News – Page 2

Var and Oratorio start July off with a bang!

What a fantastic weekend we had in Durban last weekend, with Purple Diamond (Var) and Ancestry (Oratorio) going head-to-head in the Golden Horseshoe and two Var’s coming in in fourth and fifth place respectively. This has led to Var now sitting at the top of 2yo sire’s lists which is always a thrill for any breeder.

 

She’s a Giver ran a brilliant second to Bella Bella in the Gr 1 Garden Province Stakes and Chantyman did us proud as well! 

 

What a start to July 2017!

July weekend looking good for Avontuur!

The first weekend in July in South Africa is all about racing, stunning thoroughbreds, glamorous celebs and the general public enjoying the balmy winter weather in Durban.

The TBA KZN Yearling Sale starts off the programme on Thursday the 29th, and this year there are five Oratorio’s and three Var’s in the catalogue which we are looking forward to supporting. With 2Yo Ancestry’s (Oratorio x A Daughter’s Legacy) win recently, and the ongoing excellent performances of the Var’s, this crop should keep the buyers lining up,” says Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh. 

On Saturday 1 July the biggest race day in the country will take place and although Avontuur does not have a runner in the big one, we do have lots of interest in most of the action taking place. In the main race, our Avontuur-sponsored jockeys will be showing off their talent with MJ Byleveld on Master Sabina, Lyle Hewittson on French Navy for the in-form Tarry yard and Callan Murray jetting in from the East to steer last year’s winner, The Conglomerate for the Ramsden yard.

In the Grade 2 Golden Horseshoe over 1400m we’re looking forward to seeing Ancestry up against Varallo and Varimas. In the 8th race it’s Isca, Our Destiny, Horse Guards, Varbration and Attenborough taking on each other, making this race of only 12 contestants, nearly half-filled with horses linked in some way with Avontuur.  In the Grade 1 Garden Province Stakes over a mile, Avontuur-bred She’s a Giver will be strutting her stuff. 

All in all a full and exciting weekend ahead and we wish all the owners, breeders, jockeys, horses and punters a successful one!

Caption:   Ancestry as a yearling at Avontuur in the paddocks.

 

 

 

Oratorio’s 2 year olds show early class

“I am pleasantly surprised with the seemingly effortless win by 2Yo Ancestry (Oratorio x A Daughter’s Legacy) this past Saturday at Scottsville as my mantra regarding Oratorio’s offspring is ‘Give them Time and they will Shine’,” says Avontuur Estate GM Pippa Mickleburgh.   “As if Ancestry’s performance wasn’t enough, we also celebrated Mrs O’s win on debut at Turffontein, so it looks like their worth is being proven even earlier than expected.” 

See the video here of Ancestry’s incredible race!

https://www.facebook.com/TBredSANews/videos/271050706696226/

 

Oratorio is currently the second leading first season sire by % winners to runners at 25% with 8 winners from 11 races and a total Stakes of R829 925.  

“Although we’re extremely happy with these performances, we expect that as his progeny matures, their ongoing achievements will prove why Avontuur brought this globally rated sire to South Africa a few years ago.” 

Pippa referred to his many talented offspring waiting in the wings to strut their stuff and mentioned that there are five Oratorio’s on the KZN Yearling Sale coming up soon.

“Although none of them are Avontuur-bred we look forward to seeing the results when Lot numbers 29, 133, 159, 224 and 259 appear in the ring.  Personally I like Lot 29 Catharsis, as he is a half-brother to Gr 2 winner Hard Day’s Night as well as being from the family of Major Bluff, Silver Bluff and Key Castle, who are all multiple winners.  Another good looking Oratorio is Carlita, Lot no 159, the only filly in the group.  She is a classic filly with the pedigree to back it up, being from the female line of champion Argentinian filly Southern Spring. She should be a good purchase,” Pippa says.

Oratorio still has some services available at R80 000, so do not be caught napping! Contact Pippa Mickleburgh at stud@avontuurestate.co.za for more info or to arrange a service. 

 

Amateurs and experts agree on top Cab Francs

After the announcement of the Top 6 in this year’s official Cabernet Franc Challenge at Avontuur Estate in March, it was interesting to see the similarities between the crowd favourites at the Western Cape and Gauteng Carnivals, and those of the judges in the blind tasting panel of the annual competition.

The Challenge Top 6 in alphabetical order are:  Doolhof Wine Estate Single Vineyard Collection Cabernet Franc 2015, Kaapzicht Cabernet Franc 2014, My Wyn Cabernet Franc 2014, Nelson Wine Estate Lisha Nelson Cabernet Franc 2014, Rainbow’s End Wine Estate Limited Release 2015 and Warwick Estate Cabernet Franc 2013.  Uva Mira was awarded a Gold Medal.

At the Western Cape event which took place on Saturday 20 May at Avontuur Estate (Also the sponsor of the Carnivals), the top 5 were:  Hermanuspietersfontein, Rainbow’s End, Uva Mira, Doolhof and Nelson Vineyards.

In Gauteng at The Wanderers on Friday, 2 June the 5 crowd favourites were:  Uva Mira, Hermanuspietersfontein, The Garajeest, Nelson and Raats.

“What is clear when looking at the overall scores from both events, is that the public mostly scored the same wineries highly in Cape Town and Gauteng, even taking into account that there were less and slightly different wineries present at the Gauteng event,” says organisor Cobie van Oort of CVO Marketing.  “The “voting” adds a fun element to the event with the public enthusiastically supporting the scoring process. “

The winners of a selection of Cabernet Francs, kindly sponsored by the participating wineries are for the Avontuur event:  David Taylor, Jani Kuipers and Zolia Rumble.  In Johannesburg the winners are:  Thato Ramagaga, Denton Claassens and Craig Morrissey. 

Avontuur heads to Gauteng for Cab Franc Carnival

After a wonderful Cape Cab Franc Carnival on 20 May at Avontuur Estate, 15 of the best SA Producers are heading to Gauteng for the first of these events on Friday, 2 June from 5-9 pm at The Wanderers Club in Illovo, Johannesburg. 

Avontuur winemaker Jan van Rooyen and our wine ambassador in Gauteng, Heinrich Adams-Witbooi will man our stand and introduce the newly released 2014 vintage to the crowd.   

“It’s an intimate event with visitors interacting with wineries, enjoying a meal or snack during the event and relaxing with friends in between tastings.  Live music by the Swing Cats Trio will add to the vibe,” says Cobie van Oort of CVO Marketing, organisor of the Carnival. 

The very popular public “vote” to choose the favourite wine of the day, will once again take place which will give an interesting perspective on the differences between expert and amateur palates, especially after the results of the blind judging of the 2017 Cabernet Franc Challenge were released in early March.

Participating wineries are:   Avontuur Estate,  Delaire Graff Estate, Edgebaston,   Hermanuspietersfontein,  Lynx Wines,  Mont du Toit Cellar, Nelson Wine Estate, Oldenburg Vineyards, Ormonde Vineyards, Raats Family Wines,  The Garajeest,  Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards, Warwick Estate, Whalehaven and Zorgvliet Wines.

Tickets are R200 pp which includes the tastings, a R50 discount coupon to spend on food and a tasting glass.  Tickets from   www.plankton.mobi or www.computicket.co.za  as well as at Computicket branches. 

Follow us on Facebook at Cabernet Franc Carnival or on Twitter at @Cabfrancarnival .  More information on www.cvomarketing.co.za

Avontuur hits 21 years with Cab Franc

The release of the 2014 Avontuur Estate Cabernet Franc celebrates the production of a single varietal of this wine for 21 years. “We’re starting to grow up at last and maturity is (hopefully) just around the corner, “says winemaker Jan van Rooyen with his tongue firmly in his cheek.

The first vintage of a single varietal Cabernet Franc produced at Avontuur was from the 1996 harvest followed by a 1999 vintage which was reviewed in John Platter’s Wine Guide of 2001.  Including those first two, Avontuur has produced nine bottled vintages over the last 21 years. To add to this heritage,  the Estate is now in the third year of sponsoring the annual Cabernet Franc Carnival, which takes place at Avontuur as well. 

Some interesting stats found by Jan whilst digging through the archives are the following:  The first bottling was indeed the 1996 vintage and the next was 1999 vintage under the label “Avon Ridge” (Platter 2001).

Then came 2000 and 2001, but in Platter 2008 it was reported that the Cab Franc was discontinued.  It re-appears with the 2008 vintage in Platter 2011. Thereafter the vintages were 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014.  Thus we had 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014, making it nine bottled vintages over 21 years.

“We are huge Cab Franc fans and love hosting the Carnival as well as the Cab Franc Challenge at the farm.  Marketing for this unusual varietal is definitely needed and we hope to contribute towards the awareness of the grape with our ongoing support,” says Avontuur co-owner Philip Taberer.

The Avontuur 2011 and 2014 Cabernet Francs will be available for tasting at the Cab Franc Carnival at Avontuur on Saturday 20 May and also at the first Gauteng outing for the event, on Friday 2 June at Wanderers Club in Johannesburg.

“We hope to offer festival goers an overview of the two vintages from our Estate.  The fruitiness and perfume of the 2014 should be an excellent foil for the dark ripe fruit and earthiness of the 2011,” says Jan.  Both wines will be for sale at the event as a 2-pack at R225, which gives a wonderful opportunity to taste the old and new together.

Tickets for the Cabernet Franc Carnival at Avontuur Estate and at Wanderers Club in Johannesburg can be purchased from www.plankton.mobi, www.computicket.com or from Computicket stores. Tickets are R200 each which includes the tastings, a branded crystal glass and a R50 food coupon.

Early Bird Dinners back at Avontuur Restaurant

With Winter seemingly around the corner, it’s tempting to think of an early dinner directly after work, before relaxing at home under the duvet in time for your favourite TV series. With the return of the Avontuur Restaurant’s Early Bird Dinners, this is possible and affordable.

Pop in between 17h00-19h00 on Wednesday or Friday evenings and enjoy a two-course (R180) or three-course (R220) meal with a glass or two of the wine Estate’s award-winning wine. The restaurant features a relaxed ambiance with a fireplace to add to the cosy setting, excellent service from the owners Melanie Paltoglou and Zunia Boucher-Myers and lots of safe parking close to the entrance of the eatery – great for rainy days!

Although the Early Bird Dinner Menu changes regularly to reflect what is seasonal, fresh and available,  a recent example looked like this:   Starter – Duck Liver Pate with Guava Jelly and Melba Toast, Mains –  Sirloin with cracked Black Pepper Sauce, Dessert – Vanilla Panacotta with Seasonal Fruit.

Bookings are essential for the Early Bird Dinners and certain T’s and C’s apply.  The Restaurant is open daily for breakfast or lunch and for the usual a-la-carte dinner on Wednesday and Friday.  Bookings:  openhand@polka.co.za or +27 21 855-4296.  Avontuur Estate is on the R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset West.

 

Mother’s Day at Avontuur Estate is “sparkling”

We’re planning a fun pairing for this weekend to celebrate all the moms around.  Make sure you visit the tasting room before or after that treat of a meal in the Restaurant and try a glass of Avontuur Methode Cap Classique bubbly paired with a specially-created cupcake for only R50 pp.

It’s a fun way to end a meal or to get the vibe going before your celebratory meal with that most important lady in your life!

From Friday to Sunday – only in the tasting room.

 

NYS17 – Introducing Avontuur’s draft: Video

When chatting to Pippa Mickleburgh a week or so ago, just before the yearlings left for Johannesburg, she had this to say about the nine horses on offer at Gosforth Park’s TBA Sales Complex:

The Oratorio’s are featuring well in this Sale and with recent wins by his progeny, should be exciting to see.  Lot 90, Cloud Break by Oratorio (IRE) is the first foal of talented race mare Pan Amm. She is powerful and very athletic – a neat filly.  Caesura (Lot 469) by Oratorio (IRE) out of Jeter is a lovely colt who looks like he’s got the X-factor! Making Waves (Lot 159) is one of those fillies who operate under the radar, a hidden gem so to speak!  She is a well-related classy filly out of Sea of Calm (USA).

Our stalwart Var once again puts on  a good showing.  The two Var fillies are Lot 324, Laduree out of Candy Vous (ARG) and Miss International (Lot 386) out of Europe to Africa (AUS).  Laduree is a big filly with typical Var moves where Miss International is a precocious speedball and should be a good return on investment.  Lot 298 is a colt called Jardin out of Azabu Park (AUS).  He is racy, tall and a good-looking youngster.

We end off with 2 colts and a filly and Pippa’s comments are:  “Ladies first and we start off with Lot 490, On the Double by Twice Over (GB) out of Kitco.  She is a first foal and will have great paddock value as she’s a strong, classy filly.  Lot 327 is a big, strong, imposing colt called Rags to Riches by Dynasty out of Captured Time. He is a full blood brother to champion race mare Beach Beauty and although he will take a bit of time, will be well worth the wait.  Lot 91, a colt called El Sereno is the first living foal out of a high quality mare called Paradise Square.  He is a good walker and seems to have lots of scope.”

 

Avontuur celebrates National Wine Challenge Medals

Winemaker Jan van Rooyen attended the Awards Ceremony for the 2017 National Wine Challenge last night to collect our awards, with the high point being the Double Platinum and Top 100 certificate for the Avontuur Cabernet Sauvignon 2013. 

Over and above the “big” one, Avontuur was also awarded a Double Gold for Sarabande Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2015 and Double Silvers for Pinot Noir/Chardonnay 2016, Cabernet/Merlot 2014 and Luna de Miel Chardonnay Reserve 2015.

When asked to comment about the achievement, Jan had this to say:

“The Cabernet Sauvignon variety features in 2 of the awards for Avontuur Estate this year and confirms, yet again, that the Helderberg area is a top location for Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

Notably the Chardonnay also came through beautifully – on its own as the barrel fermented Luna de Miel  – as well as in a blend with Pinot Noir.

Having the Sarabande Sauvignon Blanc Reserve from the 2015 vintage score a Double Gold here is truly inspiring and rewarding to our efforts in shaping and developing this brand.

We are grateful to the vineyard team, the marketing team and the cellar team and many thanks to NWC Top 100 for honouring us in this way.”

The wines are available from the Estate Tasting Room and selected retail outlets in the Western Cape and Gauteng.  Wine lovers are welcome to order via our wine shop South African Wine Store or directly by emailing Ella or Marcelle in our tasting room at winery@avontuurestate.co.za