Now's the season to drink bubbly!

  • December 10, 2014 | by Annareth Bolton, CEO of Stellenbosch Wine Routes

" I drink champagne when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it - unless I'm thirsty."
Madame Lilly Bollinger


Mamma juice

I am one of those people who can drink bubbly all day long. You are welcome to wake me up at 3am, with a glass of bubbles. I cannot get enough of this fun, sophisticated, energizing drink! No wonder my two-year old boy calls it "mamma juice"!


Delaire Graff Estate

About two weeks ago I attended the launch of the new Delaire Graff Sunrise Brut, by award-winning winemaker Morne Vrey. It is a blend driven by Chenin Blanc, and he specifically made it to be enjoyed on the farm only. It is named after the magnificent 118.08 carat Delaire Sunrise, the largest square emerald cut fancy vivid yellow diamond in the world, cut and polished by Graff Diamonds. Treat yourself - it is the end of a long year. Put on a pretty dress, visit Delaire Graff Estate, order a bottle of bubbly and a spectacular dish at one of their two restaurants, and enjoy the view! 


Ken Forrester Sparklehorse (courtesy of

Talking about Chenin Blanc - Mr Forrester combined his love for this varietal and horses, and created the Ken Forrester Sparklehorse (MCC) 2011. It is proving to be so popular, that visitors to the farms are allowed to purchase only one bottle each! I am definitely opening my bottle during the holiday, and will savour every sip! 


Clos Malverne restaurant

Another unveiling I attended was the maiden Clos Malverne Cap Classique Ellie 2011, a Brut Rosé made of 100% Shiraz grapes in honour of the beloved mother of Sophia Pritchard, co-owner of this enduring, family-owned wine estate in the Devon Valley outside Stellenbosch. Try this yummy pink bubbly with smoked salmon and corn chowder; tempura prawns with a strawberry, mango, cucumber and coriander salsa, or a  sundried tomato, caramelized onion and camembert tart with wild rocket and a port reduction. You will find these dishes on their restaurant's menu - be sure to book your table!


Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel

An old favourite of mine is the Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel - it flowed at our wedding six years ago, and I am definitely one of their most regular customers! Frans Malan, the founder of Simonsig, was the first producer of Méthode Champenoise in South Africa when he made his first Cap Classique, named Kaapse Vonkel in 1971. It is of course also the same year that the Stellenbosch Wine Route was started, also by oom Frans, Spatz Sperling (Delheim) and Neil Joubert (Spier). More reason to celebrate! 

Another new kid on the block is the Thelema MCC Blanc de Blanc 2011, which I tasted for the first time last week. Yummy! And not to forget the Longridge Brut NV, which I drink by the gallons! 

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