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Stellenbosch Wine Route visits Johannesburg

For the fifth consecutive year, Stellenbosch's legendary wines, together with five gourmet chefs, travelled to Johannesburg to share their magic at Summer Place, writes Cape Wine Master Marilyn Cooper.

On arrival at Summer Place, guests were greeted with a selection of sparkling wines (all method Cap Classique) while 47 wine producers, both established and new, each chose two of their special wines to showcase.

The wines were set out by cultivar (variety), i.e. all the Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah etc.

Each of the varieties were then paired with a speciality dish created by one of the celebrity Stellenbosch-based chefs.

Tanja Kruger from Makaron Restaurant created Terrine of Paradyskloof quail and guinea fowl, butternut meebos and crispy quinoa.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is very “in” at the moment, and you can find it at speciality food shops. Being gluten free and high in fibre it is very healthy and a good substitute for boring carbs.

This dish went perfectly with the Le Bonheur Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, which has been made from the oldest Sauvignon blanc vines in the region. Delicious on its own too!

Chardonnay, being made in so many varied styles, from unwooded or lightly wooded to heavily wooded full bodied,
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is particularly difficult to match, but Delaire Graff Restaurant's
Christiaan Campbell
managed the feat effortlessly.

Christiaan paired the Chardonnay with salmon trout tartare fritter, cauliflower "risotto" and smoked trout roe - the kind of dish you want to rush home and try to make yourself. Particularly popular with all those on the Banting diet!

Chardonnay   Overture , one of my favourite restaurants and a must visit every time we venture to the Cape, is of course where you find Bertus Basson constantly refining wine and food matching with this 3/5/7 course gourmet meals.

Matching Shiraz and Pinotage, he served crisp potato, corned fatty beef brisket, chives and horseradish cream.

It was indeed wonderful with the Pinotages, both with the lighter style like Delheim and the five star, full bodied Kanonkop.

Ever popular Michael Broughton from Terroir (Kleine Zalza) produced Beef Wellington with truffle sauce and peas; a very robust dish to be paired with Cabernet Sauvignon and Red Blends.

I tried it with the lighter-style Guardian Peak Summit, as well as the special Hartenberg The Mackenzie 2008 and both paired extremely well.

Waterkloof's Gregory Czarnecki also paired his braised lamb stuffed with bone marrow with Cabernet and blends. The restaurant is situated just outside Somerset West, high up on the mountain, and has the best view of False Bay in the Cape.

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Waterkloof has a set menu, matching their wines with five dishes - definitely worth a visit!

A wide selection of cheeses tempted us outside where we were entertained by Amazink All stars, a band from Kayamandi township, Stellenbosch.

Blaauwklippen's unusual Noble Late Harvest made from Zinfandel and personal favourite Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest paired well with the stronger cheeses.

At the end of the evening we finally tasted some old favourite brandies - the 12-year-old Van Ryn's (R731), which I prefer even to the older 15 year old, and Blaauwklippen Potstilled 10-year-old Brandy (R450).

Stellenbosch at Summer Place was a wonderful evening of fine food, wine, art from the Sanlam Art collection and ethnic music, a must for all connoisseurs in Johannesburg next year.

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