De Wetshof Celebrates The Chardonnay Icons Of South Africa


To those who say no to Chardonnay, prepare to be amazed. The 2018 Chardonnay Celebration at De Wetshof Wine Estate in Robertson proved that the varietal comes in a broad range of styles, prices and levels of sweetness to appeal to a wide variety of South African and foreign palates.

The bi-annual Chardonnay Celebration is a wine event unlike any other. There’s nothing quite like this exclusive, behind-the-scenes immersion into the award-winning vineyards, wines, and viticulture communities of South African Chardonnay. It blends the country’s premium wines, world-class culinary scene and immersive wine education and information into a day that absolutely overflows with fun and pizzazz.

This year’s guest speaker was Steven Spurrier, a wine writer, critic, consultant and all-round respected wine icon. He opened the formalities with a quote from British Master Sommelier Ronan Sayburn, who said:

“Flavour-wise, Chardonnay is the chicken of the wine world – a blank canvas than winemakers are free to write upon. To oak, to semi-oak or not to oak at all; to follow partial or full malolactic fermentation or to add richness and texture by lees stirring. All these and more are factors a wine-maker has to consider.”

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Steven Spurrier

After providing the audience with a feast of food for thought, it was over to the wine-tasting itself. Twelve winemaking legends presented a room full of wine fundis with their top Chardonnays.

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Three of the wine icons – Jan Boland Coetzee, Simon Barlow and Danie de Wet

The twelve Chardonnay Icons showcased the following wines:

Peter Finlayson – Bouchard Finlayson Missionvale 2016

Jeanette Bruwer – Springfield Methode Ancienne 2016

Gary Jordan – Jordan 9 Yards 2015

Andrew Gunn – Iona Chardonnay 2013

Carl Schultz – Hartenberg The Eleanor 2016

Jan Boland Coetzee – Vriesenhof Chardonnay 2012

Simon Barlow – Rustenberg Five Soldiers 2017

Danie de Wet – De Wetshof Bateleur 2016

Anthony Hamilton Russell – Hamilton Russel Chardonnay 2015

Kevin Grant – Ataraxia Chardonnay 2016

Boela Gerber – Groot Constantia Chardonnay 2017

Neil Ellis – White Hall Chardonnay 2015

After the wine tasting, guests made their way to the marquee tent, where they were treated to a selection of the finest Chardonnays, paired with a variety of small plates, prepared by Slippery Spoon.

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Each food station had a selection of canapes, paired with a selection of chardonnays.

 

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Asian style steamed Bitterballen.

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Emul Ross, the winemaker at Hamilton Russell, Izelle van Blerk, the winemaker at KWV (The Mentors) and Mark Norrish from Ultra Liquors.

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Myself and Thinus Neethling, the winemaker at Chamonix

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The Media – Lucille Botha from Landbouweekblad, Trudie Webb from wine.co.za, Suzaan Potgieter from Burger Versnit and
Samantha van den Berg from LandbouBurger.

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Last but not least, big thanks to all the staff who kept our glass and tummies full!