Veenwouden Masekela Wine Launch

Hugh Masekela Wine Collection Launched by Veenwouden

House of Masekela Press Release

‘Music, wine, food and good company are the best combination’ says Marcel van der Walt, vintner at Veenwouden and Hugh Masekela’s latest partner in collaboration. This heady mix was at its best last Sunday as the House of Masekela launched Veenwouden’s new Hugh Masekela Collection at Signature Restaurant in Sandton, Johannesburg. Incomparable pianist, Larry Willis, joined Bra Hugh to celebrate the release of the wine, perfectly timed to coincide with the release of their latest joint album: Friends, a 4 CD box set of jazz standards that serves as the long-awaited sequel to Almost Like Being in Jazz.

The audience was treated to a selection of numbers off the album, as well as anecdotes from Larry and Hugh’s shared years at the Manhattan school of Music in the early 60s, when the two spent every night in clubs watching and learning from talents like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Mingus and Max Roach. The music and laughter continued as three delicious courses were served – carefully chosen to whet the appetite for the main attraction: Veenwouden Private Cellar Hugh Masekela Collection 2012.

Van der Walt envisions this release as being the first of many inspired by Masekela’s music. Friends brings together two lifelong friends, who have both pushed the boundaries of excellence in their instruments, to play music from the golden era of jazz. The first release from the Hugh Masekela Collection needed to be a tribute to these greats and also the perfect drinking accompaniment when listening to the album. Van der Walt had this in mind when he hand-selected the perfect grapes from Veenwouden’s 2011 vintage. The result is a well-structured blend with the mineral backbone of Cabernet Sauvignon, softened by velvety Merlot. Bold dark fruits with a hint of spice give way to deep blackcurrant molasses that lingers on the palate long after the last sip. Already delicious, this complex wine has been designed to age for up to 20 years.

Signature Restaurant in Sandton was the perfect choice as launch pad for this special collection. Owner, Desmond Mabuza, opened the venue 3 years ago with the aim to bring excellent food, great service, classy ambience and outstanding entertainment under one roof. He certainly has succeeded. Despite the local and worldwide recession in recent years, Signature has thrived from day one. The restaurant offers live music nightly from Monday to Saturday and at lunch time on Sunday’s. Hugh Masekela and Larry Willis are without doubt the biggest stars yet to grace Signature’s stage and Mabuza hopes that this is just the beginning of a tradition of top-drawer events in this premium setting.

Only 1000 bottles of the Veenwouden Hugh Masekela Collection 2012 have been released worldwide, 500 of these available in South Africa, making this wine a true collector’s item. To make this purchase even more special, the House of Masekela has designed gift-packages that include the Friends box set.

Veenwouden Hugh Masekela Collection 2012 is available through Signature Restaurant (Tel: 087 940 3880; Email:, at the Veenwouden cellar in Paarl by appointment (Tel: 021 872 6806; Email: or via the Veenwouden website: