Physio

I’m at the physio. But not for me, for my dad. Yes, my dad lives in Sheffield in the UK, and indeed, he is heading back there tonight via Hamsterjam and Manchester. It was while he was packing his case that he twisted his knee and now he’s rather sore. Not great when you’ve got a long haul flight this evening and a big foreign airport to rush through tomorrow morning.

So, an emergency visit here:

…to see what they can do, and probably a quick trip to the pharmacy on the way home too, I’d imagine.

It’s not a great situation, but he did do it while moving several bottles of Groot Constantia Chardonnay from the cupboard to his suitcase, and I suppose that if you’re going to damage ligaments in your left knee (which would seem to be the likely diagnosis), at least do it by jarring it while doing something worthwhile.

Full marks for that, then.

Whites

When Julius Malema becomes president and drives all the whites into the sea, it’ll be a real waste. Not least because the outstanding Chardonnay we tried at Groot Constantia yesterday would presumably be among those whites that we’d lose. To be fair, it’s already sold out (much like Julius will if that time ever comes), so there’s limited danger of any imminent loss, but still, it would be a mistake to lose such wonder to an unnecessary salty grave.

We went strictly old skool tasting yesterday. Groot Constantia, Steenberg and Klein Constantia. None of your Beau, Glen or Nest here.

We had a look around the cellars at Groot Constantia, assisted by the informative and interesting Rayno. (Voucher prize from mother-in-law’s church raffle used, so I’m actually not sure how much cellar tour/tasting costs. Professional, ne? Lol.)
As you might expect, it’s a groot operation, but all was carefully explained, and I was delighted to learn that they are releasing a brandy in the (very) near future.
Wine is nice, but I’m more of a fan of red than of white. But that Chardonnay was a revelation. Lightly oaked, butterscotch and toast, just… lovely. I was surprised at myself.

Steenberg’s whites were also really good, their Semillion and the Sauvignon Blanc/Semillion blends particularly so. But it was their Pinot Noir MCC which stole the show. Really fresh, slight blush, fun to engage with. But enough about me – the wine was pretty good too. Stanley was our guide, taking us around the cellar, explaining the processes, answering our questions. All very professional and informative again.
(Flagship tasting @ R70. We also got a free cellar tour.)

And then to Klein Constantia with their rich history and Agapanthus-lined avenues.

Very inviting.

(Standard tasting, R50pp, one tasting waived per bottle bought)
Their stuff is good – no question about it – but generally I felt it rather overpriced. Sure, wine for special occasions deserves a bit more cash to be splashed, but if I were going to splash that extra cash, I’d fancy my chances of finding something better for those additional Randelas.
But then, as always, they brought out their Vin de Constance and nothing else really mattered. SA’s top wine and 10th in the world; it’s like no other. It was the last of [several] wines that we tried yesterday, and what a way to go out. It is unique. And utterly captivating.

We had a great day on the Constantia Wine Route. The farms we visited seemed geared up and ready for the upcoming holiday season and the wine we drank (especially those whites) was really noteworthy.

If you have the time in the near future, get out there and support local business while enjoying some amazing scenery and really world-class products.

Franschhoek weekend

Those of you following me on Instagram will know that the amazing Mrs 6000 whisked us off to Franschhoek for the weekend. 

Those of you who know what a weekend in Franschhoek entails (wine, food, views, more wine, more food, more views) will understand why I’ll only get round to sharing some thoughts and photos “soon”. 

Right now, bed is calling. 

Good night. 

Wine Whine

French Farmers are at it again. Only bettered in the violent protest stakes by South African Students and Turkish Taxi drivers (I just made that last one up for alliterative purposes really), they’re not happy about the alleged “unfair competition” from their Spanish counterparts over the Pyrenees.

And they are protesting by hijacking tankers full of imported Spanish vino, before doing… well, before doing this:

Sensitive viewers may want to look away now.

redwine

and this:

witwyn

Ninety Thousand Bottles Full…. Ninety Thousand! That would have made for an awesome weekend…
Sweet jesus – will somebody please think of the children?

They’re annoyed that the regulations governing the Spanish winemakers from just over the border apparently aren’t as strict as those imposed on the local Frenchies.

“If a French wine maker produced wine with Spanish rules, he simply wouldn’t be able to sell it,” said Frédéric Rouanet, the president of the Aude winemakers’ union. “Europe’s all very well, but with the same rules for all.”

Sounds very much like the Namibian Sand Protests of 1997.
And the governments in question had better watch out, because first off, there’s history here:

Wine makers in southwestern France are notoriously hot-blooded and even have a shadowy “armed wing” called le Crav – the Comité Régional d’Action Viticole –  that has conducted various commando operations over the years [including terrifyingly recently], even laying explosives at “enemy” wine distributors it feels are not supporting local produce.

Outrage over such fraud led to the region’s first and most deadly wine riots in 1907, when hundreds of thousands took to the streets in Narbonne, and six people were killed when the army opened fire on the protesters.

And second off, this is just the start of their planned action:

Rouanet said the tanker hijack was “just the beginning” unless their demands were met, threatening action in the nearby port of Sète against the import of Italian wines.

“We will continue until we’ve proved that the illegal traffic of wine is going on. We are going to protect our consumers. You can trace our wine from the vineyards to the bottle and those same rules should apply to all.”

Because Italian winemakers are seemingly up to the same sort of dirty tricks as their Iberian counterparts.
And, while the French guys’ actions may be horribly depressing to watch, if what he says is true, then you can kind of understand the anger and frustration.

Still though… No. Just no. There must be some other way.

Gabrielskloof

Here’s somewhere we’ve driven past on many occasions and finally managed to drop in on: Gabrielskloof

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Just outside Bot Rivier on the N2 – beyond the Hermanus turn, but before the over-rated Dassiesfontein – it’s a wine and olive estate, has viewz for dayz and serves up some pretty amazing food, by all accounts.

It was a bit early for lunch,  so I had the food pairing with some of their red wines and Mrs 6000 did the wine and chocolate pairing, R70 & R60 respectively. Both were superb.

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I’ll put the full details of what was what on here once I’m back in Cape Town (taking a photo being easier than documenting the tasting menu any other way).
UPDATE: Here it is

We had a quick look at the restaurant: fairly kid friendly and the food looked fantastic; we’ll give it a go next time.