Hout Bay Vineyards – Summer Open Day – Saturday & Sunday, 26th & 27th November 2011
- by Wayne Matthews
In the five years that Peter and Cathy have entrusted me with writing the Hout Bay Vineyards newsletter, they have always given me some indication of the thematic direction they would like the story to take. This time the pickings were meagre. In all honesty, a state of restlessness had pervaded the household. They seemed so preoccupied with transforming HBV from a family-owned boutique cellar into a serious business venture that I felt like I had been left to shrivel on the vine.
Literally at a loss for words, I contemplated writing to the advice columnist in my favourite women’s magazine, which I buy religiously every Tuesday. In the end, though, I decided against it. Not having a story for a newsletter is an unenviable predicament to be in, but she usually deals with broken hearts, troubled relationships and failed marriages, and I just couldn’t see her taking me seriously. In fact, I could picture her rolling her eyes.
Then, clinking glasses with Peter and Cathy a few weeks ago, I suddenly realised something. It was as if Peter had uncorked the bottle and poured it out with the wine.
The transformation at HBV was the story.
So without further ado …
Leasing the vineyards at Constantia Nek farm, which has resulted in an increase in production, a brand new state-of-the-art de-stalker that treats the grapes in the gentlest manner and ensures beautiful intact berries for further processing, and new labels designed by Amanda Holmes all attest to the changes that have taken place. The labels are a move away from fishing-village rustic to the stylishly elegant. They embody a whole new look and a whole new attitude, for HBV has become a slick operation. For Cathy, the main winemaker in the family, it has also become a full-time job. Not everything has changed though. The cold Atlantic still brings its cool breezes, the wines are still made with an environmentally-friendly approach, and Cathy, driven by her passion for quality, still nurtures each and every bottle with handcrafted intimacy.
Hout Bay Vineyards bought the entire Sauvignon Blanc harvest from Constantia Nek farm for their 2011 vintage, which will be on sale at the open day. Bertus Fourie, professional winemaker and consultant to HBV, deserves some of the credit for producing this fine wine. The 2011 Blush, which for the first time has Pinot Meunier grapes in the blend, will also be on sale. And, of course, having been on the lees for three years, their 2008 Klasiek by Catharine will be the star attraction. A limited stock of Petrus, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon will be available as well.
This year the open day will take place on Saturday and Sunday, the 26th & 27th of November, from noon onwards. There will be a R20 wine-tasting charge, which will allow you to sample all three wines, and which will be reimbursed on the first case you purchase. As always, it is a family occasion and everyone is welcome. Bring a hamper along and enjoy a picnic on the lawn in a wonderful setting. Here you can gaze out over the valley, relax among friends and savour the wines.
Peter, Cathy and family look forward to your company.
Local artists from the Iziko Lobomi Skills Training In Imizamo Yethu www.hbcca.co.za/iziko_lobomi_skills.htm will be presenting some of their work and would surely be grateful for any interest or support shown in the display.
|2012 John Platter ratings:
||Sauvignon Blanc – 3½
Blush – 3
Klasiek – 3½