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, 7 June 2011

La Motte - Franschhoek

I love this winery.

The drive from Cape Town to this winery set the mood so well with all the beautiful vineyards and tree leaves changing colour, was absolutely stunning. This is definitely my most favourite time of year (so far) to visit the wineries here in the western cape. 
La Motte has a feeling of superiority as you drive up to the security gate, drive up towards the statue with the mountains in the background, then left towards the buildings which hold the museum, restaurant and tasting room. This place is "wow"!!
The doors you walk through are nice, the courtyard with the museum to your left, the restaurant in front of you with its many glass windows and beautiful sails outside, and to the right is a gorgeous stream which you walk over to enter the tasting room. This is a beautiful place!!!

The tasting room I thought was quite tasteful. I saw on spitorswallow website that some thought it was clinical. I understand where they are coming from, but I personally didn't think it felt that way. The service was great as soon as we walked in. The ciabatta they serve on your tray with your first two wines is just great, I liked this.
The wine barrels you can see through the glass doors and the tanks of wine through several other glass windows make you feel part of the whole wine process. 
We sat near the fireplace (not that it was on, as it was not cold enough) with the nice tapestry hanging above it, and the books with Pierneef's art work (which you can see some of in the museum) were sitting on the table to look over.

The service we received was great, the guy was young, very friendly, knew what to say, though it did sound like it was a recorded speech (must get like that I suppose).

The wines were fabulous!!! You get to try seven wines for the R30 tasting charge. We liked the Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cab Sauv, Millenium,  and loved the Pierneef Shiraz Viognier (R189). If I had the money, I would have no problem spending the money on the latter, it was very much worth it.If you buy a bottle of wine the tasting fee is waivered, so we bought a bottle of the SB at only R60, made sense :-)

After the tasting, we walked through the room with all the wooden barrels and then had a peek in the tank room.

We then made our way to the museum and read up about the previous owners of the winery, the history of the winery, Anton Rupert's family plus more. It's all quite interesting. Then as you walk through you get to see some art work and in the final room is the artwork of Pierneef. Be sure to read up on this in the books in the tasting room and you will appreciate some of his work a bit more in the museum. For example his lino artwork.

We had hoped to have lunch at the restaurant, but it was booked out. If you plan to come here, be sure to book in advance for the restaurant. The menu looks fab, the restaurant looks professional and modern, and who could beat the views from the windows of this restaurant, I am definitely going back!!!

I would almost say that if you could only visit one winery while in Cape Town/Western Cape, be sure to make this it!! Enjoy :-)

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