For the next couple of weeks we’ll be featuring a number of selected sommeliers from top restaurants around the world. Each will choose their favourite Creation wine, tell us why they prefer it and recommend a matching dish. This week we welcome the knowledgeable Gosia Zielinska from Cape Town’s hip and happening The Pot Luck Club in Woodstock.
I was introduced to Creation’s wines and Carolyn and JC Martin about four years ago. It is very rewarding for me to have seen them grow so much over the past few years. What I admire most (apart from the wines of course) is the work done in terms of branding and marketing Creation. Creation is special for me because they offer great, tailored wine tastings as well as their popular food and wine pairings. It is such fun and I always highly recommend it to our guests!
I have chosen the Creation Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon blend because I find Bordeaux-style blends to be more food friendly than a single cultivar Sauvignon Blanc or Semillon. These two grape varieties complement each other greatly. There is the tropical fruit characteristic of Sauvignon Blanc while Semillon does not display a lot of fruit but rewards with a waxy, lanoline-like texture that adds to the body of the wine. The Creation blend is medium-bodied with a zesty and refreshing acidity. It shows citrus notes of yellow grapefruit, lime and lemon as well as some tropical flavours like passion fruit. There are blackcurrant and gooseberry flavours too with some grassy notes like lemongrass in the background. I also love the saline, chalky and flinty character. To read further, click here.
Harvest at Creation is an around the clock operation, lasting for up to three months! This year’s harvest officially started on 21 January (with the picking of Pinot Noir for our MCC) and will end with Petit Verdot, the exact date of which is still to be determined. We currently have 11 cultivars and these ripen at different times.
The first of our Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grapes are also in already – a week or two earlier than the 2015 harvest. This is in line with other areas in South Africa; an indication that 2016 is hotter and drier than recent vintages.
The picking date is absolutely critical in the winemaking process as it determines many of the wine’s characteristics. The key factor in deciding when to pick is ripeness, both in terms of sugar content and phenolic development. At Creation the grapes travel a short distance from being harvested in our estate vineyards (usually in the cool early morning) to the cellar, and are hand-picked and transported in small crates to prevent damage. The bunches are normally de-stalked within 45 minutes of picking. In some instances whole bunch fermentation takes place to capture the tannins from the stalks, adding structure and freshness to the wine.
As the growing season progresses levels of acidity begin to decline and sugar accumulates. Thus the earlier harvest starts the higher the natural acidity and the lower the alcohol in the finished wine will be, while picking very ripe will result in softer tannins, higher alcohol (and sometimes higher residual sugar).
WSET Training at Creation
The Wine & Spirit Education Trust, often referred to as WSET, operates in over 60 countries and is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading providers of wine education. With superior service standards and investment in staff training a priority, Creation Wines has embarked on an extensive programme to put members of staff through the WSET Level 2 Course run by Cathy Marston.
This opportunity to improve the collective knowledge among Creation staff represents not only an investment in the levels of service and customer interaction, but also offers the start of a personal journey for many of these staff members as they embark on their careers in the South African wine industry. Creation’s Carolyn Martin wholeheartedly believes in giving everyone in the Tasting Room a way to expend their skill set and there can be no better way than through the comprehensive WSET training which incorporates theoretical and practical training.
News from our Culinary Team
After a mutually rewarding relationship over the past few years, Creation Wines and Chef Warwick Taylor have come to an amicable agreement to bring their current business association to an end. We wish him well on his future endeavours.
The innovative Creation culinary team now comprises Jaco Grové (executive chef), Eleanor Niehaus (sous chef) and Francois Hugo (sous chef). They have all worked together at Creation over the past years and look forward to bringing new pairing ideas and experiences to our Tasting Room. For the full media release, click here.
Highlights and Happenings on the Creation Calendar
From fun functions and sensational shows on the Creation Estate to maintaining a strong presence at prestigious wine events, we love to see you there! Here are some of the latest attractions.
20 February, 9h00 – 13h00: Hermanus Country Market, Hermanus Cricket Club A small market with a lot of soul where good friends meet, hug and eat … You can look forward to an amazing array of fresh organic produce, homemade delicacies, artisan breads, probiotic yoghurts, handmade cheeses, home smoked fish, happy hen eggs, wheat-free bakes and local wines. For more information click here.
27 February, 15h00 – 19h00: Constantia Fresh, Buitenverwachting Wine Farm Over the past 7 years Constantia Fresh has become one of the most prestigious outdoor wine events in South Africa. The festival offers a refreshing change to the many wine events held in crowded halls and is tailor-made to ensure that guests not only enjoy the day, but that each leaves feeling invigorated and filled with a lust for life. For more information please click here.
20 February, 11h00 – 17h00: The Peech Wine Festival, Peech Boutique Hotel, Melrose Arch This annual festival is a garden event with some of South Africa’s top wineries showing their wines. It’s sure to be an amazing afternoon with great people, refreshing drinks and mouth-watering food! Cost: R135 pp (incl. tasting wines) Entry by pre-paid ticket only as numbers are limited. Website and ticket sales: click here.
24 February: Chef Francois Ferreira and Creation Wines hosting the first media lunner at the Miele Kitchen in Bryanston.