Vineyard internships

If Samuel and Ana thought their holiday internships with the family business was over now that they are back on the farm, they would not have appreciated this morning’s wake up call.

Following the recent rains (hip hip hooray) and with the soils nice and wet, we are planting some new vineyards. Yesterday we started with Grenache and today the kids got their hands and boots dirty to help out.

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Seems Ana is the only one who didn’t get the “working man’s blue” dress code memo. Rebel that one.

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Like Adi says, “they are planting vines for their kids, no pressure…”

Once this vineyard is ticked off the list, in the next week or two we will also plant Cinsault, Palomino and some rootstock in-between, for later grafting.

Supplementing the old with the new. Cause one day what is new and young now will be old too…

World of fine Chenin

Adi doesn’t usually get excited by media attention, ratings or awards…

But on Saturday morning, when we happened to run into each other outside Kooperasie Stories (a beautifully curated antique store on the road between Pniel and Franschhoek), the first thing he said (after handing me a juicebox) was “did you see that Fine Wine article on Chenin?”

So I knew this would be exciting recognition. And it is!

He was referring to the latest issue of The World of Fine Wine – which includes a rare Chenin tasting. A few of our wines (and even two accredited to us incorrectly, sorry Jasper and Keermont…) did well but it is the Secateurs results that got us smiling.

For an entry level wine, retailing under R100 (£12 / $15) to even show up on this list of impressive international wines is quite something. Never mind the 92 points or its position on the list…

As Tim James reports (like just now) “It was, though, above all, a good result for internationally rather unfashionable chenin, with 25 wines out of 37 scoring an average of 89 or more out of 100, meaning “very good” wine on the World of Fine Wine scale (the magazine is one of the more ungenerous scorers, I’d say). Fifteen wines came in the “outstanding” band of 92, 93 and 94 points – eight of them South African, seven French.”

Here are a few (bad quality) screengrabs of scans of the article.

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In other news, my gosh has it been raining in the Swartland! We received 80mm of rain in June and 56mm just this weekend (from Friday the 29th till today) and the region is finally looking lush and green – this is winter like I remember it from my childhood – and man we are loving it.

Steen sipping season

It looks like it is Chenin season in the Northern Hemisphere, and our Secateurs seems to be amongst many people’s favourite…

Over the last few weeks we’ve seen recommendations and thumbs up from all over the north. From Temple Cellars in Singapore who made us their white of the week…

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…to Paste Online Magazine’s dashing write up about Chenin (click click – read more here) which they recon “had fallen into fuddy-duddy grandpa-wine status until fairly recently” but now it’s real hip and our Secateurs is recommended cause it is “kind of… sensual, actually. Like it’s round in all the right ways and well-defined in all the right ways”…

…and Dave McIntyre recommending it in The Washington Post as a [summer] sipping wine – Secateurs definitely has its glass half full right now.

Meanwhile winemag.com wrote a lovely piece focussing on the 2015 South African vintage saying “a fantastic 2015 vintage, have created a flood tide powerful enough to finally crash on our shore, ready to break existing expectations and create a new, well-earned reputation for South African wine as a serious contender on the world stage.” and we spotted one of our own and many of our favourite wines:

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For up to date posts about all the media we spot ourselves in, keep an eye on our Facebook Page and remember to follow us on Instagram for pretty pictures from the farm and beyond.

Swartland Heritage Celebration

It is true, come November there will once again be a unique regional wine experience to attend. Like at the very successful Swartland Revolution of the past the Swartland Independent Producers want to share the good food, stunning scenery and diverse (award winning) wine of the region with fans and friends. This time in the scenic West Coast town of Paternoster!

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That’s right. International speakers, masterclasses, talks, tastings and music. And what the poster doesn’t tell you is that renowned local chef Bertus Basson has been confirmed as the weekend’s chef. Snacks, dinner, lunch…

For more info on the event and to buy tickets head over the the SIP website.

For more info on Bertus and his ventures, click here.

Please order tickets by emailing RSVP@studio-h.co.za – Book now, you will not be disappointed.

In the harvest time…

It feels like this heatwave has been ongoing for ever. Forever I tell you. When it is still 30’C at 10pm it is hard to imagine it will ever cool down again, ever!

But, life goes on and the grapes are starting to come in. Last week our first Shiraz was picked, 22 tons of it! Meanwhile there is some good international publicity and a few nice emails from the other side of the world.

“You know that South African cinsault we tried?” he said. “I took the opened bottle to a dinner with a load of wine trade people and they went mad for it and said it was the best wine of the night. They were raving on and on about it.”

To read more from The Telegraph on our Ramnasgras, click here.

This morning I woke up to a very nice little note of thanks and praise from a family snowed in in Michigan, USA… hard to imagine in the dry hot Swartland summer, but nice to receive anyway:

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“a little vacation in a bottle,” like!

On a side note, if you were lucky enough to get tickets to Cape Town’s very first Gin & Tonic Festival, taking place next Saturday, keep an eye out for Swaan, we will be mixing with some exciting new local gins!

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Eat, drink, cook and be merry…

This week chef Matt Manning is hosting the first in a series of cookery classes at Eleven Kitchen Venue in Woodstock, Cape Town.

Matt will be demonstrating different ways to use one main ingredient. The first ingredient will be Mushrooms!

This hands on experience will give you the chance to get your hands dirty in the kitchen, cook with great seasonal produce, learn new skills and enjoy a fun evening with food and wine lovers alike!

Each course will be paired with wine from our Secateurs range and you will have the opportunity to buy the wines after the class.

When: Wednesday 5 June from 18h00-22h00

Where: Eleven Kitchen Venue, Boulevard Office Park, Searle Street, Woodstock.

Cost: R300 pp including food and wine.

What: The menu this month is as follows:

Amuse bouche
Mushroom veloute

First course
The ultimate wild mushrooms on toast, soft poached hen egg, roasted garlic and truffle aioli.
Second course
The perfect wild mushroom risotto
To finish
Lemon posset and raspberries

Contact Matt directly to arrange a booking

e. manningmatt24@gmail.com

c. 0762568654

t. @pommes_manner

The booking system works on a first come first serve basis so book early to avoid disappointment.

Eh, hello Canada

If you are in New Bothwell, Canada tomorrow night (eh, who knows!?) you should go taste some of our wines paired with Bothwell cheese.
The cheese festival starts at 7pm in New Bothwell, Manitoba. Our Canadian importers will be pouring Secateurs.
For more info follow @martens_paul (the importer), @BothwellCheese (the cheese) or @BanvilleJones (the wine shop) on twitter.
Secateurs range