The sixth Wine Plus programme of tutored tastings – now a firm favourite of the dynamic Hermanus FynArts Festival – takes a few new turns this year. Although each of the seven presentations is a well-worth stand-alone, the complete series is designed to bolster the overall theme of 2019: a closer look at the tasting pleasures of fine wine.
This year Wine Plus has a new home and date slot. The presentations shift towards the end of the festival, from Thursday 13 to Sunday 15 June, as a kind of ‘wine long weekend’.
The new venue is The Wine Glass in the centre of town, which is geared to provide sustenance from their popular menu after the tasting slots of 11:00 and 17:00.
Responding to requests from previous Wine Plus fans, and bearing in mind the arts festival rationale of FynArts, presentations will be finer tuned to provide patrons with instructive direction during the tasting-talks.
Exploring the theme – the tasting pleasures of the fine art of wine – will involve a little wine education along with the super samples that will be poured. The idea is to provide those not too familiar with the how and what with an introduction to the art of tasting and enjoying wine.
To provide a glimpse into just how exciting contemporary South African wine is, the programme will offer ‘snapshots’ of three of today’s newsworthy regions and three varietals that define our unique winelands.
Wine Plus is curated for its sixth iteration by Melvyn Minnaar, who was honoured last year by Veritas for his contribution to SA wine. The presenters will include some of the movers and shakers on the contemporary local wine scene.
To start the series, who better than our own international Master of Wine, Cathy van Zyl? She returns from judging a few global competitions to share her passion in the first introductory tasting entitled ‘Discovering the Pleasure’ on Thursday 13 June. Her choice of eight wines includes some reinvented classics and thrilling new wines.
Later that afternoon Bevan Newton Johnson of the well-known wine family will join Cathy van Zyl to present their selection of local super stars in ‘A Snapshot of Hemel-en-Aarde’. Once again, wine lovers can expect a mix of the unusual and the well-known.
On Friday 14 June the focus shifts to two other wine regions. ‘A Snapshot of Constantia’ in the morning will bring Boela Gerber, celebrated winemaker at Groot Constantia, and his regional colleagues Danna de Jongh of Constantia Uitsig and Brad Paton of Buitenverwachting together with eight super wines.
For ‘A Snapshot of the Swartland’, the internationally-acclaimed winemaking team of Chris and Andrea Mullineux has selected wines from the likes of David & Nadia, JC Wickens, The Sadie Family, AA Badenhorst and, of course, Mullineux.
On Saturday 15 June, the spotlight will be on two of South Africa’s standout individual varietals. Celebrating, as it turns out, International Chenin Blanc Day, ‘A Snapshot of Chenin Blanc’ brings Alastair Rimmer, cellarmaster at Kleine Zalze, to the morning session. Supported by the SA Chenin Blanc Association, he’ll present some local showstoppers.
In the afternoon session, Mr Pinotage himself, Beyers Truter presents ‘A Snapshot of Pinotage’. Supported by the SA Pinotage Association, he will show and tell more about the regional styles and ageing ability of this brilliant local variety.
Fittingly, Wine Plus concludes on a sparkling note on Sunday morning, 16 June with the now traditional bubbly presentation. MCC master Pieter Ferreira, also known as ‘Mr Bubbles’, is joined for ‘A Snapshot of Méthode Cap Classique’ by Paul Gerber of Colmant to showcase only the finest.
Tickets are R140 for an individual session, R250 for any one day of two sessions, R350 for all three afternoon sessions, or R450 for all four morning sessions. Bookings can be made via www.webtickets.co.za or www.hermanusfynarts.co.za or at the Hermanus Tourism office. Contact 028 312 2629 or 060 957 5371.