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.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Graham Beck - Robertson

This is a very modern, classy winery.
It is free for a tasting of 5 wines from the Super Premium list, R50 for a tasting of wines from the ultra premium tasting and then R75 for a Methode Cap Classique tasting.
We had a standard tasting (free) and a Methode Cap Classique tasting (R75). Due to this winery's reputation, I think if you like sparkling wine/champagne, then it is worth paying the fee to have the MCC tasting. Their original Graham Beck Brut I felt was the best. The Demi Sec was a bit too sweet for my liking, and yet I love dessert wines. But for a sparkling, even though I like sweet more than dry, this was just too sweet. Felt wrong to have such a sweet, syrupy sparkling. The Rose Brut is apparently exactly the same as the Brut, only it had skin contact for a few hours to get the rose colour. However, I didn't feel it tasted the same and felt the original Brut was much nicer.
The lady serving us wasn't the friendliest, she had that "It's the end of the day and I want to go home" attitude. She told us a bit about the wine, but there was no enthusiasm. I also asked if I could write on the wine list/brochure which has space for tasting notes, but she said I couldn't write on it. Turns out there was nothing else I could write on, and she ended up letting me write on it. (This is why I never tell people I am writing a blog, as I want to see what the winery is like without the staff knowing if they have someone revieweing the winery). Nonetheless, with the wines and views as great as they are, we still enjoyed our tasting, and bought some wine.

The Graham Beck wines are great!! All the wines I tried were from the free tasting (the super premium list). I tried the Game Reserve Chenin Blanc, Graham Beck SB, Shiraz, Pinotage, and Viognier. All of these were nice, however the Viognier was nothing great. I feel you can be safe to order a bottle of Graham Beck at a restaurant, no matter what it is. Apparently not all their wines/MCC's can be bought at the supermarket, so if you like one of their wines at the cellar, be sure to buy it then.

We bought a bottle of MCC Brut, a Pinotage 2009 and a Sauvignon Blanc 2010. The pinotage was so smooth and tasty. One of the best Pinotage's I have tried so far!! I can't wait to open the bottle :-)

I would definitely recommend that one visits this winery if in the region!! And be sure to order wine from Graham Beck at a restauarnt, if the option is there.

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