Another day, another trip out in the wine farms. This time we are at the Walker Bay wine region, on the scenic Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge at Creation Wines, a place of beauty, balance and serenity. And good wine of course…
I love gloomy days where the rain threatens to pour but instead, the clouds stay put. Instead of rain or a drizzle, the air turns crisp and the goosebumps on your skin emerge. Since I live on the equator, I am used to hot days so I tend to cherish the cool days.
When we got to Creation Wines, I did not know whether to leave my jacket in the car or whether to bring it with me. Since I was in the Western Cape of South Africa and I knew how unpredictable the weather was, I brought it with me. This was going to be a beautiful day. The flowers were doing a little dance as a result of a gentle breeze and the bees were busy.
This was a beautiful place surrounded by rolling ranges of vines. This is how I imagine paradise would look like. The wine farm is in the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge. The road on the ridge provides some of the most magnificent views.
So many factors affect how vines grow and whether they produce grapes. Some of the main factors are soul, terrain and climate. In this farm, they all played a major role in the winegrowing and making. The temperature in the ridge is perfect for winemaking because there is a breeze that comes from Hermanus and it ensures that the area has a temperature of around 20 – 25° C. the soils are clay and loam and they have some shale. The souls are fertile and they retain water easily making sure that the vineyards grow well and produce juicy grapes. The farm also uses biodiversity programmes.
The wine was presented by Jean-Claude and Carolyn Martin who are the owners of the estate. We tried different Chardonnays from wineries in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley. However, my favourite part was the Pinot Noir tasting. I was in heaven.
Pinot Noir is one of my best grape simply because of its versatility and drinkability. They actually had a diverse range and it was great to taste the difference and learn about each wine.
I was pleased to learn that they have unique wines and were one of the first wineries to try a Bordeaux style wine like Grenache. They also have unique wines like a Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc blend.
After a couple of hours of walking in the farm and tasting wine, we settled down for a scrumptious lunch.
Everything was well thought out, the plating was almost architectural and the wine was carefully selected to match the food. This was a great food & wine experience.
Here are some foods we tried.
This was delicious and it was served with vegetables and a thick creamy mousse. The plating was amazing. I have a thing for black plates and I feel that they make the best backdrops for the colours and textures on the dish to pop. I parried this with the Creation 2013 Chardonnay. I loved how the two paired together. The fresh Chardonnay perfectly washed the creaminess in my mouth.
One of my most memorable dishes was one called “Organised Chaos” which got its name from the different flavours. The dish had pineapple, spices, bee pollen, artichokes and so much more. You would think that the flavours would clash but they all worked together in an organised manner. This was my favorite for the day.
It also went well with the Chardonnay. The pineapple was a great aspect of the dish which corresponded with the slight acidity and freshness of the wine.
I love duck especially when it is juicy and flavourful. This plate just hit the spot. It was then served with colourful edible flowers that I had never tried. This dish was a favorite among many people.
Beef and Mushroom
This dish was my 2nd favorite. I loved the presentation and how the food was served. The giant mushroom was also a flavourful addition to the meal. I paired this with a Sumaridge Pinot Noir and it was perfect. The sauce served with the meat was the right amount of tart and sweet.
To top it all off, we then drove for an hour or so and got to watch some whales on Camps Bay. Despite the cold winds, it was nice to relax on the rocks watching the wave crash violently. This was very calming and relaxing. A perfect ending to a perfect day.
Have you ever attended a memorable wine & food pairing? How was it? Let us know down in the comments.
Authored by @jeanwandimi
Photography by @jeanwandimi