Mumbai gets a taste of South African Wines from Nederburg

Andrea Freeborough, Cellar Master, Nederburg
Andrea Freeborough, Cellar Master, Nederburg

Aspri Spirits hosted an intimate women-only exclusive sit-down dinner in honour of  Andrea Freeborough, the lady cellar master at Nederburg wineries in South Africa. Set in the elegant Olive Bar & Kitchen in Bandra West, Mumbai, the lavish specially crafted four-course menu by Chef Rishim Sachdeva blended perfectly with “Nederburg The Winemasters’ Wines”. The menu was presented in elegant personalized menu cards.

The pre-appetizer of lamb belly and capers was paired with the 2016 Nederberg The Winemaster’s Sauvignon Blanc – vibrant and grassy with a lingering pleasant finish. The succulent smoked pork and plum appetizer were accompanied by the 2015 Nederberg The Winemaster Shiraz – wonderful aromas of plum, berries and oak. One of my favourites of the evening.

It was a perfect evening of food, wine and conversations with the cellar master of one of the prominent wineries from South Africa. Andrea Freeborough took us through the history of the brand, the process of making wines, their best selling wines and much more. Neeta Matai and Sweta Mohanty from Aspri were gracious hostesses and presided over the dinner. Among the guests present were Sonal Holland MW, Rojita Tiwari, wine writer, Shatbhi Basu, first woman bar tender and celebrity chefs, Rakhee Vaswani and Anjali Pathak.

With an honours degree in viticulture, followed by another degree in winemaking, Andrea began working as an assistant winemaker at Neethlingshof in Stellenbosch. Less than three years later she was appointed a fully-fledged winemaker, working under Nederburg cellar- master Razvan Macici, producing white wines. In her early 30s, Andrea was appointed to head Distell’s Die Bergkelder, a job she held for a decade before returning to Nederburg to take over from Razvan in mid-2015.

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The coconut sorbet was the perfect palate cleanser preparing us for the perfectly cooked main course of Salmon accompanied by the lovely 2015 Nederberg The Winemaster’s Pinotage – made from the highly acclaimed South African grape. The wine was fruity with notes of plum and cherry and hints of eucalyptus and oak spices with lingering soft tannins in the finish.

Nederburg has been a particularly interesting example of the achievements of the quality revolution in South Africa in the past few decades. The Paarl winery also performs spectacularly at wine competitions and has many awards under its belt. Nederburg was named Winery of the Year for two consecutive years – the highest accolade offered by Platters’ Guide. The sweet ending to the dinner was Orange Crème Brulee and petit fours with a shot of Amarula liqueur to go.

Nederberg is based in Paarl and is owned by Distell. All of the above-mentioned wines are imported and distributed in India exclusively by Aspri and are priced at the MRP of Rs. 2,195/- in Mumbai.

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