Desktop3Dinners at Chefs Warehouse are an intimate affair. Usually held for birthdays, corporate functions or recently, for successful bidders of auctions. With no more than 20 people at a time, menus are tailor made for the event and wines are served to compliment the food. We held 2 benefit dinners recently and the wines were generously donated by Saronsberg.

Nestled at the foot of the mountain after which it is named, Saronsberg wine estate is a contemporary addition to the rich heritage of Tulbagh valley – an ancient wine region situated 120 km north-east of Cape Town. When the winery – with its avant garde design and art-rich grounds – was established in 2003, it was with a revolutionary outlook. The goal was, and continues to be, small productions of premium quality wines that reset benchmarks while expressing the unique characteristics of their origin. These wines have come to define the potential of the region, particularly for Shiraz and other red varieties. Despite prominent local and international competition success, this remains Saronsberg’s simple aim: to create fruit-driven elegant wines that are memorable.

At the heart of Saronsberg and its wines, is its people. From the 16 families living permanently on the farm comes the core of a committed vineyard and cellar team with the training, experience and attention to detail that is needed to produce handmade wines of exceptional quality. Cape Winemakers’ Guild member, Dewaldt Heyns, oversees every aspect of viticulture and winemaking, acting as mentor to this close-knit team and the individuals from home and abroad that join every year to take part in the harvest internship program. The culture of trust and co-operation that has been fostered since Saronsberg’s first vintage is tangible in every bottle, and endures long after the final sip.

At the benefit dinners, we served guests the Saronsberg MCC 2009 on arrival. This wine was also served with the first course. For the second course, we served the Provenance Sauvignon Blanc 2012. Guests had the option of the Provenance Rooi 2010 or Shiraz (older vintage) for the main. On both evenings, the second course was fish: for the first dinner, guests enjoyed Tetaki of Tuna, Soba Noodles, Wasabi Mayonnaise and on the second: Fillet of Norwegian Salmon with Vietnamese Dressing. Duck Confit, Potato Gnocchi, Cep Cream was the main on both evenings, which went well with the choice of red/s.

The unusual venue (Chefs Warehouse), Liam’s menu and of course the selection of wines from Saronsberg all contributed to successful dinners on both nights. We would like to thank Dewaldt Heyns (wine maker) and Leana Russouw (export and cellars sales) for their help and generosity in making these events the success that they were.