Welcome to the Western Cape Wineries - a kiwi's opinion blog

I originally set up this blog to help foreigners have an enjoyable experience when visiting the western cape wineries in South Africa.

I realised that it is very difficult for a tourist to choose where to go and which wineries to visit, when you have 600+ wine producers to choose from.

When I first moved to SA December 2010, my palate struggled to adjust to SA wine, b
ut after living here for a while and after visiting over 100+ wine estates, I have found many wines which I really like and can highly recommend.

Admittingly, when you come from another country it is hard not to compare the wine in SA to what you are used to back home. However, once you realise they are not the same (they have their own characteristics due to the different soil, climate etc) and appreciate their wines for being SA wines, it will improve your opinion and experience of the wines immediately.

If you are staying in SA for a while, don't dispair, your palate will change, and you will soon find yourself liking SA wine over your home countries wine!!

I hope my blog will help wine lovers have an enjoyable wine experience while in SA.

Please note: I am not a wine connoisseur. The comments I write about the wine is mostly for my own benefit of having them on record.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Altydgedacht - Durbanville

Altydgedacht does not look like much from the road, but, it is a cute farm-style restaurant and winery which I would definitely recommend people visit.
On the first occasion I went for lunch which was really nice!!! Then recently I went back for the wine tasting, which was just as great an experience.

The restauarant requires bookings for lunch, and you will see why when you get there. There are not many tables, and in winter, it is best to sit inside, where there are approximately 5 tables. When you walk in to the restaurant, you walk in to a barn filled with 100 year old wooden barrels on each side of the room, tables lined up in the middle, with a nicely lit, romantic atmosphere. Heaters are near the tables, blankets are provided, its got a very nice set up. Music is played very lightly (I even heard a NZ song played - the wandering eye by Fat Freddy's Drop), staff are quite relaxed yet attentive.This photo doesn't do this amazing indoor setting justice!!! Be sure to go check it out for yourself!!!
The menu is nice in that on one one side of the A4 page you have a selection of typical home made South African dishes, and on the other side is a list of items you can choose to make a platter. To make a platter for two, costs about R140, which includes a selection of about 7 items. We chose salmon pate, aubergine dip, springs rolls, kebabs, cheese, ham, panini, plus dolmades. All of these items were fantastic, and the presentation was very attractive. We found 7 items was the perfect amount, however if you are a light eater, I would suggest 5 choices for two people. A bottle of wine with your meal costs about R70. We tried the Suavignon Blanc, and thought it was very nice. It was easy to drink and light. We normally struggle to drink a bottle between the two of us over one hour, but this went down very nicely!!

As for the wine tasting, it is just as pleasant an experience. The lady was very informative and friendly. We tried all 6 wines. We enjoyed the Methode Cap Classique (for those who don't know, this is up there with 'champagne' and therefore a bit pricier than your standard bubbles/sparkling wine). We were informed that this wine is turned every 3-4 hours for the first 4 months after being bottled. It is very light and easy to drink. This wine sells for R100.

This is a view of the wine tasting area:

The 2010 rose was easy to drink, not sweet, a litte dry, and had a unique pretty cherry colour (R35).
The 2010 sauvignon blanc was light and crisp at R50. The 2009 Barbera (R85) was a favourite of my friend's. I found this wine smooth but with a slightly dry texture to it.

This is the other side of the tasting room:
My favourite was the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon at R75. I liked this wine because of the smoothness, and more so the distinct berry flavour which came through. Its got a blackberry/raspberry flavour to it which distinguishes this red wine, I loved it!!

The last one we tried was the 2009 Tintoretto (Cape Blend) at R125. This was a smooth red wine, a little dry, and I imagine would be nice with food. However, if you want a wine which is easy to drink and can be drunk without food to accompany it, definitely go with the Cab Sauv mentioned above.

I am very fond of this place because of the style, the uniqueness, the ambiance, the fact its a hidden gem and the great friendly service. Be sure to visit this winery if you are on this wine route!!

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