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.

Monday, 30 April 2012


This winery has two labels; Strandveld and The First Sighting. Below is a photo of the building where the wine tastings are done:

We started the tasting with the 2011 First Sighting Sauvignon Blanc, it was soft, tropical fruit flavoured and zesty. This wine sells for R47 a bottle. My boyfriend and I are a fan of the First Sighting Sauvignon Blanc as we tried this at a wedding a few months back and thought it was fantastic!! We didn't actually know before visiting this winery, that the First Sighting is made here.

The First Sighting Shiraz 2009 (R70 a bottle) was soft, light and easy drinking. The First Sighting Pinot Noir 2009 (R98 a bottle) was not a favourite of mine.

We tried all the Strandveld wine also. The Strandveld Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (R95) is soft, rounded, has subtle fruity flavours and is not so acidic. The Strandveld Adamastor 2010 (R115) was rounded, soft, medium bodied. It was just ok, in my opinion. The Strandveld Syrah 2009 (R140) has dark chocolate hints, is slightly dry and has a lingering aftertaste.

The tasting is free here. The service was ok, I have to admit it lacked a bit of luster, but perhaps the guy was just tired as it was coming to the end of the day. He did allow us to try the Strandveld and First Sighting wines together when there were comparisons, so that was cool.

Black Oystercatcher

We went here for a wine tasting and lunch and had a very good experience.

We were served by the winemaker, and were able to hear what he had to say about each wine. There were a lot of people there when we arrived, which actually made for quite a nice vibe. They had a wedding the day before so a tent was up, which also added character to the place.

We tried all their wine. We started with the Sauvignon Blanc 2011 at R74 a bottle. It was light, refreshing, tropical and nice. The 2010 Sauvignon Blanc was soft, fruitier than the 2011, was also tropical but less zesty compared to the 2011. The 2008 White Pearl is a blend of 80% Semillon and 20 % Sauvignon Blanc. This sells for R79 a bottle. It was fruity, slightly spicy. The winemaker said it is a food wine and especially goes well with asian food. The 2011 Rosé (R69) was a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot. I liked this wine. It was soft, balanced, light, yet had medium body. The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot had a nice smell, which was slightly smokey. It was rounded, balanced and a little dry. I liked this wine. The 2008 Triton is R89 a bottle. It has a beautiful mocha smell, it was soft, rounded, and lovely!! It is a blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot and 23% Shiraz. I liked this wine also. Overall I liked his red wine more than the white wine.

The wine tasting experience itself was nice. We tasted the wine standing at the bar. I am not sure if this is how they usually do the tasting, or if it was because they were so busy.

We had lunch here, and it was really good. I chose the fish special of the day and it was delicious!!

Sunday, 22 April 2012


Today I introduced my friends to Anura, as I am a big fan of their cheese!!

We sat down for a lovely cheese platter and a wine tasting. I am really pleased I got the chance to try the wine here again, as I enjoyed it a lot more this time.

The cheese was fantastic as always, and my friends who had never visited this place before, also thoroughly enjoyed the cheese.

We tried six wines. I ended up loving the port (R50 a bottle)!! A favourite of mine was the Chardonnay Limited Release 2010. The Sangiovese 2007 (R145) was also very nice!!

This is a nice winery and I do recommend visiting the place. They have a lovely resturant, great cheese and nice wine.

It is R25 for a wine or cheese tasting. If you do both, its R40 per person.

Be sure to check out the cheese in the fridge as they sometimes have awesome specials. The price of the cheese is very reasonable already!! I got a Camerbert for R14, Brie for R18 and mountain herb cheese for R20.

Noble Hill

Today we went to Noble Hill for lunch with a group of friends. We had friends over from Johannesburg and a friend from Worcester meeting us. I booked us a table at Noble Hill for lunch and it was the best decision ever.

The restaurant setting is lovely, the service was good, the food was good and the size of the meals made it very good value for money!!

There is only outdoor seating, but they are well prepared with umbrellas and blankets. Half the tables are under cover, so if the weather is not fantastic, you will still be able to sit under cover.

We started with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc which was just perfect. Such an easy drinking, fruity, light Sauvignon Blanc. I was actually not so keen on the idea of drinking Sauvignon Blanc to start with because I wasn’t in the mood for a citrus/sharp wine. However, the Noble Hill SB was far from that, I was so impressed, it was just perfect for the occassion and went well with the meals.

This restaurant has three breakfasts which are available all day, and the rest of the food is mexican style. I just loved the French toast that I had, it was absolutely delicious!!! The rest of the group went for the Mexican dishes, and all were a great size, had great flavours and were enjoyed by all. 

We stayed quite a while here. We moved to the couches under cover, and chilled here for a while longer. I went in to the tastng room for a tasting. I joined a couple at the bar in the tasting room, and thoroughly enjoyed going through the wine on offer. The guy serving (Andreas) was a really pleasant, polite, fun person to do the tasting with. He has only been working at this winery for just over a month, has no history in wine and yet he did such an awesome job, you would not believe he had only been doing this job for a month.

After returning to my group, I suggested we have a bottle of the Chardonnay, and everyone loved it, even those who are not Chardonnay fans!! This is a nicely balanced, rounded, buttery Chardonnay. It was lovely!! 

At this stage, one of the staff was kind enough to give us more tortilla chips with the matching dip. That was very yummy!!!

I would highly recommend visiting this winery for a tasting and/or a meal!! This is a child friendly place, and ideal on a nice sunny day!! Be sure to visit this place. I will definitely visit this place again, and introduce others to this restaurant and winery.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Uva Mira

Today we went to Uva Mira for a wine tasting. The service was very good, the views are lovely and the wine is very nice.

We tried the Sauvignon Blanc 2011 at R75 a bottle. It was soft, had tropical citrus fruity flavours. The Succession Rose 2010 at R35 a bottle is made from 100% Cabernet Franc grapes. It has nice body to it, an interesting flavour, slightly sour taste to it.

The Merlot Cab Sauv 2007 is R100 a bottle. This was very nice. There is a slight dark chocolate taste to it, its alittle dry, has a lovely berry flavour and nice body.
Their Chardonnay is unfortunately sold out so we didn’t get to try it. This winery won best Chardonnay in the world in 2004.
The Syrah 2008 (R200) was not to my liking, but I highly recommend trying it. It really had me puzzled. I found it a bit rough, quite spicy, yet I felt it lacked flavour and yet there was something that was dominating and overpowering. I really was confused with this wine. So I recommend tasting it, and see what experience you get from it.

The Uva Mira Red Blend 2007 at R200 a bottle is a blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot, Cab Franc and Syrah. It is a little dry, has a slight plum and chocolate taste. I found it had a very mature taste this wine.

It costs R20 to try three wines and R30 to try all their wine.

Be sure to check out this winery. They have great service, a lovely view and good wine. Its also a nice place to start your wine tour down this hill. I recommend going to Hidden Valley and Guardian Peak on your way down.

Friday, 20 April 2012


My friend from work suggested this winery; we went after work and I was very impressed with the place.
There is a wine tasting room, a bar and a restaurant. There is a nice size lawn out the back, with a childrens playground, and a big screen to watch the rugby. I liked the vibe at this place.

The service was very good, but unfortunately the guy serving us didn’t know much about the wine. We thoroughly enjoyed our tasting nonetheless.

We tried the wine called Pink. It’s a 2009 and R60 a bottle. I liked this wine; it was fruity, and medium – light in body. The Red Affair 2007 (R45) had a nice smell, and had a slightly spicy, liquorice and blackcurrant taste. It was light yet complex. I liked this wine and bought a bottle. The No.7 Blend is out of stock, but you can buy a bottle at the Deli. So I did just that, I haven’t got round to trying it yet though.

The Pinotage 2007 (R70) had a bad smell to it. This thankfully did improve after a while. This is their flagship, I did like this wine, it was light and had a slightly dry aftertaste. The Shiraz 2007 (R65) is slightly spicy, slightly dry, and has a nice berry taste. The Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (R70) is full of flavour, has medium-heavy body, dry aftertaste. I think this is more a food wine, than one to drink by itself.
Last of all, we tried the Muscat D’Alexandri 2008, it was light and easy drinking. It sells for R50 a bottle.

Overall we had a great experience here. The service was good, the wine was nice, the venue was also good. I saw they were setting up a bouncy castle for the weekend, which apparently they set up every weekend. This is an ideal place to come if you want a child friendly winery/restaurant experience.

I took the bottle of Red Affair 2007 to a restaurant that same night, and everyone loved it. We ate Mediterranean food and it went just beautifully. I HIGHLY recommend this wine. I really hope the winery doesn’t increase the price of this wine, because it is GREAT value for money!!! I am definitely buying more!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Taste of Cape Town – Green Point Cricket Club– 19 – 22 April


Taste of Cape Town – Green Point Cricket Club– 19 – 22 April

Pick n Pay Taste of Cape Town in association with Orbit Sugarfree Chewing Gum celebrates its 5th birthday in Cape Town with fun, food and fabulosity galore.

Your tastebuds will be treated to a 5-star experience at this year’s Taste of Cape Town at the Green Point Cricket Oval from 19 – 22 April. This gourmet event allows the public to nibble their way around fourteen of the city’s top restaurants at each Taste session.

The premise is quite simple: Cape Town’s finest chefs line up to showcase their culinary prowess with tantalizing signature dishes. All you have to do is hop from one to the other, sample the best cuisine the city has to offer, all while sipping on superb wines and cocktails. There are plenty of interactive food and liquor classes to attend and foodie folk to meet and greet.

The Festival showcases fourteen of Cape Town’s top restaurants and chefs, who have been tasked to serve the fabulous trend-setting signature dishes that have made them famous.

The impressive list of restaurants and their world class chefs guarantee that there will be something sensational for every palate. The list includes the following restaurants:

Azure Restaurant at the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa – Executive chef Henrico Grobbelaar
Bistro Sixteen82 – Executive chef Brad Ball
II Leone Mastrantonio – Daniel Toledo
Fyndraai Restaurant – Shaun Schoeman
La Colombe – Head chef Scot Kirton
Makaron at Majeka House – Head chef Tanja Kruger
Planet Bar & Restaurant - Executive chef Rudi Liebenberg
Signal Restaurant at Cape Grace – Executive chef Malika Van Reenen
Sofia’s at Morgenster & Overture – Chef/patron Craig Cormack & Chef/patron Bertus Basson
Taj Cape Town – Executive chef Shyam Longani
Savour Restaurant at 15 on Orange Hotel – Executive chef Sanel Esterhuyse
96 Winery Road – Executive chef Natasha Wray
The Westin Executive Club Restaurant – Executive Chef Johann Breedt
Taste Pop-Up Restaurant – featuring guest chefs the likes of Luke Dale Roberts - The Pot Luck Club, George Jardine - Jordan, Richard Carstens –Tokara Restaurant

Back by popular demand, the Pick n Pay Fresh Living Chef’s Theatre will again host Cape Town’s top chefs in fun and informative cooking demonstrations, culinary challenges, entertaining tutorials.  This year’s will also see the return of the Pick n Pay Wine and Canapé Experience, an interactive, hands-on area where guests will create three simple, stylish and utterly delicious canapés while an expert pairs each canapé with a wine to compliment the flavours.

More foodie features include The Westin Executive Club Restaurant, The Snowflake Pancake Feature and The Amazing Thailand Experience.  And don’t miss the DStv live Cook-Off in the Pick n Pay Fresh Living Chef’s Theatre on Saturday 21st April.

Be sure to check out the Fine Brandy by Design by Distell, Jimmijagga, Jagermeister, Redds and San Pellegrino/Acqua Panna features, all of which will showcase the drinks that complete a meal - it’s not just about quenching those “thirst buds”, but also giving visitors the opportunity to mix and match flavours to get the best of every bite.

Celebrate Cape Town’s local food heroes at The Small Producers Market where you will find delicious hand-made cheeses, pestos, homemade jams and sweets, as well as exotic ingredients and herbs to inspire home-chefs to create their own culinary masterpieces.  Visit By Nature for dried fruit and nuts, Yummi Brownies for delicious chocolate brownies, or pick up a cupcake from Queen of Tarts!

Visitors are invited to take a walk through the Taste & Buy Experience and discover a mouth-watering array of gourmet food suppliers and try delicious wines as well as speciality food and ingredients to take home such as Olive Pride, Three Streams Smokehouse, Sally Williams and Schecktersorganic Energy.

For the little folk, Pick n Pay Taste of Cape Town in association with Orbit Chewing Gum has created a KidzZone hosted by Party Tots on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd of April.  Fun activities for all ages are the order of the day which should keep the kids entertained while Mom and Dad enjoy the delectable delights the festival has to offer.

In addition to all of this, Taste 2012 is serving up a dose of Green Awareness, along with naming sponsors Pick n Pay and Orbit Sugar Free Chewing Gum, who both place great importance on environmental issues and actively promote and enforce sustainability in their core activities. The Pick n Pay Taste of Cape Town in association with Orbit Sugarfree Chewing Gum has also partnered with green companies such as Interwaste and Green Home in order to ensure a more sustainable event.

“We are proud to be getting greener every year and to be doing so endeavour with the complete support and assistance of our environmentally aware sponsors, partners and exhibitors,” says Festival Director, Justine Drake.  “Taking the environment into account and ensuring best practice in terms of sustainability can only add to the flavour experience that epitomises Taste“, she continues, “It's our 5th year and we're bigger, better and greener than ever. This year we have some exciting new restaurants (and some old favourites), hands-on cooking classes, a chef’s theatre and more wine and exotic liquor than ever before.  There's plenty of parking, games for the kids, loads to eat and drink and much fun to be had…be there or miss out!”

The impressive list of participating restaurants, award-winning wineries, premium drinks brands and extraordinary exhibitors will guarantee that there will be something sensational for everyone. So get down to the Green Point Cricket Club from the 19th – 22nd April to enjoy one of South Africa’s most delectable Taste extravaganzas!

To avoid queues early booking is advised, so book now- Visit www.tastefestivalssa.co.za
Or go to www.itickets.co.za

 - ENDS -

For further information please contact:

The Pick n Pay Taste of Cape Town in association with Orbit Sugarfree Chewing Gum
The Taste Team on 021 418 4516 or 011 463 0355
For Marketing, please contact alex@tastefestivalssa.co.za
For Corporate Hospitality, please contact daniella@tastefestivalssa.co.za or nicole@tastefestivalssa.co.za

For any queries regarding publicity, please contact Eddy Cassar on 082 4503151 or eddy@eddycassarpr.co.za

What, Where, When, How…

Festival times:
Thursday 19th April: 18h30- 22h30
Friday 20th April: 18h30- 22h30
Saturday 21st April: 13h00- 17h00; 18h30- 22h30
Sunday 22nd April: 12h00- 17h00

Tickets are limited and booking is recommended – for further information and bookings visit www.tastefestivalssa.co.za or go to http://www.itickets.co.za/ or call 0861 000 291 for more info.
Standard tickets cost R80 (including a tasting glass)
Premium Tickets cost R200 (which includes R120 worth of Festival Crowns and a tasting glass)

A Taste Club House presented by DStv ticket costs R685 – includes fast-track entry, unlimited access to the Taste Club House which serves as your base for the show, R180 worth of Crowns (the official festival currency), 3 complimentary drinks, a crown bar facility and a free tasting glass.
Corporate Hospitality - Includes an exclusive area which serves as your base for the show – your branding may be placed in the area upon request*
R180 worth of Crowns per person (The official festival currency)
A Taste of Cape Town gift
Fast track entry
A tasting glass
Complimentary premium bar

As part of the package, you can book an exclusive 30-minute wine tasting with the inimitable and highly respected Wade Bales.
Well-known wine connoisseur, Wade, and a top SA wine maker will take you on a tantalising journey where you will get to sample a selection of iconic South African wines.
*Subject to the number of guests

Taste of Cape Town Festival Crowns:
Crowns are the Festivals’ official “currency”, which can be purchased at the festival from the Taste Bank or Crown Sellers walking around the festival grounds.  Visitors use these Crowns to purchase food and drinks from the restaurants, bars and exhibitors.  Each Crown is worth R5.  Change is offered in Crowns only.

Visit http://www.tastefestivalssa.co.za/ or purchase tickets from http://www.itickets.co.za/ or call 0861 000 291 for more info.


Issued by Eddy Cassar Public Relations on behalf of Pick n Pay Taste of Cape Town in association with Orbit Sugarfree Chewing Gum.

Tel: 021 438 2595

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Haute Cabriere

Today we went to Haute Cabriere. The service was very good here, the wine was nice and the view was lovely.

There is a standard tasting for R30, a premiere tasting for R40 and a MCC tasting (not sure of the price).

We chose to do the premiere tasting. We got to try three MCC's, one white and two red wines. We had the Brut Sauvage R120 which is 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir. I liked this MCC the most out of all three. They suggest you drink this MCC with oysters. I agree that this would be a very nice wine to drink with seafood. It’s fresh, crisp and pleasant to drink.

The other two MCC’s we tried were the Blanc de Blanc which is 100% Chardonnay at R140 a bottle and Belle Rose which is 100% Pinot Noir for R110.

Next we tried the Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2011 (R75). I liked this wine; it was rounded, had good body, and a lovely lingering aftertaste.

The two reds were the Unwooded Pinot Noir 2011 (R80) and the Pinot Noir 2008 (R160). I preferred the Unwooded Pinot Noir, it was light, easy drinking, and can be drunk on its own quite easily, I think.

There is a restaurant at this winery. We didn’t eat there this time round, but are very keen to eat there next time.

I would recommend visiting this winery if in Franschhoek. It’s a cute place, has good service, the staff have good knowledge of the wine, the wine is nice and the view at this place is lovely.