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, 30 June 2012


Saronsberg was a very nice winery. I loved the setting, I liked the ambiance and the wine was lovely.

Inside one could do a wine tasting upstairs and buy food downstairs. The food was very nice here and very reaosnably priced!

The service was good and it was nice to have an informative tasting even though the place was busy. We started with the Brut MCC 2009 R135. The Saronsberg Provenance Sauvignon Blanc 2012 R65 had a beautiful fruity sweet smell and taste. It was very nicely balanced. I liked the Viognier 2011 R90. It was beautiful on the palate, slightly sweet and had lovely flavours. The Nick & Forti's Viognier 2009 R65 was also nice, but less fruity than the other Viognier. Nice body, lovely on the palate. The Full Circle 2009 R220 was very smooth and elegant wine. I liked this one also.

Outside they had a live band, which created a very nice ambiance. I would actually suggest one makes this the main stop for this festival. They have everything well organised.

While sitting outside you can enjoy this lovely view. It really is a spectacular winery with lovely wine!!

If you do a day trip in Tulbagh be sure to add this one to your list.

Twee Jonge Gezellen - Krone

This winery has a nice outdoor seating area.

The vibe was really nice here outside.

Inside was a little quiet, but there was good food and wine to be enjoyed. It was cool being able to look around downstairs in the cellar.

Once the music started it became a lot more festive and lively inside.

We tried the MCC which was up for tasting: Krone Borealis Vintage Cuvee Brut 2008 R80, was light, biscuity and dry. Krone Rose Vintage Brut 2008 R90 was light, a little sweet and had nice flavours. Krone Borealis Brut 1997 limited release R150 had a mature champagne taste. Nicolas Charles Krone Marque R260 was light, biscuity and dry.

We opened a bottle of the Rose Brut at a party the other day and it went down very well. Was nice, refreshing, and not too dry.

Tulbagh Winter Christmas Festival

We went to Tulbagh for this Christmas festival and really enjoyed our time there. The Christmas theme in the town and at the wineries was not so fantastic, I really felt they could have done a lot more to create more of a Christmas vibe and draw the people to this town for this event.

Our weekend started at Lemberg, which was the highlight of the trip. We had a one-on-one tasting with the winemaker, tried all of their wines, loved their dessert wine, sat beside the fireplace and enjoyed a lovely cheese platter.

Next we went to Twee Jonge Gezellen which is where Krone winery is. There were a lot of people sitting outside under the trees and enjoying food and wine. Inside were stalls selling food, Krone wine and other knick-knacks. There was a band on at one stage, and the lady singing was very good. We had a look downstairs in the cellar, which was fun and interesting.

Last of all we went to Saronsberg. There were a lot of people here, inside and outside. There is a nice pond, plenty of outdoor seating, the wine and service was great. This would probably be my first choice for next year, if you want a good vibe and nice place to enjoy wine and food. There was a band playing here also, and the music they were playing was very good. 

For dinner we went to Rijk's Country House for a 5 course food and wine pairing. This was in fact a 7 course menu!! The only thing which could relate to the 5 was the wine. This was what was served:

Seafood Boullabaisse

Roasted tomato & onion soup

Wine: Rijk’s Chenin. This wine was very smooth and velvety on the palate, it had medium body, it was very nice. With the first soup it had less body, was less creamy and a lighter wine.

Rijk’s stuffed camembert chicken on potatoes Dauphinoise
Wine: Rijk’s Sauvignon Blanc 2008. I wasn’t a fan of this wine, but it was ok.

Glazed Ham on a panache of season vegetables 
Wine: Rijk’s Shiraz 2010. Had licorice, cherry notes, was nicer with food, in that it was a softer wine.

Roast Fillet of Beef & Yorkshire Pudding
Wine: Rijk’s Pinotage. Plum and chocolate notes. Very elegant, nicely balanced, liked this wine.

Christmas Ice Cream Bomb
Malva Pudding with Amarula Creme Anglaise

Wine: Rijk’s Fascination.

This entire 7 course meal and 5 wine pairing, started off really well. The food was nice, but I found that it went downhill after the Camembert Chicken. For example the ham was too salty, the beef was overcooked, my boyfriends Yorkshire pudding was burnt. Having said all this, the evening ended nicely with the dessert. It was overall a nice evening. The people who attended this dinner were friendly and talkative. It was a bit weird that we all sat together at one table, but it was nice. 

For R300 this was a very good deal!!


I like this winery and the wine!! It is a nice place to visit, so be sure to pop in if you are out this way!!

We went to this winery because we had met the winemaker at the Vineyard Hotel and Spa Rosé event in summer. We really liked his Rosé so have been keen to try his other wines ever since.

We were in Tulbagh for the winter Christmas festival and decided to make this our first stop.

I am glad we started here, as we were so lucky to be the only people there and get a one-on-one wine tasting with the winemaker. We had a nice spot near the fireplace, it was perfect!!

We tried all the wine. David doesn't charge for a tasting. There are 9 wines to try, starting with a Sauvignon Blanc and finishing with a dessert wine. My favourite wines were the Pinotage 2010 (R85), the Syrah 2011 (R70), Pinot Noir 2011 (R150) and the Surin 2011 (R150). The Surin is a dessert wine, and one of the best we have tried. My boyfriend is not much of a dessert wine drinker, but he absolutely loved this one. It is absolutely delicious, light, with nice body and not too sweet.

We had a cheese platter with our wine tasting, it was only R30, and just the right size. What I found interesting with the cheese platter, is that the blue cheese completely changed the taste and texture of the Pinotage. It made it extremely soft and the flavour was more like strawberries.  Whereas prior to the cheese it had more of a chocolate taste.

I highly recommend doing a wine trip to Tulbagh, and highly recommend putting this winery on your list!! It was a really enjoyable and pleasant wine tasting experience!!

Sunday, 24 June 2012


Today we were picking up wine in the Helderberg wine region and decided to visit another winery while we were out this way. I have wanted to visit Jordan for a while now, so we went there today.

The property is very nice, with a beautiful lawn, outdoor seating, a pond, restaurant and tasting room.

We were served by two young guys. The tasting wasn't very informative, which was disappointing as I was expecting a more professional wine tasting experience due to the reputation Jordan has. The tasting was pleasant nonetheless.

The Riesling 2010 (R79 a bottle) was fantastic. It is slightly sweet, a bit sweeter than I remember it to be at the Top 100 SA wines, but still fantastic and still the best Riesling I have tried in SA so far!!! I also liked the Chardonnay (barrel fermented) 2010, this sells for R109 a bottle.

This winery has a very nice restaurant. They are open for a la carte lunch from Monday to Sunday from 12h00 till 15h00 and a six course set menu on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 18h30. You can view more about this restaurant on http://www.jordanwines.com/restaurant/

I do recomend one visits this winery, as it is a nice place and they do have nice wine. I plan on coming here again to try out the restaurant. Hopefully the next time I visit this place it will be a nice sunny day.

Friday, 22 June 2012


Today we went to Hartenberg for a wine tasting. The weather was wet and cold, but thankfully they had a fire going, so it was very pleasant inside. 
We tried all the wine, my favourites were the Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (R70), Shiraz 2007 (R130) and the Riesling Noble Late Harvest 2010 (R60). 

The NLH was just delicious, it was not too sweet, light but not too light, it was just perfectly balanced.I really liked it!!

The Shiraz had beautiful body, flavour and aftertaste. It wasn’t dry and it was nicely balanced.

The service here was very good, the lady who served us was very polite, pleasant and knowledgeable about the wine. 

A tasting is free here. When you look on their list of wines it is very impressive with all its 4, 4 and a ½ and 5 star ratings by Platters.

The wine was very good here, I highly recommend coming here and trying the wine!!

Unfortunately I didn't have my camera on me when I visited this winery. You can view photos on their website: http://www.hartenbergestate.com/

Tuesday, 19 June 2012


Today we went to Cederberg Winery. We were staying just down the road at the Sanddriff Holiday Resort, so it was very convenient to get here!! Only 1.5km away. Below is a photo of the reception; you pay here and then you will be taken through to the cellar for the tasting. A tasting here costs R25 per person and you can try all the wines they have available for tasting.

This is a very nice winery. It is very authentic, rustic and yet charming. The wine tasting is done in the cellar, it is very cold in there (in winter), but with a jacket it's fine. You go through a very tall corrugated iron door in to the cellar, which I felt adds character to the place and the wine tasting experience.

There is a nice wine tasting room set up in there. You can see the wines which have won awards displayed next to the wine bar.

Pieter took us through the wine tasting. He had great knowledge of the winemaker, winery and the wine. We had a really good wine tasting experience. There was another group that arrived at the same time as us, so we went through the wines all together which was nice. Then towards the end of the tasting another group arrived, so it was quite busy.

We got to try 11 out of the 12 wines. The Bukettraube was unfortunately unable to be tasted as it was sold out. This is their flagship and I have been informed by a colleague it is very nice, so I look forward to buying some when it comes out in August. My favourite out of all the wines was the Ghost Corner Semillon 2010 at R165 a bottle.

We all really enjoyed the wine tasting here. I would highly recommend one does a wine tasting here if out this way.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Raats Family Wines

Today we went to Raats Winery for a wine tasting. Chris the sales and marketing manager showed us around the winery, explaining the soil types and how it affects the taste of the wine. He also explained the technique they use to grow their grapes. It was all very interesting and I appreciated knowing more about how ones land/soil can affect the wine.

We then went to the tasting room to try the wine. On trying the first wine, I realised I had yet again learnt more about how to pick out the characteristics of the wine, just from understanding the different types of soil and how they influence the taste of the wine.

We tried three wines. The first was the Raats Original Chenin Blanc 2011 (R80). It had a great smell, was very fruity, crisp, had nice body, and there was minerality in the wine. This was very easy drinking and I would love to get myself a bottle or two. We were told that this wine goes nicely with sushi.

Next we tried the Raats Family Chenin Blanc 2009 (R150). This was sweet on the nose, had a beautiful smell, was lightly wooded, nicely balanced, and lovely to drink. This wine goes well with spicy asian food. It has aging potential of 5-7 years.

The Raats Cabernet Franc 2009 (R300) has slightly spicy notes on the nose. This wine was beautifully balanced and had fantastic flavour. It was a little dry yet pleasant on the palate. I found that even though it was dry, the moisture in your mouth immediately came back. Aging potential is 12-15 years. I absolutely loved this wine.

The wine tasting experience here was really great, Chris knew so much about the winery, the wine and the process of the wine making here. It really was fantastic to have so much information provided in a wine tasting. If you get the chance to do a tasting here then I definitely would recommend it.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Kanu Wine Tasting

The Kanu wine tasting was a great success.

The event was held at the Five Flies. We were able to enjoy the Giselle MCC (Viognier/Malbec) and canapes in the lounge on arrival and moved in to the Van Riebeeks room for the wine tasting.

Johan Grimbeek from Kanu winery took us through his wine. We started with the Giselle MCC, tried five different white wines, three reds and the dessert wine (Kia-Ora). They were all fantastic. My favourite was definitely the Kanu Chenin Blanc.

During the evening, we got to learn the difference between a Syrah and a Shiraz. We also tried two wines of Johans under the label Aeternitas. One was the Syrah 2007 and the other was the Chenin Blanc 2009.

We had two canapes to try with two different wines. This was done to show how the wines match food differently. We had duck spring rolls with the Chenin Blancs and the dessert wine with the poached pear canape.

Everyone enjoyed being able to ask Johan questions and we all learnt something from the evening.

The feedback was positive so I will now hold a winemaker evening every fourth month.

Thanks to Johan for taking us through his wine and thank you to all that attended. I look forward to seeing you at the next event!!!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Tamboerskloof Church Wine Auction

Last night I went to the NG Kerk Tamboerskloof wine auction.

Around 120 people attended this event. The purpose of the event was to raise money which the church could then use for helping the local community.

Suprisingly there was a LOT of wine donated for this event. KWV donated an impressive amount!! There were a nice amount of magnum wines, lots of brandy, whiskey and port were on the list, 67 items of white wine and 167 items of red wine. It was very impressive. It took a long time to get through all the wine, but we got there in the end :-)

Approximately R120,000 was raised last night through auctioning off the wine, which I think was a good effort from 120 peole.

I helped my friend to source some wine for this event, so I would like to thank the following for supporting this event and helping this church to raise a fine amount of money to help the local communities:

Sumaridge: Donated a magnum bottle of Merlot 2008 and a magnum bottle of Pinot noir 2010.

Cronier wines: Donated 12 bottles of Capeville Robust Red

Thank you so much for having donated the wine to this event, any help is always much appreciated, and I believe the money will be used well.

This was the first time I attended this event. It was a nice event. We were welcomed with sherry, which was very nice!! I must find out which winery made that!! We had a meal at half time. The curry for dinner was just divine!! Huge compliments to the chefs, it was fantastic and a great choice!! The evening was finished with coffee, tea, yummy brownies and marshmallows for dessert.

I ended up spending much more than I had planned to last night but it was a good night, I now have enough wine for 6 months and I have helped raise money for a good cause :-) Thanks Tamboerskloof for a great night, I hope the money goes to good use and I look forward to next years auction!!!