Ernie Els Wines Newsletter – February 2017

01 Feb

All the latest releases, news and offers from the team at Ernie Els Wines.

1. Ernie Els Wines…the harvest is coming!
As the New Year rolls on, it also signals the start of a new vintage at Ernie Els Wines. Summer is definitely in full swing in Stellenbosch as we eagerly await the start of harvest. Indeed, for the past month the excitement has been building in the vineyards and around the winery. Our viticulturist Leander has been watching the grapes closely as they complete veraison. With a dry, but cooler than normal spring, our vineyards are healthy with most bunches producing smaller berries. This is always a good sign, as smaller berries tend to produce high quality wine with good intensity.

Meanwhile, at the winery the team has been busy finishing some pre-harvest bottlings before the season start. The whole winery, including all the harvest equipment, has been spring cleaned and the team is ready to rock ‘n roll. Our winemakers Louis Strydom and L’Ré Burger have been doing frequent vineyard block inspections around the farm as they track the ripening of the grapes and determine the ideal picking dates for all the individual parcels.

We are expecting to start harvest early in February with our Merlot probably arriving first. All in all, 2017 is looking very promising and we look forward to sharing some of the harvest magic with you in the months to follow. Watch this space!

2. Wining & dining with our friends at Seckford
To close off 2016 on a fun note, Ernie Els Wines played host to Pippa Woods of Seckford Agencies, who represent our wines in England, along with many of their clients. Pippa had brought a group of existing clients and new members out to South Africa on a trip aimed at exposing our foreign friends to our unique country. These sorts of initiatives are the best manner in which we, as producers, and our importing partners, can introduce our clients and customers to South Africa’s unique culture and wine growing regions. No amount of marketing or time spent abroad will ever have the same impact as having people visit South Africa and experience our wonderful country for themselves.

It was decided that we would welcome our guests to the winery after normal business hours and treat them to a truly South African braai. Meat, boerewors, Mielies, braai-broodjies and malva pudding was on offer. Of course, the entire selection of Ernie Els Wines was also available to sample and taste. And, as if ordained by divine intervention, we were treated to the most miraculous sunset on the veranda as we witnessed the mass of Table Mountain loose its definition of ravines and cliff faces and slowly adopt the ever famous grey-black silhouette.

The evening was a sure-fire success and we thank Pippa and her guests for making the time to visit us here at Ernie Els Wines. Until next time!

3. Ernie Els Wines gourmet evening at De Viswijf Restaurant in Jeffrey’s Bay
Established in 1999, De Viswijf has earned a reputation as an establishment to enjoy excellent food at below reasonable prices in an upmarket setting with calming music and world-class wines. In December 2016 Ernie Els Wines had the privilege of teaming up with husband-and-wife owners Ernie & Suzette Blignault, for a food and wine pairing evening.

Ernie – a lawyer by day and a chef by night – and his wife Suzette have a passion for food, which is reflected in the quality of their cuisine. They believe that life is too short for bad food and wine. Customer satisfaction is their paramount concern. It’s a formula that really works. De Viswijf Restaurant has won the Diners Club highest accolade for their wine list twice and in 2009 also won the award for the Best Restaurant in the Eastern Cape.

Anyway, this event was a wonderful opportunity for the De Viswijf team to showcase their outstanding local offerings, accompanied by some of our world class wines. We’re happy to report that the wines received resounding feedback from the guests in attendance on the evening and that the occasion has promptly established itself as highlight on the Jeffrey’s Bay social calendar.

4. Ernie Els Wines partners 2017 BMW South African Open
The BMW South African Open was again held at Glendower last month in the City of Ekurhuleni. For the third year in succession, Ernie was the ever-gracious player-host, and Ernie Els Wines was chosen as the official ‘preferred’ tournament wine.

With the presence of an incredible field, headlined by Rory McIlroy and several other major winners and legends of the game such as Sir Nick Faldo, Retief Goosen and Darren Clarke, it is perhaps an understatement to say this tournament was a highly-anticipated affair. The tournament certainly lived-up to its billing. The entire week was filled with an electric excitement and golf fans were crowding the fairways from 6am on the Tuesday morning to catch a glimpse of Rory and the other stars playing in the Pro-Am.

“It was an amazing week for everyone involved in the South African Open,” commented Ernie. “Big respect and thanks to Rory McIlroy for honouring his promise to play here. Rory is a great guy, obviously a great player, and him being at Glendower was a big factor in this year’s tournament attracting such large crowds. The atmosphere and the buzz all week, and especially at the weekend, was the best I think I’ve ever experienced at the SA Open. Sincere thanks to everyone who supported the event.”

As we said, Ernie Els Wines were fortunate enough to be the preferred wine for the tournament and wines from our portfolio could be enjoyed throughout the week, from the Pro-Am dinner, all along the course, in the fan parks, the VIP hospitality suites and in probably the best spot on the whole course, The Big Easy Winebar & Grill pop-up restaurant located adjacent to the 15th green, which was operated by the Hilton Sandton. Many fans made this their ‘home for the day’, setting-up seating, arranging a cooler and enjoying some Ernie Els Sauvignon Blanc in the sweltering Highveld heat. A perfect day!

As Ernie said, “The Big Easy Winebar & Grill pop-up restaurant was a new idea for us and one that proved to be very popular. We’ll definitely look to repeat that again…and next year it will be even bigger and better!”

On that note, we look forward to seeing you at the 2018 tournament for another exciting week of great golf and world-class wine…two of life’s great pleasures.

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