News

Winemaker prepares for new Summer wine releases

Winemaker Jan van Rooyen is hard at work in the cellar to get the next vintages out for the summer season,  and the new wines are already either at the bottling stage or labelled and just waiting to be released.

After the successful recent release of the Luna de Miel Chardonnay Reserve 2016, the rich and full-bodied Dominion Royale Shiraz Reserve 2014, was next.  

Also waiting in the wings is the 2017 Pinot Noir/Chardonnay and the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, which will sport the next diamond-shaped label for the first time. Both of these are perfect for outdoor enjoyment on a sunny day!

Last but not least, we are so excited to share a brand-new, first-for-Avontuur natural sweet dessert wine with visitors. The 2017 Above Royalty this time is a Viognier and already a firm favourite with all of those lucky enough to get a taste.

 

Spring has sprung with foals galore

August and September are when most of our gorgeous foals are born, and Pippa and her team have been kept so busy with these arrivals, it’s hard to keep up!

We regularly update the new progeny  with pics on our Stud page – visit http://www.avontuurestate.co.za/blood-stock/foals-2017/ to see more. 

Pretty soon they will have grown enough to show off in the paddocks close to the winery, and equine lovers are then welcome to visit and enjoy!  For now they’re sticking close to their dams, and getting more independent and active daily.

 

“Nothing is going as quick as Miss Frankel”

This commentary at the race in Scottsville yesterday pretty much sums up our favourite girl’s performance when she ran away from the field in the 1000m under the capable management of Anton Marcus, who gave her free rein to show her stuff!

What a wonderful day for all of us at Avontuur, who believed in her throughout!  Can’t wait to see more of that stride!  Check the video here…

The replay of MISS FRANKEL's win in South Africa. She just made my day.BUT NOTHING IS GOING AS QUICK AS MISS FRANKEL

Posted by Jess Samy on Wednesday, 23 August 2017

And here’s some of the post-race interviews and discussions:

https://youtu.be/sFB4NdSrGWk

 

 

Legal Eagle soars at Equus Awards 2017

South Africa’s national racing and breeding awards were held at the Convention Centre at Emperor’s Palace in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening.

Champion Legal Eagle – top of the pops

The Equus Awards are dubbed Horseracings ‘Oscars’ and acknowledge excellence in a variety of equine and human categories.

Legal Eagle, the Avontuur-bred Greys Inn gelding was a popular choice as Horse Of The Year for the second consecutive season. The Sean Tarry trained 6yo gelding achieved back-to-back wins in the Gr1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and Gr1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes. He also won the Gr2 Green Point Stakes and ran second in the Gr1 Sun Met and Gr1 Premier’s Champions Challenge. He also clinched the awards of Champion Miler and Champion Older Male.

To continue the “Avontuur” theme, one of our sponsored jockeys Lyle Hewitson was crowned Champion Apprentice Jockey of the Year – which was just the cherry on top!

EQUUS AWARDS 2016-2017

HORSE OF THE YEAR
Legal Eagle

CHAMPION 2YO COLT:
Mustaaqeem

CHAMPION 2YO FILLY:
Lady In Black

CHAMPION 3YO COLT:
Edict Of Nantes

CHAMPION 3YO FILLY:
Just Sensual

CHAMPION OLDER MALE:
Legal Eagle

CHAMPION OLDER FILLY/MARE:
Carry On Alice

CHAMPION SPRINTER (1000 – 1200m; age/gender immaterial):
Carry On Alice

CHAMPION MILER (1400 – 1600; age/gender immaterial):
Legal Eagle

CHAMPION MIDDLE DISTANCE (1800 – 2200; age/gender immaterial):
Whisky Baron

CHAMPION STAYER (2400m and up; age/gender immaterial):
Hermoso Mundo

Story courtesy of Sporting Post

Legal Eagle makes it a treble at Breeders Awards

Last night’s glamorous affair near Stellenbosch was a fantastic event for the Avontuur team as Avontuur-bred Legal Eagle was awarded three top spots in the awards list.

He was the Cape Breeders winner in the Middle Distance category, the Older Male category and the Horse of the Year category!

What an achievement for this fantastic athlete and congratulations to all involved, including our own Stud Farm team who bred him.

Var is Champion sire for 2 year olds!

The first of August was an auspicious day for Avontuur Stud Farm as the great news arrived that Var is the SA Champion Sire of two year olds for the season 2016/17.

As GM Pippa Mickleburgh says:  “We have never ever had a stallion win this title on Avontuur before so it is a testament to everyone’s belief that our boy would eventually do it for us.” She also commented on the late owner, Tony Taberer’s confidence that the stallion would come through for the farm and SA, and that he had the foresight to purchase this incredible horse all those years ago.

The cherry on top is that Avontuur’s second stallion Oratorio finished up as the leading first season sire on % winners to runners, which is an awesome start to the big O’s South African career after  such an outstanding record overseas. 

Everyone was enjoying a glass or two of Avontuur’s own MCC earlier today and revelling in the good news with the Stud team.  But, as Pippa says wryly, “ We’re all absolutely thrilled with the news and it deserves a party but today also marks the start of the next racing season; all statistics begin again!”

We believe our two outstanding sires will keep on delivering the good stats and we wish everyone well for the next season.

 

Tutored Tasting in August has health theme

Thousands of words have been written about the health aspects of responsible wine consumption. 

 

Ranging from the benefits of the so-called Mediterranean diet to the positive reactions of heart patients when exposed to red wine as well as the relaxation properties of a glass of wine with a meal, wine lovers have always believed in the positive aspects of their favourite tipple.

 

Avontuur Estate winemaker Jan van Rooyen will climb into the ring with a tutored tasting in the cosy Estate Tasting Room on Saturday 12 August from 11h00-12h30, with the theme:  “Myth versus Fact:  Does wine have carbs?”

 

These regular interactive tastings have become popular as they are not only the perfect way to be exposed to Avontuur’s award-winning wines, but also aim to educate whilst entertaining.  The cost is R100 pp which includes the tasting and a light lunch with a glass of wine.

 

Only 20 seats are available and bookings are essential at winery@avontuurestate.co.za or +27 21 855-3450.

 

Avontuur sires in the running for top spots!

The 2016-2017 season is fast drawing to a close in the Southern Hemisphere, and champion sires will soon be crowned.  Both Var and Oratorio are in the running and we are holding thumbs for good results.

Var has enjoyed a remarkable run with his 2yos and the son of Forest Wildcat looks on course to end Captain Al’s eight year reign. Var, whose juveniles have earned R2.45 million, has been represented by 20 individual juvenile winners thus far, headed by Gr2 Durban Golden Horseshoe winner, Purple Diamond, and Gr1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion runner up, Varallo.

With two major 2yo races yet to be run, the first crop sires title appears to lie among What A Winter, Oratorio, and Twice Over. What A Winter is the leading first crop sire by stakes winners (3) and by prize money, with Oratorio and What A Winter being joint leading first crop sires by individual winners –the pair have eight apiece.

 

Story courtesy of Sporting Post.

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.