Cathedral Cellar’s gift of resilience, small pleasures and companionship


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THE past year has shown us the significant value of things we simply took for granted, and if ever there was a time to revel in small pleasures, in tiny victories and to draw back the curtain to discover the hidden wonders at our feet, then it is now.

Winemakers and viticulturists find this significance in nature, where they encounter inspiring examples of resilience. It is known that vines need hardship for their berries to thrive and produce the award-winning quality of KWV’s Cathedral Cellar wines: “Vines are great teachers,” says Cathedral Cellar chief winemaker, Justin Corrans. “They teach us an appreciation for adversity, because without this adversity, vines won’t focus their energy on grapes, and we won’t have the juicy berries needed to make wines that spread joy.

There is a very special story of adversity, and companionship, between vineyards and olive trees – both which delivers crops named in religious and holy books as food that feeds the soul. For thousands of years, olive trees have been planted on the peripheries of vineyards to shelter their “friends” against strong winds that can disrupt pollination. Here, on the fringes where they frame vineyards, these olive trees developed their own lesson in resilience.

It is a tree that can withstand immense hardships, from fierce winds, droughts and even fires – but not only do these trees withstand adversity, they weave it into their individual display. Each olive tree will individually adapt to its surroundings, resulting in detailed trunks with unique bumps and gnarls; stories of challenging years that ultimately give them their unique beauty.

For Cathedral Cellar’s ambassador chef, Mynhardt Joubert, who had to temporarily close his at-home kitchen and restaurant during lockdown, the story of the olive tree resonates deeply, and he was inspired to develop recipes to match to the Cathedral Cellar Shiraz and Cathedral Cellar Chardonnay.

“I distinctly remember the first time a good quality olive oil made its way down my throat and into my existence; I was forever a changed man. The oil came from a single varietal olive orchard which actually stood neglected on the slopes of Kasteelberg, received very little water or attention, but yielded the purest of the pure green and gold oil every year.

For Chef Mynhardt, the best way to enjoy a good olive oil is with a simple piece of crusty bread, “swept over a plate from left to right until the last golden droplets are lodged in my soul”. Illustrating the companionship between olive trees and vines, from the soil to the plate, Chef Mynhardt developed an olive tapenade with rare roasted fillet carpaccio, and prepared vanilla marinated olives, served with an almond bread and white anchovy and pistachio butter with cheeses on the side. Find the recipe here.

“What a wonderful idea uniting these two traditional companions, olives and wine, in such a creative fashion,” says Corrans. “The olive tapenade with the rare roasted fillet carpaccio echo the moody black olive and charcuterie aromas and fleshy palate of the Cathedral Cellar Shiraz. The delicious vanilla marinated olives and almond bread with anchovy and pistachio butter is an unbelievable sensory match for the Cathedral Cellar Chardonnay, which mirrors the food components’ taste with toasty vanillin and delicate almond blossom notes and its creamy mouthfeel.”

Says Cathedral Cellar brand manager, Tanya Blokdyk: “In a time that we are all still navigating the havoc wrecked by the coronavirus, the team at Cathedral Cellar hopes the story of resilience inspires perseverance. Harnessing challenges and weaving it into your story is easier to do when you take time to appreciate ‘small pleasures’, like a glass of Cathedral Cellar wine, a well-cooked meal, bread, hands in the soil, observing nature and taking time to find significance in the insignificant.”

Revel in small pleasures. Order Cathedral Cellar wines by clicking here. Share your moments on social via Cathedral Cellar’s Facebook and Instagram platforms @KWV_CathedralCellar

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