September / October 2013
27.09.2013 - 27.09.2013 13 °C
Today was another day of wine tasting, however this time we had a driver (Kim) who we booked through Rhino Africa. She was a fantastic tour guide. We had 3 wineries on our list, but throughout the day we changed it up and ended up at 4 wineries. All of today's wineries were more formal than yesterday's.
First stop was Kanonkop where they served a Rose, a young vine Pinotage, the Kadette (which is a blend of 50% Pinotage and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon), a more mature vine (oldest 59 years) Pinotage, a Cabernet Sauvignon and the Paul Sauer (70% Cab Sauv, 15% Cab Franc and 15% Merlot. While our server was very friendly we were not as impressed with the wines, however, the facility was nice.
The second winery was Rust En Vrede. Here we tasted a Merlot, a Shiraz, Cab Sauv, and their Estate blend. We liked this winery much better and came home with a Cab Sauv and an Estate blend. Next we went to deTrafford. This was one of the wineries we were thinking of going to tomorrow, but Kim recommended them so we had her take us up there. It was a bit of a bumpy ride, but very glad we made the trip. deTrafford is a small family winery. We tasted 4 wines, a Merlot, Syrah, an older (2004) vintage Estate Bordeux blend and a sweet wine called Straw Wine which is made from Chenin Blanc produced similar to Amarone style. All the wines were very tasty and we came home with the Cab Sauv, Estate blend and a Straw wine.
By now it was 1:30 pm and time to go for lunch. Earlier Kim suggested Bread and Wine Vineyard restaurant which is part of the Moreson Winery. They are a farm to table restaurant and everything we ate, which was all fantastic, was grown on the farm. We also had our first biltong here. It was all brilliant!
After lunch it was on to the last winery, La Motte, which was right across the street. The setting was very interesting. Instead of tasting at a wine bar they had you sit in various settings around the room. We were on leather couches surrounding a big coffee type table. On our table were silver platters where two wines were served at a time. We tasted 8 wines. Two Sauvignon Blancs, a Chardonnay and Merlot - Cab Franc blend blend, a Cab Sauv another Bordeaux blend then finished with a Shiraz - Viognier blend that was superb and a GSM blend. Troy declared the Shiraz - Viognier co-fermented wine as the best of the day.
September 26, 2013
26.09.2013 - 26.09.2013 17 °C
Alarm went off at 7:00. No one wanted to get up, but our first wine tasting was at 10:00 am. We thought we would stop for some breakfast, but didn't see the two places recommended to us. We went looking for other places, but never found anything and enetually ended on some very rural roads. Luckily Charlotte had a small stash of granola bars, one per couple. First stop was to see Eben Sadie of Sadie Family wines. Eben had informed us before the appointment that he only had an hour. We proceeded to spend the 70 minutes learning about the different soil types and the history of the area, before heading in to taste his wines. When we queried him about his deadline, he stated it was pushed back. We started tasting. We tasted 4 wines, 2 whites and 2 reds. Eben produces two styles of wine, a single vineyard, old world style and then Rhone blend in new world style. We had a wonderful Palomino and Chenin Blanc called Skerpioen and an outstanding 100% Cinsault called Pofadder. The white blend, one of the flagships, was called Palladius and the red was called Columella.
Then it was off for some lunch at Bar Bar Black Sheep. We got lost for a second time and ended up running very late so we split up, Randy and Charlotte went and enjoyed some calamari and Troy and I went to our second appointment, Mullineux. Eben knew the owner but she was stateside working on a small project in Amador county. We met with Nicola who was very knowledgable about the Swartland wine region. We learned that the principles of Swartland Independent producers includes 100% farmed and produced in Swartland, naturally produced including no yeast, no application that changes the constitution of the wine, no wine may be aged with more than 25% new oak and 90% of the wine must contain only certain, allowable varities.
Finally we met Adi Badenhorst of A.A. Badenhorst. How can you not simply love a guy who is hatching chicks and parrots in the office, has owels hanging out in the attic of the office, has a turntable in the winery listening to the Stones, tinkers with brewing IPA and is about to formally bottle a pale ale, messes around with making a sparkling wine they affectionately call trailer park pop, and the most expensive piece of equipment in the winery is the espresso maker, and is also the only equipment that must achieve 100% uptime. Adi makes wine the way he wants to and as Troy would recap, he basically, "could give a F@&$ about anything other than what he feels like doing." Troy's kind of guy.
After all these visits we ended up being given more wine than we purchased. On the way back to Cape Town we were so hungry we managed to kill a pigeon and some sort of varmint similar to a really big guinea pig. Tasty vittles. Oh well, on to Woolworths Food for some lamb, gnocchi, meats and cheeses.