Wesoever op die Nel rivier - Calitzdorp
The December recess will not be the same without a stopover at WESOEVER on the Nel River in Caltizdorp, located on route 62 to Cape Town.
Hylton Nel and Bernard’s home is perfectly situated, close to the local town for shopping purposes and interaction with the locals (part of the community), yet slightly removed on the western edge of the town and the river, offering country and or farm style living with views of the fertile agriculturally developed river bed. In the distance is the Swartberg, an idyllic backdrop for the famous South Africa potters’s homestead.
The mountain range and koppies provide for splendid views on late afternoon walks and or drives on the outskirts of town - arguably one of the most spectacular Klein Karoo landscapes on this famous wine route – stretching from Worcester, through Barrydale, Calitzdorp, and Oudshoorn.
Drinking and chatting on the front ‘stoep’, entertained by Hylton and Bernard’s cats and dogs, interacting with the visiting locals and passing by travellers, provide for fabulous and relaxing moments - a quintessential part of relaxing and much needed holidays. Memorable easy-going conversations with close friends with whom you have much in common. Fellow ceramists sharing work knowledge, influences and possible new directions, all part of ones development. Especially after visiting China together a few years back. You’ve got to love it.
New acquisitions; books, ceramics and ‘work’ form a major part of these valuable and meaningful conversations. Books worth mentioning on this year’s visit are the two exquisite publications complimenting the ‘Sale of the century’- the auction of the late Yves Saint Laurent and his partner's art and design collection.
The large format coffee table books perfectly illustrate their major collections; acquired over five decades for their numerous prestigious homes across the world. Interior magazine style layouts and photodocumentation, illustrate their fabulous and impeccable taste and lifestyle - a must-have. I love cats and I started to document the furry feline friends of friends in the comfort of their homes and surroundings.
Here they are at ease, in command – aware of your every move and sound – responding to your call, only if they approve and are at ease with your persona, and curious enough to desire a closer acquaintance. Enjoy their world at the centre of their universe.
A memorable trip down to the Cape included a visit to De Morgenzon (the morning sun), the wine farm of Hylton and Wendy Applebaum. For years the Liberty Life Foundation sponsored many of the Craft Council projects, especially the Craft Fairs at Museum Africa (the first in the country of its kind) and the first international exhibition of local crafts at South Africa House in London. This crafts exhibition launched one of SA’s iconic brands Carrol Boyes whilst showcasing the work of many of our National Living Treasures. I am forever grateful for their support.
This unique winery is located on the Stellenboschkloof road in Stellenbosch. One is greeted with the sound of music, the classic waves streaming through the vines; the masters voice and touch, to produce that ultimate aroma and taste of a memorable classic wine. Open the provided link in a new window (what music do we play) to hear their ‘masters voices’ whilst enjoying the images and sharing in the beautiful and memorable experience.
Everything about the visit to the wine estate embodyied the touch and feel of the Applebaum duo – professionalism, heart and soul. The location, the beautiful winery, the stunning gardens (featured here) and the wine itself, speak of attention to detail, complete with style and masterly crafted finesse. In their own words,
All wine estates in the Western Cape are beautiful and all have unique terroir. However, we believe that DeMorgenzon is the most extraordinary of them all. Our slopes rise from about 200m to nearly 400m above sea level and our vistas embrace Cape Town, Table Mountain, Cape Point, Cape Hangklip, the Hottentots Holland mountains, Helderberg and Simonsberg with the ocean as a backdrop. While we could call ourselves 'mountain vineyards' we prefer to be known as 'garden vineyards'. In Spring specially chosen wildflowers flourish between our vines. We have no doubt that a biodiverse and ecologically sensitive environment produces infinitely better grapes and the beauty of our gardens is captured in every bottle of our wine. We pipe Baroque music through our vineyards 24x7 and believe that the power of music positively influences the ripening process.My brother, Alan Hon, introduced me to wine – I’m no connoisseur, but I trust his judgment emphatically. He is well read in a diverse range of topics; a general knowledge that could easily win him the game show, Who Wants to Be a millionaire. My brother, a Geotechnologist, offered to drive me to the wine estate, being familiar with the area, as he worked at the CSIR in Stellenbosch.
Being a founder member of the CSIR wine appreciation group and a secretary of the Durbanville wine club his experience was called upon to do a noteworthy rating of their classic red wine. We bought a bottle of the Demorgenzon Maestro Red 2011, for consumption at lunchtime.
We had so much to celebrate; our brotherly love and the good life – our parents married for 65 years, and in very good health, Ramond at 88 and Emily at 87 respectively. This we did with his immediate family – the red wine was served slightly chilled and needless to say it delivered in aroma and taste, a perfect end to a stunning journey down south – a well deserved holiday, shared with family and friends – memorable as always.
Here follows my brother Alan Hon’s rating of this classic Bordeaux blend; the essence of this very special red wine.
Merlot - 41%
Cabernet Sauvignon - 35%
Petit Verdot - 11%
Malbec - 07%
Cabernet Franc - 06%
Alcohol - 14.5%
A wine made in the classic Bordeaux style using 5 of the acknowledged varietals
A deep red almost purple coloured wine.
Wafting full oak vanilla nose.
Full cassis and velvety tannins on the entry with plums and raisins in the centre and a warm combined fruit aftertaste.
An absolutely stunning Bordeaux blend to be savoured on its own or enjoyed with the best meat dishes this country can produce.