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, 26 November 2011


After a tasting at Hidden Valley I took my group to Haskell/Dombeya. I brought them here because Werner (the tasting room manager) is fantastic at his job. He really knows his wine, he goes through them at a nice pace and explains everything along the way. My friends thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed this tasting, because he does not use technical words, so it doesn’t matter at what level you understand wine, anyone can understand.

What I also like about this winery is that they offer South African, Australian and NZ wine to try. There are not many wineries in the Western Cape that do this.

Werner started us off with three Chardonnays. We tried the New Zealand Craggy Range Kidnappers Chardonnay 2010 (R245) which was light, refreshing, fruity, soft, however, it does taste a little watered down. This was a very easy wine to drink. The Dombeya Chardonnay 2010 had a buttery and toast smell, it tasted nice and smooth. The Haskell Chardonnay 2010 (R290) smells buttery and syrupy, tastes nice, but I didn’t feel it had a lot of flavour and it was very easy drinking.

I then requested we try a Sauvignon Blanc, as he had no NZ Sauvignon Blanc left, he suggested I try the Dombeya Sauvignon Blanc. This was beautiful, had lovely flavour, and was very nice.

Next he introduced us to two Shiraz’s and one Syrah. We got to try the Dombeya Bolder Red Shiraz 2008, this was nice and smooth. Next we tried the Haskell Aeon Syrah 2008 (R290), this I found a little harsh but full of flavour. Last of all we tried the Pirathon Shiraz 2006 (R245) from the Barossa Valley in Australia, this had a lot of flavour and was a very nice wine.

After the tasting we enjoyed a lovely lunch outside. The service is always great here, you are given bread and butter to eat while waiting for your meal. The other thing I like about eating here is that the wine (other than a few) are exactly the same price to enjoy at the winery as they are if you bought it from the cellar. I was very keen to have a bottle of NZ Sauvignon Blanc, so for a very reasonable R160 we drank a bottle of the NZ Lawsons Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc. It was really good, I was very happy with the recommendation Werner had made. Be sure to try this wine, or buy a bottle if you eat here!! Awesome flavour!!!

Be sure to visit this winery, you need to make a booking with Werner, he gets a lot of bookings on the weekends, and its worth having his full attention when you come here for a tasting.

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