Two weekends ago, I found myself in a bit of a bind. As happened last year, I suddenly had a surfeit of courgettes! A friend and local farmer’s wife arrived at the market with crates of them – for one reason or another, they weren’t going to make it to the “big”market in Cape Town. She and I bartered one lot – a large bag for one of my chilli jams; then she decided that I should have another bag. In exchange, she got mushroom soup.
It also happened to be Wacky Wine Weekend – South Africa’s biggest regional wine festival. While we don’t partake in the ribaldry as we might have when we were a little younger, after the market and a late breakfast, Saturday was busy (and the sum total of our Wacky Wine weekend for this year).
Our first stop was at a newly launched garagiste wine cellar, Bemind, which had officially opened only the previous day. Bemind is the brainchild of award-winning winemaker, Ilse Schutte. The name, which means “beloved” in English, reflects Ilse’s love of making wine. The cellar, which is a garage, also reflects other beloved elements of Ilse’s life – her wedding dress, pictures of her Dutch grandparents as well as other wonderful bits and bobs from her family’s past.The two wines with which the Bemind label launched, are a lovely Pinot Noir MCC brut and a 2014 Shiraz which even appeals to me – and I’m not generally a Shiraz fan – that’s The Husband’s department. Now that all the legal stuff is in order, Ilse has plans for at least a couple of other wines, including my favourite cultivar, Sauvignon Blanc. McGregorites and visitors to our village have much to anticipate.
Earlier that week Tanagra had launched their two hand-crafted single vineyard wines, a Cabernet Franc wines – the 2015 blanc de noir and their 2014 Cabernet Franc. Because the number of bottles is limited, this stop was a must. We were not disappointed – both are delicious. We are quite partial to some of their wines, including a fabulous, aptly named blend, Heavenly Chaos, made by co-owner and eau de vie distiller, Robert Rosenbach. We wait in anticipation for the bottling of Robert’s newest Heavenly Chaos!
We left with some of the two Cab Francs, and another favourite – their Carah (a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz/Syrah).
Our final engagement for the weekend was at Wolfkloof, another boutique winery in the Robertson Wine Valley. Owner and winemaker, J C Kannemeyer has had a lifelong love affair with Merlot. We have long enjoyed his wine and the piece de resistance was the evening’s entertainment: Texan-born folk singer, Shawn Phillips.
Jan’s first ever “white” Merlot is to be recommended and for those of you who think that Shawn Phillips may be past it, here’s a soupçon!
After a wonderful day, I still had five or so kilograms of courgettes to deal with. Now, what? What would they taste like if they were pickled?
I cogitated on that for a while and decided that was Sunday’s job.
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