… including two varietals picked and stomped by a Springbok!

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Wine Menu’s popular Unlock the Unusuals wine festival  returns to Johannesburg on Thursday, September 7 to showcase South Africa’s lesser known varietals. And this year, Kloovenburg Wine & Olive Estate will be there to sample four of their wines that Gautengers may not be familiar with. These include their acclaimed Grenache 2016 and their Carignan 2015, both of which were produced under the watchful eye of winemaker Jolandie Fouché.

“Jolandie grew up in the Swartland,” says Pieter Du Toit, Kloovenburg’s cellarmaster and viticulturist. ”This gives her a real understanding of the culture and climate we seek to reflect in our wines.”

To Fouché, the appeal of Kloovenburg lies in the history of the farm, its people and the area’s unique terroir. “I also like the direction Kloovenburg has embarked on in terms of the new cultivars planted and new wine styles being made,” she says. “We believe the wine is made in the vineyard, which is why we focus on terroir expression in each wine, with minimal intervention in the cellar to produce wines that are complex.”

Another two wines that will be available for tasting on the night are Kloovenburg’s Eight Feet Red 2014 and Eight Feet White 2016. The former being a blend made of four Southern Rhone varietals comprising bush vine Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvedre and Carignan; while the latter is a blend of Chenin Blanc / Grenache Blanc / Roussanne and Verdelho.

Interestingly, the name ‘Eight Feet’ is derived from a family occasion as it originally involved every member, including Du Toit’s four sons.  Says du Toit: “My boys were always playing around the cellars and in the vineyards and loved to follow me around and watch me work. So in 2003, I thought it would be a nice thing to get them involved – a good opportunity for some father-son bonding – so I let them pick some grapes, stomp them themselves in a couple of barrels and we made some wine! My wife suggested calling it ‘Eight Feet’ to remind us all of that happy family time we had together.”

Even more interesting is that one of those boys – Pieter Steph Du Toit (now 25) – has grown up to become one of our top Springbok rugby players, while younger brother Johan (22) recently made his Super Rugby debut for the Stormers.  The two siblings who make up the other “four feet” are Anton (19) and Daniel (18) who were five and four at the time.

Kloovenburg’s four wines are just a hint of what can be expected at Unlock the Unusuals, which, for winelovers, has become a not-to-be-missed display of truly exceptional wines. The festival takes place in the Killarney Country Club’s Crystal Room on Thursday, September 7 at 18h00.

Kloovenburg will also be represented at the Cradle of Food and Wine Festival which is being held at the Cradle Boutique Hotel – in association with Wine Menu – on Saturday, August 19 in honour of Women’s Month! There they will not only be sampling their wines (Blanc de Noir NV, Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Grenache Noir 2016 and Merlot 2014), but they will also present their range of olive oils which includes Oreganum and Chili & Garlic flavours.

Tickets for the Unlock the Unusuals Festival are R250pp and are available from Webtickets or via Corlien Morris at Wine Menu on 083 379 0030 or email corlien@winemenu.co.za

Tickets for the Cradle of Food & Wine are R75pp and available via www.webtickets.co.za or at the door.

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