The winelands comes to Durban this week when The Mercury Wine Week opens its doors to the Cape's finest exhibitors and their award-winning wines.

MERCURY Wine Week has eventually dawned and there promises to be literally hundreds of wines on show for patrons to savour and experiment during the four shows being held at the Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World.

Sherry has exploded on to the social scene over the past few years, evolving into a trend among younger drinkers with the emergence of fashionable sherry bars and tapas. Monis will showcase a host of cocktails and recipes that should dismiss the illusion that sherry is a drink exclusively reserved for grannies and their knitting.

Welgemeend Estate produced South Africa’s first Bordeaux blend in 1979 and today its Estate Reserve, Douelle and Soopjeshoogte are classic interpretations of higher quality Bordeaux blends. The Amadé is a local interpretation of a southern Rhône blend, while in 2013 the Klapmuts winery released its inaugural white wine – a chenin named Originalé Blanc.

Since then it has released its multi-award winning 2014 chenin blanc and its first sauvignon blanc that won gold medals in its first year of production. Welgemeend also has a bubbly called Sparkling Symphony released last year that is a 95 percent sauvignon blanc and five percent shiraz for something unique in South Africa.

Wellington-based Diemersfontein winery should never be overlooked, having made internationally popular the coffee-style pinotage, but also for bringing to the market an award-winning viognier.

Delheim is another firm favourite. Situated high on the Simonsberg mountain slopes, the farm is the home of the Sperling family whose hospitality and 65 years of dedication to making wines of character are legendary.

De Grendel will showcase its two Op Die Berg wines both from a new appellation called Ceres Plateau. The De Grendel Op Die Berg Chardonnay 2014 displays a nose of citrus flavours and marmalade followed by vanilla undertones on the palate and it is an ideal food partner.
The De Grendel Op Die Berg Pinot Noir 2012 has a light, bright ruby red hue and a nose of luscious red cherry, blackberry and pine needles. It is certainly another wine worthy of tracking down during the show.

Woolworths will have on show the two Reyneke Vinehugger wines being exclusively made for the retailer. The Vinehugger Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2014 was produced from organically grown vineyards in Stellenbosch and the winemaker believes, while it can be enjoyed young, it can also be cellared carefully for another three years.

The Vinehugger Sauvignon Blanc 2014 was made from organically grown grapes around the Western Cape and only used the free-run juice. It displays characteristics of gooseberries, greengage and lemon peel with a fresh, vibrant palate and can also benefit from a few years in the cellar.
Doors open for this year’s Mercury Wine Week at 5:30pm on Thursday and Friday nights, noon on Saturday for the inaugural daytime show and then again at 6:30pm that evening. Tickets, which can be purchased via Computicket or at the door, cost R120 per person.