Commanderie de Cape Town


The great and the good of SA wine rolled into central Cape Town last night for a heritage dinner of the Commanderie de Bordeaux held at the Taj Hotel. A stone’s thrown from Parliament – to coin a most inappropriate phrase in the run up to the national election next month – and more importantly, the Company’s Garden where Hendrik Boom, the VOC’s master gardener, tended the first vines imported by his boss, the Commander Jan van Riebeeck. 

cdbdx 615x461 Commanderie de Cape Town

The timing was no accident as this is the week started by Van Riebeeck Day, commemorated in Boksburg by volkspele when I was at school in the Old South Africa and loudly ignored today. So its really quite odd that we have a French society as the peak of SA wine finesse when rather than a Commandeur, perhaps it is a Commander we should be celebrating. After all, it was Dutch wine merchants who drained the marshes of Bordeaux and established the wine style so fervently celebrated last night.

One of the new Commandeurs was Wynand Retief whose four cousins brand is arguably the most successful in SA. Other new boys included Conrad Vlok from Standveld Vineyards, Johann Fourie from KWV, Cobus Joubert patriarch of the Joubert jongens from Barrydale, Joakim Hansi Blackadder, sommelier to the stars at Rust en Vrede, David Trafford whose Malgas Syrahs are a marvel and Jeanette Bruwer from Springfield in Robertson.

STARTER
WESKUS SMOORSNOEK TERRINE
Strandveld Adamastor 2010
MAIN
BRAISED LAMB, TOMATO JUS, PUMPKIN MOUSSE AND SLAPHAKSKEENTJIES
Rupert & Rothschild Baron Edmond 2009
DESSERT
CAPE BRANDY PUDDING, MILKTART ICE CREAM, WILDEBEEST KASTAIINGS
De Wetshof Edeloes 2006
FRESHLY BREWED COFFEE AND TEA

Dinner (the menu, above) was a triumph of boerekos and carriages arrived at 9h30. Quite a far cry from those wine dinners from two or three centuries ago. Like the one mentioned by Lady Anne Barnard in her diary when events got so raucous, she had to hide behind the curtains of the Groot Constantia manor house.


 
 
 
 
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