As the mid-year winter sun bathes the picturesque Cape Winelands in golden warmth, an extraordinary and whimsical celebration comes to life – Christmas in July. Imagine a fusion of holiday enchantment and the magic of South Africa’s rainy winter days, all set against the backdrop of lush vineyards and rolling hills.
What a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas in July in the heart of the Cape Winelands, where July means chilly rain and a splendid excuse to celebrate with a twist. The addition of rainy winter days elevates the charm, creating a sensory symphony that is simply captivating.
Eikendal recently held their Wine & Dine Event for Christmas in July. Despite the rainy weather outside, we were greeted indoors with a glass of their 2020 Eikendal Cap Classique Brut, crafted from Chardonnay grapes. The aroma entices with hints of citrus, lime, peaches and cream, accompanied by a refreshing mineral undertone.
A selection of homemade soups provided a delightful method to enjoy a comforting winter experience. Ranging from Butternut Soup with a Citrus Twist, velvety Mushroom and Corn Soup, to a Coconut Cream and Egg Noodle-infused Red Thai Chicken Soup, as well as a flavourful West Coast Mussel and Seafood Chowder.
Accompanying these hearty winter warmers was a glass of Eikendal Chardonnay 2012, which complemented the soups exquisitely. The wine boasts a refreshing quality with underlying mineral tones, followed by notes of ripe pears, honey suckle, orange peel, apples, and honey. The palate showcases a linear structure with a precise minerality, concluding in a creamy, fruit-laden finish of impressive length.
Eikendal’s wine cellar was transformed into a Christmas wonderland. Picture twinkling lights, festive decorations in the wine cellar, usually bustling with activity, transform into havens of holiday merriment, complete with the delightful clinking of glasses. The atmosphere was alive with the tinkling of laughter and the clinking of glasses, as guests reveled in the unique experience of celebrating Christmas in July.
Festive lighting adorned every nook and cranny, casting a warm and inviting glow that complemented the meticulously curated decorations. The wine cellar’s rustic charm provided a perfect backdrop, enhancing the magical atmosphere and setting the stage for an unforgettable evening.
Amidst the carefully decorated tables, the heart of the celebration lay in the carefully selected wines that flowed freely – Eikendal Charisma and Eikendal Classique. These exquisite wines, known for their rich flavours and exceptional quality, were the perfect companions for this mid-year winter celebration.
Live entertainment wafted through the air, filling it with melodious tunes that harmonised with the clinking glasses and joyful conversations. The ambiance was as delightful as the wine itself, elevating the experience to new heights.
The culinary offerings were nothing short of spectacular. The centerpiece, a chargrilled deboned butterflied leg of lamb, marinated with a fragrant blend of olive oil and rosemary, showcased the mastery of the culinary team.
For those with a penchant for the sweet and savoury, the honey and mustard glazed gammon proved to be an irresistible delight. Roasted barbeque chicken infused with a tantalising mix of chili, lime and orange provided a succulent alternative that catered to a variety of palates.
No feast is complete without an array of sides offering a medley of flavours. Crispy roast potatoes, fragrant savoury rice and grilled seasonal vegetable skewers added depth to the culinary journey. A standout favourite was the pumpkin pie, crowned with a symphony of caramelised nuts and seeds that added a delightful crunch to every bite.
As the evening culminated, dessert took center stage with a mini dessert buffet that left taste buds dancing in delight. The traditional Christmas trifle, adorned with layers of festive colours, paid homage to the classic flavours of the season. A rich dark chocolate mousse infused with the elegance of Frangelico liqueur offered a decadent treat for the senses.
The grand finale featured a duo of indulgence – a velvety crème caramel that melted in the mouth and a baked malva pudding served alongside luscious vanilla custard. The symphony of flavours continued with meticulously crafted baked and cheesecake cupcakes that rounded off the dessert offerings.
In the heart of winter we were transported on a journey through time and taste, celebrating Christmas in July with an unmatched blend of wine, culinary artistry and festive charm. This magical evening served as a reminder that the spirit of Christmas knows no bounds and can be enjoyed any time of the year, especially when accompanied by the finest wines and culinary delights.
Categories: Eikendal Vineyards