On a Saturday in early May, we joined a number of luminaries for a very auspicious event in the garden at Tebaldi’s, one of our local establishments: the launch of Solara Sauvignon Blanc, our valley’s first certified organic wine. Solara Wines are the brainchildren of animal-lover and philanthropist, Pat Werdmuller. About 12 years ago, she bought the then neglected 14-hectare Houtbaai farm outside McGregor. The farm, now rehabilitated, includes a rescue centre for animals*. Deciding to “go organic” is not for the fainthearted. I know, because, in a past life, I was involved in a business that was, for want of a better phrase, “on an organic bent”; I spent much time researching the subject. So, to have met the standards of, and passed muster, to achieve international certification as an organic farm, is no mean feat. Conservation, too, is taken seriously: Houtbaai Farm is also a part of the Landmark Foundation‘s project on the Cape leopard. A proportion of the proceeds of both the sale of Solara’s Sauvignon Blanc, and the lunch we attended, is contributed to the Foundation. Their wine is made in partnership with Rooiberg , which has installed a cellar that complies with requirements for making organic wine. Solara is described by local wine aficionado, Myrna Robbins, as “a gentle Sauvignon blanc, fresh without high acidity, offering a pleasing combination of fruit alongside discernible structure, depth which bodes well for longevity. Those who suffer ill effects from sulphur will appreciate its purity.” It was a glorious autumn day and we had the pleasure of sharing our table with among others, the Temenos Gardener, who’s gardens we enjoy, and Mr Darcy’s Mama. Mr Darcy found his way into his Mama’s home, also by way of the rescue centre on Houtbaai farm.
A delicious, spectacular lunchoen we had, accompanied by the fabulous Solara Sauvignon blanc and other wonderful wines from Rooiberg. Around that table in the garden, we regaled each other with stories, quaffed as many glasses of wine and laughed the sunny afternoon away! *whence our Pearli came! © Fiona’s Favourites