"Sweeeeeet Caroline....BA BA BAHHHHH!!!"
Thursday the 15th of June saw the official launch of the brand, spanking new (and biggest) Tiger's Milk here in the beating heart of Stellenbosch. The Stellies Tiger's Milk branch has been up and running for the better part of this year, however, due to finalizing details surrounding their liquor license and having to shimmy aside for the Winter Classics in Muizenberg, they finally found the perfect date to welcome all the beloved locals, press and admirers of everything sweet-n-sticky for their grand opening.
Some familiar faces from the industry were also spotted...Bruce and Karen Collins from Stellies Brewing Company out on Joostenberg farm and Rob Boustred and family from Remhoogte, who makes the lip-smackingly good range of Wildbeast craft beers.
The chilly Winter's evening was filled with great, live music, hot-out-of-the-wood-fired-oven Pizza, burgers and fabulous cocktails made with the local boutique "Six Dogs" gin.
One of the things that sets this Tiger's Milk apart from the others is its unique wine list. Some smaller, boutique farms have been added to the wine list, as well as some locally-crafted gins. You'll find a few more local Stellenbosch wineries represented here...and this specifically to give locals a taste of what they know and the names they've become familiar with. Also aimed towards out-of-towners or foreigners, so that they too will be able to experience what Stellenbosch and Franschhoek wine has to offer. "Drink quality...Drink Stellenbosch".
Stellies Tiger's Milk might still be the new kid on the block...but this Kitchen/Bar has become an overnight success. Join them for Happy Hour every weekday between 5 and 7pm for half price cocktails, house wine and more. And, now that it's almost time for Wimbledon...what better place to watch a couple sets between Djok and Nadal?
Sing along to Johnny Cash and Guns n Roses, try the lamb and hummus pizza (a personal favourite)...or the whopping TRIPLE BIPASS BURGER (cutlery optional...wet wipes not). The perfect spot for people-watching on a lazy Saturday arvie on Dorp street's famous corner.
So there's a new cat in town... and she's Almost Famous.
I'm guessing they've named their store after my all-time favourite movie-- starring Kate Hudson and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The movie is about a young boy in the 70's (the death of rock n roll...aftermath of Woodstock) who pretends to be an adult journalist and (literally) basically sneaks in through the backdoor, getting the chance to write for Rolling Stone magazine. Obviously the magazine has never met him-- or they wouldn't employ a 15-year-old kid, and he goes on a cross-country tour with one of his favourite bands "Stillwater". The story, the music, everything is life-changing... So I won't spoil it...just watch it.
The clothes, like the movie are from a similar era; set in the rock n roll 60's/ 70's (even up to the 80's and 90's) with a strong focus on music culture, what was hip back in the dizzay and some of what was left behind in our parents' cupboards.
Word on the street is, the couple who founded this store went around to different vintage stores along the coast (and other areas of S.A) and handpicked all of the vintage items for the store. The rest, that isn't vintage, is made by them.
It's authentic, it's quirky, there's room for interpretation and to make it your own... and best part is-- It's just down my street! (Soz if you don't live in Stellenbosch). They are located opposite Trumpet Tree and Gino's on Dorp Street, next to Mila's Cake Shop and BMT Bike shop. It's a little pricey here and there... but you'll definitely be the only kid on the block with these threads-- unless you've raided Auntie Irma's blast-from-the-past armoir.
There's something for everyone. Whether you're a Fresh Prince fan, prefer to keep your cash money bills in a moonbag (yes, I said moonbag), use Snapchat filters on the regular, or prefer to keep it real with a Simon and Garfunkel waistcoat. They even have olive-green corduroy high wasted slacks. I mean... come on...Tiny dancer.
Sunnies out, Fedora's on!
The fourth annual Cabernet Franc Carnival was held this past Saturday on the Avontuur Wine Estate located along the R44. The rolling green lawns, view of Somerset West and the peaceful horses in their paddock made for the perfect sunny Saturday escape.
The wine and stud farm played host to some of the Western Cape's finest producers of this elegant variety. Estates such as Rainbow's End, Warwick Wines, Knorhoek, David Finlayson and Raats Family wines were among some of the representatives on the day.
An interesting newcomer known as The Garajeest also debuted their first Cabernet Franc; the 2015 "Bruce" vintage. A young, eclectic winemaker, Callan Williams explained that a lot of the labeling and branding of her wines comes from a strong influence and love for music. She continues that the reason she decided to make wines is because of her Italian roots as well as her keen interest in the chemistry behind wine. This unconventional combination inspired her to create wines ultimately to bring friends and loved ones together, to enjoy and celebrate. What better way to do this than by doing as the Romans did? Wine, after all, tastes best shared in the company of good friends.
The day also helped to promote Cabernet Franc as a variety that can hold its own and brought forward all of its best qualities; showing that, just like in an Academy award-winning movie, the best supporting role (as we know, cab franc most often being used in Bordeaux-style blends) is just as important as the leading actor to help clinch the Oscar.
Finesse and balance, elegance with a unique and undeniable presence, the Cabernet Franc grape has done well to promote those strong Bordeaux roots that are so reflective in many of the styles of wines from our own home-grown winemakers.
I enjoyed a wood-fired pizza...soon followed by a Belgian waffle adorned with fresh strawberries and drizzled dark chocolate while contemplating Vrede en Lust's offerings on this wonderful Saturday afternoon. Soft music, toasting glasses and wine-stained lips were the order of the day.
As a young wine-enthusiast, I asked Hermanuspietersfontein's Wine-maker and General Manager, Wilhelm Pienaar a couple of questions on what he thinks is most important when starting out and developing one's palate and trying out new wines. His response was good and clear: Know what you like. Don't be afraid to say that you do or don't like something. If you think something tastes like wet forest floor or your granny's socks, let 'em know. If you taste something specific or something that makes you feel nostalgic, say so. Everyone has a different frame of reference and so, we all make different connections with wine. Wilhelm is very much of the stance that they want their wines (their Swarstskaap taking the spotlight on the day) to be enjoyed by everyone. Wine isn't meant to be inaccessible and only for one type of consumer. He encourages people to believe in their palates and also to enjoy and discover all that the world of wine has to offer. How often do we taste certain elements in wine after the winemaker has mentioned them, or brought them to the fore? Awakening your own senses is the key to finding wines that you love.
Each event attendee was also given a ballot in which he or she decided which wines they enjoyed most. All wines of the day were rated out of ten; so ultimately the public could decide which wine they felt was best out of the day's premium offering. Three of the lucky participants would also go on to win a selection of wines for casting their vote! What more motivation did one need to join in?
The day as a whole was a great success; mingling of sommeliers, wine bloggers, wine lover's and merchants alike, basking in the beauty of Avontuur's features, discussing the multi-faceted French grape in all its glory and reclining on a comfortable deckchair under the blue-turned-ruby-red skyline. An exhale moment of delight and peaceful relaxation.
Here's to the next one!
Earth, Wind and Wine at Waterkloof
As we move into the age of being more conscious about the decisions we make toward ourselves and our environment, caring about where our food comes from and realizing that our resources are finite, it is necessary, if not vital to talk about and showcase the wines and ethos of Waterkloof.
Meeting some of their key role-players; Nadia Barnard- Cellar Master, Claudia Young-Kelly- Head of Marketing and Meagan- an ambassador for Waterkloof, they shared with us the dream turned reality of owner Paul Boutinot.
After many years of searching the world over, the hand-picked site was to be on the Schapenberg slopes of Somerset West; the amphitheatre of False Bay. It took Christian Loots, Farm Manager & Viticulturist and the dedicated team at Waterkloof approximately a decade to restore the true and real LIFE into their soils. In 2009 Waterkloof were certified with full Organic and Biodynamic status--which is not very easy to achieve. As Nadia mentions during our tour of the cellars, though some farms may use biodynamic or organic practices, these will usually be in conjunction with conventional farming methods, for example, using herbicides or pesticides. It really says something if you're 100% certified.
For me, one of the most important aspects I look for when it comes to learning about new wines or exploring what we have here in the Cape, is that the creators of a product sincerely believe in what they do. The team at Waterkloof believe that the wines, and more specifically each vintage should be a reflection of the terroir and all of the factors or Circumstance(s) that played a role in the wine produced in the end. Just as an example, it is also why their wines are usually only lightly oaked, so as to allow the natural elements (which they work really hard to conserve) to come through and speak for themselves.
Using balance-oriented methods of keeping their soils and vines alive and happy, what is showcased in the wines is a true Circle of Life. From the big, white Percheron horses loosening the soils in the vineyards to the jackal buzzards swooping and landing on the installed perches dotted around the farm, even the earthworms down below, each component of nature has a say in crafting this extraordinary end result.
What we find are wines that are elegant and complex and yet, balanced and subtle when and where they need to be.
Some quick facts about Waterkloof: About 60 Hectares of their property is under vine and 80 Hectares are reserved for indigenous flora and fauna to flourish. The area is home to jackal, mountain leopard, mongooses, birds of prey and the ecosystem continues to grow.
Their remarkable approach to farming and wine-making is a principle we can apply to life; go back to your soil (roots) and focus on making sure that this is where you do your most important ground work (pun intended). The rest will all reflect in time.
For more information, do visit their website
A special thank you to the team at Waterkloof for such a welcoming and informative experience!
Just another mmmmMOTIVATIONAL MONDAY!
Life is a series of chapters.
Some points are a little fuzzy or dull, and others are completely, blindingly bright and eventful.
As cliche as it sounds... It all comes together. And then it falls apart again a little. And then it comes back again. And so it goes.
The point is... everything is leading towards something. That is what you need to remember. Some days, all you want to do is lie on the couch and drink wine by yourself and watch movie trailers on Youtube. Other days, you fill up your tank and you go and climb a small mountain.
No no... mine wasn't a small mountain actually. Well, it might be, compared to others... but what it really is, is the first hurdle to the rest of the story. And, as I've said before, the best part about taking the leap of faith is that you WILL be helped along if you do. I believe it in my very deepest cores of cores of cores.
I climbed Lion's Head this morning. And it was awesome. Woke up early, put on my tekkies and went. Nothing feels as good as seeing the sun come up, getting a head start on the day and doing something for yourself. Just for yourself.
Although time is always a constraint, and money (learning this all to well), make the effort to love yourself. And to explore everything!
My advice for the week ahead:
Make a list of all the things you've achieved. Big or small, significant or seemingly insignificant.
Just reading back all the things you've done; washed your car, cooked food instead of buying ready-meals, made your bed every morning, cut up an old t-shirt to make a new one... will inspire you to see the bigger picture. We all know how many gazillion pixels it takes to make an amazing High Definition photo or frame... So..?!, every little bit counts. E V E R Y T H I N G.
In the words of Nike...
Stellenbosch Brewing Co. on Klein Joostenberg farm
Just a quick 20-minutes outside of Stellenbosch, the Stellenbosch Brewing Company is located on the Klein Joostenberg Farm.
Today my colleagues and I were hosted by one of the founders and Head Brewer Bruce Collins. We were given an informative tour of their brewing warehouse which doubles up as the office, bottling plant and tap room.
Bruce took us through all the stages of the beer brewing process; when and from where their business took off... "The Hoenderhok Bock" playing an interesting role on the start of business*... and how they believe that it is important to remain as close to natural and consistent as possible with what they release.
Their outlook is simple; with their hard-working team, they aim to produce exciting, environmentally-conscious beers suited to what our local taste buds will enjoy.
I highly recommend the Stellies tap room as a day outing. Sit back under a shady tree with your "The Avenue Lager", "Eike Stout" and others and enjoy the refreshing taste of these carefully-crafted beers.
Do find the Stellenbosch Brewing Company on Facebook for more info. https://www.facebook.com/stelliesbeer/
*The Hoenderhok Bock, their German-style Dark lager, got its name from the founding days of the business. While Bruce and his team were waiting for the Tap room to be built, all of their equipment and supplies had arrived by container and they had absolutely nowhere to store everything. He asked the farmer; "Where am I supposed to store everything...I need to start brewing soon?"... He replied by saying... "Just keep it all in the chicken coops"... and so, without further ado, they decided to start brewing! Bruce assured us though that everything was very clean and sanitized... no chickens were harmed during the first batches of the Hoenderhok Bock ;-)
Home-brewed Home girl...bru
So I've started off 2017 juggling two jobs.
An old one and a new one. Both part-time, and both in the hospitality industry.
And in the midst of all this shift-balancing, I just had to find a gap to make the annual trip to my long-time Joburg compadre who unwinds with her mom and family in Houtbay every year. So after work the other day, I filled up the tank, packed an overnight bag and jumped on the N2. (it wasn't dark yet, so I'd still advise taking that route).
I arrived in just over an hour and a bit (the beetle forgetting to take the correct off-ramp) and parked outside her spot...facing the downhill of course.
In almost five minutes, we had picked up where we left off a year ago, reclined on the deck, catching up on careers, who got engaged and what we're doing with our lives at the moment.
Man it is good to catch up with an old friend!
Yes, after living in Stellenbosch for two years- or anywhere new for that matter- you do start to change in small ways; maybe it's your taste in things, ideas or even driving style (I like to think my parking skills are still on point though).
There's a definite wave of strength and familiarity that comes with seeing and interacting with people who represent home. Though as the conversation went on, it was also clear to see that things do change and evolve and people build up their lives and make moves to suit their aspirations and dreams. They go with the flow, just as you have been doing.
This is important to see because it too reminds you of where you need to go and how far you have come.
I sincerely encourage surrounding yourself with good people and those that inspire and motivate you. Cherish those who have walked a path with you (even if they don't always go in parallel) and connect with them if the opportunity presents itself (or just make it happen yourself!).
I guess as we get older, we all come to know or understand that it's not about how many people you're still in contact with after high school or varsity, but the value of those friendships... Even those that last just a season or a phase, it's okay.
All you really need for the ride is a couple of close, good'uns ;)
So we ended off the visit with a positively delightful Ladies Breakfast the next morning at a rustic farmstall-turned-food-emporium called "Chardonnay Deli".
I had a Truth coffee and French Toast & Berry compote combination which was out of this world! The other gals enjoyed their BLT Croissants and Omelette filled with pesto, mozzarella and heaven knows what else whilst clinking their Chai Cappuccino's!
I do recommend this as a quick stop-off to peruse their delectable home-made treats, captivating canvases (on display in the interior) or even their freshly-cut flowers outside on the front stoep. The back courtyard/forest plays host to guests of all ages, furry pups on leashes hinting for snacks from the table and toddlers trading with sand and pebbles.
Below are two links to visit their Facebook Page and Website.
Thank you for the continued support! Do share your stories and send in photo's, we'd love to share them :-)
Jambalaya BA life: Paying rent and being 23
So... Life after studies.
Wait, scratch that...
Life after a Humanities-based Degree.
Well, if there's one thing I can say, it has definitely been an interesting ride thus far.
Let's face it, for those of us who have completed a Bachelor's Degree in this faculty, there's the occasional... "So, where are we goin' with this?".
And trust me, I ponder this while surfing Gumtree and Jobvine almost daily. And yet, I still have no inclination to create a LinkedIn account.
In a world where everything seems to be moving towards online marketing, Back and Front-end Developing and social media, it is, though I am a child of the (early) nineties, easy to feel lost and left behind with where it's all going. I don't think I know how to use Snapchat or what the heck "Finsta" is and at times I simply daydream of having a career where I understand Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator like my Information Design friends and be highly successful as a graphic designer (because who doesn't need those?!).
I chose to pursue my degree, I chose my majors and I now have to find a job and support myself.
The plan is to build up enough industry experience about food, wine and lifestyle, to bypass an internship, (because many, if not most internships pay too little to cover rent and other living expenses--therefore a Catch 22) and to break into the publishing world, writing about what interests me. Each day is a step closer to re-working the ever-developing plan.
And now, throw into the mix, the uncertainty of your twenties, an idyllic student-town in the Cape winelands that makes you want to bump social commitments up to the top rung, a charming 50-year old car with occasional "technical difficulties" (but fixed now, thanks Dad) and trying to find the balance between exercise, motivation, free-time and focusing on the bigger picture and where it's all going.
But if there's one thing I've realized, it's that you are not alone. And if you think that you're alone in this thing, you're being fooled. You're being fooled by factors like social media, pretending that everyone around you has it together, and that it all just looks so real and convincing. It's okay not to have everything ready and set in stone and all laid out perfectly in front of you. That's half the fun anyway. That's what this time of your life is for.
We're not meant to have it all figured out. Imagine a genie presenting you with the option of knowing exactly what was going to happen in your life until the day it ends... Would you want to know? Really?
See it like that; realize that we have the creativity and imagination to create the lives we want. A friend once said (and I'm paraphrasing) that even the jobs we want or are preparing ourselves for may not even exist yet. Meaning, we can or will be creating our OWN opportunities. Therefore, they can be tailored to fit our exact needs and interests. And even to create niches. If you see a gap in the market for something... You find a way and you grab that opportunity!
In a world where everything is published and shared, it may be difficult to retain a sense of uniqueness or being able to say that YOU offered something new... However, though this may be challenging, something which will always remain unique is your perspective; your view and experience of life. No one can replicate your exact circumstances, and for those reasons, what you offer will always be different from anyone else. This is your power. This is YOU. Use it, because no one else has access to it. When you copy someone else, you take away your own voice.
So no, do not lose focus in those moments when you're "free-lancing" or doing part-time whatever. I am saying this to myself and to the others who are also holding the oars beside me.
Soak up as much of the environment around you as possible. Stay proactive and focused on where you WANT to go. Think of the destination and then work back to the steps you need to take to get there. Always carry a pen (well, I guess now they have notepads on your phone for that... so nevermind) for when creativity strikes.
I think it is time.
The thing that people are always warning you about; just hold back a little bit.
What if from a young age, you've been doing this, whether it be to fit in with a peer group, fit in with the class average, be part of the norm because you are still trying to figure out who and what you are. We go through all sorts of awkward phases, changes that we don't know are actually perfectly normal to go through. I remember when I was younger, I was angry at myself for changing; why do these things have to happen? Why do I have to be different? Why are people looking at me like that? Why now? I was just starting to blend in here... This is such an inconvenient time!
What's more is, from an even younger age, I was angry with my parents for naming me Judéte. Nobody knows how to say it, nobody has even heard a name like that where I come from. Why does it have to be so strange? Can't I just have a normal name? A name where people don't have to hear it on loop for like two years before they stop massacring it?!
For so many years, not realizing so many people go through the same thing, I toiled over life's questions. Going through phases of what I am, what I am supposed to be and what I can be. You seek balance through all of it, purpose, goals, clarity, peace... while still being so, so young.
The older I become, the more I get to know myself, and who I have always been. It is because of the people closest to me; my mother, my grandmother, father and sister, all of my uncles, aunts and cousins-- they were the ones who made me believe in myself. It's like they all knew who I was, even before I did.
You can't see yourself. You can't see yourself in the moment when you do anything. Extraordinary accomplishments, mistakes, floating, taking risks, resting, Nothing. But the people around you are the ones who can tell you what they see. They see the patterns, and tell you what you mean to them. They make you make sense to yourself.
I'm not sure where this is supposed to lead. Maybe to the fact that when you hit a bump in the road, or have to start coming to terms with needing to fail sometimes, it is so critical to not be tainted by it.
No speed wobble should ever be off-putting. DO NOT get side-tracked by periods of time where no change happens. I cannot stress this enough; do not discredit yourself by not being who you have always been-- since the beginning.
Do you often long for those moments in your earlier life where you did something completely brilliant? You broke the record, you aced that one test, you beat your personal best, you overcame a huge obstacle, you had inner freedom from something? Longing for that phase in your life where you were almost unaware that you could fail. Your peers were at your feet, and at one point, in awe!
Live like you can't fail. Because, the real truth is, most of us live as though we will probably 9/ 10 times fail. You handicap yourself before you even try. How terrible?! How absolutely heart-breaking. How unfair to yourself. Why don't you want to give yourself a chance? You're dying to prove to yourself that you can be the hero. Don't be a bully to your own dreams.
OVER is the time that you sway and weave with bureaucracy, political correctness and cautiously tip-toe around huge, game-changing moves. Waiting for the right moment, or allowing the clock to strike Tomorrow so that you can reconsider what you actually, deep down longed to start right now-- or worse, so many seasons ago.
I want the following:
I'm done with only dipping in my pinky toe. We're going for the whole enchilada now. And never again will I revert to the ways of when I was a little too guided by fear to leap into the unknown.
I have people who love me and that remind me of who I am and what I have gone through to get here. Most importantly, I love myself, and by achieving whatever it is that I want, I also uphold all the things I stand for and the place that I come from.
NEVER EVER forget who you were born to BE.
"You are interested in Greatness, because Greatness is interested in you"-- Mary M. Morrissey.
It has been almost a year and a half that my sister and I have lived together in Stellenbosch.
We often talk about how much we wished to one day live close to the beach, to learn how to surf and to live a life full of adventure. Well, those days are finally here! We realized this on the way to the airport one day fetching our Mom. How surreal it is to realize that (as overstated as it may be) what you dream, can really happen.
We both face challenges, sometimes on a day to day basis; she with her degree at university and me with my current job-- and both of us with trying to figure out how to be independent, balanced and to lead the lives we've always aimed for. Thank goodness we have each other from time to time, to compare findings... and to ask our parents for help--when pride steps out of the way ;-)
We've had amazing times together. We've also fought over dishes and laundry, and argued about who's turn it is to buy more prepaid electricity. But this is what it's all about! Some days Jess gets up at the crack of dawn to go to the gym, or to finish an assignment, and sometimes we lounge around the house in pajamas with bed hair and un-matching socks until 14h00. It's what we do!
We've had some of the most unforgettable experiences here. We've crossed things off of our bucket list, had spur of the moment trips, watched marathons of series together, played guitar in the middle of the road...in the middle of the night. It has been somewhat of dream. The good, the bad, and the wine stained lips.
I think a recurring promise that we've tried to keep in our ways of doing things is to always remember what we wanted when we were young. To never lose your child-like innocence or sense of wonder about the world. Yes, we all need to grow up, and our experiences, good and bad, help us to become wise and handle situations with empathy and sensitivity. Our upbringing shapes the people that we become... and if we extract all the goodness, we can share so much love and joy with the other people that are in our lives. And...we can achieve the things we want for ourselves!
Jess and I have had the privilege of getting to know some of the coolest and most interesting people here in the Cape-- Some of them even coming from our home town, but this obviously being in a new and neutral setting. We've learned about ourselves, one another, and what it really is like to live away from home. Even though we partly represent home to one another. We are becoming unique individuals, with the golden thread of our mom and dad running through who we are--sometimes there's a double-up or tangles...but we meet them there..!most of the time ;-)..
I am excited to see what lay ahead for the future. Neither of us are quite certain, well maybe I just speak for myself. We don't know where our plans might take us, so we figure it out along the way.
What is certain though is... I have more than a sister; she is so many things to me. We do fight, but it would be crazy if we didn't! She learns from me, I learn from her. I'm getting to know her as a person outside of home, and watching her grow into her own young woman! (Scary but exciting...because I was, and still am there too!). I have a best friend, a house mate, a travel companion, a confidant...a mother sometimes, an accomplice...and the list keeps going.
Jess... Here's to the past year that we've spent together...and to a crazy, journey-filled road ahead. We're going places HOOOOOS!
Hi there, my name is Judete Fourie. I am a twenty-something-year-old writer living in Stellenbosch in SA's Western Cape. Follow my day to day adventures that involve wine, wit and braaibroodjies.