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, 27 October 2012


Wow, what an awesome experience we had here! I highly recommend visiting this winery!

I have been in SA for almost two years now, and only now have I visited the winery. I have to say, because it is so well known and commercialised, I thought I was not missing much by not visiting this winery. However, I was so wrong. They truly have earned the reputation they have.

We had the best experience! It really made our day! On arrival we were given a glass of their Methode Cap Classique (MCC) Brut. It was very nice, not too dry, and had good flavour.

The lady who greeted us went through the different options for the tasting, and said it was no problem for us to do the tasting outside.

We found it very difficult to choose because they have so much wine and so many different wine tasting options.

My boyfriend went for the "Mystery" wine and food tasting. He was not told which wine he was trying as he had to guess. That was a lot of fun, the box it comes in makes it a special experience and having to write down what he thinks he is drinking makes it very interactive and fun.

I went for the cheese tasting. It includes four wines matched with four cheeses. Each cheese is broken in to about 4 pieces, which worked out very nicely as I was then able to share the cheese with my friends who were trying the same wine.

On top of the cheese and wine pairing, my friends and I went through a selection of wine to try:
We all LOVED the Riesling 2012 at only R47 a bottle!! It was a real crowd pleaser at our table. I felt it was very flavoursome, fresh, moist, delicious, a little sweet and had hints of apple, pear and pineapple.

I also liked the 5600 Chenin Blanc 2012 (R40 a bottle), it had tropical fruity smell and flavour, it was light and fresh.

The Shiraz 2010 (R66) was also nice, had good body, was smooth and had great flavour.

The Special Late Harvest 2012 (R42 a bottle) was very nice! It was light, sweet and had lovely flavour. The Noble Late Harvest 2011 (R72 a bottle) was very nice and had good body. Out of the two, I preferred the Special Late Harvest (SLH). For those who don't like dessert wines being too sweet and sticky, you should also like the SLH.

The Brew Master Bordeaux Blend 2009 (R105 a bottle) was a little dry and had nice complex flavours. I liked this wine.

The Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (R110 a bottle) was very nice! It had an amazing smell and taste!

Last of all, the Ingenuity White Blend 2011 (R160 a bottle) was really nice. It had an amazing smell, was balanced and had light-medium body.

Other notes on the wine:
The Manor House Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (R100) was not your typical SB, it was creamy, had medium body, was smooth and had interesting flavours. Ancherman Chenin Blanc 2011 was not to my liking.

I HIGHLY recommend you visit this winery if in Paarl. It was a really good wine tasting experience we had here. I can't wait to go back and do the Mystery tasting or hamburger and wine pairing next time. I would have no hesitation taking someone to this winery when visiting the western cape.

If you are looking for a place to have lunch be sure to check out Harvest Restaurant at Laborie!

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