Om van kombuishulp tot wêreldbekende chef, televisiepersoonlikheid en skrywer van kookboeke te vorder, gebeur nie sonder talent, maar veral ook harde werk en deursettingsvermoë nie. Die Eikestad-tak van die Afrikaanse Taal- en Kultuurvereniging, onder leiding van die voorsitter, mnr. Roelie Janse van Rensburg en me. Elize Fortuin, Wes-Kaapse streeksbestuurder, het hierdie prestasies van Franschhoek se “celeb” chef uit eie bodem, Reuben Riffel, onlangs met ’n spesiale oorkonde vereer.
The winners of the 2018 Diners Club Winemaker and Young Winemaker of the Year awards were announced at a black-tie gala dinner at La Residence Hotel at the end of November. Franschhoek’s Clayton Reabow (Môreson) and Rudger van Wyk (Stark-Condé Wines, Jonkershoek Valley, Stellenbosch) claimed the top honours, respectively.
The awards are presented to the winemakers who produce a wine that the judging panel considers the best in a specified class. The categories for 2018 were Chardonnay single varietal wines for Winemaker of the Year and Red Wines of any varietal or blend for Young Winemaker of the Year.
The judges for the 2018 awards were: Michael O’Connell (International judge), Carrie Adams, Debi Van Flymen, Michael Crossley, Nomonde Kubheka and Ntsiki Biyela.
This year’s Diners Club Winemaker of the Year (Chardonnay category), Clayton Reabow, impressed the judges with his Môreson 2017 Mercator Chardonnay. Clayton was a finalist in the 2017 Winemaker awards (Pinotage category) and the winner of the 2009 Young Winemaker of the Year award. The 2018 Diners Club Young Winemaker of the Year, Rudger van Wyk, received his award (Red Wines category) for the Stark-Condé 2016 Stellenbosch Syrah.
The winning Winemaker receives R50 000 while the Young Winemaker receives R25 000. Both winemakers also receive two return air tickets on Delta Airlines to any US wine producing region.
Reabow grew up in King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape. He completed a BSc Agriculture: Viticulture and Oenology degree at the University of Stellenbosch in 2004. In between working some local vintages, he travelled to other wine producing areas such as Bordeaux in France and the Mosel Valley in Germany to broaden his horizons. On returning to South Africa, he applied for the winemaking position at Môreson in 2007 and has never looked back. In 2011 Clayton completed a Postgraduate Master’s degree in Wine Business Management, Cum Laude, at the UCT Graduate School of Business.
The Standard Bank of South Africa’s opening a branch in Franschhoek on 13 November 1918 was the result of a misunderstanding and the first few decades may have been difficult, but on the centenary of the opening clients and staff were glad that it all worked out well in the end.
On the evening of 6 November guests gathered at the new Franschhoek Theatre in the Franschhoek High School grounds. The team in charge of the project had invited donors to the project for a celebration. Also in attendance were the principal of the school, Mr Cilliers, and the school’s governing body.
After more than two years of planning, authorisations, design, building and renovation, the Centenary Library building was ready for its new life. The guests who had come to celebrate were enchanted by the grey and blue interior, the re-laid old parquet floor and new carpeted seating tiers, the spruced up shutters and the brand new amenities. The project team thanked the donors who had so generously supported the fund-raising initiatives which enabled them to realise a Franschhoek community dream. Mr Denver Adonis, the chairman of the school governing body also thanked everyone involved and pointed out that the school did not have the means to renovate and save the building. He added that the benefit to the school, both financially and culturally would be most valuable.
“Every wine producer has a few hundred boxes of wine of various price points and styles lying around in the cellar, and when an opportunity like Black Friday comes around it’s the perfect chance to clear out some of the old stock to get the cellar ready for the 2019 harvest or just sell out on overruns of certain wines, in one go,” says De Wet Hugo, GM of wine at Franschhoek Estate Allée Bleue.
Friday, 23 November, from 10h00-16h00 will be a hive of activity at this family-owned farm as keen wine buyers will be directed to the Black Friday sales area to order, pay and collect their purchases there and then.
The wines selected include Methode Cap Classique’s, whites, reds, blends and even some multi-award winning wines with discounts of 50% and more per bottle. “This is the perfect opportunity to stock up on quality wines for the summer and we look forward to sharing more than 10 000 bottles with the public at once-in-a-lifetime prices,” comments de Wet.
Wines are only available in 6-bottle boxes and payments have to be made on the day. No tastings will be offered as the wine has been kept in optimum conditions in the cellar throughout. Cash and credit cards only.
“It’s definitely first-come first-served and obviously only whilst stocks last, so it’s best to arrive early! Make a day of it and book a picnic afterwards or have breakfast in the Bistro from 08h00 before you hit the sale,” suggests de Wet.
International wine writer and British Master of Wine (MW) Tim Atkin’s 2018 SA Special Report made happy reading for the team at La Bri. Three of their wines cracked the 90 out of 100 points mark. Illustrating the versatility of the team the acclaimed wines include a white, a red and a Méthode Cap Classique.
La Bri’s MCC, Sauvage La Bri 2012, was awarded 91 points by Atkin. This follows on last year when their maiden bubbly, the Sauvage La Bri 2011, was also awarded 91 points by Atkin and cements La Bri as a producer of fine MCCs.
For the second year running, World Travel Awards has named Leeu Estates, the Leeu Collection’s flagship property in Franschhoek, as South Africa’s Leading Wine Country Hotel. The award was announced at the lack-tie gala that celebrated all the African winners in Durban, on 6 October 2018.
Walking towards the entrance of the Big Dog Café the same thought always pops into my head: I wish that aroma could be bottled! The aroma in question varies a bit; sometimes it’s a bit fruitier and sometimes more chocolatey, but it’s always enticing. Regulars will know that the source of the aroma is the Terbodore Coffee Roastery that one passes on the way to the café. The roastery is the domain of head roaster Jommo Nkunika. The Tatler paid him a visit to find out a little about what he does.
Jommo, who seems to wear a permanent smile, has been with Terbodore Coffee Roasters for five years. He started in the production team doing things like loading and offloading and packaging. Like cream, he rose to the top and was soon training as a roaster, before eventually becoming head roaster. It is clearly a role he relishes.
Terbodore hand roasts all their coffee; nothing is automated. This means Jommo has to keep a sharp eye on what’s happening to the beans in the roaster and keep meticulous records to maintain consistency between batches and ‘vintages’. As a wino, I was struck by the similarities between blending coffees and wine. Like grapes, coffee beans vary based on the varietal, their origin and the particular harvest’s growing conditions. All these factors and even the ambient temperature and humidity in the roastery have to be considered to ensure that any particular blend tastes the same from one year to the next.
Like winemaking, coffee roasting is part science and part art. It is clear from watching Jommo control the roaster that he has successfully mastered both parts. There is no time for slacking. Between feeding the hot belly of the roaster with a fresh batch of beans; controlling the temperature; visually inspecting the roasting beans; listening to and interpreting the crackling of the beans; emptying the roaster; cooling the beans and writing down every detail in a log book there is barely time for, well, even a coffee!
The coffee-drinking public will be happy to know that they can share in Jommo’s coffee wisdom by making a booking for Terbodore’s “Cupping Experience” on Friday afternoons at 15h00. (Reservations essential, max 8 pax)
Jommo may have been raised on a Malawian tea plantation, but today he’s truly a coffee man.
Text & Image: Editor
“An increased focus on South Africa’s old vines has elicited world-wide interest in the country’s wine heritage and the industry itself, with wines made from fruit sourced from these heritage vines proving their mettle,” says André Morgenthal of the Old Vine Project (OVP).
He says that membership of the OVP has grown from 10 members late last year, to over 40 now, including a number of cooperative producers, with over 80% of old-vine wines represented within these systems. The rising interest in the OVP has also been seen at tastings in London and Canada, supported and organised by Wines of South Africa (WOSA), as well as locally at Klein Karoo Klassique and the US Woordfees.