Annandale Wines


Our Spitmaster friend was working at Annandale Wine Farm the other night and invited us to come along for the festivities.  An evening of food, wine and entertainment.  This particular evening’s menu included pork necks on the spit – amazing, delicious – wow!  
The entertainment was a band, a comedian and some old school guys chatting about rugby and stuff.  Some folk were on the edge of their seats, but I’ve had a lot of rugby this year and tuned out a little.  The comedian was hilarious and the band was pretty fun with a whole Country music vibe going on.  All in all, a lovely evening under the stars, out in the winelands, delicious food, great wine, live entertainment and fantastic company!  
Check out Annandale’s website to find out when their next event is.

Annandale farm is the oldest farm in the Helderberg Valley and both the manor house and cellar built in the 1700’s remain on the estate today.  It is a smaller, quaint and unassuming wine farm with a homely (bit dusty, probably a few spiders) cellar where you can do tastings.  The wines are of a high standard and most reds have been well aged in barrels before being bottled.  
The owner and winemaker “Oom” Hempies du Toit is an ex Sprinbok rugby player and fifth generation Huguenot winemaker.  He actually grew up on the Alto Wine Estate and him and his father won many awards for the Alto Cab Savs as well as the Alto Rouge blend for which the farm is so well known.   
If you get the chance to meet him when you are next there for a tasting you will see the passion and pride he has for his work and wines. 

We started the evening with a bottle of the Annandale Cavalier 2004For only R100, it was really really great!  A Bordeaux style blend with rich, dark fruits and a Cab Sav earthiness.  Full bodied and intense, but beautifully soft and smoothed over time after having spent eight years in French barrels.  A lovely start to the evening with some cheese, potbrood and fig preserves. 

Between acts we were sitting in the quaint cellar which boasts a Sprinkbok blazer, a few Magnum Alto Rouge bottles and really feels like someone’s personal cellar in their home.  While there, Oom Hempies opened a bottle of their Annandale – CVP Port for us to try, a dark fruit port with Christmas pudding fruit and spice flavours.  Very enjoyable.

Later on the evening we were lucky enough to enjoy a bottle of the Royal Chalbert Merlot 2005.  Being a family friend of Princess Charlene of Monaco, Oom Hempies was asked if he would supply some of the wine for the Royal wedding.  The name of the wine obviously coming from “Charlene” and “Albert” and the vintage being significant to the year in which the couple started dating (although they only went public in 2006).  Hempies chose stock, which had not yet been bottled but had spent 6 years in French Oak, to produce this wine.  Only 1,000 bottles were made.  
The wine is really good!  Typical rich berry flavours of a Merlot, smoothed out and softened gracefully with time.  The wine was available for purchase at the Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks (the venue of the second wedding reception in South African) and obviously at Annandale wine farm, but I am not sure where else you can currently buy it. 

Great evening in the winelands!

Annandale Road, Stellenbosch
Tel:  +27 21 881 3560 


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