One and a half hours. That’s how late we were for lunch on Sunday at Creation.
Of course, I apologised profusely and explained that our reason for being so horrendously late was a legitimate one, which it was. Though selfishly all I could worry about, being the fanatical foodie that I am, is that they didn’t run out of ingredients for our 8-course tapas pairing that I’d been fantasising about all week, which of course they didn’t.
And if you’ve been to Creation before, you would know how intoxicatingly addictive this slice of Hemel-en-Aarde heaven is – the food, the wine, the views, everything.
After arriving – not a moment too soon – in this iridescent valley, I immediately understood why Capetonians and Internationals alike would go out of their way to visit this award-winning Walker Bay winery.
Gently guided to our table in the tasting room beside the cosy fire, with panoramic views of the beautiful Babylon Toren Mountains, we settled down for an afternoon of spoils.
Selecting the 8-course tapas pairing menu – the one that saw Creation secure their fourth Klink Award in the ‘Great Pairings’ category for 2017, we savoured the recently released Elation MCC – seductive to say the least.
Before I could say ‘it’s so lovely to be here’ we were served a board of freshly baked marbled Mosbolletjies bread, infused with Pinot Noir. A sign of the artfully paired culinary journey we were about to relish in.
A thought leader in food and wine pairing innovation, each tapas course was exquisitely plated in designer tableware, and made from artisanal, seasonal ingredients grown by local farmers.
The aroma, taste and texture of the wines were enhanced by meticulously planned pairings such as calamari risotto, paw paw pineapple, celery, radish, lemongrass and apple paired with Creation’s 2016 Sauvignon Blanc; and Pork fillet, burnt caramel and sage, spinach, king oyster mushrooms paired with Creation Reserve Pinot Noir 2015. Each wine served in its varietal-specific glass – indecently imperative to the pairings – which was countlessly proven throughout the course of the afternoon.
In the absence of the custodians’ company (Carolyn and JC) – who were abroad making South Africa proud – we were left in the more-than-capable-hands of Stephanie, our sommelier. The young aficionado, who started out as a waitress at Creation years ago, was as fresh as their 2017 Sauvignon, yet knowledgeable, passionate and witty. In addition, she managed to keep us stimulated and our children happy for three solid hours.
As our table moved into ravishing reds, the pinots graciously giving way to the Grenaches and Syrahs, Stephanie explained how JC chooses the grapes for his Art of Creation reserves; hand-selecting clusters from a single vineyard to produce only 600 bottles of their finest wines, and propping up a pile of Veritas and international awards in the process. And all of this, they have manifested in as little as fifteen years from a piece of fallow land.
Between mouthfuls of a delicious dessert, we discussed all sorts of interesting facts about the farm – one of which being their virus free vineyards and the fact their wine labels are devoid of tasting notes – a sensible choice – for wine tasting is subjective and open to interpretation. The family are also involved in the heart-warming Pebbles Education Project, established to aid early childhood development and education for the children living in the Cape Winelands.
Everything about Creation is just about perfect. The service was slick, the food and wine pairing commentary cohesive and the ambience sophisticated yet buzzy. And, it’s child-friendly boasting a break-out room packed with toys for kiddies, and what’s more, the little fledglings can order innovative pairings with marshmallows and milkshakes.
While wine farms outside the high-density wine regions such as Franschhoek, have to work harder to attract day trippers, Creation is one that really doesn’t have to.
I plan to visit again very soon, meet Carolyn and JC in the flesh and hear more about their secret pairings!
Phone: 028 212 1107