THE sixth Wine Plus programme – now a firm favourite of the dynamic Hermanus FynArts festival – takes a few new turns this year.
Although each of the seven presentations is a well-worth stand-alone, the complete series is designed to bolster the overall theme of 2019: a closer look at the tasting pleasures of fine wine.
This year Wine Plus has a new home and date slot. The presentations shift toward the end of the festival, from Thursday, June 13 to Sunday, 15, as a kind of ‘wine long weekend’.
The venue is new: The Wine Glass in the centre of town is finely-tuned to those pleasures we anticipate, and, with time slots of 11a.m. and 5p.m., geared to provide sustenance from their popular menu.
Responding to requests from previous Wine Plus fans, and bearing in mind the arts festival rationale of FynArts, presentations will be finer tuned to provide patrons with instructive direction during the tasting-talks.
Exploring the theme – the tasting pleasures of the fine art of wine – will involve a little educational next to the super samples that will be poured. The idea is to provide those not too familiar with the how and what with an introduction and guide of tasting and joy of wine today.
To provide a glimpse on just how exciting contemporary South African wine is, the programme will offer ‘snapshots’ of three of today’s newsworthy regions and three varietal wines that define our unique winelands.
Wine Plus is curated for its sixth iteration by Melvyn Minnaar, who was honoured last year by Veritas for his contribution to SA wine. Presenters comprise some of the movers and shakers in contemporary local wine.
To start the series, who better than our own international Master of Wine, Cathy van Zyl? She returns from judging a few global competitions to share her passion in the first introductory tasting labelled “Discovering the Pleasure” on Thursday, 13th. Her choice of eight wines include from the reinvented classics to the thrill of the new.
Later that afternoon Bevan Newton Johnson of the well-known wine family will join Cathy van Zyl to present their selection of the super stars in A Snapshot of Hemel-en-Aarde. Once again expect the unusual and the well-known.
Friday, 14th, two other regions are given a good look through its wines.
A Snapshot of Constantia in the morning will bring Boela Gerber, celebrated winemaker at Groot Constantia, and his regional colleagues Danna de Jongh of Constantia Uitsig and Brad Paton of Buitenverwachting together with super eight wines.
For A Snapshot of the Swartland, the international-acclaimed winemaking team Chris and Andrea Mullineux have selected wines from the likes of David & Nadia, JC Wickens, The Sadie Family, AA Badenhorst and themselves.
Saturday, 15th, the tasting-talks focus on two of South Africa’s standout individual varietals.
Celebrating, as it turns out, International Chenin Blanc Day, A Snapshot of Chenin Blanc brings Alastair Rimmer, cellarmaster at Kleine Zalze, to the morning session. Supported by the SA Chenin Blanc Association, expect showstoppers.
The latter too will feature when Mr Pinotage himself, Beyers Truter presents A Snapshot of Pinotage in the afternoon session. Supported by the SA Pinotage Association, he will show regional styles and age ability.
Wine Plus concludes on a fitting sparkling note on Sunday morning, June 16 with the now traditional bubbly presentation. MCC master Pieter Ferreira is joined for A Snapshot of Méthode Cap Classique by Paul Gerber of Colmant to showcase the latest in the best. Supported by the Cap Classique Producers’ Association.
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Boela Gerber, cellarmster Groot Constantia