Wine News

From time to time I receive press releases regarding winelands news, I’ve summarised them on this page for your perusal (and so they aren’t confused with my blogging rambles).

Cape Winemakers Guild hails 30th Auction of exceptional wines
 – 04 June 2014

The annual Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction, the South African wine industry showcase of rare, outstanding wines with creative flair and great diversity, celebrates its 30th milestone on Saturday, 4 October this year.Lineage of auction bottles over 30 years LRBenchmarking winemaking excellence with wines of remarkable lineage and enduring quality, crafted in small volumes exclusively for the auction by members of the Guild; this year’s auction will see the culmination of three decades of winemaking prowess.
Open to private buyers from the outset, the first Guild auction was held in Johannesburg on Saturday, 7 September 1985 just three years after the establishment of the Cape Independent Winemakers Guild as it was called then, by eight enthusiastic winemakers in the home of founding chairman Billy Hofmeyr, at Welgemeend in Paarl.
By 1985, membership had grown to 13 winemakers, whose very first auction wines constituted an impressive line-up of 18, all boasting the original Guild label.  The wines went under the gavel at the Rosebank Hotel at the hand of seasoned wine auctioneer and head of Sotheby’s wine department in London, UK Master of Wine David Molyneux-Berry. The most expensive wine, a 12-bottle case of Blaauwklippen Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1982 by winemaker Walter Finlayson was sold for R180. Next up were Vriesenhof 1982 Cabernet Sauvignonby Jan Boland Coetzee, Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon 1981 by Beyers Truter, and Rustenburg Cabernet Sauvignon 1980 by Etienne le Riche all fetching the second highest price of R150 per case.
Today, in comparison, the Guild has 45 members representing the pinnacle of South African winemaking and the annual auction has grown in stature from a niche event to the quintessential showcase of the country’s wine achievement. From its humble beginnings, the auction now boasts a line-up of 59 wines with record sales of over R8,4 million in 2013 and the highest price of R6 200 for a 6-bottle case of Hartenberg Auction Reserve Shiraz 2010.CWG Auction 2014 lR

”Molyneux-Berry’s involvement lent great credibility to our first auctions. As a Master of Wine and renowned British wine auctioneer, he was very knowledgeable, but also very formal,” recalls Johan Malan, whose first Guild Auction wine in 1985 was a 1982 Chardonnay, one of the country’s first from a small vineyard at Simonsig.
Molyneux-Berry would preside over the first seven Guild Auctions all held in Johannesburg.In 1988, renowned art auctioneer, Stephan Welz, teamed up with Sotheby’s to host the auction. Nedbank American Express sponsored the last two Johannesburg auctions in 1990 and 1991.

“We needed a platform to showcase the premium, top end wines which were produced by Guild members at a time when the big wine merchants had so much power and control over the market place making it difficult for small, independent wine producers to expose their ground breaking quality wines to a local and international audience,” adds Malan.

Peter Finlayson agrees: “There was serious concern at the extreme hold over private producers by the larger wine companies and members recognised the potential and marketing opportunity of a dedicated auction open to the public.”
For Etienne le Riche the early auctions were all about elevating the standing of the Guild and setting new standards of excellence for South African wines: “We wanted to make our mark in the industry and the auction would be our mouthpiece.”

Walter Finlayson, who managed the Guild’s first six auctions, recalls the nervous anticipation leading up to the first one and describes the bidding process as “very exciting”: “The demand for wines sold on the auction was much the same as today – mainly red varieties and blends such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Shiraz and Bordeaux-style blends. Wine selection was done by the members at a blind tasting and as auction convenor I tried to encourage members to offer a range of interesting wines from their cellars that were not available to the general public.

Magnums in particular were very popular at the time and three of the first auction wines, Vriesenhof 1982, Hamilton Russell Vineyards Grand Vin Noir 1983 and Delheim Grand Reserve 1982 were all sold in magnums.History in the making - 30 years of CWG auction wines LR

Back then the preceding auction week created a great sense of anticipation, with the golf day and Stephan Welz dinner drawing keen interest from local wine enthusiasts.

Jan Boland Coetzee remembers how initially all the pre-auction social activities could take place at Stephan Welz’s home in Johannesburg because there were so few members. Today still, the preceding auction week is a hive of activity with the Guild Sports Day where the public can join Guild members for a game of golf or boules, and gala dinners with the winemakers at various winery restaurants.

In 1992, the Guild Auction moved to Cape Town under the management of Robin Grier, late father of longstanding Guild member, Jeff Grier, with well-known South African wine personality, Dave Hughes, conducting the auction. For the next five years, the Michael James Organisation took charge of the auction before handing over the gavel in 1998 to the Guild’s current auctioneer, Henré Hablutzel of Hofmeyr Mills Auctioneers.
Keen to encourage exports and fill their empty containers, Safmarine became the Guild’s first sponsor, helping members to ship their wines to the United Kingdom through the London based marketing company, Southern Hemisphere Wines. Guild wines were even showcased at the London Wine Trade Fair during the early years. At the 1990 International Wine and Spirit Competition, eight Guild wines were awarded gold medals, the highest number attained by any one South African organisation participating in this prestigious competition at the time. In addition, the Guild brought home the Packaging Trophy for its Auction wine label.

1996 saw the start of a 19 year association with Nedbank, who became the official sponsor of the Cape Winemakers Guild and its auction. In 2000 the Guild changed its name from the Cape Independent Winemakers Guild to Cape Winemakers Guild, opening the door to prominent winemakers employed by the larger organisations to become Guild members.

During the 1990s, which heralded major transformation and the end of sanctions against South Africa, international buyers began showing an interest in the Guild Auction and by 1999, 50% of all the auction purchases came from overseas buyers.
Today the interest from local buyers exceeds the international contingent with over 80% of the total auction sales going to local bidders in 2013. Longstanding Auction supporter, Alan Pick of the Butcher Shop and Grill in Sandton, remains the auction’s top bidder with total purchases exceeding R12,1 million since buying his first Guild wines in 2000.

In the early 90s, items representing the collective efforts of Guild members were introduced for the first time to raise funds for various community charities including schools, hospitals and social welfare NGO’s. After 1999, all charity auction proceeds were managed by the newly established Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Development Trust in support of social development through education in wineland communities.

In 2006 the ground breaking Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme was established with the goal of bringing about transformation of the wine industry to ensure its long term health and sustainability by cultivating, nurturing and empowering promising individuals to become winemakers of excellence.

Under the auspices of the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Development Trust, the Protégé Programme gives aspirant winemakers the rare opportunity of working side by side with members of the Guild, all masters of their craft, during a three-year internship. The Guild also offers Billy Hofmeyr Agri Seta bursaries to final year Viticulture and Oenology students at Stellenbosch University and Elsenburg Agricultural College.

Since 1993, the Guild has raised over R8,8 million in aid of numerous development initiatives within the wine industry.
One winemaker's CWG auction evolution - Simonsig LR(1)The 30th annual Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction takes place on Saturday, 4 October 2014 at the Spier Conference Centre in Stellenbosch. The 2014 auction line-up can be tasted at Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction Showcases in Cape Town on Thursday, 21 August at the International Convention Centre (CTICC), and in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 27 August at the The Nedbank Atrium in Sandton. The Showcases are open to the public and tickets can be purchased via www.webtickets.co.za at R170.

To find out how you can purchase these rare and exclusive wines visit: www.capewinemakersguild.com, email info@capewinemakersguild.com or call:
Tel: +27 +21 852 0408.
Issued by:        GC Communications                  Contact: Gudrun Clark
Tel: +27 +21-462 0520                Email: gudrun@gc-com.co.za
On behalf of:    Cape Winemakers Guild Contact: Kate Jonker
Tel: +27 +21-852 0408                E-mail: kate@capewinemakersguild.com
_________________________________________________________________

Take your palate on a journey of discovery with Strandveld wines at Juliet Culinan Wine Festival
04 June 2014Strandveld - Adamastor 2012

Tuesday, 10 June & Wednesday 11 June 2014, 17h30 to 21h00, Summer Place, Hyde Park, Johannesburg
Discover a world of extraordinary cool climate wines from Strandveld Vineyards, Africa’s southernmost winery, at the Juliet Culinan Standard Bank Wine Festival on Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 -11 June at Summer Place in Hyde Park, Johannesburg.

Both the First Sighting, as well as the prestigious Strandveld wines from this exciting young Elim wine appellation will be part of the festival line-up where serious wine lovers can taste and buy some of the best vintages the South African vineyard has to offer.

Visitors will be treated to an exclusive pre-release showing of the Strandveld Adamastor 2012, a superb Bordeaux style Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend with excellent ageing potential. Full and creamy on the palate, it has beautiful oak flavours and a dry minerality on the aftertaste.
Also not to be missed are the Strandveld “Pofadderbos” Sauvignon Blanc 2013, the just released Strandveld Syrah 2010, the ever popular Strandveld The Navigator 2011, as well as the First Sighting Sauvignon Blanc 2013 and First Sighting Pinot Noir 2011.

Wine lovers topping up their glasses with Strandveld for the first time will definitely not be disappointed by the Sauvignon Blanc, which carries the stamp of approval from the highly regarded UK Master of Wine Jancis Robinson: “The decidedly cool Elim, near Cape Agulhas, is clearly capable of making notably fine Sauvignon Blanc.”

Tickets for the Juliet Culinan Standard Bank Wine Festival are available at www.webtickets.co.za, pre-booked R180 per person or R200 at the door. Tickets include a catalogue, unlimited tastings and a dish of the day prepared by Taste Explosion. More information on the festival available at www.julietcullinan.co.za.

Visitwww.strandveld.co.za, Facebook or follow @Strandveld on Twitter.
The GPS coordinates are 34 ° 39 ‘ 592 ” S; 19 ° 47 ‘ 268 ” E.
Issued by:         GC Communications                  On behalf of:    Strandveld Vineyards
Contact: Clarissa du Plessis                                 Contact:            Jackie Rabe
Tel: 021-462 0520                                                  Email: clarissa@gc-com.co.za
_____________________________________________________________________

Fleur du Cap wines meet exotic salts at Angela Day Kitchen

 – 21 May 2014

Unique salt and wine experience – Wednesday, 28 May 2014, Randburg Salt Aficionado Craig Cormack 2 - LR

Experience the elegance of Fleur du Cap wines paired with artisanal salts from around the globe at the Angela Day Kitchen in Randburg on Wednesday, 28 May 2014, with salt aficionado Chef Craig Cormack.
Chef Craig and the Angela Day Team will join hands to bring a world of flavours to Gauteng foodies and wine lovers with a signature Fleur du Cap Wine & Salt food demonstration that will illustrate just how a pinch of salt can awaken the senses.

Guests will be welcomed with Fleur du Cap Bergkelder Selection Sauvignon Blanc, followed by Winemaker Jaco van der Walt giving handy pointers on Fleur du Cap wine pairings with Chef Craig revealing some of his exotic salts. As part of the demonstration, the evening’s chopping block will see Craig preparing Pizzadaliere as a starter, followed by trout pastrami with oryx salt, an olive emulsion, cocotte potatoes and baby greens. The evening will end on a high note with chocolate mousse, roasted bananas and ice cream unusually seasoned with pink Murray River salt.
The close affinity to nature inherent in Fleur du Cap wines makes them a natural fit for Craig’s love of rare artisanal salts from around the world.  His knowledge of salt in cooking, preserving coupled with his mastery of the art of matching salt with wine, offer ways of unlocking the expression of the wine to its fullest potential, resulting in an enriched culinary experience.
“One of the challenges when pairing salt and wine is to create food that will enhance the wine without dominating it. The natural process of crafting Fleur du Cap wines by allowing the style inherent in the grapes to guide the winemaking team, works particularly well with unrefined, artisanal salts, reverting back to nature in both the food and the wines,” says Craig.

The Fleur du Cap Wine & Salt food demonstration costs R150 per person including the wine, salt and food tasting and begins at 18h30 on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 at the Angela Day Kitchen at the Lifestyle Garden Centre in Randpark Ridge. For bookings, contact Lesley Hamlyn on 011 791 1304. _________________________________________________________________________
Issued by:                             GC Communications          Contact: Johlene Lehnberg
Tel: 021 462 0520               E-mail: info@gc-com.co.za
On behalf of:                        Cape Legends                     Contact: Tanya Blokdyk
_______________________________________________________________

Put your feet up with OBiKWA at the Gauteng Outdoor Expo
 – 20 May 2014OBiKWA Merlot - LR

Kyalami – Friday, 30 May to Sunday, 1 June 2014

Embrace your inner explorer and chill out in the OBiKWA Wine Garden at the Gauteng Outdoor Eco Adventure and Travel Expo taking place at the Waterfall Polo Estate in Kyalami.

The Expo has everything an intrepid adventurer could want – from extreme 4×4 action to boat and caravan exhibitions, as well as all the latest high tech outdoor gadgets.

When the excitement gets too much be sure to take a stroll to the OBiKWA Wine Garden and experience this range of affordable, adventure loving wines with some delicious nibbles. With a different OBiKWA variety for every day of the week, there will be plenty to choose from. Besides the ever popular, value for money varietal wines such as Shiraz, Pinotage and Merlot amongst the reds, and Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay amongst the whites, you may want to give OBiKWA Moscato a try if you prefer something a little sweeter. OBiKWA's cellarmaster Michael Bucholz - LRWhile you are there, why not stock up on your wine for the week and get your hands on some cool OBiKWA merchandise too.

The Gauteng Outdoor Eco Adventure and Travel Expo takes place from Friday, 30 May to Sunday, 1 June at the Waterfall Polo Estate in Kyalami. Tickets at R60 for adults, R30 for pensioners and students, and R20 for children aged 7-16 are available at the gate. Children under 7 have free entry.Visit www.gauteng.outdoorexpo.co.za for more general event information.

Issued by:  GC Communications
Contact: Johlene Lehnberg
Tel: (021) 462 0520
e-mail: johlene@gc-com.co.za
On behalf of:  Distell
Contact: Vanessa Kok
_____________________________________________________________

Toast to a Cap Classique Father’s Day at The House of J.C. Le Roux
 – 19 May 2014

Cap Classique & sparkling wine tastings from 10h00 to 14h00; Lunch from 12h00 to 15h00
Sunday, 15 June

Show Dad how much you appreciate him this Father’s Day with a gourmet lunch and sparkling wine tasting at The House of J.C Le Roux, the world class Méthode Cap Classique destination in the heart of the Stellenbosch Winelands.

Start Dad’s special day with either a Cap Classique tasting of J.C. Le Roux Brut, Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir Rosé, La Vallée and La Vallée Rosé, or a mixed tasting of these J.C. Le Roux Cap Classiques with the ever popular La Chanson and Le Domaine sparkling wines. All fathers will receive a complimentary handmade salted caramel and vanilla mallow with either two tastings, so be sure to book in advance.

Continue the day’s celebrations with a tailor-made lunch at the Le Venue restaurant, where Dad can toast his special day with a complimentary glass of J.C Le Roux Brut. For starters he can tuck into a mouth-watering Thai chicken salad or creamy butternut soup. The main course will have him wanting more with Chef Renshaw’s magic oxtail or tasty pan fried kingklip to choose from. The irresistible dessert selection of either warm date pudding or the Le Venue trio of a chocolate fudge brownie, hazelnut crème brûlée and lemon & orange chiffon pie is sure to satisfy his sweet tooth.

And if you haven’t yet bought a gift for Dad, you can spoil him with a beautiful gift pack of J.C. Le Roux Brut Cap Classique.

Treat your dad to more than just a breakfast in bed this year and celebrate Father’s Day at The House of J.C. Le Roux. To book for the tastings and the Father’s Day lunch, call 021 865 8200. The lunch costs R295 per person and will be served from 12h00 to 15h00. The tastings, at R35 per person for the mixed tasting and R45 for the MCC tasting, will be available from 10h00 to 14h00. The special Brut gift pack is exclusively available at The House of J.C. Le Roux at R85.Le Venue LR

Visit http://www.jcleroux.co.za, http://www.facebook.com/HouseofJCLeRoux or follow @LeGoodLife on Twitter.

Issued by:        GC Communications                 On behalf of:     The House of J.C. Le Roux
Contact: Clarissa du Plessis                                Contact:           Lucindi-Jane Branfield
Tel: 021-462 0520                                                 Tel:                  021-809 7000
Email: clarissa@gc-com.co.za
_________________________________________________________

London gold for Fleur du Cap at 2014 International Wine Challenge
 – 8 May 2014
Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest - LR

Fleur du Cap’s highly acclaimed Noble Late Harvest 2011 has hit the sweet spot once again, bringing home a Gold Medal from the 2014 International Wine Challenge (IWC) in London.

The IWC Gold Medal is the latest accolade to take its place in the Fleur du Cap hall of fame for the much lauded 2011 Noble Late Harvest vintage. Other triumphs include trophies from international wine competitions such as the Decanter World Wine Awards and Decanter Asia Wine Awards; as well as a Gold Outstanding Medal from the International Wine &Spirits Competition. On the local front, this wine is one of seven consecutive vintages to receive a 5-star rating from Platter’s South African Wine Guide – a singular feat matched by no other wine thus far.

Described as “appealing and attractive,” by the IWC judges, the victorious Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest 2011 is a blend of Chenin blanc (76%), Sauvignon blanc (13%) and Chardonnay (11%). This full sweet wine is balanced by a zesty acidity and shows beautiful, yet delicate honeyed orange notes.

“South African wines wowed the judges at this year’s Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest - LR(1)competition and it was wonderful to see such high standards across a variety of styles,” commented Co-Chairman of the IWC, Charles Metcalfe who believes that the gold medallist winemakers demonstrated exquisite skill in their wines.

The IWC is recognised as one of the most influential blind tastings in the world with thousands of entries received from wine producing regions across the globe each year.

Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest 2011 is available at R105 per 375ml bottle at Die Bergkelder in Stellenbosch and at select boutique wine shops. For more information on Fleur du Cap wines, visit www.fleurducap.co.za, join the Fleur du Cap community on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @FleurduCapWines.

Issued by:GC Communications          Contact: Johlene Lehnberg
Tel: 021 462 0520                                   E-mail: johlene@gc-com.co.za
On behalf of:Cape Legends                   Contact: Tanya Blokdyk

                                      ______________________________________________
3rd generation Simonsig torch bearer steps up as Tasting Room Manager
 – 30 April 2014
Denzel Swarts - Tasting Room Manager at Simonsig Wine Estate LR

Powered by a deep rooted passion for wine, Denzel Swarts, Simonsig’s new Tasting Room Manager proudly represents the third generation of his family to work for the Malans on this landmark Stellenbosch wine estate.

Following in the footsteps of his late father, John Plaatjies, Denzel was always on the lookout for opportunities to earn extra pocket money. As a result he got to know the business from the bottom up, starting out as a young boy amongst the vines picking up papers, assisting in pest control and clearing blocked waterways. Later he started helping out at the Simonsig tasting room during weekends, assisting with general duties such as cleaning the spittoons and tables and buffing the wine glasses. After matriculating Denzel was employed by Simonsig as a Junior Wine Advisor after which he was promoted to a Logistics Assistant.

“Working in the tasting room really got me excited about a career in the wine industry and like my father I wanted to manage a team, but I also wanted to focus on my passion for community upliftment,” says Denzel who decided to change his direction in 2006 to a career in the non-profit sector. This move saw him working at non-profit organisations such as Edmund Rice Camps and Youth Unlimited, both international social upliftment programmes which gave him the opportunity to travel to countries such as Australia, Spain and Germany.

In 2011 Denzel was welcomed back to the tasting room at Simonsig as a wine advisor.

“Upon my return, Simonsig really invested a lot in me and my career, assisting me financially and enabling me to complete my certificates in Wine and Wines of the World through the Cape Wine Academy. My next goal is complete my studies towards becoming a Cape Sommelier and to complete my course in management,” adds Denzel.

Having reached his dream of being in a managerial position Denzel’s mission for the next 10 years is to play his part in strengthening Simonsig’s footprint in the wine industry. On a more personal level he would like to continue his contribution towards the transformation of the wine industry.

“I really enjoy travelling and working with people, perhaps someday when I am much older I might even become a lecturer in wine education,” concludes Denzel.

For more information or wine orders contact Simonsig Estate at Tel: (+27)21 888 4915 or visit www.simonsig.co.za.

Issued by: GC Communications                            Issued on behalf of: Simonsig Estate
Contact person: Johlene Lehnberg                       Contact person: Nellie van der Walt
Tel: (+27)21 462 0520                                             Email: johlene@gc-com.co.za

Wrap Mother’s Day in absolute luxury at The House of J.C. Le Roux
 – 23 April 2014

Sunday, 11 May
Cap Classique & sparkling wine tastings from 10h00 to 14h00; Lunch from 12h00 to 15h00

Make Mother’s Day a dazzling affair and wrap Mom’s day in absolute luxury with exceptional Cap Classiques and a Winelands lunch at The House of J.C. Le Roux, a world class Méthode Cap Classique destination in the heart of Stellenbosch.

Start her day on a bubbly note with a superb Cap Classique tasting of J.C. Le Roux Brut, Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir Rosé, La Vallée and La Vallée Rosé, or treat her to a mixed tasting of MCC and sparkling wines. Be sure to book these tastings beforehand, as Mom will receive a complimentary sweet treat with her tasting of choice.

Lunch at the Le Venue restaurant will be a grand occasion, with only the best gourmet feast for a luxurious afternoon – and a complimentary glass of La Vallée Rosé for Mom to toast to her special day

For starters, Mom can choose between lip smacking Moroccan chicken salad or refreshing salmon and leek tartlet, followed by pan fried linefish or char grilled sirloin steak for mains.

If she has a sweet tooth, she will not be able to resist a mouth-watering dessert selection of white chocolate and almond cheesecake, served with La Vallée Rosé pears and mixed berry compote, or the vanilla pod crème brûlée with marinated pineapple and pistachio and biscotti crumble.

Introduce your mom to a world of extraordinary Cap Classique and sparkling wines at South Africa’s leading home of sparkling wine.

Booking for the tastings and the Mother’s Day lunch is essential, phone 021-865 8200. The lunch costs R340 per person and will be served from 12h00 to 15h00. The tastings, at R35 per person for the mixed tasting and R45 for the MCC tasting, will be available from 10h00 to 14h00.

Visit www.jcleroux.co.za, www.facebook.com/HouseofJCLeRoux or follow @LeGoodLife on Twitter.

Issued by:     GC Communications                  On behalf of:    The House of J.C. Le Roux
Contact: Clarissa du Plessis                             Contact:             Lucindi-Jane Branfield
Tel: 021-462 0520                                              Tel: 021-809 7000
Email: clarissa@gc-com.co.za

Spoil mom with a luxurious Pongrácz high tea on Mother’s Day
– 22 April 2014

Spoil the most important person in your life this Mother’s Day and make her day sparkle with luxurious flutes of Pongrácz over high tea.Pongracz - afternoon tea LR

Pongrácz is the perfect accompaniment with decadent high tea treats whether you take your mom to a 5-star establishment or better still, invite her to your home and surprise her with your own scrumptious high tea delights. With its distinctively shaped bottle, Pongrácz Brut stands out from the rest with a long, lingering palate of foamy black fruit. The blushing Pongrácz Rosé is a classically dry Cap Classique with luscious blackberry flavours and delicate yeasty notes. If you really want to dig deep and spoil your mom with the ultimate Cap Classique, the prestigecuvée, Desiderius, in its sophisticated signature fluted bottle and chic gift pack will make her feel truly special.

Delicately crafted sweet treats go beautifully with all these singularly noble Pongrácz Cap Classiques. To help you create a memorable high tea you and your mom can treasure, try these recipes to get your started:

Pongrácz jelly
Serves 6
15 ml (1 tbsp) gelatin powder
75 ml (5 tbsp) cold water
125 ml (½ cup) castor sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
200 ml cold water
430 ml (1 ¾ cup) Pongrácz Brut
1.      To sponge the gelatine, sprinkle the gelatine over the 75 ml cold water and set aside for 5 minutes.
2.      Place the sugar, lemon zest and 200 ml water in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
3.      Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. Strain the syrup through a sieve to remove the zest.
4.      Place the gelatine for 1 minute in the microwave on the defrost setting or until melted. Combine the syrup, Pongrácz and gelatine in a bowl and divide into serving glasses. Place in the fridge for 3-4 hours or until set.

Berry
tartlets
Makes 8 medium and 20 small bite sized tartlets
Pastry:
225 g butter
200 g castor sugar
2 large eggs
500 g flour

For the filling:
180 ml (¾ cup) cream
5 × 80 g slabs white chocolate, coarsely chopped
100 g raspberries
200 g strawberries
45 ml (3 tbsp) warm apricot jam
1.      For the pastry; cream the butter and sugar in a food processor until pale and fluffy. While the motor is still running, add the eggs, one at a time. Mix until well incorporated. Add the flour and blend until it forms a workable dough. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2.      Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Press the pastry into 8 tartlet tins and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Blind bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden and cooked. Set aside to cool down.
3.      For the filling; bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour it over the chocolate and stir until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4.      Whisk the mixture, using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Spoon it into the tartlets and top with raspberries and strawberries. Brush the fruit with apricot jam and serve.

Choux pastry filled with Pongrácz cream
Makes 40 choux balls
For the choux:
150 g cake flour, sifted
300 ml water
120 g butter
4 eggs

For the filling:
250 ml (1 cup) Pongrácz Rose
30 ml (2 tbsp) castor sugar
500 ml (2 cups) cream

For the glaze:
375 ml (1 ½ cups) icing sugar
1 egg white
A few drops food colouring

1.      For the choux; preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
2.      Place the water and butter in a medium saucepan. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add all the flour to the saucepan.
3.      Stir until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan and a ball forms. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
4.      Lightly whisk the eggs together. Using a wooden spoon gradually beat in the eggs until well combined and the dough is smooth and glossy.
5.      Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm plain nozzle. Pipe the dough, 2 cm apart, into R5 coin shapes, on the prepared baking paper. Use a fork, dipped in water, to flatten the tips of the balls a little to ensure even rise. Sprinkle a little bit of water over the baking tray.
6.      Increase the oven temperature to 220°C and place the pastries in the oven. As soon as the pastries stop rising (about 10 minutes) lower the oven temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove it from the oven and make a small incision on the bottom of each pastry using a toothpick or testing needle.
7.      Switch off the oven and place the pastries back in the oven to dry out. Place on a cooling rack and set aside until cold.
8.      For the filling; place the Pongrácz Rose and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 5-6 minutes or until syrupy. Set aside to cool down. Whip the cream until stiff peaks forms and slowly add the chilled Pongrácz syrup. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 0,5 cm plain nozzle.
9.      For the glaze; combine the icing sugar and egg whites in a small bowl until smooth. Divide into 2 bowls and colour according to your preference.
10.  Make a 0,5 cm hole at the bottom of each pastry and pipe the Pongrácz cream into each pastry. Spread 5 ml glaze on top of each choux and place on a wire rack to harden slightly.

The Pongrácz Brut and Rosé are available nationwide and sell at around R100 and R120 respectively. The award winning Desiderius is available at selected fine wine stores from around R350 per bottle.

For more information, visit www.pongracz.co.za, join their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/PongraczCapClassique or follow them on Twitter @pongracz.

Issued by:         GC Communications                              Contact: Clarissa du Plessis
Tel: 021-462 0520                                                             E-mail: clarissa@gc-com.co.za
On behalf of:      Pongrácz                                                Contact: Lize-Marié Gradwell

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