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.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

De Grendel

Today I met with some friends at De Grendel for a wine tasting. I was pleasantly surprised to see such beautiful grounds, a modern tasting room, and fantastic views!! I love that they have an amazing view of table mountain, the sea and their vineyards all in one view.

The wine tasting room is modern, welcoming and can hold many people. I love that they have an outdoor seating area where you can do a tasting.

We ended up sitting outside with a cheese platter and did a full wine tasting. Be sure to allow a good 1.5-2 hours to enjoy a full wine tasting and cheese platter at this winery.

The service here was really good. The guy who served us really knew his wine and the winery. He told  us the history of the winery and he had great knowledge of every wine we tried. It was a fantastic wine tasting.

To do a tasting here costs R20 for a tasting of 3 wines, or R50 to try all 11 wines. I highly recommend trying all wines. If you purchase a bottle of any wine then the wine tasting is waivered. My favourite wines here were the Rose 2011 (50), Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (R85), Merlot 2008 (R85), Viognier 2011 R85) and the Winifred 2009 (R85). The Winifred is a blend of Viognier, Chardonnay and Semillon. All their wines are very nice and well balanced.

For me, this is now my favourite winery in Durbanville. I highly recommend you visit this winery and enjoy the wine and views.

Sunday, 18 September 2011


Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day so we decided to go to the Meerendal market. They hold a farmers market once a month, and this was the first one that we had attended. There were quite a few people there and it was a very nice market to go to.

Outside the tasting room is a nice decking where you can enjoy wine, eat some food and soak up the nice views and atmposphere.

There are stalls selling jewellry, clothing, preserves, bread, cured meats etc. What I loved the most about this market is that there were tables set up out the back of the wine tasting room which you could sit at and enjoy a nice bottle of wine, some food and soak up the view.

This is an ideal place to bring your children, as they have horse rides available, a bouncy castle, and there is plenty of space for children to run around.

I did a tasting while here, and really enjoyed it. The wines are really nice here, all of them were very nicely balanced, were smooth, and you could tell that a lot of attention to detail had gone in to their wine. At first it was not an ideal time to do a tasting, but once they had more staff at the tasting section, I was given more attention and had a great tasting. You can try four of the standard wines for R10, but if you want to try the premier wines then you pay R10 per tasting.

I started with the MCC Blanc de Blanc 2007 (R345) this was very nice. It is light, tasty, buttery, and easy drinking. The Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (R69) had a fantastic smell, with very tropical fruit smells. However, what you smell is so different to what you taste. It was smooth, had a cellery, asparagus and slight grassy taste to it. The Sauvignon Blanc Single Vineyard was very yellow in colour, but light, nicely balanced and easy to drink. The 2007 Sauvignon Blanc S/V Bin 242 (R138) is wooded, well balanced, smooth, rounded, and has a very nice lingering aftertaste. The Pinotage Rose (R45) was a favourite of mine. This had very nice flavour, was light and easy drinking. I bought a couple bottles of this wine, had one last night at a party, and have decided I woud like to buy a case, as it was a great wine for at a party/braai. I tried the 2009 Chenin Blanc Natural Sweet (R105) this was very nice, had a lovely taste, was smooth, but compared to other dessert wines I have tried, I did find it was a bit syrupy in comparison.

Overall I think this winery has some fantastic wine, the market is worth a visit, and I am very much looking forward to the next market where I will invite some friends and enjoy some food and a bottle of wine and just soak up the nice relaxing environment. Be sure to put this winery on your list when visiting the Durbanville wineries!!

Quoin Rock

After visiting Delheim and Muratie, my boyfriend and I decided to visit Quoin Rock. I first tried Quoin Rock wines at the Taste event, and loved their Nicobar Sauvignon Blanc, therefore I was very excited to try more of their wine.

The building is very modern and the tasting room is a great size.  The photo below shows just half of the tasting room, there are also several tables and chairs which you can sit at to do a tasting.

The service here is very good, we had a lady called Helanie serve us. She was fantastic. She had great knowledge of the wine, she had a great attitude and passion for the wine.

I tried all the wine available for tasting here. I started with the Cape Agulhas Cap Classique (R125). This wine had interesting flavours, had a slight strawberry taste to it, and was off dry. It was very unique. The Simonsberg Nicobar 2009 (R145) was smooth, silky, romantic, had a nice flavour and aftertaste. I really like this wine!! Cape Agulhas Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (R70) is very grassy, has asparagus taste and smell, is nice, smooth, light and yet it has good body.

The Simonsberg Oculus 2007 (R95) is a blend of 85% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Viognier. It is buttery, rounded, and definitely has characters of lanolin and honey. This wine has potential, but as it is now, it is not to my liking. The Cape Agulha Chardonnay 2008 (R75) is very nicely balanced. This was a favourite of mine. It has great flavour, a light chardonnay taste to it, it is smooth, relaxed and easy drinking. The Merlot 2009 is slightly dry, and has quite strong flavours. The Simonsberg Syrah 2006 was smooth, slightly dry and had nice fruity flavours.

Other wines I tried include the Simonsberg Centaur2009 (R175), The Mendi 2006 (R175) and the Vine Dried Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (R145). This last wine I thoroughly enjoyed, it is elegant, smooth, has great flavours, and is nice of the palate.

If you want to go outside for a while, you can have a look at this fantastic view out the back of the tasting room. 

I had a very nice wine tasting experience here and would recommend one visits this winery when out this way.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


We visited this winery after Delheim, as it is on the same grounds as Delheim and I had been told by a colleague that this was a very old winery and worth a visit.

I loved the place from the moment I got out of the car.

The grounds are just stunning here also and the area surrounding the wine tasting room has got so much character to it. I loved the feeling I had walking around this place.

 The building looks quite old and it feels like you have gone back in time. The entrance is pretty cool and sets the mood for the place.

I liked the tasting room. It has a lot of character and is fun to look around.

The guy serving the wine was very friendly and knew a lot about the wine. I started my tasting with the MCC 2008 (R110) which was 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. It was crisp, fresh, off dry, refreshing and had a lovely taste and aftertaste. The Isabella Chardonnay 2010 (R100) was very nice. It was buttery, smooth, and easy drinking. The Laurens Campher 2010 (R115) is a white blend. It was also very nice. It was smooth, tasty and silky, yet it had a slightly dry aftertaste. Two others I really liked were the Amber Forever 2009 (R65) and the Cape Ruby Port NV (R75). The Amber Forever is a muscat, it is a port styled wine, it was smooth and sweet. We were given a white chocolate to try with this wine, it was delicious and went with this wine just nicely!! The Cape Ruby Port NV had a slight licorice taste to it, was smooth, semi sweet, and had a very nice lingering aftertaste.

I really enjoyed the tasting here. They have great wines, great service, and a neat tasting room. I do recommend you visit this winery as well as Delheim!! It really makes for a nice outing.

Monday, 12 September 2011


This is a very nice winery which is now another favourite of mine.

I went to this winery with my boyfriend a few weekends back. The drive up to the winery is just beautiful, the grounds are so nicely kept and the place is quiet and sureal.

Once we arrived at the car park for Delheim I was already impressed and excited. As you walk through to the restaurant and wine tasting room, you can appreciate the trees, housing, the birds and gardens. Its all stunning and just sets the mood for what is to come.

We had booked a table for two at the restaurant, and just as well, as the place was very busy by 1pm. When we arrived there was not many people, we got a table outside in the sun, and had a beautiful view. It was gorgeous!!

The menu was very satisfying, there was plenty to choose from. We choose to have a platter, there are several to choose from. The platter was very nice, we went for the german platter, which included cheese, sausage, crackers, bread, preserves, a type of quiche plus more. It was all very nice.

The service was very good here. Even once the place got busy, we were looked after very well.

After lunch we went to the cellar door for a tasting. The service was not as good here, and it didn't get much better after we were seated. As soon as we sat down, people just started coming in one after the other after the other. The place had all of a sudden got full, and there were only two people to serve all the people. There had to be about 20 guests there.

To do a tasting here costs R20 for 6 standard wines and R30 for a premium tasting. If you plan to visit Muratie (which I highly recommend) then it is R40 to try any 6 wines at this winery (standard or premium) and do a tasting at Muratie. It is very difficult to choose just six when there are 18 wines to choose from!! The decor of the wine tasting room is very interesting and quite cool.

The wine is very nice here, I liked the Heerenwijn 2010 (R42), Pinotage Rose 2010 (R42), Spatzendreck Late Harvest 2010 (R42), Chardonnay 2010 (R62) and the Vera Cruz Shriaz 2007 (R245). Most of the wines here are reasonably priced, though there are some wines which are more pricey.

If you come here for a tasting and not a lunch, they will allow you to order a platter from the restaurant and enjoy it while you do a tasting. I thought that was pretty cool.

I most definitely recommend you visit this winery, hopefully you wont get it at such a busy time as we did. The restaurant is fantastic, and I highly recommend you book yourself a table here and enjoy a nice meal with great views!!  I do feel this is a winery you should make the effort to come visit.

Sunday, 11 September 2011


I went to this winery a few weekends ago with a friend of mine who works for a winery in Worcester.

The building is very nice, and the interior very tasteful. We were able to do a tasting seated and were informed we could try all the wines. I tried twelve of the nineteen wines available. My favourites were the Chenin Blanc (R35), Pinotage (R63), Icarus (R115) and Cape Ruby (R50).

The Icarus is their flagship.You should definitely try this wine if you do a tasting here. It is a very nice red wine! It is light, velvety and has great flavour.

The lady who poured the wines for us was very friendly, relaxed and had good knowledge of the wines. After the tasting we went upstairs to enjoy some soup for a late lunch. Had the weather been nice, it would have been great to sit on the decking for lunch and enjoy the scenery.

If out this way, I definitely think it is worth a visit. With the amount of wines available to try, there is surely something for everyone :-)

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Jason's Hill

My friend and I visited this winery on our way to Worcester. The location is very nice and the vibe here is very relaxed.

The lady who served us in the tasting room was very polite and friendly. There isn't really any seating in here (except for the two seats you can see in the following photo), so you do the tasting standing. There are some tables and chairs outside, on a nice day it would be awesome if one could do a tasting out there.

I cannot find my tasting notes on the wine at this winery, though I shall keep looking!! I do remember that I enjoyed the Sparkling Rose, as I bought two bottles of it. It is light, semi sweet and easy to drink. My boyfriend and I recently had a bottle of that at a braai and it went down really well.

After our tasting, we had lunch upstairs in the restaurant and enjoyed a nice meal there.

We walked around the premises after lunch. At the back of the building there are monkeys, they are very cute!! I was informed that they also have a picnic area here at Jason's Hill. Though I am not sure if you can therefore bring your own picnic or if they provide picnic baskets.

This is the view from the restaurant:

Overall, it was a nice, pleasant and relaxed experience at Jason's Hill. If you are out this way, and have an hour to spare, I think it is worth your while visiting this winery.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Hamilton Russell - take 2

The weather was beautiful on the day we visited this winery, and it made the grounds even more beautiful than the last time we visited. On arrival, we were the only guests there, the lady serving us was very welcoming and informative. She knows the winery and the wine very well. She can tell you a lot about the farm and surrounding farms. Ask her about the scenic drive back to Hermanus, we ran out of time to go that way, but I imagine it is worth the drive!

We sat outside for the tasting, where we could soak up the views, the sun, and enjoy the wine. This winery makes two wines, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We tried the Chardonnay first, which was smooth, buttery, rounded, slightly wooded, yet it had a slight acidity to it and has nice body. Next we tried the Pinot Noir. This was light, wooded, slightly dry, but nicely balanced and pleasant to drink. Both the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were among only 17 wines out of more than 5000, awarded 5 stars in the 2005 John Platter Guide.

The wine is quite pricey here, the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir sell for R285 a bottle. I think whether you are an experienced wine drinker or even someone who doesn't appreciate wine this expensive, this winery is worth the visit!!!

This place is absolutely gorgeous. The group of friends I was with, all would have loved to have had a blanket, picnic and enjoyed a bottle of wine at this winery. We spent a lot of time here enjoying the wines and the view. I later found out that guests are welcome to bring their own picnic to this winery. If you are out this way, I recommend you visit this winery!! Be sure to pack yourself a nice picnic basket as well though :-) !!!