Thursday 27 March 2014

You Can Go Wine Tasting in the Garden Route!

So I have been frequenting the Garden Route, mostly Knysna to be exact, quite often lately. I wonder if it has anything to do with a beautiful and amazing local lady? hehe, yip, it seems a new passion has wondered into my life, apart from wine and adventurous activities :) But not to worry, she loves wine too, so I am beyond certain that consumption of wine and visits to wine farms will be on the up! Oh yeah!

I must admit I have rather missed Stellenbosch and the Cape Winelands as its been a while since I have paid the awesome area a visit, or popped into a new wine farm to try and discover a hidden gem of a wine, just waiting to quench my thirst. Being from Gauteng, It's taken me a while to start becoming familiar with the wine regions, although the Garden Route is very new to me and to be honest, I never really knew of wine farms in the area.

I was therefore very impressed and surprised when said lady, took me to Bramon, a boutique Wine Estate 20km east of Plettenberg Bay. 
Bramon is the most easterly estate in the Cape, situated  in a mountainous area called The Crags, with gentle slopes and cool sea breezes. The family run estate pioneered vineyards in the Plettenberg Bay area, which subsequently was classified as a Wine of Origin region back in 2005. The Plettenberg Bay Region stretches from the Groot Rivier in Natures Valley, to Harkerville in the west and borders on the bay. 
At Bramon, the first Sauvignon Blanc vines were planted in 2000, which have produced an award winning Methode Cap Classique ("MCC") and now a Sauvignon blanc has been added to the range. It was a delight to visit the farm and drink some of their marvelous MCC over a delicious light lunch at the restaurant, with the tables literally in the vineyards! I found the MCC to be refreshing and crisp with lovely lime and apple flavours, finishing off with a buttery hint. I couldn't help but think whilst siting in the vineyards, that anyone requiring inspiration to write, or for what ever other reason, would definitely get it here.

I decided to do a little research regarding wine farms in the Garden Route and to my amazement there are approximately 18 wine farms in the area. So it seems my visits to the Garden Route no longer have to be dry runs, causing me to have withdrawal symptoms from much needed wine tastings and visits to wine farms, bloody marvelous! 
Only Sauvignon Blanc is currently cultivated in the Plettenberg Bay Region and it seems the specialty of the area is sparkling wine, although the area is apparently experimenting with Shiraz as a red variety. 
With this new found information about the Plettenberg Bay Wine Region and seeing that I will continue to frequent the area for obvious regions, I hereby nominate myself to try out all the wine farms in the area! Watch this space...

Practicing to be a wine Farmer :) 

Monday 17 March 2014

Get Your Wine Groove On!

I still remember years ago when my early wine drinking days commenced, it basically consisted of sweet white or rose, because I just couldn't palate the dry stuff. My oh my, how the roles have reversed! :)
That being said, there was always this romance about wine to me. I think it all started when I watched 2 movies "Stealing Beauty," starring Liv Tyler, whom I admit may subconsciously have contributed towards this passion to wine, and "A Good Year" starring Russell Crowe. "Stealing Beauty" is a bit of chick flick, but in my manly defense, it is set on a wine farm in Italy and the footage of the vineyards definitely imprinted, or burnt, I should rather say, images in my mind and feelings in my soul, which still fascinate me to this day. "A Good Year" conjured the same emotion although it is set in Provence, France and it showcases the enchanting wine farm and wine making lifestyle. 

The fact that soil and climate conditions, location of the vineyards and the way in which the vines are treated, determine the quality of the grapes and that the winemaker then needs to produce wine from said grapes, is an art form in which there is much passion required to produce a masterpiece. I think this is what allured me to wine and think of it as something beautiful and special.  

So, I decided to learn more about this alluring beverage. I drank more of it, I read about it and I drank more of it! It was all still a little confusing until a day in 2011, that a Google search revealed The Cape Wine Academy to me. I got so excited when I saw the various courses on offer and I contacted them immediately to enroll in my first course, The South African Wine Course. I have not looked back since that day and my desire to learn more about wine has grown and I completed the Certificate Wine Course soon thereafter. Today I am enrolled for the Diploma Wine Course - Module 1 which commences in April and I can't wait!  I have learnt volumes through the Cape Wine Academy and met many like minded people. Their courses are interesting, the Lecturers are fun and captivating and I am no longer confused about this diverse subject of wine. 

So if you're interested in learning more about wine, as was I, read below about the Cape Wine Academy and the courses which they have on offer. Visit their website and contact them today and I assure you that you will not be disappointed!

Welcome to the Cape Wine Academy
Founded in 1979, the Cape Wine Academy is recognised as the official wine education and training institution in South Africa.The Cape Wine Academy provides a range of social and professional wine courses for individuals and tertiary institutions and specialises in creating bespoke wine-tasting events for corporate clients.
The starting point to learning about wine is the South African Wine Course. On completion of an exam, students can join the Certificate Wine Course, followed by the Diploma Wine Course and ultimately the Cape Wine Masters, the highest qualification in wine education.

The Cape Wine Academy also offers fun and social wine courses to enjoy with friends and family. Choose from the Food and Wine Pairing Course, the South African Brandy Course or the Wines of the World Course and ignite your passion for wine today!

To start your career in the wine and hospitality sector, sign-up for the Front of House Course, boost your skills with the Wine Service Course or enroll for the prestigious Cape Sommelier™ qualification, which is a must for every CV.

All Cape Wine Academy lectures are presented by South African winemakers, Diploma graduates and Cape Wine Masters, who are actively involved in shaping the South African Wine industry today.