One of the most pleasurable duties of launching the new Galenia is the sourcing of supplies for our guests from this incredibly rich and varied region of the Western Cape. It really is difficult to decide amongst the many growers and producers of food and wine in our immediate area just who to feature on our menus and wine list. Of course we try to support as many of our neighbours as we can as we feel that there is something extra special about consuming food and wine in the location where it is grown and produced. In Italy they call it Kilometre Zero – eating as close as possible to the point of production. We cannot claim to be Kilometre Zero (our guests might be munching on ‘Fynbos’) apart from our own estate-produced Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but certainly the majority of our supplies come from the Langeberg area.
It is really a delight to meet the diverse and fascinating people so passionately committed to producing such high quality food and wine.
One of our recent ‘finds’ is a superb sparkling wine (Methode Cap Classique) from Silverthorn Wines called ‘Jewel Box’. In true champagne fashion it is fermented in the bottle and a classic combination of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. It is obviously the creation of a truly gifted winemaker – John Loubser- from grapes grown on his farm located between Robertson and Bonnievale.
The handpicked grapes are ‘bunch pressed’ producing a precious, if meagre, 550 litres per ton of grapes. The Chardonnay is then given its primary fermentation in stainless steel tanks and also French oak barrels whilst the Pinot Noir is fermented in stainless steel only. This separate fermentation process gives a selection of wines to build a complex blend of the 60% (Chardonnay) and 40% (Pinot Noir) that is then bottled for its secondary fermentation. This wine then stays in the bottle (on the lees) for a minimum of 42 months before ‘degorgement’.
Jewel Box is described as ‘dry, rich and full on the palate with a soft toasty creaminess – a nose of complex roasted almond and marzipan with a hint of cherry compote and strawberry with a zesty citrus finish’. We agree with all of this, even though we might not be able to be so articulate. Suffice to say that this superb quality MCC wine would leave any champagne aficionado confused but delighted to find that it comes from our native South Africa.
We recommend a glass or two as a sundowner or as an aperitif.