The wine show again offers rich rewards
What's not to love about a wine show?
Especially one that promises year-end almost-holiday vibes and a chance to experience some new wines and stock up for the festive season at show prices?
The Eastern Cape Wine Show, directed by well-known wine critic and judge Michael Fridjhon, promises just that on 29 and 30 November at The Boardwalk convention centre — plus you have until tomorrow [17 November] to book at last year’s price of R180.
This show is particularly good for wine lovers because there’s a focus on quality over quantity, a good cross-section of fine wines and affordable quality, and the room isn’t over-booked so there’s plenty of space to move around and spend time chatting to the producers to learn more about their wines.
Still, about 40 exhibitors and more than 200 wines to sample can make for a bewildering array of choices, so it’s a good idea to pick a theme — focus on reds or whites, a favourite varietal or home in on wines you don’t know. And there are some interesting new wineries on show this year to look out for.
Flagstone is widely available on local shelves, especially the easy-drinking Poetry range, but here they will be showing some of their upper-level range, such as the Treaty Tree Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Truth Tree Pinotage and Fiona Pinot Noir — definitely worth a visit. Balance wines are also widely available, but check out their “cousins” also from Overhex International — the quirkily-named award-winning Survivor wines from the Swartland and the Mensa range with their clever augmented reality app that takes you inside the label.
Perhaps less well-known to local wine lovers, don’t miss the wines of Holden Manz — their rosé is considered one of SA’s best in the dry, Provencal-style; and they’ll also be showing their two outstanding red blends, Vernissage and Visionaire. Lyngrove, from Stellenbosch, is completely new in the local market, but comes with a solid track record. Their Platinum Pinotage and Platinum Longitude blend, both regularly feature in the Absa Top 10 and Cape Blend competitions, and both are available at the show along with their “hidden gem”, the new Platinum Chenin Blanc, made from 40-year-old bush vines.
Also worth checking out — Da Luca for Italian Prosecco bubbles, less serious and more affordable than imported French jobs, the old vine-focused wines and quirky labels of Old Road Wine Co, and niche high-end red wines from De Trafford and their related Sijnn wines from their first-growth-rated middle-of-nowhere Malgas winery.
Lastly, you could also look at the exhibitors who are proudly sporting newly-minted Platter’s five-star ratings after their release last week — Boekenhoutskloof (the Editor’s Award for Winery of the Year), Buitenverwarchting, De Trafford, Flagstone, Jordan, Spier and Tokara.
The show is open from 17.00 to 21.00 on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 November.
Light meals will be on sale and Preston’s will be there to take orders for delivery.
Get tickets on www.webtickets.co.za or at the door (R200 after 17 November).
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