The Franschhoek Wine Valley plays host to the annual Shiraz and Charcuterie Festival held at the stunning Anthonij Rupert Wyne, and a few weekends ago my spicy other half and I pencilled in this particular Saturday for some alone time to catch up on the bits of life we miss during the busy week.
Predicting what the weather is going to be like at this time of year is anybody’s guess and we were caught off guard with high temperatures, which meant I could have arrived in shorts and T-shirt (a smart one), but alas the jeans were sticking to my legs in what was meant to be a winter weekend!
But there was wine… and it was my favourite varietal… Shiraz.
And what is a damn fine pairing with Shiraz? Well, charcuterie of course.
For some reason life tends to slow down as you approach the decadence that is pictured above. Shiraz wine with alluring notes of spice and dark fruits – pairs perfectly with charcuterie – salamis, cured hams, flavoured chorizos.
The Hungarian manning this stand was very proud of his wares and so he should be, from pancetta to salami of numerous varieties, it was a meaty delight!
A lavish Anthonij Rupert Wyne Harvest Table, adorned with fresh seasonal salads, homemade Truffle arancini, estate olives, jalapenos, creamy tomato soup and pulled Moroccan lamb shoulder pitas tempted us to fill our stomachs (and not a bad idea given the amount of “tasters” we were enjoying!
Other delicious tummy fillers on offer were cheese boards and huge pork pies.
We enjoyed our lunch while relaxing on the grass, embracing the sweet relief of the shade provided by some autumn shrubbery, pairing our pita’s with a sumptuous 2017 Shiraz from Holden Manz.
This is my biggest fan, looking more delighted than when we initially arrived!
This was my first visit to the Shiraz & Charcuterie festival and I was pleasantly surprised to note that, while there were a number of people ambling about, it didn’t feel overcrowded.
Everyone, well nearly everyone, was civilised, and tastings were conducted in an orderly manner, bar the odd flirtatious comment thrown about as the wine flowed (not by me!)
The day was perfect – well aside from unexpected heat wave causing my sweat glands to do a double take! The setting certainly couldn’t be beat.
True to form the Anthonij Rupert 2013 Shiraz was deliciously full bodied with a mesmerizing cigar box spice that almost immediately transported me to a spontaneous braai we hosted a few years back where cigars were being puffed in front of the warm braai on a slightly chilly December evening.
There are always a few wines that stand out from the crowd, and we found one at La Motte where we met winemaker Edmund who shared some insights into his 2016 Pierneef Syrah Viognier.
With wine enthusiasts abuzz, I relished in the opportunity to taste the Shiraz and Syrah offerings of a number of wine producers and make comparisons, from medium bodied fruitier shiraz to the heavy hitters, the spectrum was well represented.
Another legend was the proprietor of the wine farm pictured above, Mark. I came to understand that Keermont follow a ‘natural and traditional’ winemaking philosophy which means that there is no adjustment to alcohol or acid, no filtration, bottling by hand etc which I found interesting. An outstanding 2014 Syrah.
After some time relaxing in the shade we made a call to leave with a sober mind and good memories and head back in to Franschhoek.
I really loved all the wine farms that were generous with their Shiraz pourings letting guests appreciate the nuances in this idyllic setting.
Aside from those farms already mentioned we were able to sample the Shiraz delights of Tokara, Waterford Estate, MAN Family Wines, Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, Stark-Conde Wines, Tamboeskloof Wines, Bon Courage Wine Estate, Boschkloof Wines, Eagles Nest Wines, Ernie Else Wines, Hartenberg Wine Estate and Leeuwenkuil.
An impressive line up indeed!
The annual Shiraz & Charcuterie Festival, takes place at the picturesque Anthonij Rupert Wyne in Franschhoek annually on a Saturday in May (11am to 4pm) It makes for the perfect late Autumn outing, combining some of the country’s finest Shiraz wines paired with charcuterie from artisanal producers.
Be sure to mark your calendars for the 2020 event. Pre-booking is essential as tickets are limited and usually sold out quickly. Your ticket, (which cost R295 per person in 2019) includes entry as well as tastings of the wines on show.
Book directly via www.webtickets.co.za.
Images: Kathryn Rossiter