Thursday, 13 July 2017 16:07

The Juliet Cullinan Wine Festival

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HR Chardonnay Vineyards at the beginning of Spring HR Chardonnay Vineyards at the beginning of Spring Pictures provided by Juliet Cullinan

Oenophiles have attended South Africa’s most prestigious vinicultural event, the Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival for the past 27 years. In previous years the festival was at the Wanderers Club but has now moved to Summer Place.

Juliet has a natural instinct and wonderful palate and never disappoints with her line up, as she has a knack of finding those small gems.The festival is not just about getting your hands on fine wines, but there’s also the chance to taste the latest vintages, meet the winemakers, and compare regional differences under an elegant black marquee. 

New wineries this year were the wonderful Holden Manz, Kings Kloof, Epicurean, Lovane, Pasarene. Rascallion and Broad Valley. Also debuting were Môreson, Mont Blois, Uva Mira, Benguela Cove, Paul Wallace, Perdeberg, Doolhof, Benguela Cove, Survivor, Mont Blois, Montpellier, Babylonstoren and so guests were in for a treat!

Guests also discovered nuances in the MCC - Méthode Cap Classique bubblies from Haute Cabrière, Simonsig and Charles Fox. Also debuting were the Pierre Jourdan Popsicles, frozen bubbles on a stick, which some do not care for but others rave about. 

Traditional values continued to bolster the festival with Bouchard Finlayson, Bosman Family Vineyards, Creation, Dewetshof, Avondale, KWV, Ormonde, Raka, Thelema, Vrede en Lust, Avondale, Constantia Glen, De Grendel, Doolhof, The Drift, Idiom, Mont du Toit, Journeys End, Alto, Stellenzicht as well as Neethlingshof, La Motte, Hillcrest, Zevenwacht, and Vondeling, all party stalwarts.

The 2017 theme "unveil the sensory, timeless treasures and indulge in the secrets of the vine’"held true in every bottle as enthusiasts "discovered the nuances of fruit, flowers and oak", pure poetryto the ears.

Juliet always knows how to harness the latest technology and interactive activities included tutored tastings by the Cape Wine Masters, how wines taste different in coloured glasses, faulty wines, 3D virtual wine tours and new age Coravin Decanters.

Christian Lee and Juliet Cullinan created the first ever “Taste of Wine in Fashion” by pairing designer collections to different grape varieties. The match relies on the classical knowledge of food and wine and the creativity of art.

Foodies had the enjoyment of unveiling the fruits of the vine and nuances of fruit and flavour in the wines by an array of attractively priced gastronomic options for the hungry from Jem Caterers, The Oyster Lady and Gonedsa cheeses.

Guests felt uplifted by the Manzart display of artists - Donna McKellar, Leila Fanner, Vanessa Berlein, Karin Miller, Lisette Forsyth, Caitlin Truman-Baker - and were inspired by Robyn Davie Photography and Swiss Fireplaces.

The South African Wine Tasting Championship welcomed guests to identify wines blind and join the Gauteng Championships to represent SA.

In conclusion Juliet said: "I could not have done this without Standard Bank’s generous sponsorship for the past 17 years. Thanks for the inspiration, motivation and involvement.

"While the rand may fluctuate, our focus on world winemaking techniques, terroir and investment wines will ensure that we will eat, drink, and celebrate the berry, for years to come. As always, it’s all about excellence and quality."

Hear, hear! Looking forward to next year, Juliet!

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