Cape Town – Come wine with us and Heritage Heroes
Our special guest blogger:
Credit to Dr Nox Makungka currently lecturing at the Stellenbosch University
What is heritage? The South African heritage is certainly a complex blend of cultures and influences that reflects the mosaic of the diversity of the people that live in this incredible place. This is in every respect true of South Africa’s heritage as it is a true amalgamation of and we spend one month celebrating this diversity, uniqueness and these threads that run similar in our lives bringing oneness and unity to us all. So the splendor of sharing an evening at Come Wine With Us brought all these elements together. From the Protea arrangement that greeted us to Old Dutch Style grandeur of Welgemeend. Tables settings with a strong nautical feel reminded us of the history linked to sea explorers and adventure seekers of the past and the arrival of many different cultures in South Africa from places far afield as Europe and Asia. It also brought home the ‘strandlopers’ who conquered the south Western coast line for centuries. Delightful it was to see a change of scene with our fynbos being paired so delicately with roses and other florals whose native home is not geographically in South Africa – clearly symbolizing the mixing of worlds.
The arrival of the spekboom certainly emphasized how special the flora of South Africa truly is. Spekboom is now coined by renowned South African scientists as ‘an ecosystem engineer’. This wonder plant in the wild creates a cooler environment for the recruitment of other thicket biodiversity. Simply said, it creates the perfect environment for the reestablishment of other indigenous vegetation. A win-win situation all the way as it a superior carbon fixer, putting into gear a specialized pathway of photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide to carbohydrates. This plant has a long history of traditional medicinal use. It has been used for quenching thirst; dehydration and even in instances of mild heat stroke. It makes for an excellent treatment for minor skin ailments such as blisters, pimples; rashes and insect bites. It has astringent properties and so has been used to treat sore throats and mouth infections. Some say that is it also highly nutritious and no wonder the African elephant loved it as its food, hence the common name of Elephant’s food. The acidity and minerals made it rather delightful as an accompaniment to the salad and mains of our meal.
Acacia as part of the centerpieces reminded us of our rather thorny past but created a beautiful atmosphere bringing to many time spent in the African bush exploring the incredible nature of growing up as a South African. This plant of course has a long history of use from that includes being used as sewing needles to fencing and making rafts. Rural homesteads in many different parts of South Africa still use it for building crawls and as firewood. This is a species that is linked to a taxonomic naming controversy where the name was stolen by the Australians for their wattle species which, by the way, do not have thorns. Much to the frustration of the South African taxonomist, as the word Acacia originates from the Greek describing ‘thorny tree’.
Thank you Nox!, and now our blog post
Here at Come Wine With Us we like to celebrate Heritage Month in style, and for our Cape Town event we did exactly that with a decadent 5 course menu prepared by Eat Out Rising Star 2013 award winner, Vanessa Marx, paired with Nederburg’s Heritage Heroes range of fine wines.
Of course the perfect heritage celebration requires the perfect heritage-rich backdrop which came in the form of the Welgemeend Function, Event, Wedding & Conference venue in Gardens, Cape Town.
Dating all the way back to 1693 when the property was granted to Andries de Man, Welgemeend is one of the last surviving Table Valley farmsteads. Today it sits within the grounds of the Jan van Riebeeck High School and houses the Boerneef Collection of South African art.
Vannessa Marx who used to be the Executive Chef at Dear Me & The White Room recently relocated to the Eastern Cape where she now fills the role of Executive Chef at Savage’s in Port Elizabeth.
Her exquisite Heritage-themed menu blew us away a little more with each course, and we think it’s safe to say that our guests were taken on a culinary journey like no other.
On arrival guests enjoyed a glass of Nederburg’s Heritage Heroes: The Young Airhawk paired with bobotie springrolls with a buchu & mint yoghurt.
After taking in the beautiful Cape Town sunset, the rest of the courses were enjoyed in the elegant Welgemeend dining room where, as an extra special touch, the table décor changed to suit every course.
The 1st course was a serving of baked snoek with an apricot relish paired with Nederburg’s Heritage Heroes: The Anchorman Marvel. To fit the seaside theme of the dish, the table décor consisted of beach elements like seashells and dried coral.
The 2nd course was spiced seared Kudu with a lentil dressing, crispy bacon & wild rosemary. This was paired with Nederburg’s Heritage Heroes: The Motorcycle Marvel along with table décor reminiscent of the bushveld.
The 3rd course was a lamb knuckle “potjie” served with samp & beans and a spekboom salad. This delicious potjie was paired with Nederburg’s Heritage Heroes: The Brewmaster and served in big potjie pots to create a very festive feel.
The 4th and final course was DIY “stokbrood” served with relishes & local cheeses along with Rose Turkish Delight. This sweet & savoury spread was paired with Nederburg’s Heritage Heroes: The Beautiful Lady which is named after Ilse Graue, wife of Johann Graue, who kept a rose garden on the Nederburg estate. As a tribute to this beautiful lady and her roses, the room was filled with the scent of rose water and the tables were adorned with small rose bouquets.
This really was an extra special event all made possible by an amazing team. We’d like to take this opportunity to once again thank Vanessa for lending us her amazing culinary skills for the evening, to Nederburg Wines for gifting their beautiful Heritage Heroes wines, and to the team at Welgemeend for letting us use their gorgeous space.
We’d also like to say thank you to Johmeri Photography for capturing the evening so beautifully and for also helping with the decor. To see all the photos from the event, do visit our Come Wine With Us Facebook Page.
Nederburg Wines – http://www.nederburg.com/za/
Welgemeend Function, Event, Wedding & Conference venue – http://www.welgemeend.com/
Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/comewinewithus
Johmeri Photography – http://www.jomeriphoto.blogspot.co.za/
About Nederburg Heritage Heroes range
“South Africa’s famous Nederburg winery, nestling beneath the majestic Drakenstein Mountains, has been carefully crafted by its forefathers since 1791. Today, the collection is honoured by their creator, Razavan Macici, in the exclusive Nederburg Heritage Heroes wine collection. This collection represents five unique personalities, comprising of the The Anchorman, The Brew Master, The Young Airhawk, The Beautiful Lady and The Motorcycle Marvel.
To read more about the range please click on the following link:
About Welgemeent event, party, conference and wedding venue.
The beautiful historic building and the stunning gardens with water features are perfectly suited for the party of your life. You and your guests don’t have to drive all the way to the Winelands. At Welgemeend you can have the Wine Farm ambience in the centre of Cape Town. Welgemeend Wedding Venue Cape Town offers Wedding package deals as well as fully customised and personalised Wedding arrangements.
Make your Event a truly special one for your guests. Welgemeend is the perfect venue for anniversaries, corporate events, celebrations, special occasions, year-end parties and all other occasions which need to be celebrated. Plenty of secure parking and conveniently situated in the Centre of Cape Town with an option to have your Event outside in our garden and on our beautiful vine sheltered patio.
Read more about us on: http://www.welgemeend.com/