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.

Saturday, 15 October 2011


Today I went to Stark Conde for a wine tasting. It was a pity that it wasn’t a nice sunny day, but I could still appreciate the fantastic location and set up they have.

The entrance is beautiful and gave me the impression that I was about to see something very nice.

Sure enough after the drive up to the wine cellar, I was very impressed with what I saw. There is a lovely cafe to enjoy light meals ranging in price from R50 - R70. They have a cheese plate for R62, a cold meat plate for R64 and a combo of cheese and cold meats for R68. On a sunny day, this would be such a nice place to go to enjoy wine, food and great scenery!!

I was informed that they are well known for their coffee at this cafe. They have a Tokyo-style ice coffee which is apparently very good and a favourite in summer. I was told that the coffee goes through a siphon on a slow drip which takes a total of 24 hours. The coffee is then poured over ice and served as is. For all other coffee, the beans are ground on order and therefore your coffee is very fresh. The views from the cafe are just stunning. You can sit inside or outside on the porch and soak up the views while you eat and drink.

For the wine tasting, you walk along a gorgeous foot bridge to the island where there is a Bali designed building for the tasting room. The setting is gorgeous with the willow trees, the wooden tasting room, the water surrounding the island and mountains in the background. What more could you want?

The tasting was very nice. We sat inside as it wasn’t so warm today. They have a fireplace inside which makes it nice and cosy on cooler days.  The service is good; the girl on duty was very friendly and polite. The manager did a tasting with me, so I was really lucky to learn a lot about the wine, the wine farm and the history of how Stark Conde began.

The Chenin Blanc (R75) was very unique and I have to say I liked it! There is very strong apple flavours to it, and it’s very delicious!! Sadly the Sauvignon Blanc is not to be released till November, so I was unable to try that, but I was informed that it has tropical flavours to it, so I am very keen to have a try once it is released!!

The winery is well known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and after trying the three pines I can see why. For someone who isn’t in to red wine so much, let alone Cab Sauv, I was very impressed!! I was very tempted to even buy a bottle. It has great aging potential; the three pines can last up to 20 years.
The Syrah Stellenbosch was my favourite of the reds. It had awesome flavours and was nice on the palate.
The Pinot Noir is also not available for tasting at the moment, but will be from February next year.

I have to say, I was very impressed with the friendliness of this place. The wine maker/owner even popped in to the tasting room to say hi to other guests trying wine, which I thought added a nice touch. This is a beautiful place; I definitely recommend coming out here for the experience. If it’s a nice day, be sure to make time for a meal while out here so that you can really relax and soak up the views here. It is so tranquil you begin to think you are at a retreat. This truly is a fantastic place.

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