Last night at Societi Bistro Aussie superstar winemaker Richard Rowe tried hard to persuade a gang of hacks hardened by drink that the jewels of KWV are its fortified wines. Some dating back to 1944 and racked into barrels as the allies stormed the beaches of Normandy. Well “up to a point, Lord Copper”, for the true jewels in the crown of the Paarl producer are its ladies: young and passionate winemakers like Anneke du Plessis (below) and Izele van Blerk and dynamic marketers like Charlene Engels (below) and Kerryn Lancaster.
The old grey shoes, brille and hairy ears of yore have been replaced by florals and Fendi and the wines certainly don’t let the side down. Remember the days when everyone in KWV (chairman, CEO, winemaker) was called Thys? Those days are long gone.
Youth, beauty and a stunning portfolio, no wonder this Grandmother born in 1918 is winning all the trophies. Which is how one medical doctor described the KWV Cape Pale Dry (Sherry) “like my grandmother naked. The Medium Cream is her in a dress and the Full Cream adds makeup and jewellery.” Not sure how feminists will interpret his remarks but you can see where he’s coming from.
The food was a revelation with chef Stef Marais bubbling a Camembert out of a baked salt crust to match the star of the evening, a Cape Tawny (Port) that was loaded with nuts and spicy citrus flavour. With all this molten cheese and fortified wines, the rest of the evening got messy in a most acceptable way.