Latest Posts
+47 23 625 1954
info@mcgregortourism.com
FOLLOW US:
023 625 1954
Top
McGregor Tourism / Uncategorized  / SPRINGTIME IN MCGREGOR…….TIPTOE THROUGH THE DAISIES AND ALMOND BLOSSOM

SPRINGTIME IN MCGREGOR…….TIPTOE THROUGH THE DAISIES AND ALMOND BLOSSOM

WHAT A GLORIOUS TIME TO BE IN MCGREGOR

The Almond trees are in full showy blossom, and the air is heavy with the rich exotic perfume of Jasmine.Walking down Tindall on my way to Grape de Vine and seeing Helaine’s venerable old Almond tree in full bloom, just knocked my socks right off,even before a delicious glass of Roberts, Tanagra Colombard. had even touched my lips.

Jannie Rhodes is in his garden tending his famous and equally delicious, Broad Beans,now in full blossom.Just a few weeks to go before they go into a fragrant Portuguese inspired Chorizo dish. No wonder that McGregor is one of the most sought after, relaxation destinations, in the Western Cape.We Love You!

MEET MASTER POTTER & CERAMICIST……..Paul de Jongh

Every now and then,one sees an ominous puff of smoke rising above the village……no,not a house on fire but a wood fired kiln being fired up at Millstone Pottery for another extravaganza of melting glazes and inspired pottery creation.The alchemist behind this amazing art is Paul de Jongh, Meister Potter of McGregor.

Paul and Nina  are the founders of one the most famous potteries in Southern Africa,Millstone Pottery,right here in McGregor…..oh wow,how amazing is that!

For this article,I looked to focus specifically on the technique of creating Raku pottery that Paul does so magnificently.These are some of Paul’s  beautiful  creations

Raku is fast-fired, low temperature, decorative ware with a porous quality which explores a ceramic fault, creating its random crackle-glaze appearance. The word rakuis a Japanese term for this special form of pot making, which roughly translated means contentment, enjoyment and pleasure.

This process differs from other firing methods because the pots are removed from the kiln at their maximum temperature. The technique involves pulling the red-hot pots from the kiln and placing them in sawdust, thereby crazing the glaze and carbonising the cracks. The crackle nature of the glaze is enhanced by the post firing smoking that embeds the carbon into the crackles of the glaze. Because it is low-fired (around 900°C), the work remains porous and its value therefore lies in its aesthetic beauty alone.

In the 16th century, Sen no Rikyū, the Japanese tea master, was involved with the construction of the Jurakudai and had a tile-maker, named Chōjirō, produce hand-moulded tea bowls for use in the wabi-styled tea ceremony that was Rikyū’s ideal. The resulting tea bowls made by Chōjirō were initially referred to as “ima-yaki” (“contemporary ware”) and were also distinguished as Juraku-yaki, from the red clay (Juraku) that they employed. Hideyoshi presented Jokei, Chōjirō’s son, with a seal that bore the Chinese character for raku.[1] Raku then became the name of the family that produced the wares. Both the name and the ceramic style have been passed down through the family (sometimes by adoption) to the present 15th generation (Kichizaemon). The name and the style of ware has become influential in both Japanese culture and literature.

In Japan, there are “branch kilns” (wakigama), in the raku-ware tradition, that have been founded by Raku-family members or porters who apprenticed at the head family’s studio. One of the most well-known of these is Ōhi-yaki (Ōhi ware). Thank you Wikipedia

Millstone Pottery is a must see on your next visit to McGregor

023 625 1599 or nina@millstonepottery.co.za

The studio is open seven days a week at
1 Bree Street, McGregor

 WINE OF THE MONTH…….TANAGRA COLOMBARD 2018

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing, tree and outdoor

Sitting underneath the magnificent old Wild Fig tree,listening to the beautiful birdsong in the branches above,slowly sipping and savouring their delicious 2018 Colombard. Sue of Grape de Vine and I were reminiscing with  Robert and Annette about past jazz festivals and being literally blown away by the passion they exhibit about their gorgeous wine farm, Tanagra. The old wild fig tree gave the farm its name, ‘Tanagra’ – it echoes the Khoisan expression for a well-shaded place. This giant tree canopies the historic homestead and winery, providing welcoming shade during the hot days of summer.But back to this delicious 2018 Tanagra Colombard,soft as silk with just a hint of laid back acidity,a gentle melange of soft tropical fruit and a long lingering aftertaste. They’ve just been awarded a coveted GOLD  MEDAL at the  www.goldwineawards.com. "This cultivar again showed how underrated it is. The selection of wines showed extremely well, and hinted at the possibility that Colombar could just be the next big thing." 

One always thinks of Colombard as the base wine for our spirit making industry,however in the last few years it has achieved serious recognition as a noble cultivar in its own right

Colombard is a white French wine grape variety that is the offspring of Chenin blanc and Gouais blanc. This makes the grape the sibling of the Armagnac Meslier-Saint-François and the nearly extinct Cognac grape Balzac blanc.Ideally you can pair it with confidence with a Baked trout and crème fraîche or Whitebait fritters, for the vegetarian,Lentil salad with walnuts and feta.Lunch or dinner,fine dining or casual,break out of the norm and go Colombard

CHARCUTERIE ALA MCGREGOR…..SY AND HIS MERRY BAND

If you have ever visited Continental Europe,you will remember with lip smacking an3`ticipation,the ever present Charcuterie deli’s with their mouth watering array of smoked jambons,salamis,chorizo,pancetta,sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork. and so on and of course that aroma as you walk in to be greeted by the cheerful owner.Well Sy and his fellow experimenters are busy brining,smoking,hanging and maturing all types of delicious cuts at Sy’s Charcuterie School.right here in McGregor. I sampled Sy’s delicious Pancetta up at our Saturday Market and now a dedicated addict….try it out and become hooked.

Sy Tchao has a fascinating international background…..born in Paris and grew up in the USA.Add a degree in psychology and a Doctor of Law (luris),photo journalist in Rome and then a 12 year stint on Reunion,lecturing in legal and commercial English at Reunion University,now a well known resident in McGregor

Pixie, Martyn, Graham, Angus and Ian, have made Prosciutto, Coppa , Dry and Fresh Chorizo and a variety of fresh sausages including Cumberland and Italian Sweet Fennel. On the cards are Guanciale, Pancetta, Salami and more.

Intense concentration as the first sausages are rolled out

Yummy Coppa

Image may contain: foodImage may contain: food

NEW BUTCHER ON THE BLOCK

Attention Chefs,aspiring home chefs and backyard braaiers……Toinette du Toit has just opened her new McGregor Country Butchery & Deli at 34 Voortrekker Street.It’s in the Old McGregor Hotel building.All locally sourced Karoo Lamb,Beef,Pork,Free Range Chickens,Braai Ready delicacies,Fresh Veg and other interesting edibles are on sale right now.But the the big surprise, was when I looked in the one cold storage area and saw artisanal Charcuterie hams and Salamis etc etc hanging there.Toinette makes some it herself and she is also stocking Richard Bosman products,the master of all things, charcuterie related.The taste buds were tingling as I tasted the sublime Prosciutto,lightly smoked,acorn fed pork is the secret.

34 Voortrekker St {Old Hotel)

Thursday – Friday…..10am -6pm

Saturday….9am – 2pm

072 023 6228

rooi94@hotmail.com

POETRY IN MCGREGOR…AUGUST 2019

Another fantastic Poetry Festival in McGregor.

Well done to Mr Poetry McGregor,our one and only Billy Kennedy and his intrepid support team of Poetry Enthusiasts, who staged superb presentation of our talented poets from across the country.McGregor was packed with poetry loving visitors from all over the country and the world.Temenos was the heart and soul of this wonderful event.Restaurants,coffee shops,guest houses were packed to capacity over the weekend of 23 August 2019

Image may contain: sky, mountain, nature and outdoor

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling

The dynamic and talented Zolani Youth Choir from Ashton

Image may contain: tree and outdoor

Image may contain: 6 people, crowd, tree and outdoor

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, close-up

Mr Poetry,Billy Kennedy

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor

There is always something happening in our fab village,please let us know and we will always endeavour to get it into this newsletter.Please let us know about your wine launches,so that we can include them here

Lots To Come Links…..

The fun never ends in our neck of the woods with the McGregor Magic Open Gardens / Heritage weekend (20th to 23rd September).

Some other links / contact details that may be of use to folk who like to plan ahead:

Where to stay – accommodation options

Wahnfried programme of films and live cultural events

Temenos Retreat – for retreats, workshops etc

McGregor Wine Meander – for information of wineries in and around the village

Arts and Crafts – art galleries, pottery studios and so much more

Mind and Body – yoga, massages, Qi-gong, retreats, hiking clubs, walking

Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve for walks, bird hides (wheelchair friendly boardwalk), braille trail

at the courtyard musical events

Millstone Pottery  high-temperature wood-firing jamboree (18 to 20 October 2019)

Please keep an eye on our McGregor Tourism Facebook page and the other one that we highly recommend is the We Love McGregor Facebook page.

Leave a Reply: