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Gold Medal Wine Club
5330 Debbie Road, Suite 200
Santa Barbara, California 93111
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Welcome to Gold Medal Wine Club. America's Leading Independent Wine Club since 1992. Celebrating 20+ Years!
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A trio of award-winning South African wines - Chee

With tradition dating back 350 years South Africa's wines blend new & old techniques

There is more to South Africa’s popularity ascent in world wine arenas than first meets the eye. True, the country’s release from the political entanglements of Apartheid provided a new stage for the country’s wine products, but the fact that many of South Africa’s existing wine products were already world class products in the opinion of many consumers was the overriding factor in the country’s rapid rise to world acceptance.

Remember that the core of South Africa’s winemaking colony was European-founded and based on classical wine techniques and practices. Also, its wines always fared well in international competitions during the era when the products were still politically unencumbered. Most of South Africa’s wine producers continued their established practices and were able to produce extremely high caliber wines, albeit to a much smaller international audience.

Now that all the problems are in the past, South African wines have returned to their former lofty levels of consumption and praise in an amazingly short period of time. As in a number of other wine-producing countries, new wineries have sprouted up throughout South Africa’s vast geographical areas to the delight of international consumers.

Many of these wines have captured top international scores and ratings, a difficult accomplishment even during the best of times. A number of the older properties have modernized and upgraded their wineries, infused by the world acceptance of their country’s suddenly popular wine products.

All these factors have contributed to the availability of many new South African wines that are delighting the tables of wine aficionados everywhere. Gold Medal is proud to introduce these new South African wines to you as part of our International Series. We trust you will enjoy these marvelous wines from amazing South Africa.

Ataraxia Estate – Hemel-en-Aarde Growing Area

Hemel-en-Aarde (heaven and earth) lies within the well-respected Walker Bay Appellation, South Africa’s southernmost growing region. Its physical location, on a commanding rise beneath the soaring Babylons Toren Mountain Range, offers a natural growing environment, with frost free, soft, beneficial weather and the most perfect clay shale vineyard soils. It also enjoys balanced rainfall and a mild climate that results from its closeness to the icy South Atlantic Ocean. It is home to a growing number of new wave wineries seeking specific micro-climatization for their vineyards. The pinot noir grape has been particularly successful in the Hemel-en-Aarde growing area and has given it much of its current reputation.

Dornier Estate - Stellenbosch

Centered on the historical town of Stellenbosch, the winemaking tradition stretches back to the end of the 17th-century. The mountainous terrain, excellent rainfall levels, deep well-drained soils and a great diversity of terroirs make this a truly successful viticultural area. More than 160 wine estates and producers populate the Stellenbosch area including many of the most famous names in Cape wine. Stellenbosch, the 'town of oaks', is the home Stellenbosch University, the only university in South Africa which offers a degree in viticulture and oenology. The famous Stellenbosch Wine Route, the oldest in the country and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Western Cape, is a must see for anyone truly interested in wine.

Muratie Estate - Simonsberg-Stellenbosch

A designated sub region of Stellenbosch, the Simonsberg-Stellenbosch sub region is located in close proximity to the huge Simonsberg Nature Preserve and slightly northeast of Central Stellenbosch. There are few wineries in the sub region, but they tend to be large by South African standards. The enjoy the wonderful amenities of the Western Cape District, and have generally better watering conditions than their higher altitude neighbors.

  1. Dornier
    2006 Proprietary Red Blend
    South Africa


    90 - Wine Enthusiast
    id: 902
  2. Ataraxia
    2009 Chardonnay
    South Africa


    93 - Robert Parker
    id: 904
  3. Muratie
    2007 Shiraz
    South Africa


    92 Points - Editor's Choice
    id: 903

Three Winemakers, three award winning styles!

Ataraxia Estate - Kevin Grant
Acknowledged as one of South Africa’s top winemakers, Grant graduated from the University of Pretoria with an Honours degree in Zoology. He attained a diploma in cellar technology in 1990 from prestigious Elsenburg Agricultural and has worked at high caliber wineries in France, Oregon, Australia and New Zealand.

Dornier Estate - JC Steyn
A graduate of the celebrated Stellenbosch University, Steyn holds a degree in Viticulture and Oenology. He apprenticed under noted South African winemaker Jean Vincent Ridon (Signal Hill Winery) and also worked in Turkey. He joined Dornier Estate six years ago and has had significant work experience with additional South African wineries.

Muratie Estate - Francois Conradie
He studied Agriculture (Viticulture and Oenology) at Stellenbosch University after which he spent eighteen months in London, where was exposed to the European wine industry. Back in South Africa he started working at Boschendal for four years. During this time he worked at the well-known Chateaux Pichon Longville Comtesse de Lalande in Bordeaux for a harvest season, as well as a harvest season in the Rheinhessen region of Germany. In 2005, he joined Muratie Estate as winemaker/farm manager.

From South Africa’s famed winelands comes three of the most celebrated wineries, each with a distinctive style and unique tradition.

Dornier Wine Estate
If the German name Dornier seems a bit familiar to you, it might be due to the fact that the famous Dornier bombers of World War II were made by the same family as our Dornier Donatus selection. In fact, wine has had a place in the Dornier Family for centuries, culminated by the efforts of noted artist Christoph Dornier, the current Dornier descendent and founder of the Dornier Wine Estate. The estate itself dates back to 1694 and is comprised of 180 hectares (almost 445 acres) that were formerly fruit and cattle farms. The estate also features a Bodega Restaurant that is located in one of the area’s oldest buildings, offering a remarkable dining experience in an exquisite setting. In 2010, a six-room homestead was opened in the historic Sir Hubert Baker property, complete with sitting rooms and extensive gardens that complimented the almost magical setting.
Raphael Dornier serves as the estate’s managing director, continuing the Dornier Family’s interest and investment in the wine estate and properties.

Ataraxia Wine Estate
A relative newcomer to the South African wine industry, Ataraxia is the product of the husband and wife team of Kevin and Hanli Grant. The estate comprises 50 hectares (some 123 acres) of prime vineyard land in one of the country’s most elevated growing areas. Founded in 2004, Ataraxia is one of the successful new wave wineries that dot the country and provide the emphasis for South Africa’s resurgence within the world’s top wine producing countries. The Ataraxia vineyards contain fourteen different soil deposits that are among the oldest on Earth, and contain sandstone, granite and shale, all beneficial to the growing of superior vineyards and grapes. Currently, some 12 hectares (about 30 acres) are planted in chardonnay and pinot noir, a number that will be doubled in the not too distant future by the winery.
The Ataraxia Estate’s tasting room occupies one of the most spectacular sites in the entire wine world and is a must see for any interested wine devotee. The location near South Africa’s southernmost tip, Cape Agulhas, offers spectacular views of the primitive South Atlantic Ocean at its scenic best.

Muratie Wine Estate
This storied wine estate can trace its beginnings back to 1685, when it was deeded to a German soldier Laurens Campher, who opted to become a farmer. It was located about 40 kilometers (a little more than 30 miles) from Cape Town at the foot of the Simonsberg Mountains and in close proximity to the town of Stellenbosch. The town would eventually become the magnet for the early South African wine industry and remains so today. The name Muratie as first used for the estate around the turn of the 20th Century. In 1927, the well-known painter George Paul Canitz became owner of the estate and raised it to a lofty perch among South African wine estates. Many of his paintings are still an integral part of the estate as well as featured images on some of the estate’s wine labels. Present owner of the Muratie Wine Estate is the Melck Family Trust that acquired the property in 1987. The family upgraded the estate’s winemaking operation and converted the vineyards to bio-dynamic to improve their production.

About The Region

Considered one of the most scenic destinations in the world, the South African winelands stretch over a wide variety of locations - hugging valley floors, rolling over hills, climbing steep mountain slopes, and tucking beneath high peaks. The vineyards find influence from the two oceans that meet at this southernmost tip of Africa the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans, and matched with a Mediterranean climate, distinctive and varied topography, and unique soils, the South African winelands have become home to world-class wines of incredible character and complexity.

Porcini Risotto with White Truffle Oil


1 packet (500g) risotto rice
2 cups dried porcini
2 cups white wine
8 cups chicken stock
4 onions finely diced
6 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 sticks butter
2 cups grated Parmesan
1 Tbs. white truffle oil
1 cup chives, roughly chopped


Put the dried mushrooms in the stock with the wine and allow to sit in a warm place for approximately 1 hour. Drain the liquid and put to the side. Roughly chop the porcini. Melt the butter in a separate pot and sauté the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the porcini and then the rice and fry for five minutes. Add the mushroom stock, just a cup at a time, to cover the rice. Stir every couple of minutes. Keep adding the stock and stirring until the rice is cooked (Approximately 15 - 20 minutes). Remove from the heat and stir in the grated Parmesan and truffle oil. Garnish with chopped chives, some shaved Parmesan and a further drizzle of truffle oil. Serve with a glass of Muratie Shiraz.

Orange Roughy & Vegetable Primavera


1 Tbs. butter, melted
4 fresh or frozen orange roughy fillets (6 ounces each), thawed
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 pinch pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup cauliflowers
1 cup julienned carrots
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Place the butter in a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish; add fish and turn to coat. Sprinkle with lemon juice and pepper. Bake, uncovered, at 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, saute garlic in oil. Add the next seven ingredients; stir-fry until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 2-3 minutes. Spoon over the fish; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 450 degrees for 3-5 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with Ataraxia 2009 Chardonnay, chilled but not cold.