1. Haute Cabriere Launches New Summer Menus

    Haute Cabriere Launches New Summer Menus
    Haute Cabriere, an iconic Franschhoek wine farm and a favourite stop on many of our clients' visits to South Africa, has released their 2017 summer menus. To complement the new menus and the beautiful setting of their location, Haute Cabriere will be extending their Tasting Room and Restaurant opening hours from 1 November. “With summer approaching it only makes sense to make this beautiful setting available for longer, and extend our food and wine offering,” comments Marketing Manager Lientjie McLachlan. New tasting room tapas and oyster menu for summer The Tasting Room will extend its hours 1 November 2017, and will be open from Mondays to Saturdays and Public Holidays from 10am to 6pm and Sundays from 11am to 4pm. A tapas-style, small plates menu has been introduced at the Tasting Room as a perfect accompaniment to the range of Haute Cabriere wines and Méthode Cap Classiques.  Various plates of tapas style food from Haute Cabriere's Tasting Room summer menus with Haute Cabriere's Pierre Jourdan Brut and other wines The small plates menu will be served on the terrace from 11am to 6pm Monday to Saturday during the South African summer season to allow guests to linger a little longer while taking in views of the valley. Restaurant dining now open seven days a week Continue reading →
  2. Chateau Musar: Wines with History Part 2

    Chateau Musar: Wines with History Part 2
    Our post last week focussed on Chateau Musar's signature wines, Chateau Musar Red, White and Rosé. This week, we will learn more about their other ranges: Hochar Père et Fils Red and Musar Jeune Red, White and Rosé. Hochar Père et Fils Red Hochar Père et Fils Red is made over four years from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Grenache harvested from a single vineyard. Like Chateau Musar Red, the blend reflects the character of the specific vintage. With rich red berry flavours and dark fruits, Hochar Père et Fils Red is very much an old world style wine with restrained flavours and a dignified dryness. Hochar Père et Fils Reds are not fined or filtered. The wines are suitable for vegans as they have not come into contact with any animal proteins, often used in the fining process. Their rich texture means they are likely to produce deposits in bottle which requires that the wine be decanted, at least one hour before drinking. Continue reading →
  3. Chateau Musar: Wines with History Part 1

    In a previous post, we followed Chateau Musar's history and took a look at their vineyards and winery. In this post, we take a look at the range of wines created originally in 1930, the Chateau Musar Red, White and Rosé. Chateau Musar - the top of the range Chateau Musar Red Chateau Musar Red 2009 Released seven years after harvest, Chateau Musar Reds are a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan. They are always aromatic with persistent fruit flavours, presenting plums, damsons, cranberries, cherries, figs and dates. Each vintage will differ depending on the qualities of the dominant varietal, but will remain unmistakably Chateau Musar. As the wines age over decades, they acquire tawny hues and mellow notes. The cellars still hold bottles from the 1950s. Chateau Musar Reds are neither fined nor filtered and are richly-textured. In vintages over a decade old, they are likely to ‘throw a crust’, or develop sediment and will require careful decanting. Continue reading →
  4. Chateau Musar: A Family Firm

    Chateau Musar: A Family Firm
    A true family business The story of Chateau Musar begins in 1930 when 20-year-old Gaston Hochar founded this Lebanese winery. His inspiration was the 6,000 years of winemaking tradition in Lebanon, enhanced by his travels in Bordeaux. Strong links with Bordeaux remain to this day through Gaston's relationship with French senior officers stationed in Lebanon during World War II. Gaston had two sons, Serge and Ronald. After studying civil engineering, Serge Hochar, Gaston’s eldest son decided to study oenology and he became a student of Emile Peynaud at the University of Oenology in Bordeaux. Gaston stepped aside in 1959 and Serge took the reigns as winemaker at Chateau Musar. Serge was chosen as Decanter Magazine’s first ‘Man of the Year’ in 1984. His dedication to producing exceptional quality wines during Lebanon’s Civil War gained him this accolade. In 2010, Serge received the “lifetime achievement award” from German magazine Der FeinSchmeker. Serge has two sons, Gaston and Marc. Gaston now manages the day-to-day running of the winery and Marc looks after the winery's commercial details. Unlike many other Lebanese wineries that closed due to the war, Chateau Musar continued to operate, often driving lorry loads of grapes through complex detours over the mountains to avoid battles. In only two years, 1976 and 1984 was Chateau Musar unable to produce any wine. This persistent continuity of operation was thanks to Gaston's son, Ronald. Continue reading →
  5. GlenWood's People, Community and Environment

    GlenWood's People, Community and Environment
    In our previous post on GlenWood, we learned about their history, philosophy and award-winning wines. This post will look at their commitment to people, community and environment as well as the awards and accreditation they and their people have achieved in recent years. People GlenWood is committed to the development of its people and includes this as an element in its business planning and strategy. TRAINING AND AWARDS Over the past few years the following awards have been won by people on the GlenWood team: - Franschhoek Farm Worker of the Year - South African Cellar Worker of the Year. GlenWood's Assistant Farm Manager since 2011, Cornel Paulse won Franschhoek Farm Worker of the Year in 2013 and 2015 and placed third in the Western Cape's Farm Worker of the Year in 2015. "In line with our staff development programme, we are currently training two people who we hope to enter next year," said Zinaschke Steyn, GlenWood's Assistant Winemaker. Continue reading →
  6. GlenWood's Award-Winning Wines

    GlenWood's Award-Winning Wines
    We are really excited to be welcoming GlenWood Vineyards' winemaker, DP Burger, to our Shropshire Tasting Rooms this Friday evening. DP will be hosting a food and wine pairing that will feature six of GlenWood’s wines. For more information on the event and to purchase tickets, email us on sales@htfwines.co.uk. A brief history of GlenWood Vineyards GlenWood started it's history as a general farm in 1811 in the Roberstvlei area of Franschhoek. In 1986, Alastair Wood purchased the GlenWood property. His farming dream was to produce wine. “This property immediately attracted me because, not only was it suitable for farming grapes to make quality wine, but it also gave me a wonderful sense of being at the very heart of nature while still being close to the village”, Alastair said. DP joined the team shortly thereafter and spearheaded the property's development over the following twelve years, until the farm was fully planted. Continue reading →
  7. Meet Mark Davies - an interview

    Meet Mark Davies - an interview
    We caught up with Mark Davies, Director of Hard To Find Wines recently and put some questions to him about the business, wine and life in general (well, as it pertains to wine of course!). Question: Please briefly explain your role at HTFW. I am currently a man with many hats. From sourcing new wines and liaising with existing suppliers, keeping the website up to date (as much as possible) and boxing and sending the wines from our warehouse. All in all very much a plate spinner and juggler! Question: How did you get into the industry? Out of university I spent several years working in the catering industry as a chef, so was always surrounded by wine and people with a thorough knowledge of wines. Having worked unsociable hours in a hot and steamy kitchen for 5 years it was an easy decision to jump ship and enter the world of wine importing. Question: What convinced you to start HTFW? A friend had been working in the wine industry specialising in South African wines and operating on a local basis and was looking to expand his business. In partnership Hard to Find Wines was established. Question: How did HTFW begin? Continue reading →
  8. Which Event? Where to find Hard To Find Wines

    Which Event? Where to find Hard To Find Wines
    We have four events currently booked during the months of September and October. Oxford Wine Festival In September, we will be showcasing our wines at the Oxford Wine Festival as part of a group of the UK’s leading wine merchants. The Festival runs from Friday, 8 September to Saturday, 9 September at the Oxford Union. You can buy tickets to the event on the Festival’s website. If you take a look at the Oxford TV footage on the website, you will see us representing Hard To Find Wines at the 2015 Festival. Wozani Three Wine Men Also in September, we will be attending Wozani Three Wine Men. The event will be held at South Africa House on the evening of Tuesday, 12 September. You can buy tickets on the Three Wine Men website. Make sure you come and say hello! Continue reading →
  9. An Evening of Food and Wine with GlenWood

    An Evening of Food and Wine with GlenWood
    You are invited to an intimate evening of food and wine pairing hosted by GlenWood Vineyard's winemaker, DP Burger at Hard To Find Wines' Tasting Room in Shropshire on Friday, 15 September 2017 at 7pm UPDATE: all the accommodation packages have been purchased. We do still have food and wine packages available and we can recommend other local accommodation. Just email us on sales@htfwines.co.uk to enquire. The evening will include a South African taster menu accompanied by the wonderful wines of GlenWood Vineyards based in Franschhoek, South Africa, and will be hosted by DP Burger. DP has been winemaker at GlenWood for 25 years. His family has lived in Franschhoek for five generations. His great-great-grandfather witnessed and recorded the departure of the last elephant from the Franschhoek valley in 1868. Venue [caption id="attachment_757" align="alignleft" width="640"]High Grosvenor, our beautiful, newly-renovated, 16th Century Tudor High Grosvenor, our beautiful, newly-renovated, 16th Century Tudor house[/caption] The evening will be held at Hard To Find Wines' Tasting Room with accommodation available in our beautiful, recently renovated 16th Century Tudor house, High Grosvenor, for those who would like the option of accommodation on-site. Continue reading →
  10. Bladen's Award Winning Wines

    [caption id="attachment_734" align="alignleft" width="863"]A lineup of Bladen's wine selection including pinot rose, sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, gewürztraminer, riesling Photo: Bladen Wines[/caption] It is winter now in New Zealand and Christine and Dave Macdonald of Bladen Wines, based in the Marlborough area are hard at work on the results of the 2017 harvest. "The 2016 vintage wines have been fantastic and we are thrilled to still have enough stock to run us through a little longer as the 2017 harvest was smaller than we had hoped for.  However, this last vintage is showing great promise from the tanks and barrels we are sampling and the first of these wines will be bottled very shortly," said Christine. Continue reading →

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