Last week, we had the privilege of attending one of the more elusive events on the oenophile’s calendar … a wine club event. And maybe its only elusive to us because being millennials, we’re still earning our way and can’t afford to be in any clubs. So being invited to the exclusive Kanonkop Black Label Launch was the perfect opportunity to get the inside scoop on the club collective of the Cape. And boy, quelle shindig it was! Upon arrival, we were greeted with a chilled glass of the Kadette Pinotage Rosé – which went down a treat on the 28 degree evening. A violin and guitar duo kept the mood classy, while South African favourites – samoosas and spring rolls – were served as appetizers prior to the main event.
The evening started with a literal bang, thanks to a quick class on how to fire a cannon from the Cannon Association of South Africa. Kanonkop, simply meaning Canon Head in Afrikaans, has a strong link to cannons, being named after a kopje (hillock), from which a cannon was fired in the 17th Century to alert farmers in outlying areas that sailing ships plying the waters between Europe and the Far East had entered Table Bay for a stopover at Cape Town.
After being shimmed inside, the crowd was greeted by owner Johann Krige and winemaker Abrie Beeslaar. Each explained their passion for winemaking, highlighted the current farm killings within the region, and spoke about the need to plant more drought-resistant varieties going forward. After quite a build up, the Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage 2016 was revealed. At R1750 a bottle, this is an iconic wine that club-goers hanker over to be the first to sip. But to us, this wasn’t the particular highlight to be honest. After the tasting, we were allowed to explore the behind the scenes of the cellar after hours. The traditional snoek braai took place within the alcoves, hidden corridors and spaces of the winemaking area. This was the biggest treat of all. Like our friend Zelda mentioned, “it’s like being at someone’s very classy house party “. Maybe that’s what exclusivity really is – just being made to feel welcome in someone’s home. Kanonkop’s got that waxed.