Klein Constantia – Still Creating History
There is much cause for celebration this month, as Klein Constantia wins “Best South African Sparkling Wine” at the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships 2017 with their 2013 Méthode Cap Classique Brut .
Tuesday 19th September also saw the launch of the 2014 Klein Constantia Vin de Constance, the latest scion of arguably South Africa’s most iconic wine. The launch took place at the Devonshire Club, London with Winemaker Matthew Day & Co-Owner Charles Harman taking the guests on a journey through the recent vintages of Vin de Constance. In addition guests were treated to a number of Sauvignon Blancs which ranged from 1987 up to 2016, surprising all in attendance with the amazing ageability of this other corner stone of Klein Constantia’s offerings.
With the preceding vintage, the 2013 Vin de Constance, collecting the Platinum & Best in Show for Sweet Wine at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2017 earlier this year and with the 2014 harvest being hailed as one of the best of the decade it is clear this will be a very special wine.
More good news came in the form of Tim Atkin’s South Africa Report 2017 with Klein Constantia retaining its First Growth status, the only producer from the Constantia Valley to do so. In addition to this honour a number of the Klein Constantia wines received some very impressive scores.
Klein Constantia also sponsors Velo Birmingham which takes place on Sunday 24th September in the heart of Birmingham. The event will see 15,000 cyclists line up to start an unforgettable 100 mile route, taking them through the picturesque Worcestershire and Staffordshire countryside before returning to Birmingham.
Summer Sports in Support of The Benevolent and The Gordon & Tana Ramsay Foundation
A number of the team have been active this month in support charities close to us. The Benevolent is our chosen trade charity and 4 Mentzendorff riders took part in the Benevolent “Ride for Dan” on 13th August, riding a testing 100km+ route from Sussex to London. The ride was organised in memory of Dan Townsend (MD of Treasury Wine Estates) who tragically passed away earlier this year. The challenge started at Ridgeview Wine Estate, nestled at the foot of the South Downs and continued north climbing Leith Hill & Box Hill en route to Treasury Wine Estate HQ in Twickenham.
Congratulations to all riders, who have now smashed the £10,000 target, to date raising over £13,000 for the Benevelont charity, which provides help and support to those in need within the drinks industry.
Meanwhile our Director of National Accounts James Dodsworth, took to the road, bike and waters as he competed in the London Triathlon to raise funds on behalf of the Gordon and Tana Ramsay Foundation in support of Great Ormond Street Hospital. The Triathlon, held at the Excel centre in Docklands, involved a gruelling 750m swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run. James competed alongside 2,282 other people and came 704th – quite an achievement in his first Triathlon!
Team Ramsay raised £150,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital, who support research into new treatments, provides accommodation and support for young patients and their families and invests in the most up-to-date equipment to ensure it can provide the best service possible to our young people in need of care. A huge congratulations to Team Ramsay and James – well done!
The Spanish State Visit
Earlier this month the UK rolled out the red carpet for the State visit of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, the first since 1986. The official arrival ceremony on Horse Guards Parade was followed by a ceremonial procession down The Mall to Buckingham Palace which showed British pageantry at its very best.
The evening saw a spectacular State Banquet at Buckingham Palace. During the banquet, The Queen made a speech in which she emphasised the historical relationship between our two great countries.The State Banquet was attended by King Felipe VI & Queen Letizia of Spain, HRH Queen Elizabeth & the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge as well as Prime Minister Theresa May. Guests were treated to a 3 courses paired menu, including Henriques & Henriques 15 Year Old Bual Madeira served with the dessert, a bitter chocolate tart & raspberries.
A Madeiran institution since its establishment in 1850 Henriques & Henriques is the only Madeira producer to own vineyards, Managing Director & Master Blender Humberto Jardim stated he was very proud to have one of their wines served at the banquet.
The following day the King and Queen of Spain, accompanied by the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence attended a banquet at Guildhall given by the Lord Mayor and City of London Corporation where Bodegas Hidalgo-La Gitana Pedro Ximénez Triana was served.
Final farewells were said on the Friday morning at Buckingham Palace before the conclusion of the visit at RAF Brize Norton.
Madame Bollinger’s Bicycle at Eroica Britannica
On the hottest weekend of the year so far, Champagne sparkle was brought to the Peak District by Madame Lily Bollinger’s recently restored bicycle. Taking to two wheels for Eroica Britannica 2017, ‘The World’s Most Handsome Bike Ride’, Bollinger’s UK Director Victoria Carfantan pedalled the course on the original Peugeot bicycle, believed to date back to the 1940’s, which Madame Bollinger would ride through the vineyards every morning.Victoria took on the 25 mile route which wended through some of the most scenic parts of the Peak District. The blue Peugeot, kindly offered for the race by Madame Bollinger’s great nephew Arnould d’Hautefeuille, performed admirably on its first outing in over 50 years, although modern brakes might have been preferable for some of the steeper descents!
Champagne Bollinger was an official partner of Eroica Britannica 2017 and served Bollinger Special Cuvée from an appropriate Bollinger Bicycle Bar in the Eroica Britannia HQ Garden, quenching the thirst of riders and spectators alike.