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  1. Meet the Winemaker: Takuan von Arnim - March 2018

    Meet the Winemaker: Takuan von Arnim - March 2018
    You are invited to join Takuan von Arnim, Cellar Master of Haute Cabriere, for two exclusive evenings hosted by Hard To Find Wines in London and Shropshire in March 2018 Meet the Cellar Master: Thursday, 8 March at High Timber Restaurant in London, EC4V 3PA from 6.30pm. For more information and your FREE ticket, CLICK HERE. An Evening of Food and Wine with Haute Cabriere: Saturday...
  2. GlenWood: Bottling their 2017 Merlot

    GlenWood: Bottling their 2017 Merlot
    We had the privilege of observing the bottling of GlenWood's 2017 Merlot on Friday, 2 February 2018. What an exciting morning! Here are some photos of the process. [caption id="attachment_1183" align="alignleft" width="640"]A photo of Merlot being pumped from the tank Merlot being pumped from the tank to the bottling plant[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1188" align="alignleft" width="640"]A photo of the bottling trailer The wine is pumped to the bottling trailer[/caption] Continue reading →
  3. Stony Brook - the history and the wines

    Stony Brook - the history and the wines
    The Stony Brook story starts in the late 1980s when the McNaught family fell in love with Franschhoek and purchased a piece of land with a plan to create premium-quality wines reflecting the area and the styles of wine they most enjoyed. In 1995, the McNaughts sold their first farm and purchased an old fruit farm, now called Stony Brook. The McNaughts replanted the farm to vines and built a small cellar. Their focus was on Cabernet Sauvignon, Semillon and Chardonnay and they began to produce the first wines under the Stony Brook label. By 2011, Craig McNaught joined his parents at Stony Brook and took over as winemaker. The farm is peaceful and quiet, tucked away in the bo-hoek region of Franschhoek. "It's a magic little area," said Craig when we caught up with him recently. Philosophy Stony Brook maintains an old world winemaking philosophy. "I think we're old world at heart, very much old world at heart, taking a lot of inspiration from specifically Spain and Italy in terms of winemaking. Our SA climate is much more like Spain or Southern Italy than France." "While our approach to winemaking is traditional, our outlook on planting and assemblage is an exploratory one, allowing us to find a unique way to express our soils, climate and remarkable site in Franschhoek. We take the best of what we can plant and we plant it. We handle all the grapes with a lot of respect. We're just trying to make age-worthy wines." Stony Brook's latest development has been the introduction of Tempranillo vines. The result is their critically-acclaimed wine, Ovidius, created with Tempranillo alone and a real delight to drink. [caption id="attachment_1173" align="alignleft" width="640"]A photo of the ghost gum tree at Stony Brook from which the Ghost Gum range takes its name The Ghost Gum at Stony Brook from where the Ghost Gum range takes its name[/caption] Wines Stony Brook produces a wide range of low volume wines. Their red wines are not very fruit driven, unlike what you would expect from many SA reds. This is largely due to the maturation process. Craig's winemaking style is more Italian, a little more rustic. All varieties spend at least 28 months in barrel but the oak is not there to add flavour. It purely adds structure. To maintain the character of the wine, sulphur is only added after a year. Continue reading →
  4. New Arrivals from Franschhoek!

    New Arrivals from Franschhoek!
    Our latest shipment of South African wines has arrived! We are excited to announce that, for the first time, outstanding quality wines from Stony Brook, Le Lude and Infinity Wines are available through Hard To Find Wines. We are also delighted to have received some gems from GlenWood including final stock of the Chardonnay Vigneron's Selection 2015. It's the last chance to buy this vintage so don't delay! STONY BROOK VINEYARDS An old world winemaking philosophy paired with an exploratory planting and assemblage strategy have allowed Stony Brook's winemaker, Craig McNaught to beautifully express the true terroir of their unique position in Franschhoek. Here are four of the wide range of small volume wines we have available from Stony Brook. For the full selection, click here. Continue reading →
  5. Three must-do Franschhoek wine experiences

    Three must-do Franschhoek wine experiences
    If you are due to visit Cape Town for your holiday, make sure you include a trip to Franschhoek to experience some of the Cape Wineland's best wine estates. Franschhoek is one of the oldest towns in South Africa and is situated 46 miles outside of Cape Town, surrounded by mountains and vineyards. The name Franschhoek means French Corner and...
  6. 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 →
  7. 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 →
  8. 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 →
  9. 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 →
  10. 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 →

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