iWine rather than IMAX at the Cape Gate Mall
Experience 4.0 Festivals & Events Wine 3.5

iWine rather than IMAX at the Cape Gate Mall

‘WE LOVE WINE’ FESTIVAL
Friday 26 August 2017
https://capegatecentre.co.za/

Experience: 4/5
Wines: 3.5/5

Cape Gate Mall, like Tyger Valley Mall in June, made for an unlikely place for a wine festival. Wine lovers could either visit after work on Friday evening (as I did, R90 ticket) or on Saturday. The 6th such annual festival, it was well advertised on social and other media beforehand. Located in a cordoned off area in the middle of the mall, it was vibrant and well attended. This made worthwhile the efforts of some 24 wineries to bring 100 wines for tasting. Wande Cronje, from the Cape Wine Academy, was giving free tutored tastings on different wine topics. These sessions were full too. It was great to see the interest in learning about wines.

I knew few of the producers represented. Some I had visited (Yonder Hills) and some I had tasted (Stellenbosch Hills, Deux Frères and Peter Bayly Wines). There were some I had heard of too (Bonnievale Wines, Orange River Wines) but the majority were unknown. Many winemakers used grapes bought in from differing areas and were little bigger than garagistes in size and scale. On the other hand, some were global exporters. The ability to taste unknown or unfamiliar wines is always the benefit of a wine festival. Wines were offered for sale too, many at discounted prices.

Organiser Cobie van Oort, from CVO Marketing, explained to me that the exhibitors had been chosen from those who sold their wines in outlets such as Checkers Liquor, PicknPay and Woolworths in the Mall. That made perfect sense. I wondered as I wandered around how many of those attending visit vineyards to taste their wines. In addition, and whether by accident or clever design, the Festival was held close to the end-of-the-month pay day. This helped give an almost festive vibe to the Festival as well as in the Mall.

As usual, I sampled as wide a range of wines from as wide a range of producers as I could: some 16 wines in all styles – sparkling, white, rosé, red and dessert, from dry to sweet, and from low to high alcohol. Unsurprisingly perhaps, fewer red than white wines were available for tasting. Many of the wines were blended and particularly so the white wines. Prices ranged from R25 to R150 with most at R50-R100 per bottle. This matched entry and mid- level wines to the lifestyle drinkers who attended.

I shall not describe each wine I tasted in detail here. Best value for money at just R25 was the entry level Shortwood from Imbuko Wines (Xhosa for ‘admiration for …’) in Wellington. This Chenin Blanc was full of lemon, lime and melon flavours that held through to a decent finish that belied its price. Orange River Cellars, with their impressive range of sparkling through to sweet bottled and box wines, offered a citrus and tropical fruity Colombard that also was very drinkable.

My favourite white wine was the Survivor Sauvignon Blanc from global exporter Overhex Wines, a 4 star Platter award-winner. Served cool at just the right temperature, it showed classic herbaceous and citrus Sauvignon Blanc flavours, matched by crisp acidity.

Calitzdorp-based The Fledge & Co buys in grapes from many areas. The wooded Vagabond interested by its blend of 5 white cultivars that included Portuguese Verdelho (more commonly used to make ‘port’ in the region) and the very rare (24 hectares only in South Africa) Hungarian grape called Hárslevelü.

Bedsbury Wines, from the Breedekloof Valley in Rawsonville, showcased a medium-bodied, slightly shy but flavourful Merlot that was good value at R50 per bottle. Another good value for money Merlot (R55) and one I had tasted before, was the delicious red berry and currant wine from Yonder Hill. I had also previously tasted – at the Tyger Valley Festival – the apricot and grapey Peter Bayly Cape White. I liked it again.

The event was thoroughly enjoyable and fun. I have commented before that a Mall is an unusual venue for a wine festival but it worked. Cobie and her team have done their homework and understand well what their target market like and want. This was evidenced by the many participants who clearly were enjoying themselves. The wines offered were not from iconic or historic producers, nor winners of the highest awards and ratings, but that did not matter. I overheard one woman say to her boyfriend who was struggling to carry 2 cases of wine, “We have enough wine for the rest of the year!”

Inevitably, I compared my experience with the Tyger Valley Festival that is put on by the same organisers. Both events were similar in feel, not too crowded and with just enough space to accommodate all the exhibitors. There was more water and spittoons that were welcome and a learning observation that I made from Tyger Valley. I liked how bench seats were available for those who needed them. The standing tables, however, were rickety and need be stronger and more robust in future.

To finish, I recommend that anyone within the Cape Gate Mall catchment area or Brackenfell or adjacent Northern Suburbs attend the Festival next year. Give the movies a miss for the night and taste some wine. R90 is great value for an evening’s (or daytime) entertainment. The Festival title says it all for me – and all the others who attended – ‘We Love Wine’!

Wines tasted (* bought):

Sparkling:

NV Bonnievale Wines Perlé Dawn (Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc) – R40

White:

2016 Haut Espoir Cloudfall (36% Sauvignon Blanc, 26% Sémillon, 17% Viognier, 14% Chenin Blanc, 7% Chardonnay) – R90
2015 The Fledge & Company Vagabond (32% Chardonnay, 26% Chenin Blanc, 26% Viognier, 7% Verdelho, 6% Harslevelu) – R145
2014 Vino Pronto Front Row Chenin Blanc – R120
2015 Bonfire Hill Extreme Vineyards Bonfire Hill (50% Chenin Blanc, 25% Grenache Blanc, 25% Roussanne) – R70
NV Imbuko Wines Shortwood Chenin Blanc – R25
2017 Orange River Cellars Colombard – R50
2016 Overhex Wines Survivor Sauvignon Blanc – R100 FAVOURITE WINE

Rosé:

2016 Deux Frères Blanc de Noir – R70
2016 Winkelshoek Sweet Rosé – R40

Red:

2016 Devonvale Shiraz – R120
2013 Nico Vermeulen The Right Red Shiraz – R75
2015 Bedsbury Wine Merlot – R50
2016 Yonder Hill Merlot – R55
2014 Ruitersvlei Cabernet Sauvignon – R70

Dessert:

NV Peter Bayly Cape White Chenin Blanc (500 ml) – R100

You Might Also Like

Villion Pairs with Barton in Bot Rivier

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

Slave to the Rhythm at Solms-Delta

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Superb Views of Guardian Peak

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Lithos Wines Soar above Mountain and Forest

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

Dave Goes Down Under and the Wines Go Up

Peter Falke Didn’t Knock my Socks Off

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

Allez les Boks – Pas les Bleues!

Quality with Style in the Vineyard

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

There’s No Gun Smoke Without Wine

The Terroir is Honoured in the Bottle at Springfield

Of Female Rugby Players and Ballet Dancers! Let’s Continuously Study Very Seriously: Wines of the Loire and Northern Rhône

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

A Warm Welcome in the Cool Climate at South Hill

Pick n Taste Time at Stellenbosch

Com-fort-able Wines at Fort Simon

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

Vrede en Lust Struggled to Reveal it’s Delight

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

Superb Whites in the Near Dark at Mont Blois

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

Iconic Steenberg

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

A Kleine Experience at Zalze

Wagons to the Cellar at Waboomsrivier

Becoming Ship-Shape at La Couronne

Purring at the Wines in Tyger Valley

Busy, Bubbly, Noisy Wonderfontein

Mixed Spice at the Pinotage Festival

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

Pinotage Hits a Purple Patch in Paarl

Noble Wines without the Rot

More than Just a Destination

Robertson – Town by Name, Wine by Name

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

Mooi Mooi Mooi Mooiplaas

Taint, Mould, Sweet-Sour, Elastoplast, Stale Honey, Bee Wax and Potato Skin With the Wine Prof

SMV, SMG, GSM – BLICS and PAPERCLIPS!

Honest, Affordable Family Wines at Landskroon

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!

View from the E-Skaap-ment

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

Boutique de Brendel

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

Individual Quality at Jordan

Au Revoir France!

Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal

Graham Beck MCCs Fizzled Out

Scary Jan Harmsgat Delivers Elegant Wines

More Still at Tanagra

No Black Marks at Raka

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

Joy at Really Tasting the Difference at Esona

Class in Glass at Glenelly

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

River Grandeur at Viljoensdrift

Ghostly Clouds Swirl at Spookfontein

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

Grape Fun – Stomping Well Worth the Journey!

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Hope Lies High in the Valley

From Palette to Palate to Muratie

Wines Merely to Lust After

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte

Family Fun in Pairs at Four Cousins

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

Intimate, Tranquil and Refined

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Colmant Sparkled

Try as I Could I Did not Find Waterkloof Wines Dynamic

A Quando-ary: When to Drink …?

Proudly Keeping it in the Family at Paul Cluver – or Not?

Style or Substance? Nitida left Me Wondering

Idiom Puts on a Festival Master Class

On the Left, but then on the Right …

Libby Would not have been Proud of Linton Park

Mutual Attraction

Well Hosted and Enjoyable – Even Though I did not Experience at its Best

Red Chair in the Morning

Le Lude Left Me Feeling Flat

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

Horsepower in the Vineyard

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

House Wine from the Wine Tram

Woody Wildekrans

Relaxing Rosendal

The Cut ‘n’ Paste Stellenbosch Wine Festival Comes to Cape Town

Eq-wine – Fine Wines and Fast Horses!

Perfection is Attainable at Boschkloof Wines

Summer Whites …… and Rosés

Being Creative at Flagstone

The Early Bird Catches the Wine

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

Around the (Old) World in 18 Hours – starting with the European Cuvée!

Windfall Offered Unexpected Delights

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

2018 Wacky Wine Ends at Le Roux & Fourie

Taking the Garage into the Classroom

Speed Tasting with Sommelier ‘Royalty’ at my First SASA Meeting

Dis-gorgeous at Weltevrede

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

A Lekker Jol at Wandsbeck

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

Water into Wine at Uitkyk

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

Clouds Reign in Stellenbosch

Big Preparations in the Little Vineyard

My Best Blend at Zandvliet

Blush-endal!

It’s High Time Again

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

Haven Rather than Heaven at La Bri

Hope Brought to the Vineyard

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Decent Wines Rock from the Pulpit

Kept Alone at Kaapzicht

An Early Start at Rietvallei

Surprisingly Good – and Not Only for the Red Bus Tourists

Where’s the Grande in Provence?

Altitudes with Wine!

Masses of Fun and a little Chaos at the Ambeloui Harvest Festival

Bushmanspad Gave Me the Weirdest Tasting Ever

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

Beyond Expectation

One Day, Three Tastings, Five Wines and Seven Sisters

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

More Plaisir at de Merle Please!

Where Eagles Care

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

Rain Meets Earth at Newton Johnson

Hand at Work Handiwork at Boschrivier Wines

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

From the Angel Gabriel to the Arch Angel

Magnifico – Grazie Mille Idiom!

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

Sa-Bot-Riveur!

Diploma Done and Dusted – But for the Final Result – I Passed!

Value for Money at Van Zylshof

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Great Value in the Swartland

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Warwick Wines Win their Colours

Langverwacht Introduced Me to Ruby Cabernet

More-ish Wines at Môreson

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

I Needed to be Guided by the Angel Gabriel

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

1 Comments

  1. PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival – Cape Wine Lovers' Society

    […] Stellenbosch Street Soirée and indoor festivals like the Tops! At SPAR Wine Show and those in the Cape Gate and Tyger Valley malls come to mind – where clumsy queues can form at each wine […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *