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Tag Archives: franschhoek

  • New Arrivals from South Africa

    Latest arrivals from South Africa include new wines and new vintages from La Couronne and, for our South African cricketing fans, Infinity Wine's The First XI The Belter is back in stock!

    La Couronne

    We welcome some new vintages and also some new wines amongst our new arrivals from La Couronne in Franschhoek. Among the delightful new wines, is their IWC Gold Medal winning Barre Fermented Chardonnay 2016.

    NEW WINE - International Wine Challenge Gold Medal
    La Couronne Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2016

    A bottle of La Couronne Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
    A full, rich, creamy mouthfeel of almonds and vanilla with a lingering aftertaste of smoky peach and citrus.
    £17.99

    NEW WINE
    La Couronne Petit Malbec 2015

    A bottle of La Couronne Le Petit Malbec
    La Couronne Le Petit Malbec is more tannic, with a chewy texture, raisin-
    esque flavours and astringent feel noticeable on the palate.
    £12.99

    NEW WINE
    La Couronne Limited Release Pinotage 2016

    A bottle of La Couronne Limited Release Pinotage
    A rich full-bodied wine with an earthy aroma coupled with dark fruits. The palate is smooth and succulent, with touches of spice and brambles accompanying dark cherry and blackcurrant flavours.

    £24.99

    NEW WINE
    La Couronne Limited Release Viognier 2016

    A bottle of La Couronne Limited Release Viognier
    Viognier is a vibrant, distinct wine with marmalade, honey, peaches and orange blossom flavours, integrated with subtle toasty French oak aroma. The wine has a creamy mouthfeel with nutmeg and apricot flavours lingering on the aftertaste.
    £22.50

    To shop for these wonderful new wines or new vintages of your favourites, click here.
    New vintages in stock include, amongst others: Merlot 2016, Portside Red 2015 and Upper Deck Chenin Blanc 2018

    Infinity Wines

    The Belter is a very popular wine with our customers. We are delighted to announce that with the arrival of our latest wines is more stock of The Belter 2015. If you haven't tried this wine yet, you really should!

    BACK IN STOCK!
    The First XI The Belter 2015

    A bottle of The First XI The Belter 2015
    This intriguing blend of Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Grenache and Tannat is silky soft on the palate with succulent tannins and notes of white pepper, red fruit, chocolate and cherry tobacco on the nose. This wine was matured in small French oak barrels for 15 months and all grapes used to make this wine were picked by hand.
    £15.99

    To try other First XI wines, visit our website here.

  • Black Friday 2018 Offers

    Black Friday 2018 is upon us!

    Up to 40% Discount on Selected Cases

    To celebrate Black Friday 2018, we are offering Hard to Find Wines customers savings of up to 40% on selected cases of wine.

    Don't delay! These offers are only valid this weekend.


     

    Orange River Cellars Taster Case
    £38.00

    Was: £53.44
    (29% off)

    A taster case of Orange River Cellars wines

    An outstanding value 6 bottle taster case from Orange River Cellars, a South African vineyard located in Upington. A great selection for parties.


     

    Pinotage Half Case
    £60.00

    Was: £73.74
    (19% off)

    A taster case of South African pinotage

    Pinotage is South Africa's signature variety and we have selected 6 wines we believe to be some of the best examples of this unique grape from 6 different vineyards.


     

    Haute Cabriere Taster Case
    £60.00

    Was: £82.94
    (28% off)

    A taster case of Haute Cabriere wines

    Renowned for the Pierre Jourdan Methode Cap Classique sparkling range Cabriere also produce a range of still wines using the traditional Champagne varieties Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.


     

    Bladen Taster Half Case
    £69.00

    Was: £92.94
    (26% off)

    Bladen wines taster case header photo

    Dave and Christine Macdonald started this vineyard from scratch, and although still only small, manage to craft stunning whites and reds that encapsulate the Marlborough region. This taster case contains a selection of 6 of Bladen's red and white wines.


     

    Explorer 12 Bottle Mixed Case
    £95.00

    Was: £155.88
    (40% off)

    A 12 bottle case of wines from around the world
    A mixed case of wines from around the world, including wines from Spain, USA, Australia, Chile, Luxembourg, Argentina and South Africa. The 12 bottles include sparkling, white, red and dessert wines.


     

    South African 12 Bottle Selection
    £100.00

    Was: £147.88
    (33% off)

    A 12 bottle case of South African wines

    This selection of wines we have picked from our premier South African vineyards. Includes wines from Haute Cabriere, Glenwood, Zorgvliet, Orange River, La Couronne, Asara, Rainbow's End, Lanzerac and De Krans.


     

    Don't delay! Buy your Black Friday 2018 wines today. Special offer lasts for this weekend only!

  • Five Fun Itinerary Ideas - Cape Winelands

    It's the start of the summer season in South Africa and that means it's the time of year that visitors from the UK make their way to the Cape Winelands. Here are five must do's to add to any itinerary when visiting Franschhoek and Stellenbosch.

    Picnics at Mont Rochelle

    In addition to the Country Kitchen and Miko Restaurant, Mont Rochelle offers delicious picnics baskets. Two adults can share a basket that includes cheeses, charcuteries, salads, wraps and more (especially the delicious dessert). Kids under 12 receive their own basket with a child-appropriate menu.

    For more information, visit Mont Rochelle's website here.

    MCC and canapes at Le Lude

    We always have time for bubbles and the perfect spot to enjoy a tasting of Method Cap Classique is at Le Lude in Franschhoek. Their enchanting and beautiful setting complements their wonderful wines and their canape tasting is definitely worth trying. Le Lude offers three canape options, including a selection for vegetarians.

    The rose garden at Le Lude

    While at Le Lude, make sure you take in their glorious rose garden and the views across the surrounding Franschhoek mountains.

    For more information, visit Le Lude's website here.

    Find Wine and Food Pairing at GlenWood

    The tranquil setting at GlenWood is the perfect backdrop for a very innovative tasting experience. On arrival, you will be presented with a specifically designed tasting palette offering six tastings that compliment six of GlenWood's wines. After tasting, select your lunch main course from your favourite tasting and a glass of wine to accompany it.

    GlenWood Fine Wine and Food Experience

    You will not be disappointed by this perfectly planned and prepared tasting! The exquisite wines and the delicious meals accompanying them are not to be missed.

    Learn more on the GlenWood website here.

    Horseback Wine Tasting at Rickety Bridge and Mont Rochelle

    This is one for the horse lovers among us! Beginner or advanced, this experience will be one you thoroughly enjoy.

    The wine tasting on horseback experience begins at Paradise Stables and lasts around four hours. You pass GlenWood and ride towards Rickety Bridge where you will stop for a wine tasting. After that, it's back on the horses and on to Mont Rochelle for another wine tasting.

    Horseback wine tour stopping at Rickety Bridge

    Such beautiful vistas surround you on this unique tasting and excellent wines await you at each stop. You will be so pleased you included this on your itinerary.

    For more information, visit Paradise Stables' website here.

    Duck Parade and Saturday Market at Vergenoegd

    The very first vineyard at the start of the Stellenbosch Winelands, closest to Cape Town, is the Vergenoegd Low Wine Estate. Along with very good wines, they also have a very novel parade by their pest controlling Indian Runner Ducks a few times a day.

    Vergenoegd Duck Parade

    Each Saturday, Vergenoegd hosts a market from 9am until 3pm, offering crafts, food, beverages, wine tastings and live entertainment. If fitness is your thing, then why not start Saturday off with an early morning run at 8am, hosted by Vergenoegd.

    For more information on these and other activities offered by Vergenoegd, visit their website here.

    There are so many other activities to enjoy when visiting the Cape Winelands. Are there any others you are looking forward to when visiting? Let us know and we can feature those on an upcoming blog post.

  • GlenWood Vineyards' Recent Awards

    On Thursday, 4 October and Saturday, 6 October, DP Burger of GlenWood Vineyards in Franschhoek, South Africa will be hosting events with Hard To Find Wines in celebration of GlenWood's award-winning wines.

    To give some perspective on how excellent their wines are, here are some of GlenWood Vineyards' recent awards.

     


     

     

     Glenwood - Chardonnay - Vigneron's Selection - 2015

    Vigneron’s Selection Chardonnay 2016

    - Decanter World Wine Awards – Silver
    - International Wine and Spirits Competition – Silver
    - South African Wine Index – Platinum (95+)
    - Prescient Chardonnay Report – 92 points
    - Franschhoek Appellation Grand Prestige Status
    - Chardonnay du Monde – Silver
    - Vitis Vinifera – Gold
    - Winemag Chardonnay Report – 92 points

    A bottle of GlenWood Grand Duc Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2016

    Grand Duc Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 2016

    - SA Terroir Wine Awards – Best in District
    - Platter’s 4.5* (92 points)

    GlenWood Grand Duc Noblesse NV

    Grand Duc Noblesse 2014

    - Winemag Sweet Wine report – 90 points

    Would you like to learn of previous awards won by GlenWood? Take a look at one of our previous blog posts.

    For more information on our upcoming London and Shropshire GlenWood events, visit our blog here. Book your tickets - don't delay!

  • Announcing the GlenWood Event Menu!

    The amazing 7-course menu created by Tom Kearns of Fresh & Lush for our GlenWood event in Shropshire on Saturday, 6 October has just been released! Here it is, to whet your appetite:

    Canapes
    Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2017
    In-house made biltong with Wrekin Blue on salt and rosemary focaccia croutes
    Ras el hanout chicken with preserved lemon yoghurt and pickled vegetables
    Arancini with Parmesan and salsa verde


     

    Bread
    Unoaked Chardonnay 2016
    In-house made bread with smoked butter and salsa verde


     

    Starter
    Vignerons Selection Chardonnay 2015
    Pumpkin gnocchi served with Pecorino Romano and amaretti biscuits


     

    Mid
    Merlot 2016
    Pressed pork terrine, crackling crumbed quail egg, rosemary and apple jelly
    - Strawberry Field Farm woodland-reared Oxford Sandy and Black pigs -


     

    Main
    Vignerons Selection Shiraz 2015
    Pit-smoked Berber spiced lamb shoulder, vine tomato reduction, pickled vegetables, mint and preserved lemon giant couscous
    - Strawberry Field Farm award-winning Shropshire lamb -


     

    Cheese course
    Grand duc Syrah 2014
    Warm three cheese rarebit with pickled figs


     

    Pudding
    Grand Duc Noblesse NV
    Torta caprese with zabaglione and poached pear sorbet


     

    Buy your tickets now to make sure you secure your place at the table!

    Food and wine pairing: £80 per person
    Food and wine pairing with one night's B&B: £175 per person

    Or call us on 01746 389 749 or email sales@htfwines.co.uk for more information.

  • Meet GlenWood Vineyards' Cellar Master, DP Burger In Person

    Celebrate GlenWood Wines with Cellar Master, DP Burger, in October!

    Join DP Burger for two exclusive evenings!

    Meet the Cellar Master
    Thursday, 4 October 2018 in London from 6pm

    An Evening of Food and Wine
    Saturday, 6 October at High Grosvenor in Shropshire from 7pm


    DP Burger has been at GlenWood Vineyards since 1991 and has developed the farm from the start. His family has lived in Franschhoek for five generations. DP's great-great-grandfather witnessed and recorded the departure of the last elephant from the Franschhoek valley in 1868!

    Learn more about DP's history with GlenWood and his passion for wine on another recent blog post.

    A photo of DP Burger, winemaker at GlenWood Vineyards in his cellar


    Venues

    Meet the Cellar Master
    Thursday, 4 October 2018
    6-9pm
    The Chesterfield Mayfair, London

    An evening of wine tasting and canapés hosted by DP Burger, showcasing the full range of GlenWood wines as well as back vintages.

    The evening will be held at The Chesterfield Mayfair, 35 Charles Street, Mayfair London W1J 5EB starting at 6pm.

    Tickets
    £10 per person

    For here for more information and tickets.


    An Evening of Food and Wine with GlenWood
    Saturday, 6 October 2018
    7pm
    High Grosvenor, Bridgnorth, Shropshire

    Starting at 7pm, DP will introduce GlenWood's wines paired with a carefully planned and prepared menu designed by Tom Kearns of Fresh & Lush.

    The evening will be held at Hard To Find Wines' Tasting Room with accommodation available in our beautiful, newly renovated 16th Century Tudor house, High Grosvenor, for those who would like the option of accommodation on-site. Contact us for details of other nearby accommodation.

    Tickets
    Food and wine pairing: £80 per person
    Food and wine pairing with one night's B&B: £175 per person

    For more information and tickets:

    Food and wine pairing tickets
    Food and wine pairing with one night's B&B tickets

    High Grosvenor, our beautiful, newly-renovated, 16th Century Tudor


    Menu

    An amazing 7-course menu has been created by Tom Kearns of Fresh & Lush for our GlenWood event in Shropshire on Saturday, 6 October 2018.

    Canapes
    Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2017
    In-house made biltong with Wrekin Blue on salt and rosemary focaccia croutes
    Ras el hanout chicken with preserved lemon yoghurt and pickled vegetables
    Arancini with Parmesan and salsa verde

    Bread
    Unoaked Chardonnay 2016
    In-house made bread with smoked butter and salsa verde

    Starter
    Vignerons Selection Chardonnay 2015
    Pumpkin gnocchi served with Pecorino Romano and amaretti biscuits

    Mid
    Merlot 2016
    Pressed pork terrine, crackling crumbed quail egg, rosemary and apple jelly
    - Strawberry Field Farm woodland-reared Oxford Sandy and Black pigs -

    Main
    Vignerons Selection Shiraz 2015
    Pit-smoked Berber spiced lamb shoulder, vine tomato reduction, pickled vegetables, mint and preserved lemon giant couscous
    - Strawberry Field Farm award-winning Shropshire lamb -

    Cheese course
    Grand Duc Syrah 2014
    Warm three cheese rarebit with pickled figs

    Pudding
    Grand Duc Noblesse NV
    Torta caprese with zabaglione and poached pear sorbet


    For tickets and enquiries, please see our website or email sales@htfwines.co.uk.

    Do not delay! Spaces are limited.

  • Meet DP Burger of GlenWood: an Interview

    On 4 and 6 October 2018, Hard To Find Wines will welcome DP Burger, Cellar Master of GlenWood Vineyards in Franschhoek, South Africa, to the UK to host two events. One will be hosted in London and the other at High Grosvenor in Shropshire.

    Keep an eye on our social media or sign up for our newsletters to learn more about how to book for these events when details are released.

    In advance of these highly anticipated events, we put a few questions to DP to learn more about him and his history at GlenWood.

    Question: How did you get into the industry?

    My entire time growing up, I was always getting my hands dirty in the soil. I was born and raised on a farm in Franschhoek and as a 4thgeneration French Huguenot, agriculture has always been in my blood. I completed my school career at Boland Agricultural High School in Paarl, where my son, Divan, has just been enrolled. After that, I completed a Diploma in Viticulture at Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch. THIS IS WHAT I WAS BORN TO DO.

    Question: Tell us about a highlight you particularly enjoyed at GlenWood?

    Harvesting time is always so fulfilling!!!!!!! This is when everything, all hard work of 11 months, comes together and I can get the feeling of how the wines will turn out. Exciting to say the least.

    Question: How does the unique setting of GlenWood affect the wines you create?

    GlenWood’s terroir brings something extremely unique to the viti- and viniculture processes. We have 6 different soil types on the farm and a microclimate truly unique to this special valley. This all contributes to wines with their own strong characters and is one of the reasons I have been with GlenWood for 27 years. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for any vintner and at present it is all MINE.

    Question: What is special about the way GlenWood creates wines?

    My approach has always been “let the terroir do the work and only guide it through its paces”. I believe in minimal interference and true characteristically vinified wines. As an example, Chardonnay should taste like a Chardonnay you have never tasted before!

    Question: What sets GlenWood wines apart from other wines?

    Again, without hesitation, I will point to our unique terroir which is nowhere to be found, not even 7 kilometres away in the main Franschhoek Valley. I always describe these wines in a single sentence, “you can taste the GlenWood soil in each and every one of them”. Never will I be arrogant to say it is the best in the world, but without hesitation, I will point out that GlenWood Wines are special and unique to only this special little unknown valley near Franschhoek.

    Question: Which is your favourite GlenWood wine? Tell us why.

    An extremely unfair question as I like them all! On a serious note, I get this question a lot and answer as follow, “it all depends on my mood, what am I eating, outside temperature and, most importantly, what do I feel like enjoying”.

    Question: Tell us about a challenging moment in the story of GlenWood and how it was overcome.

    My biggest curveball was on 15 February 2018 when we were struck by a massive hail storm. 80% of our premium Chardonnay, Semillon and Merlot were destroyed, leaving me with the scrapes to vinify. This was truly an ultimate low for me as all the hard work was literarily lying on the ground. We pulled together believing that God had a plan and WOW! The wines we managed to make from these grapes are UNBELIEVABLE, to say the least. Best you get the orders in as there are not many bottles made from the 2018 vintage!

    Question: What about wine are you most passionate?

    Most definitely the entire industry. Wine builds bridges and I have been so privileged to see the world with a bottle of GlenWood in my hands. I have made friends all over the globe and every time we get together there WILL BE WINE INVOLVED! Where do you get such a great job?

    Question: What do you do on your day off?

    As a proud dad, my son Divan just received his Western Province colours for Deep Sea Angling and is now a proud Western Province Angler with me! We spend hours on the ocean fishing on our boat Double D. I am also an Arabian horse fanatic and obtained my Western Province colours earlier this year as an endurance rider. This follows some time after my wife Mariska and daughter Kristie who managed this achievement two years ago already. Life is all about balance and I enjoy my off, away from wine, time.

    Question: What off-the-beaten-track secret can you divulge about Franschhoek for Hard To Find Wines visitors?

    Franschhoek is a fantastic must-visit destination in South Africa! While in this beautiful valley please take the drive down the short gravel road to GlenWood where I promise you an unforgettable food & wine experience! I will be delighted to host you.

    Question: Tell us an unusual or memorable wine tale.

    I started with Alastair Wood on GlenWood in 1991 developing the farm from scratch. Every vine, every pole have some of my sweat on it, which makes the first ever bottle of Chardonnay produced in 2000 a very special bottle of wine. I still have this bottle in my collection and vouched to open it the day I retire from this fantastic farm.

    Question: What’s next for GlenWood?

    We always strive to deliver a personal flavour somewhere along the line. The upcoming season will be something for the books with the NEW Food & Wine Experience offer to be released soon. Good food with excellent wine…………………………..what can beat that?

  • Win a Case of South African Sparkling Wines

    To celebrate summer, we are giving away a selection of some of the best sparkling wines South Africa has to offer!

    All six bottles are produced using the Methode Cap Classique process used in producing Champagne. The result is top quality Sparkling Wines with a fine mousse and lots of flavour.

    Enter by clicking here.

     


     

    The six bottle mixed case includes:

    - Pierre Jourdan Brut
    - Klein Constantia Brut
    - Le Lude Brut
    - Lanzerac Blanc de Blancs
    - Pierre Jourdan Belle Rose
    - Stony Brook Bailey Rose

    Enter our South African Sparkling Wine Competition now to stand a chance to win this case of excellent SA Sparkling Wines!

    Click here to enter online.

    If you can't wait for the competition to end, you can purchase your own case here for a discounted price of £100!


     

    Competition is open to UK residents only. You must be over 18 to enter. No purchase necessary. Competition closes 31 August 2018. See full Terms and Conditions when you enter.

  • New Arrival: Haute Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2017

    Haute Cabriere's 2017 vintage of their very popular Chardonnay Pinot Noir has just arrived at Hard To Find Wines!

    "The 2017 vintage yielded grapes of outstanding quality, resulting in a beautiful balance of fruit and acidity." says Cellar Master Takuan von Arnim.


     

    Cellar Master's Reflections

    The two noble Burgundian cultivars of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir form the cornerstone of Haute Cabrière’s wine culture.

    Haute Cabrière, situated on the foot of the Franschhoek Pass, was the first winery in South Africa to produce a still wine from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir - a blend traditionally used exclusively for Méthode Cap Classique and Champagne. Chardonnay contributes elegance, and Pinot Noir intensity and richness.

    This blend consists of predominantly unwooded Chardonnay, rounded off with Pinot Noir. Combined in perfect proportions, resulting in a white blend with an abundance of fruit on the nose and a slight creaminess on the palate.


     

    Haute Cabriere
    Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2017
    From £9.99

    A bottle of Haute Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2017

    John Platter - 4 stars

    This enticing blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir shows elegant fruit and acidity, creating the perfect balance. You will find an abundance of zesty fruit - most notably white peach, pineapple, lime, followed by subtle red berry fruit - with a delectable full mouthfeel.

    Click here to order your bottles today!


     

    "This latest 2017 vintage has achieved one of its highest ratings in recent years and is a favourite at Hard to Find Wines HQ!

    An iconic wine from the Franschhoek valley, this unique blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir was pioneered by the estate in the early 90's. This vintage shows an incredible freshness yet maintains its signature balance of white stone fruit, peaches and lychee ending on a beautiful berry finish.

    A most versatile wine which can be enjoyed as much on its own as with food pairings."

    - Mark Davies, Hard to Find Wines


     

    Recommended pairings

    Seafood and chicken dishes as well as Mediterranean flavours.

    Click here to order your bottles today!

    Haute Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2017 with food

  • Food and Wine Pairing: Haute Cabrière Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2017

    A big favourite at Hard to Find Wines HQ is Haute Cabrière’s Chardonnay Pinot Noir. Whilst it’s a perfect wine to drink on its own, Chardonnay Pinot Noir works very well with seafood.

    Here is the perfect complimentary recipe created by Haute Cabrière’s chefs Nic van Wyk and Westley Muller.


     

    Grilled line fish with sauce vierge paired with Haute Cabrière Chardonnay Pinot Noir

     

    Ingredients
    Serves 4

    Fish

    4x200g fish fillets, we use hake most of the time or any Sassi green listed fish
    16 baby Nicola or red skin or fir potatoes (4 per person)
    *4 artichoke hearts cut in half

    Sauce Vierge

    1/2 cup olive oil
    1/2 cup canola oil
    80ml Raspberry vinegar
    Juice of one lemon
    1/2 red onion, chopped
    2 Tomatoes skinned and deseeded
    1 Tbs toasted crushed coriander seeds
    1 Tbs toasted crushed fennel seeds
    100g chopped parsley
    100g chopped basil
    100g spring onions
    Salt and pepper

    Method

    For the sauce

    Toast the spices and crush. Add the red onion and hot toasted spices to the vinegar and lemon juice. Bring to the boil, and infuse for 30 min. Strain the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Finely dice the skinned tomato and chop the herbs. Whisk all the oil and vinegar mixture together, add the fresh herbs and tomato and season.

    For the rest of the dish

    Cook the baby potatoes with the skin on, in salted water till soft, remove and drain, cut in rounds and dress with some sauce vierge set aside.

    Grill the artichoke hearts on a griddle pan until nice and charred on the edges, set aside. Both these items are served at room temperature.

    For the fish

    Grill the fish until nice and brown, about 2-3 minutes on each side and finish in a hot oven if need be for 3 minutes.  Spoon some of the sauce verge on a room temperature plate and place the potatoes in the middle, place the fish on top of the potatoes and finish with the grilled artichokes make sure you have enough sauce on the plate, each bite should be able to soak up a good amount of sauce.

    *Seasonal. You can use good quality bottled artichokes. The ones in oil are best. Asparagus also works well as pictured.

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