The people who attend the Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival at the beautiful Summer Place may also attend other wine shows, but they have a particular loyalty to this, the oldest wine festival of them all (it will be celebrating its Silver Jubilee next year), returning year after year to taste and to replenish their cellars. This is natural given the particular nature of the festival. It is more intimate, more elegant, more upmarket than any of the other wine festivals. It caters to the knowledgeable and keen wine lover (I’m keen rather than knowledgeable).
Technology comes to the table and as well as tasting the varietals one can see on the laptops scenes from the wineries, learning about the grape varieties planted at each vineyard. It was my opportunity to taste varietals and I nobly spurned the blends in the cause of educating my palate. (It is a little more educated today than it was yesterday).
Chardonnays, Chenin Blancs and Sauvignon Blancs tickled the taste buds on the white side, together with KWV The Mentors Grenache Blanc, a varietal not often used. I did try some of the reds, including Domaine Greer’s Grenache. It is all a learning experience for me, fascinating and thrilling.
While this is not a wine show which seeks to cater to the lower end of the financial market for wines it was interesting to find House of Mandela on show. They are not a winery per se, sourcing their wines from other wineries, but rather a marketing strategy, much like Bayede! which trades on the Zulu royal family and tradition. House of Mandela is marketed by one of Madiba’s granddaughters, Tukwini Mandela, and it has some premium wines as well as the Thembu collection wines in the lower price range (R41 a bottle makes for an affordable wine for the budget conscious). This is a great concept for tourism as well as for exposing new wine drinkers to the world of wine. I will certainly be doing an article on House of Mandela in the near future.
The wineries represented at the Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival 2014 were Avondale, Bizoe Wines, Bosman Family Vineyards, Bouchard Finlayson, Creation Wines, De Wetsof Estate, Domaine Des Dieux, Domaine Grier (France), Eagles’ Nest Wines, Glenelly, Great Domaines, Groot Constantia, Groote Post Vineyar, Hamilton Russell Vineyards, Haute Cabriere, Hermanuspietersfontein, House of Mandela, Iona, Jordan Wine Estate, Kaapzicht Estate, Keet Wines, Kleine Zalze, KWV The Mentors, Le Riche Wines, Lourensford, Lyngrove Wines and Vineyards, Muratie, Noble Hill, Oak Valley, Oneiric, Ormonde, Peter Falke Wines, Raka, Rietvallei, Rustenberg, Sijnn, Springfield, Steenberg Vineyards, Strandveld, Van Biljon, Vilafonte, Villiera Wines, Vinicurious (Pty) Ltd, Vrede en Lust, Warwick Estate, Waterford Estate and Zevenwacht.
The Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival is on from 10-11 June 2014 (from 17:30 to 21:00 at Summer Place, 69 Melville Road, Hyde Park. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online. I attended on 10 June 2014.