Deering Estate Foundation’s 15th Annual Wine On Harvest Moon

Celebration Captures The Wine, Food And Art Of South Africa

Beth Serrate and PJ Neidhart

The map clearly said Deering Estate on Biscayne Bay in Miami but the ambiance of drums beating, wild animals roaring, wine glasses clinking, cheers of “Akubekhule!” and smells of braii on the barbeque meant only one thing: South Africa had come to South Dade.

Akubekhule! A Culinary Safari Through South Africa, the Deering Estate Foundation’s annual Wine on Harvest Moon celebration, drew hundreds of party-goers October 15 to sample the distinct flavors of South African food, wine, art and culture, which were spread throughout the moonlit grounds of the historic property.

First stop after the first pour: the vibrant colors of Cape Town in the courtyard, then on to Wine Country and Safari on the front lawn of the estate, where plates were starting to fill up with South African Lamb Potjie, Grilled Braii Beef Skewers, Red Wine Braised Rib Cup, South African Barbeque Chicken & Slaw, Ceviche, and Lobster Mac & Cheese, among other delectable fare too numerous to mention.

Karen & George Hoffman

Adding to the excitement of the night was an appearance by a live cheetah, Koda, who majestically rested by the side of Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill while he explained the ongoing struggle for their survival in the wild. Koda is one of two male cubs who serve as ambassadors for the zoo’s Cheetah Ambassador Program.

Guests had plenty of practice saying “Akubekhule,” which means “cheers” in Zulu, one of the country’s 11 national languages. The South African wines in the spotlight, selected by sommelier Veronica Litton, of Crown Wine, Spirits & Gourmet, hailed from different wine growing towns and regions: Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paal, Hemel-en-Aarde and Constantia. They included bottles of Stark-Condé Cabernet Sauvignon, Chamonix Red and Chamonix Chardonnay, Constantia Glenn Sauvignon Blanc, Southern Right Pinotage, Mulderbosch Rose of Cabernet, and M.A.N.

Francois Bezuidenhout, of Stark-Condé and M.A.N. wines, spoke about the wines on display and explained South Africa’s long history of wine-growing, which dates back more than 500 years. Crown Wine, Spirits & Gourmet once again sponsored and procured Wine on Harvest Moon’s robust selection of South African wines.

The cultural arts of South Africa were front and center through “Eleven Voices,” the concurrent art exhibit that references the 11 official languages of South Africa. Co-curators Kim Yantis, of the Deering Estate, and Rosie Gordon-Wallace, founder and curator of Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, selected works that reflect thematic inspirations from South African art and culture.

The goal of the exhibit, on view through November 26, is to spark a discussion about cultural struggle, memory and identity among contemporary artists. Land Rover South Dade was the evening’s Visual Arts Sponsor and Coconut Grove Bank was the Cultural Arts Sponsor.

Golfer Wayne Gary Player, co-creator of The Disney Institute Golf Experience, co-host of the Golf Channel’s “On the Range” and son of world champion golfer, South African Gary Player, served as the live auction master of ceremonies.

For additional photos of the event, visit or on Facebook.


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