Last week I hosted a group of 13 USA travel agents in the winelands and what I particularly enjoyed was the opportunity to introduce newcomers to the unique property that Solms-Delta is.
When I approached Solms-Delta to get involved with this group, I certainly did not give them an easy brief – to host a blending competition.
This is not an easy task, given the fact that blending requires skill and experience. However, General Manager, Cathy Macfarlane, took it in her stride to meet the challenge and thus our group of first-time visitors to South Africa were duly excited and impressed.
Solms-Delta winemaker Hilko Hegewisch began proceedings, explaining what components go into a blend and what should be considered to deliver a well balanced wine. We began with a practice run, with each group creating a white blend with mixed results. Hilko was presiding judge and his comments were fair, but also criticial in encouraging the groups to try harder!
The main event was the judging of the red blend and I was called upon to deliver an impartial verdict – good thinking on Hilko’s part since the same team won the white and red blend competition! The winning team members selected a wine of choice from the range of Solms-Delta wines before we headed off to Rickety Bridge for lunch and further tastings.
A huge thank you to Solms-Delta for hosting this group and in particular thanks to Hilko and Medwin for encouraging, judging and offering a few insights to various team members. The unique blending competition was a new experience to everyone and it shows how corporate groups can be entertained and educated simultaneously.
For more information on this unique winery visit www.solms-delta.co.za