The Perfect Match: Willow Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Balsamic Vinegar

Words: Crush

Through ancient times, across continents and cultures, the olive tree has been associated with vitality, prosperity and strongly symbolises peace and friendship. Together with its loyal depiction, stands its sturdy companion – vinegar, which is regarded as a metaphor for life because of its potent ability to preserve.

Cabernet Sauvignon Balsamic Vinegar

Passionate about the process of oil making, it was a clear step for Willow Creek Olive Estate to marry these two products and to create a quality, handmade wine vinegar that would not only complement but also enhance the Extra Virgin Olive Oil range.

Situated in the beautiful Nuy Valley in the Western Cape, the terroir of the Estate is perfectly suited for the cultivation of olive trees and grape vines. These crops thrive in deep lime soil, where the extremes of hot summers and cold winters help form the unique quality and flavour profiles typical of Willow Creek products.

“When we approached the project of creating wine vinegar, it was crucial for us to be able to translate and apply the quality we built up through years of practice and experience of making internationally award winning Extra Virgin Olive Oil onto the vinegar process,” says vinegar expert Surette De Beer of Willow Creek Olive Estate.“In order to do that, we chose to work with Cabernet Sauvignon, a red wine typical of the Nuy Valley”.

Together with the combination of terroir, climate and the slow, artisanal process of vinegar making called the Orleans Method, the Willow Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Balsamic Vinegar was born.

An ancient proverb speaks of vinegar as being “born from the marriage between wine and time”.

The Orleans method of making vinegar derives its name from the French town where the technique originated. “Mother Culture” or wine must is introduced to the wine kicking off slow fermentation, which over time, sharpens wine and turns it sour, transforming the alcohol content of the wine into acetic acid.

Cabernet Sauvignon Balsamic Vinegar

Willow Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Balsamic Vinegar is aged over months in wooden oak barrels on the Estate, facilitating the delicate process of conversion from wine to vinegar. The result is that of superior wine vinegar flaunting lingering aromas of ripe berry, striking a fine balance between acidity and sweetness.

When tasting quality vinegar, one would be looking for the positive flavour attributes of fruitiness on the nose paired with a pleasant astringency and smoothness on the palate.

Willow Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Balsamic Vinegar contains zero alcohol and has been certified Halaal and Kosher.

“Tasty and versatile vinegar is a must-have ingredient to any kitchen as it offers a myriad of uses and acts as a preservative, texturiser and flavour carrier”, says Surette.

Combine Willow Creek Directors’ Reserve Olive Oil and Willow Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Balsamic Vinegar to spruce up salads, marinades and cheeseboards. Lift and enhance the flavour of any dish by adding a dash of vinegar and turn your culinary creation into a culinary coup.

We love cooking with the Willow Creek range so much that we create 4-course meal to showcase its versatility – get the recipes here.

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