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

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!!

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