Stellenbosch at Summer Place… in Jozi

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The Stellenbosch at Summer Place event in Johannesburg, was everything it promised to be – from delicious gourmet food, five star wines to lively music and a beautiful venue. This was the event’s fifth year in the city, and its popularity only seems to grow with each passing year.

I arrived at the venue promptly at 6:30pm and was greeted with a glass of chilled champagne (yes, champagne and not bubbly!). The place was already quite busy, with all of Joburg’s wine loving community in attendance. After all, it’s not everyday that one gets to taste the finest wines from Stellenbosch, paired with exceptional food prepared by the top chefs of the region.

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The venue looked exquisite and was divided into two sections – the outdoors, which was main seating area with food and entertainment, and the indoors, where the wine tasting was taking place. The outside area sported a massive fountain in the centre, soft lighting, lovely seating arrangements and tables laden with the most scrumptious looking dips, pates, canapés, macaroons, breads, olives and other delicacies. In addition, there was a steady stream of finger foods being served by highly attentive staff. It hard to decide what to eat and what to leave! All this along with the incredible music of Amazink All Stars, a group of musicians from the Stellenbosch township of Kayamandi, made the lovely evening quite outstanding.

But the main action was taking place inside – where eight different varieties of wines from 45 estates, were waiting to be tasted! Chenin Blancs, Chardonnays, Pinotage, Shiraz, white and red blends were few of the varieties being showcased. As soon as I walked in, I realised that I had made the right choice by opting not to drive that evening!

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The best part about this tasting was that bottles were just left on the tables for guests to try and while the wine makers were available throughout the evening, for anyone looking for advice or recommendations, the tasting itself was pretty relaxed.

The five celebrity chefs, Tanja Kruger from Makaron Restaurant at Majeka House, Christiaan Campbell from the Delaire Graff estate, Bertus Basson of the Overture restaurant, Grégory Czarnecki from the Waterkloof Estate and Michael Broughton of Terroir restaurant, were kept on their toes throughout the evening. The plates of food disappeared even before the chefs had a chance to put them down!

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Completely satiated with the wine, food and great company, it was time to head home, sober down and wait for the next edition of this event!