A sunny launch-eon

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_Tebaldi_Garden_May2015 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.

The elusive Mr Darcy and his darling Mama (pictures of Mr Darcy, courtesy of his Mama)

A delicious, spectacular lunchoen we had, accompanied by the fabulous Solara Sauvignon blanc and other wonderful wines from Rooiberg. SolaraLaunch_Tebladis 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

10 thoughts on “A sunny launch-eon

  1. That must have been a lovely lunch. What’s the timescale for going organic? I think to get UK Soil Association accreditation it used to be around seven years. The Tenemos gardens look gorgeous.


    1. It was, indeed, a lovely lunch!

      Roughseas, it must be at least that to go organic. I think it depends on the state of the land – “virgin” turf may not have such a long lead time to get rid of the “nasties” if it has previously been commercially farmed. I guess if one considers that Pat bought that property 14 years ago, and that is not a new philosophy for her, that says something. I was researching it some 15 years ago….

      The Temenos gardens are beautiful – you’ll find some more pictures of them here – a collage, but taken in a different season https://fionasfavourites.com/2015/06/08/sunny-son-days/ They are beautiful all the time and so tranquil Good place to feed the soul.


      1. Very definitely on my list of Things To Do next time I visit SA: some time roaming around your part of the country. I’ve taken day trips there, and often thought it was worth much more.


  2. The gentlemen who own Temenos use to live where I live in Johannesburg. We discussed the neighbourhood in detail. It was so nice to see our world’s cross over.


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