With the Cape Winelands’ harvest in full-swing, a brief interlude was this year’s Cape Wine Auction held on 1 and 2 March. This highlight on the calendar offered bidders an array of tantalising lots on which to bid, the proceeds going to various projects aimed at improving education among local communities. And the Merlot Forum, the only South African wine varietal group present at the auction, raised R150 000 with a wine and hospitality lot which will truly immerse the successful bidder in this famous Bordeaux grape variety which has found a true sense of place in the Cape Winelands.
The winning bidder won a selection of 24 bottles of Merlot representing The Journey of Merlot. The lot will consist of four themes starting with Icon Merlots including the first Merlot ever bottled in South Africa – the 1982 Overgaauw, an item worth bidding for alone!
The second theme consists of award-winning Merlots today such as the winners of the Winemag Merlot Report, the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show, Veritas winners and 5-star Platter wines. Thirdly – wines from hot, up and coming producers including Shannon and Boschendal’s Appellation series (Elgin). And last, but not least, there will be foreign Merlot’s including Duckhorn (Napa), Château Troplong Mondot Grand Cru Classe, Château Bellevue and Montiano from Italy. Included in the prize is accommodation for six people at Jordan Wine Estate in Stellenbosch.
Tucked away close to the winery, restaurant and bakery, the new luxury suites on Jordan Wine Estate enjoy beautiful panoramic views of the vineyards and Stellenbosch Mountains. Each suite has spacious interiors that are individually designed and uniquely decorated, making them an ideal choice for a unique Winelands getaway.
During their stay, guests will also get to enjoy a dinner at the highly acclaimed chef George Jardine’s The Restaurant at Jordan, A Tasting at Overgaauw with David van Velden, A Vertical Tasting at Shannon vineyards in Elgin and an 8 Course Dinner at Oldenburg with winemaker Nic van Aarde. Representatives of the Merlot Forum will also present a private tasting to the winning bidder and their guests to offer an in-depth picture of SA Merlot today.
According to Danielle le Roux of the SA Merlot Forum, it was an honour for this cultivar group to be a part of the Cape Wine Auction which has gained international recognition as one of the world’s great wine auctions.
“The lots were incredible and the Merlot Forum has managed to put together a special package focussing on South Africa’s most popular red wine variety,” says Le Roux. “With all auction proceeds going to charity we have been fortunate to have had tremendous co-operation from our members as well as the offers of accommodation and meals. The successful bidder on this lot will never again look at Merlot in the same way they have been doing previously. We look forward to hosting the winning bidder and showing them the wonders of this variety and the wines made from it.”