What a great winter we are having thus far, with week long spells of rain and gusting winds giving way to beautifully clear and sunny days. My cat is really confused by it and at times I guess I am too – for example, last night I enjoyed a traditional braai at home wearing short-sleeves and wondering if I had departed local shores for foreign ones.
Franschhoek hosts the annual Bastille Festival from 11 – 12 July and highlights include a Food & Wine Marquee, a French Film Festival, the Chef & Waiters Race, Pêtanque, the Barrel Rolling competition and lots more. For full festival programme and costs visit www.franschhoek.org.za
Clanwilliam Lodge is running a winter special which ends on the 31 July – R250 per person, sharing, including breakfast. The drive to Clanwilliam is along the N7 and gives one the opportunity to stop in at places like Riebeek West, Piekenierskloof and Citrusdal and enjoy hospitable tastings. If you set out early in the morning you can enjoy a hearty breakfast served with delicious filter coffee at the top of the Piekenierskloof Pass at Kardoesie. www.clanwilliamlodge.co.za
Last week a friend and I popped into one of my regular breakfast stops, Manuka Cafe & Wine Boutique at Steenberg Village, Tokai. It was a Friday afternoon and my attention was drawn to their School holiday special – any two pizzas with two glasses of House wine for R99.00. I was invitied to taste the house wine before making a selection and decided to try the house red. It was smooth, fruity, uncomplicated. The pizzas were outstanding and in fact put many designated pizza houses to shame. www.manuka.co.za
The Cape Wine Academy has been busy this month facilitating Diploma wine exams with 18 students writing their various modules in the Cape. The biggest challenge in attempting the Tasting exam is to systematically analyse what is in the glass and not to impose a personal opinion.
The SA Woman Winemaker of the Year 2009 competition takes place next week. Judges include Marilyn Cooper, Jo-Anne Mettler, Erika Obermeyer (2008 winner), Kathy Marston and Nicolette Waterford. Good luck to all the entrants.