Posts Tagged ‘awarded’

LaMotte

La Motte Wine Estate Vineyards.

The Blushing Bride, a rare white or pink flower with silky, pointy petals, is somewhat of a legend in the Franschhoek Valley. The story goes that it was discovered in the surrounding mountains in 1773 and came by its romantic name from its use in a rather romantic tradition. A French Huguenot farmer who was in love would wear this flower in his lapel when he decided to propose to the girl he fancied. The pinker the flower, the more serious his intentions were, causing the bride-to-be to blush at the sight of the flower.
 
Sadly, as with other near-extinct fynbos varieties in the region, the Blushing Bride disappeared from sight for many years. It was rediscovered about a century ago and since then conservationists have been determined to return the iconic flower to its former glory.
 
Today Blushing Brides, rare disas and various kinds of proteas are being brought back to life on the La Motte Wine Estate in Franschhoek, where they can be seen in full bloom in the estate’s large Protea Garden. La Motte’s proud collection of rare flower varieties that are lovingly cultivated and re-established in the area is one of the reasons for it to have been awarded Champion status in the Biodiversity in Wine initiative (BWI).
 
Although best known for its international wine brand, La Motte is an estate that has conservation and sustainability at its centre. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the beautiful Organic Walk guiding visitors through the vineyards, fynbos nursery and gardens on the farm and concluding with a tasting of the organically grown Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc.
 
The walk offers visitors the opportunity to see how passionate La Motte is about sustainable farming and conservation. Visitors have the chance to see and smell the Protea Garden and stroll through the sustainably farmed and organically grown vineyards, the indigenous landscaped gardens (this time of year a carpet of lush green and soft purple and white), the nursery where micro greens and orchids are cultivated, and the biodynamic vegetable and herb gardens that supply the Estate’s award-winning restaurant and farm shop with fresh seasonal produce.
 
Head Chef Chris Erasmus and his colleagues at Pierneef à La Motte restaurant visit the garden in their gumboots every morning to pick out the freshest seasonal produce for their signature Cape Winelands cuisine. Chef Chris also guides on what to plant in the garden and places orders ahead of season. Beautiful things are grown, like purple speckled beans, cucumber-shaped aubergines, peas, watercress, yellow and purple carrots, radicchio, kohlrabi, sour fig, rocket, sweet basil and the fine succulent Pork Bush (“Spekboom”) which can be used in salads.
 
La Motte has been farming organically since 2007 and in 2009 received EU and NOP organic certification by SGS in France and NOP organic certification by LACON in Germany. Everything on the farm bears testament to this ethos.  La Motte has long been a leader in flora conservation work and sustainable, eco-friendly farming practices in South Africa and this commitment has just earned it the title of South Africa’s top practitioner of sustainable wine tourism by the internationally respected Great Wine Capitals of the World (GWC) network. GWC annually awards top performers in wine tourism in ten wine regions of the world, including South Africa. 
 
La Motte was also the overall winner of the South African competition for the second year running, making it the best wine tourism player in the country, thanks to its acclaimed restaurant, art museum, architecture and wine.
 
A closer look at how things are done on the farm reveals a rare attention to detail in every aspect of the farm’s life. The Rupert family and its wider La Motte family are visibly passionate about sustainable farming and conservation.
 
More than ten percent of the land is dedicated to conservation. The entire farming operation is set up to be self-sustainable, which means that almost everything that is needed to keep the farm running is produced on the farm. Everything is about quality over quantity – a method that takes time to yield results, but pays dividends in the long run.
 
One case in point is how water is treated on La Motte as a precious and limited resource. Water used in the wine cellar is treated and purified using natural methods only, never with chemicals. The farm dam provides all the water the farm needs and receives its water from the Kastaiingsrivier and rain. The farm uses drip irrigation to save water and water meters are used throughout the farm to monitor water usage and catch leaks.
 
Special attention is also paid to the rehabilitation of the soil to keep it healthy and chemical-free. No chemicals have been used on the farm for the last seven years. Special earthworms are fed the kitchen waste to recycle it into concentrated compost that is diluted with water and used across the farm to nourish the soil and plants. Only natural methods are used for pest control and fertilisation. Dry mulch is used to keep out weeds and wet mulch is used to keep in moisture.
 
Visitors can extend the Organic Walk by taking the 5km hiking trail into the surrounding mountains.
 
The herbs grown on the farm, including lavender and buchu, are used for the extraction of essential oils that are used to make the range of Arômes de La Motte body products sold in the farm shop.
 
As CEO Hein Koegelenberg explains, La Motte took the path of sustainability at around the turn of the millennium. This meant that quality and consistency would come first. The whole La Motte experience has become testament to this new sustainable way of thinking, and today the estate’s international awards prove that it was a journey the international wine tourism industry supports and honours. It is an ethos that enjoys sharing its passions with guests in a way that both entertains and educates and in the end it has winners on all sides: the estate, its people, its visitors, the environment, the local tourism sector, and the regional economy.

By law, wine in South Africa is produced from fresh grapes, and yeast, that can either occur naturally on the grapes or gets introduced to the must. Depending on various other considerations like style, grape quality and the health of the wine, additional additions of acid, sulfur dioxide, wood products, and various fining materials can be added.

Not all wines are created equal! (Johan Botha 2012)

Why then are not all wines created equal?

On a cellular level all wine in its purist form is a dynamic and ever-changing bio-chemical environment. It is a living and breathing entity!

Why do some wines get embraced, praised and acknowledged with awards on a regular basis?

If we had a simple and easily executable answer to this, all wines would equally bare the embrace of medals and awards. Unfortunately there exist no magic spell, no secret scientific formulae or even an idiot’s guide to producing award winning wines!

What I do know, is that wines receiving accolades regularly are produced by a synergy of many different inputs.

Vineyard monitoring and management, grape selection, site selection, micro climate manipulation, terroir and variety selection, vinification techniques, wine making philosophy, time, passion, patience, fortune, freedom of choice and human restraint all being of equal value to produce an iconic wine. And who knows, maybe more than often, some plain luck!

For this month’s spotlight I have chosen the following multi-awarded wines:

Saronsberg Full Circle 2010
The wine has a deep, dark purple colour with prominent dark fruit, red berry and ripe cherry flavours, followed by seductive spice and violet nuances. The pallet is textured and full-bodied with plush fruit and wild scrub notes, capsuled in silky tannins ending in a long finish.

Awards:
International Wine Challenge 2012 – Silver Medal
Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2012 – Gold
Sawi Top SA Wines 2012 – Platinum

Lomond Pincushion Single-Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011
The wine has a brilliantly clear colour with green tinges. A delicate aroma of citrus, pineapple and a mix of tropical fruits on the nose is followed by an elegant palate with a fresh acidity that balances out the intense fruit flavours.

Awards:
2012 FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 Wines – Finalist
Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2012 – Bronze
International Wine Challenge 2012 – Bronze Medal
Top 100 SA Wines 2012 Status
Michelangelo International Wine Awards 2011 – Silver Medal
Weinwelt – German Magazine June/July 2011 – 89 Points
Decanter 2011 – Gold Award

Teddy Hall Dr Jan Cats Chenin Blanc Reserve 2010
Bright gold with green tinge, tropical fruit salad nose – pineapple and some quince. On the palate the balance is impeccable with grapefruit, vanilla and baked apple flavours. Underlining the wine’s pedigree is an intense finish which lingers long after the mouthful has been swallowed.

Awards:
Wine Spectator rated Teddy Hall Dr Jan Cats Chenin blanc Reserve 2010 91 points
Top 100 SA Wines 2012
Medal winner at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2012
This wine received 4½ stars Platter’s 2012 wine
The only Chenin blanc gold Medal winner at the Classic Wine Trophy Show 2012,
Awarded top 10 Chenin for the 2012 Chenin Challenge run by the magazine Classic Wine.

Kaapzicht Chenin Blanc 2012
Ripe quince, pineapple and stone fruit, with some interesting savoury undertones. Lightly textured palate, with a hint of sweetness and balancing crunchy acid, results in a brisk finish.

Awards:
Best Value Award winners for 2013
Michelangelo International Wine Awards 2012 – Gold Medal

Rijks Private Cellar Pinotage 2008
This crimson coloured wine has a unique elegant nose of red fruit and cherries, which is reminiscent of a great Pinot Noir. These attractive fruity aromas carry through onto a rich, creamy palate that is finished off with well-balanced refined tannins.

Awards:
Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2012 – The Best Pinotage
2012 ABSA Pinotage Top 10 finalist
Double Gold Michelangelo
Trophy winner at International Wine & Spirits Competition for best Pinotage in the world
Trophy at Michelangelo for best Pinotage
Trophy at Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show for best Pinotage
Rated as 1 of the Top 100 wines in SA

Orange River Cellars Ruby Cabernet 2011
Deep, ruby-coloured with pronounced mocha coffee aromas, complemented by almond flavours on the palate.

Awards:
Best Value Award winners for 2013
All six wines entered into the 2012 China Wine Awards won gold medals

Now that we have some excellent wines to drink, what shall we eat?
Tasty and easy to prepare, the following South African recipe is not only ideal for healthy and wholesome cooking, but also the perfect traditional South African dish to accompany our selection of bold and amazing reds:

South African Venison Pie with Red Wine and Rooibos Tea

By enjoying these, and many other, award winning South African wines and our traditional cuisine, you will soon realize that you have ample reason to be proudly South African!