Friday, June 7, 2019

Zucchini Quiche with Raats Chenin Blanc from South Africa

An exciting day as our Wine Pairing Weekend group features food and wines from South Africa.   We all know I have a deep love and passion down to my core for Italian wine and travel throughout Italy.  Although, I have to admit my trip to South Africa back in 2012 was the most memorable trips of my life to date.  I traveled the country from west to east renting a car starting in Cape Town driving the coast out to Knysna and jumping on a plane from the George airport out to Kruger National Park for a 5 day safari.  Absolutely amazing!  Unique and delicious food, beautiful wine trails and animals galore. 

You can see a glimpse and overview of South Africa on my preview earlier this week.   Wines of South Africa was kind to supply some of our bloggers with some chenin blanc to sample.  June 21st is coming quickly which is #CheninBlancDay so it was the perfect time to experience this wine.  The wine that I tried was a 2017 Raats Old Vine Chenin Blanc. 

The Winery ~ Raats
In 2001 the Raats winery was founded by Bruwer Raats and his brother Jasper, whom has since stepped away from the business.  Their father was the viticulturalist until his unfortunate passing in 2009.  Today their cousin, Gavin Bruwer, has joined the family business as the current winemaker.  They are located in the Polkadraai Hills of South Africa’s most popular wine region, Stellenbosch. 

Raats Winery solely produces chenin blanc and cabernet franc and takes great pride in focusing on these particular varietals.  Their grapes are sourced from the few hectares of their estate vineyards as well as some other parcels of land closely managed by Bruwer with low-yielding old vines in the areas of the Bottelary Hills, Simonsberg and Blaauwklippen at over 800 feet above sea level.  These areas have soils of Table Mountain sandstone and decomposed granite.  
Table Mountain Cape Town South Africa
Table Mountain

A respected winery whom earned Winery of the Year in 2018 from Platter’s South African Wine Guide.  According to Raat’s website they are the first in history to have 8 wines within the same year receive 5 stars from Platter’s.  I’m not always one for ratings, but that alone should peak your interest in discovering what their wines are all about. 

The Land ~ Stellenbosch
Stellenbosh along with Franschoek are two of the wine regions that I drove through on my journey through Africa.  Although I didn’t visit Raats at that time I did visit some others including Spier Winery that I’ve written about. I realized I dropped the ball on writing about the others including Asara and the unique winery Vergenoegd where they use runner ducks to keep out pests instead of chemicals.  Quite unique and something I still must share. 
Runner ducks at vergenoegd winery
Runner ducks at Vergenoegd Winery
Stellenbosch is located in the Western Cape along the Eerste River and is only about 25 miles east outside of Cape Town.  It is the 2nd oldest settlement after Cape Town and is named after one of the prior governers, Simon van der Stel.  Winemaking here dates back to the late 1600’s when vines were planted by the French Huguenots.  I also read that it’s the birthplace of pinotage established in 1924.  This one region alone contains about 1/5 of all of South Africa’s wines.     
The Wine ~ Chenin Blanc
The 2017 Raats Old Vine Chenin Blanc is sourced from 3 of the vineyards mentioned above with an average age of 40 year old vines.  Half of the wine grown in granite was fermented in stainless with the other half sourced from the sandstone fermenting in 300 liter French oak barrels that are 20% new.  After 9 months they are blended together and spend another 2 months on the lees before they are bottled. A brilliant straw color.  Mostly tropical on the nose with a toastiness and hints of vanilla.  Nice crisp, bright acidity with notes of pear and citrus, some minerality and good length.  SRP $24 ABV 13.5%

Food Pairing with Chenin Blanc
I tried a couple pairings with this wine including marinated chicken in a honey soy sauce with a side of fresh green beans in a feta dijon mustard topping.  
chenin blanc pairing with chicken
Although, my favorite choice pairing was a crustless zucchini quiche.  The quiche consisted of zucchini, eggs, a bisquick substitute, fresh herbs and some fresh pecorino romano. The lusciousness and crisp acidity of the old vine chenin blanc with the zucchini  and creaminess of the quiche was a perfect balance.  
chenin blanc pairing with zucchini quiche and Raats chenin blanc

*This wine was provided as a sample, but opinions are my own.


  1. I think the Chenin Blanc is a very vegetable friendly wine. I have tried Raats Cab Franc in the past and am anxious to try their Chenin Blanc in the future.

  2. What a great introduction to South African wines for me. The history is really interesting, I had no idea it went back to the 1600's. I look forward to tasting more South African wines, they are an amazing value. Your food pairings look delicious and thank you for hosting!

  3. This pairing is a great idea. And the runner ducks army is amazing to watch!

  4. That must have been quite a trip to South Africa! made you the perfect host for this event. That's interesting about the ducks help with the pest control!

  5. Love how the crustless zucchini quiche looks. It must pair really well with the Chenin Blanc. Great post and pairing! Thanks for organizing this month's #WinePW!

  6. Zucchini quiche!!! YUM!! So want to make that!

  7. The quiche sounds great with the Raats Chenin Blanc. And I love to see farms using animals as natural pest and weed managers!

  8. I love reading about your trip! It is such a wonderful, memorable place! Your pairings look delicious! Thanks for hosting this month!