Cape Wine News Issue 7
Fri 23rd, 2016
The Tri Nations Wine Challenges â€“ Team South Africa Announced for New Zealand Test
The Tri Nations Wine Challenges visited three Continents in 2017; and were delighted to announce that South Africa Team was challenging New Zealand.
Craggy Range hosted this event at their iconic winery in Havelock North, Hawkes Bay on Tuesday 7th February. It was the first time that the Challenge was held in New Zealand. It was an honour to work with the team there including Aaron Drummond, Matt Stafford, Andrew Saxon (the Chef at Terroir Restaurant) and of course The Peabody family.
Our relationship with Craggy Range goes back for over a decade, with the cellar at The Harrow at Little Bedwyn listing wines back to the early 2000s, including magnums of Le Sol 2005.
The South Africa Team
Pieter Ferreira known as Bubbles represented Sparkling Wine
Pieter Ferreira is affectionately known as Bubbles. His name is synonymous with Graham Beck where he has been the driving force for over 25 years. His easygoing fun fuelled lifestyle hides the hard work and determination he has put into the production of Sparkling Wine (MCC), highlighting the world-class wines that are now being produced in South Africa. He is Global traveller that is determined to share the Method Cap Classique story worldwide.
Duncan Savage represented Sauvignon Blanc
His Sauvignon Blanc was convincingly the surprise winner against New Zealand at the last Challenge in July. Having worked at Cape Point Vineyards for over a decade he decided this year to concentrate on his own label, set up in 2011, these grapes are sourced in the Western Cape from small passionate farmers, with maritime and high altitude sites. Part of the young cool dude surfer wine maker clan.
Tertius Boschoff represented Chenin Blanc
Tertius is the young gregarious wine maker and a member of South Africa's largest family owned winery, set up in 1928. Specialising in Chenin Blanc the winery based in the Golden Triangle region of Stellenbosch, Chenin has become a huge success for South Africa with a range of styles. Tertius spends most of his spare time in the Jungle; some say he once met Tarzan there.
Anthony Hamilton Russell represented Chardonnay
There is little I need to add here, except that we have worked with Anthony for nearly 20 years, there is no doubt that his continuous leadership and commitment to showcasing the wines of Hemel-en-Aarde has been an inspiration for this region. A Global Ambassador for South Africa.
Peter-Allen Finlayson represented Pinot Noir
When a Pinot Noir impresses New Zealand's very own Pinot man; Nigel Greening from Felton Road it must be good. Peter-Allen was brought up in a famous wine dynasty but did go on the dark side for a few years to study philosophy, economics and a stint at acting! One of the new breed of young superstar wine makers from South Africa, also part of the surfer clan.
Mark Le Roux from Waterford Estate represented Cabernet/Shiraz Blend
Waterford Estate is situated in one of the world's most visually arresting pockets of paradise. Nestled in the picturesque Blaauwklippen Valley, in Stellenbosch, this 120 hectare property owned by Jeremy and Leigh Ord and managed by partner and Cellar master Kevin Arnold. The Estate boasts old citrus groves, rolling lawns, water features and fragrant lavender and rosemary beds. You'd be forgiven for thinking you were in the heart of Provence or the Spanish countryside, with your first glimpse of this enchanting realm.
We are again proud to be part of Roger's Tri Nations fixture. It is a great opportunity to put us up against some of the great wines of the world. Our aspiration is to be a world-class winery and the only way to continue to evolve is to put yourself out there. It gives us an opportunity to benchmark, learn and also to take confidence in what we are doing. By hosting a fixture at the winery in Hawkes Bay, it also gives the local Hawkes Bay community an opportunity to gain some insight into the great wines coming out of South Africa…an opportunity that is rarely seen in rural New Zealand.
Aaron Drummond, Craggy Range
Roger's fantastic challenges have helped to raise awareness of premium South African wines. We have been delighted to see South Africa do so well against tough competition, helping to cement our image as one of the world's most exciting wine producing nations. The exquisite food that Roger and his team have prepared, both in South Africa and at our tastings in London, perfectly demonstrates the versatility of our wines.
Siobhan Thompson, CEO, Wines of South Africa
The Tri Nations Wine Challenges were originally set up following a late evening of (wine) discussion at The Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town in 2014, with the inaugural event being hosted by the hotel on 9th January 2015, such was the success and popularity of the first event that we soon realised that we would need to elevate the Challenge and not only make it an annual event in Cape Town but take it on the road. Each challenge involves two nations, with a six course Michelin Star meal matched with 6 wines from each nation, served blind, with up to 80 guests at each venue voting for their favourite wine. Roger devises the menu using local ingredients and local chefs.
The Series so far
To date South Africa lead with 2 wins and two draws, New Zealand is second with two draws and Australia hold up the table with two losses.
Prior to the New Zealand leg, South Africa will be hosting Australia on Friday 13th January at The Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town. Australia's team will be announced in December but we can already reveal that they have bolstered their efforts with the likes of Louisa Rose, Ben Glaetzer, Larry Cherubino, Bruce Tyrell and Dalrymple Pinot Noir in their line up.