Photo caption: John Seccombe (Throne & Daughters), Matthew Copeland (Vondeling Wines), Jacques du Plessis (Oak Valley), Abrie Beeslaar (Kanonkop), Duncan Savage (Savage Wines), Chris Keet (Keet Wines), Donovan Rall (Rall Wines), Sjaak Nelson (Jordan Wines), Warren Ellis (Niel Ellis Wines), Christiana von Arnim (CEO of Warwick Wine Estate). SEATED: Sophia Warner (founding CEO of Pebbles Project), Rudi Schultz (Thelema Mountain Vineyards) and Rudger van Wyk (Stark-Condé Wines).
The ‘Authentic Fine Wine Experience’ series of Platter’s by Diners Club SA Wine Guide 5-Star wine tastings, proudly presented by Wine Village Hermanus & The Liz McGrath Collection not only celebrated the wines with this prestigious accolade, but was another display of the industry’s selfless and charitable spirit.
Focusing on the finest of South African winemaking, these tastings presented a rare opportunity to experience several curated tastings from the 2021 Platter’s 5-star wine guide.
The aim was to bring to light these rare and magnificent wines and celebrate the 5-star rated status while generating awareness of the producers as well as the upcoming vintages. “The South African wine events calendar is in desperate need of a kickstart, and we felt this is the perfect vehicle,” says Johan Sadie from The Wine Village in Hermanus.
Envisioning a series of events presented by distinguished independent persons from the wine industry, each evening exclusively served 5-Star wines from the 2021 Platter’s Collection.
The winemaker/owner of each wine had the opportunity to present their wine and answer follow-on questions from the audience — an excellent opportunity to bring depth and background to the tastings. Canapés and 2021 Platter’s 5-star wines were served afterwards in a social format.
The first tasting was held on 25 September 2021 in Hermanus. “It was an enormous success with guest traveling from far and wide to attend,” said Johan. The guest speaker, Emile Joubert of Media Vision, regaled guests on the history of SA wine, the importance of supporting the local wine industry and how significant and important the Platter’s Wine Guide was to express our wines to a global community of wine lovers.
The tasting also hosted a Rare Wine Auction. A total of 20 lots of wines went on auction and gave guests an opportunity to acquire rare Platter’s Wine Guide 5-Star wines and at the same time raise funds for the Pebbles Project. Pebbles Project is a well-known NGO that aims to educate and enrich the lives of the children of the Cape Winelands farming communities.
During the first tasting the following wines made their unveiling: Flight 1: Beaumont Family Wines: Chenin Blanc Hope Marguerite 2019, Alheit Vineyards: Chenin Blanc Nautical Dawn 2019, David & Nadia: Chenin Blanc Hoë-Steen 2019, Stellenrust: Chenin Blanc Barrel Ferment 55 2019. Flight 2: Kleine Zalze Wines: Grenache Noir Amphora (Project Z) 2017, AA Badenhorst Family Wines: Grenache Noir Raaigras 2019, Mischa Estate: Grenache Noir Estate Limited Edition 2018, Lourens Family Wines: Grenache Noir Lua Ilse 2019. Flight 3: Restless River: Cabernet Sauvignon Main Road & Dignity 2017, Rust en Vrede Wine Estate: Cabernet Sauvignon Single Vineyard 2017, De Trafford Wines: Cabernet Sauvignon Estate 2017 and Tokara: Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2017
This is what some of the winemakers had to say:
Andrew Barnes – Mischa Estate: “Thank you very much for including us in the 5-star tasting. It was a great honour to be amongst so many big names and great wines. I really appreciate you guys putting the event together, there have been very few high-quality events of late. So, well done on putting on such a good show.”
David Trafford – De Trafford Wines.“Thanks so much for hosting this and your support for our wines and the wine industry at large. Your efforts are much appreciated. I enjoyed the brief trip to Hermanus and being part of such a special event after 18 months of near hibernation! Keep up the good work.”
Anne & Craig Wessels – Restless River Wines: “We are glad that the event was well received and proud to have our wines represented. Thank you for including our wines and for the exposure.”
Berene Sauls – Tesselaarsdal Wines: “The tasting flights were stellar, starting with same vintage Chenin blanc’s from the likes of our producing area through to Stellenbosch and ending with Cabernet Sauvignon in the same manner. Added bonus was the winemaker’s presentation on their irrespective vintages, wine style and vision.”
At the Cellars-Hohenort Hotel in Constantia, guest speaker Cathy van Zyl (MW) told the crowd how she started her wine journey on a bicycle asking her husband to ride South Africa’s famed Argus Cycle Tour with her. He accepted on the condition that she attends a wine course with him. The rest is history.
She has since notched up more than 20 Cycle Tours and gone on to pass the Master of Wine examination. Cathy judges locally and internationally, is the current chair of the Institute of Masters of Wine’s education committee as well as the most-recently elected member of its Council, and spends most of her wine-time as associate editor of the Platter’s Wine Guide.
In the line-up for the evening were three flights of 1) Chardonnay 2) White Blends and 3) Bordeux-Style Reds. Respectively presented by Duncan Savage from Savage Wines, John Seccombe from Thorne & Daughters, Chris Keet from Keet Wines, Rudi Schultz from Thelema Mountain Vineyards, Abrie Beeslaar from Kanonkop, Matthew Copeland from Vondeling Wines, Jacques du Plessis from Oak Valley Estate and Christiana von Arnim from Warwick Wine Estate.