Spookfontein is named for a fountain at the bottom of a cabernet sauvignon vineyard where the warm air meets the cool surface water and a ghost-like image is conjured. On this farm Craig Sheard does his magic and has been making wine at Spookfontein in the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley since 2006. He changed the viticulture to organic farming practices in 2010. At a special Hermanus Times Winederous lunch he presented 5 vintages of Spookfontein Merlot and proved that merlot could easily pair with starter, main course or dessert.
Spookfontein produces Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Pinot noir. There has also been a small production of bubbly that we did not have the good fortune of tasting and gives us a reason to return.
Norah Hudson is in charge of ELL – the restaurant at Spookfontein – and she tries to source all the produce locally and ethically. With the 2008 Merlot Norah served a wild mushroom & truffle soup accompanied with a mild gorgonzola crostini and a pinch of watercress. A perfect match of savouriness.
Next up was a smoked fish cake and the Merlot was subtle enough to sip between bites. Then there was a venison bobotie followed by a chocolate dessert – all served with different vintages of Merlot.
Once a month ELL hosts an art exhibition with music, snacks and wine at only R45 pp. This starts at 18:00 and guests are welcome to stay for dinner.
There are also 2 cottages on the farm which I would like to try one day when I am totally overcome with Merlot manipulation!