News – Page 3

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

 

Q & A with our winemaker

With another harvest behind us and the grapes safely in the cellar, our winemaker Jan van Rooyen shares some of his thoughts for the future in a Q & A session.

  1. Tell us a little bit about the vineyards and progress there?

I’m really happy with the work we’re doing on our Pinot Noir vineyards as they are planted on a great south-facing slope closest to the sea, which just screams quality.  I also personally love Pinot Noir, so it is a treat to work with these grapes.

The small block of Petit Verdot (1 ha) is destined to become an integral part of our flagship Bordeaux-style blend, the Baccarat for which I always strive to get the best grapes possible.  Basically the better this grape is, the better our blends will be. 

This brings me to our “bread-and-butter” line, the Cabernet/Merlot, which will eventually possibly  feature a little “injection” of Shiraz to add some complexity.   Although you don’t want to mess with a winning recipe, one can always improve!

The Viognier has been coming along for about three years now and it’s already playing a positive albeit tiny role in some of the whites eg the Luna de Miel Chardonnay Reserve and the Sarabande Sauvignon Blanc Reserve.  Further evolution could include the use of Viognier in our top reds as well.

  1. I believe there’s a new dessert wine in the offing?

One of the exciting new products planned for this year is the Natural Sweet Viognier which will be released under the Above Royalty label.  We were lucky enough to bring in a wonderfully healthy ripe Viognier for the 2017 vintage and with our flexible approach to the dessert wine product line, we would bottle it as a natural dessert wine to replace the current fortified Liqueur Wine which is nearly sold out.

  1. You are phasing in the new Estate labels. How do you feel about them?

The new packaging with its distinctive diamond shape is simple and modern and suits the wines we’re planning to make this year and over the next few years.  The label has been received very well in trade and we love the elegance and clarity of the design. 

  1. Update us on the progress made with the Pinot Noir Chardonnay Blend.

From its inception as the Vintner’s Blend, this wine has been a winner.  Three years ago we decided to include it in the Estate range and add some quality elements to it, which has paid off.  This is an exciting wine to work with as it’s evolving all the time, and it’s great to see wine consumers enjoying it too.  The signature has been established and it’s coming more and more into its own with every new vintage.

  1. Avontuur is doing a lot of work to promote Cabernet Franc amongst wine lovers. What is your take on this varietal?

I am proud to announce that we have now been making a single varietal Cabernet Franc at Avontuur for 21 years!   The first one was produced in 1996 and was mentioned in the 1998 Platter’s.  Our 2014 is being released and it’s a fruity wine with fine tannins, elegance and that typical “fynbos” character always prevalent in our Cab Francs.  This year sees the third Cab Franc Carnival sponsored by Avontuur Estate and it’s growing every year, although we do try to keep it niche and upmarket to suit our farm and intimate family-orientated approach.

  1. Pinotage is our “national” grape. What do you think about the Avontuur version?

With new plantings coming nicely into their own our Pinotage is a quality product with a loyal fan club who support it throughout.  I would love to “play” a bit with the style as the diversity of Pinotage is becoming quite a driver in the category and the grape lends itself to experimentation, always keeping to our Estate positioning though.

Pippa Mickleburgh – Emperor’s Sale video

Pippa chatted about the yearlings for Friday’s Emperor’s Palace Select Sale.

 

The Emperor’s Palace Select Yearling Sale takes place on Friday, 21 April and we have three classy yearlings who will leave the farm on Sunday to take the long road north.

Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh is happy with the draft planned for this prestigious event.  “We have a half-brother to sprint queen Val de Ra called Cue the Music by Oratorio out of Minelli and a Var colt called Cizeron out of champion race mare Sarabande who’s spectacular colouring sets him apart, over and above his athletic ability.  We found a lovely pic of him and his dam which we’ve used with this story but today he’s obviously a fully grown handsome young man,” she says.

“Finally we are proud of a superb Oratorio colt called Dickens out of Classique Story,  who is a stakes producing- and winning mare.”

To see more of the yearlings have a look at our Stud Sales pages or click here:   Sales 2017

The yearlings will be available for viewing from the 18th and we hope to welcome our supporters at this important sale. 

Harvest 2017 successfully completed

It’s been a busy, hot and dry harvest with increased yield coming into the cellar in spite of the negative outcomes initially expected by the industry.  Winemaker Jan van Rooyen and the vineyard and cellar teams have been going basically non-stop since mid-January and it was with a huge cheer that the last bins were delivered safely to the cellar last Monday.

Harvest team 2017 celebrate the end of the harvest!

Three colts set for Emperor’s Sale

Visit our sales page on this site to see more about the three colts (2 Oratorios and a Var) who are set for the first of the big Gauteng sales at Emperor’s Palace on 21 April.  http://www.avontuurestate.co.za/stud/sales2017