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Mares & Foals Walk – 30th of August

Although usually relatively inaccessible to the public, Avontuur Estate between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, offers horse lovers one chance annually to view, photograph and in rare cases actually “meet”, some of this thoroughbred stud farm’s equine stars.

On Thursday 30 August from 09h30 till 12h30, 20 persons per day can book for the guided walk with owner Philip Taberer where views of the paddocks, mountains and far-off False Bay is off-set by interaction with the brood mares and their gorgeous new foals.

A high point of the day is the stable visit where Avontuur’s award-winning stallion Oratorio will be “introduced” to the fans.  General Manager Pippa Mickleburgh will be on hand to explain more about the race horse breeding business and answer any questions you have about this fascinating topic.

A leisurely walk back to the tasting room will be followed by a  wine & biltong pairing tasting with winemaker Jan van Rooyen and then a light lunch with a glass of wine.

Although the walk is not strenuous, a reasonable level of fitness is required and it is not suitable for wheelchairs. Kids are welcome but parents must take responsibility for them, as the mares can be very protective of their new babies.

Bookings and pre-payment is essential at +27 21 855-3450 or winery@avontuurestate.co.za . The cost is R350 pp which includes a welcome drink, the guided walk and talk, the tasting and the light lunch. Kids (under 12) are welcome at R250 which includes a welcome drink, the guided walk and talk, a fun tasting and a light lunch.

 

Limited vintage selection of Luna for Sale!

With the new 2017 Luna de Miel Chardonnay Reserve just released, we’re offering Chardonnay fans a once-in-a-lifetime chance to buy 2 bottles of our flagship white wine as a vintage pack for only R280!

You will take home 1 bottle of the just-sold-out 2016 vintage and 1 bottle of the brand-new 2017 vintage, which will give you a chance to do a comparative tasting at home.

This offer is only available from the tasting room on the farm and only whilst stocks last. If you can’t get to us very soon, contact Ella or Carmen at winery@avontuurestate.co.za to arrange delivery.

Lyle Hewitson set to take Jockey’s Trophy

We’re incredibly proud to be associated with young star Lyle Hewitson (20) who is set to be the first apprentice to win the national jockey competition since the glory days of Michael “Muis” Roberts who achieved this at the start of his highly rated local and international career.

“Lyle has been a worthy and much appreciated ambassador for Avontuur Estate for nearly two years now and we are truly impressed with this achievement and being part of this wonderful moment as his sponsor,” says Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh.

He bettered an apprentice win record set in 2007 by Gavin Lerena, and previously held for almost 40 years by the legend Michael Roberts, when he registered the 285th victory of his career, getting the fancied Shenanigans home to win the eighth race at the Vaal in March this year.

Michael Roberts, who rode his first winner 48 years before Lyle at the same track, was a fifteen -time champion jockey of South Africa and twice champion jockey of Britain. Champion apprentice Gavin Lerena went on to become SA Champion jockey.

So, it’s no wonder Lyle, who is more than 30 wins ahead of his nearest rival for the annual Jockey of the Year award, is a shoe-in this year.

After extensive work riders experience, Lyle was accepted at the SA Jockey Academy after matriculating at Kearsney College. He had his first ride as a fully-fledged apprentice at Scottsville on 6 March 2016. His first winner came on his third book of rides at Fairview on 18 March 2016 aboard Blizzard Belle.The win was for Yvette Bremner, who was the first person he ever rode work for as a kid. His Dad, ex-jockey Carl, is the assistant at the Bremner yard and the win came in his silks.

School holiday special FREE tasting!

Join us this winter school holiday in our tasting room at the Estate for a FREE tasting of 5 pre-selected wines. This saves you R50 pp which is our usual tasting fee.

It’s an excellent reason to pop in, taste with our friendly and professional tasting room staff, and even stay for a meal in our award-winning restaurant.  We are open daily but you can contact us at winery@avontuurestate.co.za or +27 21 855-3450 to find out more.

Both our tasting room and restaurant have underfloor heating and in the restaurant you can request a seat close to the fireplace too. So, it’s the perfect spot for a Cape Winter’s day.

Discover some of the Helderberg’s gems at our family-owned boutique winery this Winter.

 

July tutored tasting now fully booked!

THIS TASTING IS FULLY BOOKED! The third of our winter series of tutored tastings by winemaker Jan van Rooyen will investigate the maturation potential of our most popular and highest rated white wine, Luna de Miel Chardonnay Reserve. 

With the 2017 vintage set to be released this Winter, an in-depth look at this intriguing wine which traditionally shows off upfront nuances of orange peel, ginger and white peach, will make for a fascinating exploration of the older vintages from Jan’s vinoteque.

As we only have 20 seats available, jump in quickly to get your spot. Date: Saturday, 21 July.  Cost:  R130 pp (Includes welcome drink, tutored tasting, light meal and coffee).  Bookings essential at winery@avontuurestate.co.za or +27 21 855-3450.

Var and Oratorio – 8 Gr 1’s each!

Does the type of glass used impact on your wine?

The second in our winter series of tutored tastings by winemaker Jan van Rooyen will be an update on the most popular tasting of last year with the intriguing title of:  “How do different glasses affect the taste of wine?”. 

As we only have 20 seats available, quite a few enthusiastic wine lovers had to be turned away for this in 2017, so jump in quickly to get your spot.

Jan promises that the journey of discovery will be as exciting as last year’s but he has a few new plans up his sleeve, and this should be a fun and informative event once again!

Date: Saturday, 9 June.  Cost:  R130 pp (Includes welcome drink, tutored tasting, light meal and coffee).  Bookings essential at winery@avontuurestate.co.za or +27 21 855-3450.

Shiraz & Venison week ends up with Father’s Day

This year we are so thrilled to be involved in a new activity initiated by the Shiraz Association of South Africa, the inaugural “Venison and Shiraz Week” from Monday 11 June to Sunday 17 June, which also co-incidentally is Father’s Day this year.

We know all our fans love biltong, so it was a no-brainer to come up with a Venison Biltong and Wine Pairing for the week!

We have the Shiraz, our multi award-winning Dominion Royale Shiraz Reserve,  but we needed two more wines to jazz it up with  the stunning venison biltong provided by Afrifoods Butcher and Biltong.

Join us during Shiraz and Venison Week for these pairings:  Pinotage and Kudu Biltong, Cab/Merlot and Springbok Biltong and Dominion Royale and Gemsbok Biltong at only R80 pp.

We have a limited number of the pairings available, so make sure that you book beforehand at winery@avontuurestate.co.za or +27 21 855-3450 if you want to join in – especially on the Father’s Day weekend!

 

 

 

Oratorio grabs his first SA Gr 1 in style!

Avontuur Thoroughbred Stud is celebrating one of the highlights of international stakes producing stallion Oratorio’s stay in South Africa; last weekend’s first and second place in the R750 000 Gr1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion at Scottsville. 

In this exciting race he opened his South African Gr1 account with a top two finish in the prestigious 2yo 1200m feature, when Van Halen beat Cue the Music by seconds!

The triple Gr1 winning  son of Danehill, imported with a view to producing classic, Met and July winners, has set the country alight and stamped his class with his 2yo’s showing precocity and speed and enjoying a terrific season.

The sire of fifty plus stakes winners worldwide had three runners in a typically high-class renewal of the Gold Medallion, and even though Van Halen and the previously unbeaten stakes winner Cue The Music may have finished in the ‘wrong order’ for many punters, it was a notable afternoon for the Cape breeders.

For us at the farm, the Candiese Marnewick photograph of the two Oratorio’s crossing the finish line within milli-seconds of each other, just sums it all up and is a justification of our belief in Oratorio, who is having a wonderful season.

The weekend started off in style when Oratorio showed off his class at the Stallion Parade at Highlands Stud in Robertson on Friday night.  “I wanted him there with his peers so that everyone could see he is healthy and fully back in the game,” says Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh. “He is in good shape and keen to perform and we look forward to an excellent season for him, especially after this weekend’s spectacular performance.”

As if the Oratorio win isn’t enough, we could only cheer again when the high-class Var filly Sommerlied stormed to a well-deserved success in the R750 000 Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint on Saturday too. 

What a weekend it’s been for the team at Avontuur!

Oratorio scores on two continents!

Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm’s successful sire Oratorio, who has enjoyed such a great season with his 2yos in 2017-2018, had another good weekend.

Danehill’s triple G1 winning son had a pair of South African winners to his name over the weekend, and is also broodmare sire of the very exciting Irish 2yo Servalan.

Oratorio

The latter (a first stakes winner for sire No Nay Never) won Sunday’s Listed Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies’ Sprint Stakes over 1200m at Naas for trainer Jessica Harrington and jockey Seamie Heffernan.

Servalan, who is likely to be aimed at Royal Ascot following her maiden stakes win on Sunday, was produced by the winning Oratorio mare Catch The Eye.

However, Sunday’s feature race winner is not the first high class performer produced by an Oratorio daughter, with others including recent Australian G3 winner Paquirri, Viren’s Army (Dee Stakes) and G3 Athasi Stakes winner Dolce Strega.

Oratorio, a dual Champion Sire in Italy, also had a pair of winners in South Africa over the weekend. His Sacred Touch romped to an effortless 2.75 length 2200m maiden win on Friday for breeders Golden Touch Thoroughbred Services and trainer Grant Paddock.

Oratorio was also responsible for Divine Odyssey, who picked up his second career win, from six outings, when victorious over 1600m at Turffontein on Sunday. The 3yo, who was bred by Laurence Werners, was produced by the Dynasty mare Divine Right.

Oratorio will also be represented in Saturday’s G1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion by three sons – Cue The Music, DI Me and Val Halen, while his daughter Petra is a runner in the same day’s G1 Allan Robertson Championship.

The sire of 50 stakes winners, and counting, Oratorio will also be represented in next weekend’s Cape features by Ancestry (G3 Winter Classic) and Sequined (Listed Olympic Duel Stakes).

Editorial courtesy of Cape Breeders