I recently returned from a trip to South Africa where I was lucky enough to visit some wonderful wineries!
Creation Wines is just twenty years old but has quickly become one of the most exciting wineries in the Western Cape. Set amidst verdant gardens in the heart of Walker Bay set up by married couple JC and Carolyn (who separately hail from wine-making families in Switzerland and Stellenbosch) who have done an incredible job turning a bare piece of farmland into biodiverse paradise of a winery amidst the rolling hills of the Hemel en Aarde (heaven and earth) region.
South Africa is bursting with fine dining restaurants but Creation’s food offering - in my opinion – is one of the best restaurants I went to in South Africa and when paired with Creation’s wines, they’re creating a food and wine experience that operates in perfect harmony. The chef has trained in Japan and Europe and these influences show through in the food without it ever being anything other than authentically South African.
On the day of my visit, JC had been sea-fishing the previous day and landed two huge (70kg!) tuna fish, which were turned into tuna sashimi with pinot noir to complement. Pinot noir is what Creation is famous for and their offering didn’t disappoint – elegant, structured and Burgundian in the glass. Followed by outstanding gluten-free bread (my husband couldn’t tell it was gluten-free which was particularly impressive) we moved into tasting Creation’s three chardonnays to accompany beef cheeks with hollandaise. Creation also makes a wonderful 80/20 sauvignon/semillon blend which they vinify in special cigar-shape barrels from France, which develops those lovely toasty aromas with oak contact but very gently and naturally. The outstanding dishes just kept on coming - the best gazpacho soup I’ve ever had, followed by a gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free olive cake which tasted divine – how incredible to create something so tasty without all of the usual ‘cake’ ingredients. Carolyn’s passion is to create a food menu from the land to reflect the terroir and soon to launch ‘Taste the terroir’ menu which I hope to come back and enjoy.
JC the winemaker is very passionate and talented and kindly spent some time with us discussing the wines and drinking Art of Creation chardonnay – his favourite. He was particularly passionate about the biodiversity of his winery and the impact of being biodiverse as opposed to industry buzzwords like ‘organic and biodynamic’. Before the winery was created, Creation was a piece of land where sheep grazed and so has not had decades of chemicals being pumped onto the land. The soil is healthy and the vines were planted when JC and Carolyn arrived. Among the vines you can find mountain leopards, baboons and butterflies – you don’t see that in France! This is no monoculture but thriving space where the cooling ocean breeze (the ‘Cape Doctor’) meets the vines. In the reds there are no additives, fining agents, no filtering – nothing just good wine.
For UK customers buying Creation’s wines couldn’t be easier – just head on over to their online shop https://shop.creationwines.com/ and https://www.vinvm.co.uk/creation pick your favourites for next-day UK delivery.