In Chenin blanc, Karoo, MCC, Scholtz Landing, Tasting, Travel, Wine, Winemaking

Situated in the shadows of the majestic Towerkop Mountain in the fertile Dwarsriver Valley of the Klein Karoo, Mymering Wine and Guest Estate is an ideal weekend getaway some 10km outside Ladismith. As a working farm, this is an ideal place to escape and recharge one’s batteries, with stunning views, surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges and crisp Karoo air. I was lucky enough to be welcomed there by friends and hosts, Andy and Penny Hillock, whom I met through a business meeting 11 years ago.

Mymering has eight very differently themed guest suites to choose from, my favourite being Towerkop, where we stayed, and which is luxuriously furnished, complete with an outside sitting area, garden and its own private plunge pool.

While a self-catering option is available, we chose instead to enjoy a delicious three-course dinner alongside roaring fires, while drinking the locally produced Hillock wines made by Andy Hillock from grapes largely grown on the property.

We also took some relaxed walks through the magnificent vineyards, which, at this time of the year, are showing their bare stalks. This contrasts with the lushness of February and March when the vines are hanging heavily with export grapes.

The Hillock’s started to develop the Mymering property when I first met them and keep adding to it.  A new extension to the dining and entertainment area is currently under construction.

New areas under construction

About the owners

Both Andy and Penny have fascinating life stories to tell. Andy followed a career as general surgeon at Life St George’s, while Penny ran a successful promotional and clothing company, Penmark for over thirty years. Andy’s three passions in life have been medicine, flying and farming, and while he was studying, he learnt to fly Harvards. Later in life, he realised he would like to produce wines in his retirement, and though he is largely self-taught, various winemakers, including Duan Britz, assisted with his first vintages. In 2011, Andy released his first white wine, following this with his first red the next year. Penny has an excellent palate and, over the years, has advised Andy on his wines.

Penny’s exciting new project, on the other hand, is to produce her own bubbly on a piece of property in front of the Mae West Cottage, where previously 370 unproductive olive trees gave way to the new chardonnay vines. This vintage of MCC will be named Andrew John, after Andy. And while it will take some years for the recently planted vines to produce the tonnage of grapes required, she will buy in the necessary grapes to make a vintage in 2022. and make the MCC  under winemaker consultant Duan Britz’s guidance.

Wine enjoyed on the weekend

We appreciated a range of the Hillock wines over the weekend; I especially liked the chenin blanc 2021 paired with the dinner of curry one evening.

The Méthode Cap Classiques we savoured over the weekend included: the Hillock Penelope Ann bubbly; a few bottles of the latest disgorged Scholtz Landing bubbly 2013 and the Pieter Ferreira Rosé 2013.

A bit more on the Pieter Ferreira Rosé 2013

Before the weekend I had coffee with Ann Ferreira of Pieter Ferreira bubbly and was gifted a bottle of the Pieter Ferreira Rosé MCC 2013, which I thoroughly enjoyed drinking in the wine farm setting.

Made by Cap Classique expert, Pieter Ferreira, this salmon-pink bubbly is made solely from pinot noir grapes from Elgin and the Slanghoek Valley. It is an absolutely delicious extra brut rosé with strawberries on the nose, a wonderful depth of flavour, creamy mousse and subtle red berries on the taste.

From left to right: Andy Hillock, Susan Scholtz, Penny Hillock enjoying the Pieter Ferreira Rosé MCC 2013

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