Monday, 28 April 2014

Bouchard Finlayson

Peter Finlayson, winemaker at Bouchard Finlayson, is one of the pioneers of the Hemel-en-Aarde valley and a stalwart of the industry in South Africa.  With a strong focus on Pinot Noir in the vineyard, an enthusiasm for Chardonnay, an interesting mix of international varietals (mainly in the unique Hannibal blend) and a wonderful setting, a visit and tasting at this winery is a highlight of any journey into this incredible wine region.

On a recent visit I was suitably impressed and the wine that shone for me was the Limited Edition Kaaimansgat Chardonnay 2010, from grapes sourced from a Villiersdorp farm.  Really well balanced, pretty much exactly what I am looking for in a food chardonnay, with a great combination of tropical fruit and cinnamon apple, a complex wine that is given a real lift with 50% going in new French oak and 50% experiencing no wood at all. 

Peter Finlayson has given me his Bouillabaisse recipe, something he enjoys with his Kaaimansgat Chard.


  1. a couple of fish heads
  2. a few onions, finely chopped
  3. a knob of butter
  4. salt and pepper
  5. 2 cups of white wine
  6. 4 tomatoes, chopped
  7. 2 tsp Thai curry seasoning
  8. 2 tsp fish Masala
  9. 1 tsp ground fennel seeds
  10. 1 Tbsp apricot jam
  11. 2 bananas, chopped
  12. 1 lemon
  13. 400g fresh white fish
  14. 400g peeled prawns
  15. 300g calamari
  • boil up fish heads in a pot of water for around an hour, sieve, then set stock aside
  • take a wide, flat-bottomed pot and brown the onions
  • add the white wine and allow to simmer for 10 minutes
  • add the chopped tomato, Thai and Masala seasoning, fennel, apricot jam, bananas, lemon juice and fish stock and allow to simmer for 30 mins
  • season with salt and pepper
  • 5 minutes before serving add fish, prawns and calamari    

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