Entertaining at Hamilton Russell Vineyards: A Year on a Cape Wine Estate, by Olive Hamilton Russell

Entertaining at Hamilton Russell Vineyards: A Year on a Cape Wine Estate, by Olive Hamilton Russell. Randomhouse Struik Lifestyle. Cape Town, South Africa 2012, ISBN 9781431700929 / ISBN 978-1-4317-0092-9

Entertaining at Hamilton Russell Vineyards: A Year on a Cape Wine Estate, by Olive Hamilton Russell. Randomhouse Struik Lifestyle. Cape Town, South Africa 2012, ISBN 9781431700929 / ISBN 978-1-4317-0092-9

Entertaining at Hamilton Russell Vineyards: A Year on a Cape Wine Estate. Olive Hamilton Russell. ISBN 9781431700929 / ISBN 978-1-4317-0092-9

Entertaining at Hamilton Russell Vineyards: A Year on a Cape Wine Estate. Olive Hamilton Russell. ISBN 9781431700929 / ISBN 978-1-4317-0092-9

Olive Hamilton Russell's book, A Year on a Cape Wine Estate: Entertaining at Hamilton Russell Vineyards, follows the seasons, beginning with spring, the time of bud-break and the start of a new cycle of growing and making wine. Each month contains a complete menu, with a starter, main course, side dishes, and dessert.

Olive Hamilton Russell  

September in Hamilton Russell Vineyards

Awakening. The season has turned and Spring has arrived with its promise of all that's beneficial and benign. Some ancient, giant alarm clock has lifted the vines from their deep winter sleep and the first buds green-up the dark cordon arms. Birdsong everywhere. Weavers advertise the quality of their new housing loudly. The herons are back on their rickety perches of carelessly assembled twigs high in the sugar gums and the southern right whales are back from their Antarctic feeding grounds in full force. Walker Bay is alive with them. Some are here to mate and others to calve. In the vineyards the team begins 'building the harvest'. The goal is to stay on top of things. Nature is on the run and will be for a while. Small unwanted shoots and buds are 'finger pruned' - simply picked off the vines. The cover crop in the rows is mowed again, and then again, with the cuttings serving as mulch for the soil. Shiny, black forktailed drongos follow the mowers, diving for the disturbed insects with dash and courage. Organic plant food Is distributed ahead of forecast rain, and a small team is busy tightening wires and repairing trellising. But it's quiet in the cellar. A time for tasting, checking and analyzing. The wines are slowly growing towards being bottle ready. Outdoors, it's a carnival of scent; a perfumer's delight. Who could think a 'keurblom' could smell so good? Forget the jasmine and wisteria, there is something extra here, a heady floral spice from before time. It's as though the slightly drab, unprepossessing shrub, wild and ungardened, has saved all year to dazzle in Spring. Economizing on all other senses to focus on the olfactory alone. But if you are prepared to trade scent for sight, the 'rooisewejaartjie' (Phaenocoma prolifera) is out on the stony mountain slopes in all its scarlet glory: dark black to washed olive grey-green foliage with almost impossibly vivid dry 'everlasting' flowers. The sugar gum {Eucalyptus cladocalyx) forest, established at the turn of the last century, reaches even further for the pure sun, with coppery tops of new growth on old canopies. Flora, and fauna, are sharp and on show. It's safari season, and well-heeled American, British and German visitors (among others) add an in-depth wine estate visit, or three, to their South African trip. Tastings and lunches are held at home and elsewhere with trade customers and wine enthusiasts. A wine show or two. The pace builds and the pulse quickens.

Recipe: Lime-marinated Cape salmon with stuffed courgette flowers

Ingredients:

8 x 150g portions of Cape salmon
45ml (3T) fresh lime juice
10ml (2t) finely grated lime rind
10ml (2t) fresh marjoram leaves
125ml C/2 cup) Hamilton Russel
Vineyards Extra-virgin Olive Oil
fresh lemon slices, for garnish
flaked sea salt, for garnish

Serves 8. Place the fish portions In an ovenproof dish. Mix the lime juice and rind, herbs and olive oil and spoon over the fish. Leave to marinade for 20-30 minutes. (Place In the fridge on a hot day.) Preheat the oven to 180°C and bake for 20-25 minutes. Garnish with lemon slices and flaked sea salt. Serve with stuffed courgette flowers. Cape salmon (geelbek) has firm, white, flesh and is ideal for baking, grilling or pan-frying. Any other firm-fleshed fish can be substituted. My fall-safe method to testing If fish Is cooked is to Insert the tip of a sharp knife Into the thickest part of the flesh and hold It there for 5 seconds. If the knife comes out hot, the fish is cooked.

Wine suggestions:

This delicate dish needs a lively, peppery, white wine with a mineral structure.

  • Sauvlgnon Blanc from Walker Bay, Western Cape.
  • Bordeaux Blanc Sec (a Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blend) from the Bordeaux region, France.
  • Rueda, an aromatic wine made from the Verdejo grape; from Spain.

This is an excerpt from the book: Entertaining at Hamilton Russell Vineyards: A Year on a Cape Wine Estate, by Olive Hamilton Russell.

Title: Entertaining at Hamilton Russell Vineyards
Subtitle: A Year on a Cape Wine Estate
Author: Olive Hamilton Russell
Imprint: Lifestyle
Publisher: Randomhouse Struik
Cape Town, South Africa 2012
ISBN 9781431700929 / ISBN 978-1-4317-0092-9
Hardcover, dustjacket, 24 x 27 cm, 192 pages, throughout colour photographs

Hamilton Russell, Olive im Namibiana-Buchangebot

Entertaining at Hamilton Russell Vineyards: A Year on a Cape Wine Estate

Entertaining at Hamilton Russell Vineyards: A Year on a Cape Wine Estate

Entertaining at Hamilton Russell Vineyards is a book for lovers of fine cuisine, wonderful wine and anyone who wants to taste the wine estates of the South African Cape.

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