All of a Twitter!!
August 20, 2010 in Uncategorized
The tweeting begins! @StefanLuka, @foodie_za @spitorswallow @Merlot_Girl
Last night saw what I hope will be the first of many Twitter tastings held at The Cru Café in Green Point Cape Town. We were tasting Cabernet Francs – a decision based on my love for the variety and a tweet-conversation I had overheard between Rob Armstrong of Haut Espoir (@rambowine if you want to get into the tweet-zone) and Sam Pugh, brand ambassador for L’Avenir (@SamPugh1 or @LAvenir1) about how great their Cabernet Francs were. Thrilled that others shared my love, I randomly invited every other winemaker I could find online who made a Cab Franc, along with a bunch of equally random twitterers to join me for a tasting. The lovely Jacques Castelain from Cru Café kindly offered his tables, wine glasses and delicious cheese straws and we convened at the restaurant last night to try them all.
Bruwer Raats, Cabernet Franc God, preaches the word.
The original idea had been to include only those winemakers who tweet – but it is impossible to talk about Cabernet Franc in any meaningful way in SA without including Bruwer Raats of Raats Family Wines. And boy, is everyone glad we did! What was intended as a fun informal tasting turned into a fascinating, full-on masterclass with one of the greatest winemakers of Cabernet Franc in the world (hey, if Jancis Robinson is prepared to exercise her fingers in support of him as she did last night ‘I do LOVE Raats Cab Franc’ then I think the title is justified don’t you?).
He was ably supported by Jean Vincent Ridon of Signal Hill Wines (@SignalHillWines), that master of seeking out soils, trying out new things, questioning, querying, always pushing himself to do better and – of course – producer of some of the finest and most edgy wines in SA. Fast following in their footsteps came talented young winemakers Neil Moorhouse from Zorgvliet (@NeilMoorhouse) and Corina du Toit of Eikendal (@corinadutoit) and then ably showing off their winemakers’ skills were James Dare from Warwick (@mikeratcliffe), Sam Pugh from L’Avenir and Rob Armstrong from Haut Espoir (@rambowine @HautEspoir).
Talking, tweeting, drinking.
What a wonderful time we had! Fabulous wines at all price levels, huge discussions about soils, drainage, restricting yields, the difficulties in selling Cab Franc and – gratifyingly – a growing sense of belief in this grape variety and its future in SA. Yes, we may have been biased, but why not when you taste the calibre of wines we enjoyed last night? The winemakers spoke of the variety with love and affection, the tweeters had our minds blown by the multiple layers of fruit and flavour, the elegance and the spice. In all our minds, Cabernet Franc is a serious contender for SA’s future success.
More on that subject soon, along with detailed tasting notes on the amazing wines we enjoyed last night, but in the meantime, why not try a Cab Franc this weekend? Seek them out at your favourite restaurants, demand them at your local wine bar, snatch them off the shelves at your friendly, neighbourhood retailer and see for yourself what we’re on about. I’ve seen the future and the future’s Franc!!