Hub of fine Helderberg wine and food beats winter chill

Taste of Helderberg 2013 presents local passions and pleasures
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The 5th annual Taste of the Helderberg showcase promises a smorgasbord of exquisite food and wine from this prime winemaking triangle stretching from Somerset West to Stellenbosch and Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, when the local chefs and winemakers bring their passions and pleasures to town on Thursday, 6 June.

For one night only, the NH Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West will be transformed into a Helderberg wine and dine hotspot for enthusiasts to enjoy a sensory overload of more than 100 local wines and signature dishes from seven eminent restaurants jotted along the Helderberg Wine Route – all under one roof.

This renowned route – home to some of the oldest wineries in South Africa – is one of five sub-routes of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes and incorporates the majestic Helderberg Mountains, on the slopes of which some of the country’s most prized vineyards flourish. The more than 40 wineries encountered en route each have their own distinctive methods in cultivating their grapes, with different climatic conditions caused by the mountains and the close proximity of the sea influencing the quality in the bottle.

Taste of Helderberg is an exclusive experience of the latest tastes and triumphs of the Helderberg Winelands and this year guests will be able to mingle with at least 25 wine producers ranging from time-honoured stalwarts to ultra-chic boutique wineries; popular family-owned estates to eco-conscious pioneers.

Wines to be sipped and savoured at the event include those stemming from Bordeaux-style expert Morgenster, Avontuur Estate; Chenin king Ken Forrester Vineyards, red and port wine specialist JP Bredell Wines; the upmarket, boutique-style Longridge Winery and Waterkloof, the conservation-minded ‘cellar in the sky’ perched high on the slopes of the Schapenberg.

Food aficionados will certainly not be left out in the cold as leading chefs from seven participating restaurants will be whipping up lip-smacking portions of their signature dishes which will be on sale throughout the evening. The eateries to share a hearty selection of fine fare include Longride Restaurant, Avontuur and 96 Winery Road among others.

Since its inception in 2009, Taste of the Helderberg has grown extensively, each year becoming more and more popular. At last year’s event guests turned up in the 100’s despite of miserable, rainy weather and nothing less is expected this year.

“Even if it is grey and grim out there, Taste of the Helderberg 2013 guarantees you a heart warming experience indoors, enjoyed with likeminded food and wine lovers who all treasure the finer indulgences in life. Tickets are however limited to 500 as we try to keep the show intimate for guests to socialise with the winemakers without feeling cramped,” shares Annareth Bolton, CEO of Stellenbosch American Express ® Wine Routes.

The doors will be open from 17h00 to 21h00 and tickets cost R70 per person, which include an elegantly branded wine glass and access to the fruits of the Helderberg Winelands which will also be for sale at the show.

During and after the wine tastings, guests can relax in cosy chill areas or make use of the hotel’s restaurant for dinner. Pre-bookings for the restaurant are recommended to avoid disappointment. Call 021 855 1040 to make a reservation.

For more information on Taste of the Helderberg 2013 and to reserve your tickets contact Bjorn van Oort at bjorn@cvomarketing.co.za or 021 981 0216. Tickets will also be available at the door.

As part of the route’s commitment to responsible drinking and driving, the NH Lord Charles is offering an accommodation special on the evening: Please contact the hotel directly on 021 855 1040 and quote reference: Taste of the Helderberg accommodation

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