds the Elgin Vintners team together.
Elgin Vintners Tasting Room
Elgin Vintners recently moved to their new home at Morningstar Farm on the Oudebrug Road in Elgin; where they mature their Chardonnay in barrel, store their bottled wines and host wine-tastings in the Elgin Vintners Library. Wine tastings are by appointment, except on the first Saturday and Sunday of the month when they and 16 other Elgin wine producers are open for tastings from 10am until 4pm as part of the Elgin Open Wine Weekends.
Did you know that some whales can eat up to 4 tonnes of krill (shrimp-like crustaceans) a day? Given that that is the weight of an elephant, that’s some munching. How about whale calves? Southern Right whales can guzzle up to 600 litres of mother’s milk a day.
Not surprising if you contemplate their hugeness. There are whales with hearts the size of a Mini Cooper and weighing around 900 kilograms.
There’s something humbling when you think that there are whales with brains weighing over 9 kg. That’s more than six times heavier than an adult human brain.
And working with half a brain? Humans may not be able to but whales certainly can. When they sleep, they rest close to the surface of the sea allowing one brain hemisphere to rest at a time. Oh, and they sleep with their eyes open.
Fascinating whale facts are just part of the fun at this year’s Two Oceans Hermanus Whale Festival that takes place from September 28 to October 1.
Now in its 21st year and presented as South Africa’s only enviro-arts festival, the event aims to give the spotlight to what the organisers call “the creatures of the deep” alongside musicians and other performers during the spring vacation.
Hermanus bills itself as the best land-based destination for whale-watching worldwide and visitors arrive during the whale season by their thousands to observe them breeching, spouting and cavorting in Walker Bay.
The principal sponsor is Two Oceans, a wine brand sold globally and renowned for great taste and great value pricing.
An endangered species marquee will provide educational but also very entertaining facts and displays on the marine Big Five, as well as the rhino. There will be a range of sporting activities from mountain bike racing to half-marathons and long-distance swims.
This year, there will be ten venues involved in hosting the festival. The nexus of the event, however, will be the Two Oceans food and entertainment marquee.
Look out for an exciting new offering from Two Oceans for those who want to take it lightly. Called Quay 5, it comprises three blends, a red, a white and a rosé, each with an alcohol level of just 5,5% and around half the kilojoules of regular wines. Festival-goers will be among the very first, countrywide to have the opportunity to enjoy their lively aromas and ample-bodied flavours. The just-launched trio of light, refreshing blends will be available from various popular venues in Hermanus, including Fusion, Quayside Cabin and Two Oceans Restaurant. Quay 5 will also be available for tasting at the official opening of the Whale Festival inside the main marquee.
For more information, go to www.whalefestival.co.za.
Visitors will be spoilt for choice .
Wine estates of the Elgin Valley are fortifying their strengths as they prepare to launch an official wine route on the 6th – 7th October. The wine route aptly named, Elegantly Elgin will provide the opportunity for visitors and wine lovers to regularly experience the superior and complex structured wines synonymous with this district.
With a wealth of medals and acclaimed awards from local and international wine fraternity’s behind them, the Elgin Valley wine producers have entered the final straight in forming an official Wine Route. The route is set to take flight through a concept called “Open Wine Weekends”, where once a month sixteen wine estates will open their cellar doors to the public allowing consumers to fully experience all the Elgin wine has to offer. Cellars will be creating an experiential weekend around wine during these open wine weekends with a focus on specific varietals each month. The estates will run normal operations for the remaining part of the month.
Monthly Themed campaigns:
6 -7 October: Flagship Wines – Celebration of Cool Climate Wines
3 -4 November and 10 – 11 November: A Sauvignon Blanc Celebration
** open for 2 weekends due to Open Gardens
1 -2 December: A Chardonnay Celebration
5-6 January: Elegantly Elgin Whites (aromatic blends)
During Varietal themed months – ie. In November the months theme will be Sauvignon Blanc wines from the area, we will highlight the best cellar door’s to visit for consumers who are specifically looking for superior Sauvignon Blanc wines in that month. All wineries will have their full range available for tastings, as the varietal themed month is an added benefit to our visitor experience.
The members range from our famous historic estates frequently publicized, to a few lesser known estates who together have all contributed towards strengthening Elgin’s offering and placed us firmly on the wine route map. The Sixteen Estates are in alphabetical order: Almenkerk ; Arumdale ; Elgin Ridge ;Elgin Vintners; Hannay & Catherine Marshall Wines; Highlands Road Wines, Iona Vineyards; Lothian Wines; Mofam Wines ;Oak Valley Wines; Oude Molen Brandy Distillery; Paul Cluver Wines; Shannon Vineyards; Spioenkop Wine; South Hill Wines; Winters Drift
The Elgin Wine Weekend is the perfect way to experience wines of the valley and discover why this region is fast becoming a most celebrated wine-producing area of the Cape. Here, acclaimed vines benefit from diverse soils and cool maritime breezes which ensure perfect conditions for slow ripening. This allows the grapes to develop their intense flavours, great natural acidity, complexity and strong core of elegance. The wines are predominantly fruity and Sauvignon blanc, Rhine Riesling, Pinot Noir and Shiraz fare particularly well in this region.
We invite you to join us and enjoy the hospitality as the estates display the fruits of their labour. It is a celebration of the distinctive flavours from the district. Come and enjoy the classic expressions of Elgin Wine.
For more detailed information on the open wine weekends please log onto www.elginwine.co.za or like us on Facebook “Elegantly Elgin” or Twitter @elegantlyelgin to stay updated.
Come and meet the people behind the wines of Elgin and drink in our passion.
Establishing the ELEGANTLY ELGIN WINE ROUTE as a designation for wine lovers and consumers. Currently we have 16 wine Estates creating the Elegantly Elgin Wine Route – whom we refer to as “Founding Members” of the Elegantly Elgin Wine Route.
Founding Members to date in alphabetical order: Almenkerk ; Arumdale ; Elgin Ridge ;Elgin Vintners; Hannay & Catherine Marshall Wines; Highlands Road Wines, Iona Vineyards; Lothian Wines; Mofam Wines ;Oak Valley Wines; Oude Molen Brandy Distillery; Paul Cluver Wines; Shannon Vineyards; Spioenkop Wine; South Hill Wines; Winters Drift
Event Name: Elegantly Elgin Wine Route Launch Weekend
Date: 06 – 07 October 2012
Varietal Focus for month of October: Flagship Wines a celebration of Cool Climate wines
Time: 10h00 – 17h00
Venue: 16 Wine estates located on the Elegantly Elgin Map.
Event Name: Elegantly Elgin Open Wine Weekend
Date: 03– 04 November and the 10- 11 November 2012
Varietal Focus for month of November: A Sauvignon Blanc Celebration
Time: 10h00 – 17h00
Venue: 16 Wine estates located on the Elegantly Elgin Map.
Event Name: Elegantly Elgin Open Wine Weekend
Date: 01 – 02 December 2012
Varietal Focus for month of December: Chardonnay Celebration
Time: 10h00 – 17h00
Venue: 16 Wine estates located on the Elegantly Elgin Map.
Event Name: Elegantly Elgin Wine Route Launch Weekend
Date: 05 – 06 January 2013
Varietal Focus for month of January: New Year celebration of Elegantly Elgin Whites (Aromatic blends)
Time: 10h00 – 17h00
Venue: 16 Wine estates located on the Elegantly Elgin Map.
A Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Merlot Rosé and their Tasting Station opens for the Summer Season
Winters Drift Wines, the wine brand of Molteno Brothers (Pty) Ltd, the extensive farming business situated on Glen Elgin farm in the cool-climate Elgin Valley, are being officially launched with the release of the 2011 vintage of their Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Merlot Rosé. Furthermore the Winters Drift Tasting Station, housed in the historic Elgin station building on the Glen Elgin farm, will be opening its doors in time for summer.
The Winters Drift wines, named after the ‘winter ford’ crossing of the Palmiet River, on Glen Elgin, which formed part of the original ox wagon trail through the Overberg, honour the remarkable story and legacy of two pioneering and philanthropic bachelor brothers, Ted and Harry Molteno. Sons of John Molteno, the first premier of the Cape, these young men purchased Glen Elgin in 1903 and dedicated their lives to transforming Glen Elgin from a modest vegetable farm into a vast fruit-farming enterprise that spanned the valley that we now know as Elgin, taking its name from the Moltenos’ farm.
On the death of younger brother Harry in 1969, Glen Elgin was bequeathed to the Molteno Brothers Trust, with all profits to be used for the furtherance of “educational, cultural and charitable interests”. The benevolence of the Molteno brothers is still very much in evidence today and, since inception, the Trust has donated considerable amounts to worthy causes, the major beneficiaries being educational institutions. One of the most significant beneficiaries was The Molteno Project, a mother tongue and English literacy project, now known as the Molteno Institute for Language and Literacy. “It is a very rare thing to find a business corporation of any kind – let alone a farming enterprise – that exists entirely for the benefit of needy institutions,” commented Phillida Brooke Simons in her book ‘Apples of the Sun’ (1999), an authoritative and charming account of the lives of Ted and Harry Molteno.
Myrna Robins, in a recent article in the Weekend Argus, wrote insightfully, “Few wine ranges embrace a story as long and as fascinating as Winters Drift wines….. . The antique clock on the labels of Winters Drift wines is more than a symbol of the passage of time. This elegant timepiece, which ticked away the hours for more than 80 years in the Molteno brothers’ farmstead on Glen Elgin, will soon find a new home in the Winters Drift tasting centre on Elgin station. There it will link past to present in a stylish reminder of agricultural success and ongoing philanthropy.” The antique clock on the Winters Drift label, designed by Anthony Lane, shows the time as 19h03, the year in which the Molteno brothers bought the Glen Elgin farm.
WINTERS DRIFT WINES
Winters Drift Sauvignon Blanc 2011
This refreshing and typical cool-climate Elgin Sauvignon Blanc, with a dash (3%) of Semillon, has an expressive nose displaying lemon zest, fresh apples and grapefruit, soft grassy and green peppercorn tones with hints of asparagus and peas. The wine has a crisp, but full mouth-feel, a lovely minerality and a refreshing lime finish. Medium-bodied and elegant, drink it now or until 2014. It makes for a delicious aperitif and will pair beautifully with fresh oysters, chicken liver pâté, a juicy pork terrine and grilled line fish. It retails nationally for approximately R57.
Winters Drift Chardonnay 2011
This elegant delicately wooded Chardonnay displays attractive notes of ripe pear, butterscotch and vanilla. The wood is well integrated and supports the lovely white nectarine flavours on the palate. Enjoy this Chardonnay now or until 2015. It is a perfect aperitif and a great accompaniment to a creamy chicken dish, fish green curry, and smoked mussels in a light spicy sauce, as well as smoked trout and cured pink salmon dishes. It retails for approximately R69.
Winters Drift Rosé 2011
The wine, produced from 100% Merlot, has an attractive salmon hue – a perfect colour for rosé! It displays a complex array of floral and rose petal aromas and red berry and peach flavours. The finish is soft with lingering tropical fruit and floral notes. Light and elegant, enjoy this wine now or until 2014. Served slightly chilled, it is ideal on its own or matched with summer salads such as a Waldorf salad, creamy cheese and grilled seafood. Also enjoy this wine with summer picnics or when just relaxing on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It retails nationally for approximately R46.
All the grapes for these Winters Drift wines were grown on Glen Elgin farm and the wines were made in the Gabriëlskloof cellar, a few kilometres beyond Elgin, under the watchful eye of winemaker Kobie Viljoen. The Winters Drift Pinot Noir 2011 has also been released, with limited availability, made by Koen Roose of Spioenkop Wines in Elgin. Only 700 bottles were produced, but bigger volumes will be available with future vintages. The Winters Drift Shiraz 2011 is due to be released in early 2013.
WINTERS DRIFT TASTING STATION
Winters Drift wines will be available for tasting and purchase at the Winters Drift Tasting Station which will open its doors in time for summer. Situated in the refurbished historic Elgin station building on Glen Elgin, the Tasting Station will also be showcasing some of Glen Elgin’s other offerings such as: cut fynbos flowers, potted proteas, honey and fresh fruit, with other local produce to follow. Visitors will soon be able to purchase picnic baskets, and in time, the food offering will also include country platters.
“Ted and Harry Molteno lived simply but their dreams were great. They would be amazed – and humbled – to know that their farms have prospered mightily and that their wishes to benefit South Africa have been – and will continue to be – fulfilled beyond their wildest expectations,” concluded author Phillida Brooke Simons in ‘Apples of the Sun’.
Now with spring on the horizon guests can make the most of the winter weekend special at Farm 215, the restaurant and Fairtrade-certified guest house close to the Lomond winery near Gansbaai. Since re-opening its doors in July, Farm 215 has introduced various new and exciting offers, from specialist wine tastings and pairings, delicious Sunday lunches to luxurious getaways and outdoor activities.
Until the end of September Farm 215 and Lomond give visitors a chance to unwind away from the hustle and bustle of the work week and enjoy the Uilenkraal Valley’s scenic views and undisturbed fynbos landscape. The winter weekend package includes two nights’ stay in one of the fynbos double suites with a hearty breakfast served on the Saturday and Sunday mornings plus a four-course dinner on each of the Friday and Saturday evenings. A finely prepared lunch paired with Lomond’s award-winning wines will be provided on the Sunday. To round-off a weekend filled with indulgences, guests get a complimentary bottle of Lomond wine to take home. All this at a discounted rate of R4 800 per couple.
Add a touch of outdoor adventure to your stay and explore the nearby beach and mountain routes on foot or in a horse saddle. For a cost of R150 per person horse rides can be booked at the African Horse Company based at Farm 215 or visit www.africanhorseco.com for more information.
Farm 215 is also open for Sunday, wine tastings and wine sales. The staff will endeavour to accommodate visits on other days by prior arrangement. To make a booking at the restaurant, please call 076 318 1328 or send an email to lomondtastings@Farm215.co.za.