On their recent visit to KwaZulu-Natal Carolyn Martin and her team once again discovered why this is one of their favourite destinations.
Friday (27 July) started with a small private and trade tasting at Café 1999 where we always enjoy Mo’s passion for wine and Marcelle’s innovative cooking. Among the delicious pairings was the figs wrapped in prosciutto with pesto which was sensational with the Creation Pinot Noir. I often find that simple combinations of no more than four ingredients work magic – it’s all about the quality and the balance. We made some great new friends and it’s always so rewarding to learn from each other and share ideas, not only about food and wine but about life in general!
Our next function was at the Chefs’ Table in Umhlanga, a dinner for 12 guests, with a focus on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. What an amazing group of Chardonnay and Pinot lovers. The ABC (Absolutely Brilliant Chardonnay) is of course the Queen of White Wines – such intensity and elegance. Pinot Noir again, can be seen as Prince Charming, walking through the forest picking wild strawberries! We also discussed social responsibility projects and what these mean to the community. I was surrounded by entrepreneurs of note and there was a great deal of learning besides wine and exceptional food. You will no doubt read about some of these collaborations in our future newsletters.
We also had a stopover at Michael Stephenson’s Lucky Shaker, one of Durban and the country’s top cocktail bars – do check it out!
Then the highlight of our trip: we were invited by Ian and Laurie Smorthwaite who are pioneer winemakers in the Midlands of KZN to visit their Abingdon Estate. Dealing with the vagaries of weather such as constant threats of hail and defying the antics of the ever more clever monkeys each year to produce delicious wine is what I call dedication and passion! It was truly a privilege to present the Creation range to 60 guests and to have a pairing in such a friendly and welcoming environment. As Laurie described our day together: a magical collaboration! Thanks, Midlands – we’ll be back next year, same time. In the interim, do come and visit us in Hermanus, our wonderful hometown, and be sure to pop in at Creation to experience what we have on offer.