The highlight of this weekend’s Wellington harvest festival was a 6½ course gourmet lunch served in the 18th century cellar of Nabygelegen. Built by Anna Lategan, a famous 18th century white witch who used to own a trio of farms in the Bovlei Valley: Nabygelegen, Canetsfontein and Welvanpas, it was quite fitting to toast her memory with a glass of Lady Anna 2008. The racy white blend was served along with a salad of smoked beetroot and warm goatsmilk cheese. One of the guests present had run a successful sideline telling fortunes with Tarot cards on the farm the previous day, confirming the spiritual feng shui of the spot.
The lavish menu was whipped up by gourmet chef extraordinaire Matthew Gordon (moonlighting from Franschhoek). The most exciting wine of the day was a barrel fermented 2008 Chenin Blanc with an incredible acid profile and rich, ripe flavours of nuts and honey. A complete steal at R55.
As novel palate cleanser, James offered a glass of Snow Mountain Rosé 2009 made from Merlot and jazzed up with a frozen strawberry. Next up was an Old World style savoury 2005 Merlot which worked perfectly with the rare rack of lamb as did the more New World Petit Verdot 2007 with coffee and mocha galore on the back palate. A selection of Fairview cheeses plus a minerally Bordeaux blend called 1712 segued seamlessly into a crème brûlée served with a nutty 2004 natural sweet made from Hárslevelü.
Darkness was descending rapidly from the Hawekwa mountains as dark chocolate appeared along with a shot of Merlot Grappa. And it suddenly all fitted into place: Nabygelegen is so-named for its proximity to food and wine heaven.