Nestled between Simondium and Franschhoek lies Anthonij Rupert Wines. Turn off the R44 and drive through the gates down a tree-line boulevard to behold its rolling lawn, stunning mountain backdrop, and the gorgeous Cape Dutch building that houses its tasting room. Anyone who had the good sense to drop by for last Saturday’s Shiraz and Charcuterie festival (an annual affair hosted by a new estate every year) were greeted with a tent serving tastings of nothing but Shiraz, charcuterie stalls, live music and a hella good vibe – not to mention a brief return to summer, with plenty of sun and temperatures well into the mid 20s.
Only Shiraz was served, you say? Yes, indeed. Rather like the Cabernet Franc Carnival that took place at Avontuur estate the weekend before, Shiraz and Charcuterie is a chance for some of the Cape’s finest wine producers to showcase their best Shirazes and Syrahs. It’s also a brilliant excuse for a daytime party. Turn up, grab a glass (included in the price of your ticket) and make your way around the tasting tent, stopping off at whichever wine farm you please.
The farms might all be cultivating the same grape and making wine from the same varietal, but the sheer mix of styles and flavours goes to show just how much of an impact terroir – everything from soil type, location, climate and vineyard orientation: check out this video for a more thorough explanation – and the winemaking technique have on the final product. You’ve got big, heavy and bold Shirazes (made in a New World style with bundles of fruit aromas and often a higher alcohol content), and fine and elegant Syrahs (exactly the same grape, but made in a less fruit-driven, lower alcohol, Old World style with more peppery characteristics). There were even a couple of fantastic roses: one from Keermont – whose red Syrah was high up on my list of favourites – and another from Anthonij Rupert’s Protea label.
Other notable wines came from Luddite of Bot Rivier (who are doing away with both screw cap and cork and pioneering the beer cap), and Stellenbosch’s Waterford, Stark-Conde, Rust en Vrede and La Motte. Other estates present were Boschkloof, Mullineux, Kleinood, Saronsberg and Rickety Bridge to name just a few. Revellers could soak up the red wine with the yummiest of artisan meats, olives and more. Definitely an event to pencil into the diary for next year – but don’t wait until then to pop over to Franschhoek and visit the wonderful tasting room at Anthonij Rupert (their Sangiovese is to die for).
To see Caroline in action and learn more about wine, check out her YouTube channel The Glass and Barrel.