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.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Christmas Blind Wine Tasting - Methode Cap Classique

This year I am holding another blind MCC tasting for the Christmas wine tasting event.

This year it is going to be at The Cape Town Club (behind the Mount Nelson Hotel) on Thursday the 13th of December. It starts at 6.30pm and will finish no later than 10pm. There is a prize (a bottle of Methode Cap Classique) for the best dressed on the night.

There will be canapes on arrival and again at half time. These will be made by the chef at The Cape Town Club.

We will be trying ten MCCs in two flights. After we have tried all ten wines we will do a vote to see which MCCs are liked the most and then I will reveal where each wine is from and the price.
During the night we will play the "steal the Christmas present" game. This is a lot of fun and everyone will walk away at the end of the night with a Christmas present.

If you would like to join my wine club and attend this Christmas blind MCC tasting please contact me on westerncapewineries@gmail.com. 

Saturday, 10 November 2012


We went to Ataraxia after Spookfontein. You do not need to make a booking for a wine tasting here. The wine tasting is free.

Ataraxia is a nice winery. The wine tasting room is inside a church. The tasting room is nicely decorated and the service here was very good.

They have three wines here. The Sauvignon Blanc 2012 at R88 a bottle. The Chardonnay 2011 at R190 a bottle and Serenity 2008 at R130 a bottle. As you can see, the wines are a bit pricy.

I really liked the Sauvignon Blanc 2012 as it was lush, smooth, had a nice tropical fruity flavour. It really was nice!! The Chardonnay 2011 had 10 months on oak, had a roasted nut flavour and was smooth. Unfortunately the Serenity did not appeal to our group at all.

This is a nice winery to visit.


Today we visited Spookfontein for a wine tasting. You need to make an appointment to do a wine tasting. It is so worth the visit, so be sure to call ahead and make a date!!

Craig the winemaker did the wine tasting with us in the cellar and it was just great!!

He showed us the egg shaped concrete barrels he uses. He also showed us the crystals he uses in his wine to bring calmness to his wine. It was great to listen to him talk about his beliefs, way of doing things and behind the scene information on how he makes his wine. We learnt a lot from this tasting with Craig.

Not only was the wine tasting interesting but the wine is really good also!! Be sure to try not only the Spookfontein wine but also Craigs wine under the label Elemental Bob. This is really good wine, and we can't wait to stock up on his wine once it is bottled!!

We tried the Spookfontein Phantom which is a Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. This was my favourite of the Spookfontein wine. It has a very nice smell, lovely flavours, not so dry, its smooth, velvety, I like it!! We opened a bottle of this wine on the weekend at a friends place and enjoyed it with dinner and it was very nice!!

The Spookfontein Merlot 2006 was more fruity than the Phantom and it was a little dry. Both these red wines are only R70 a bottle and I think this is a steal!! I am certainly going to stock up before they sell out!!

From the Elemental Bob range we tried the Sauvignon Blanc 2012 which I found had an interesting taste for a Sauvignon Blanc. It was smooth, a little dry, had nice flavours which were very subtle. The Elemental Bob Pinot Blanc 2012 was a new varietal he was experimenting with. It was very smooth, had a very nice fruity flavour and mineral aftertaste. I liked this. The Elemental Bob Pinot Noir 2012 was fresh and nice. The Elemental Bob Shiraz 2012 with 8% Pinot Noir had an interesting smell, lovely flavour, spices on the palate and I just loved it.

We then tried the Spookfontein Merlot 2012 from the barrels, this was very smooth and fresh with a dry aftertaste. It was not so fruity or full of flavour but still very nice.

The last wine we tried was the Spookfontein Port from the tank, this was a NV as he used 2008,2009, 2010 grapes. It is made from Merlot grapes and is very nice.

It was a really awesome experience doing the tasting with Craig. It was great trying both the Spookfontein wine and his own wine under the label Elemental Bob, and it was cool trying wine from the barrel and steel tanks.

The Elemental Bob wine was not bottled yet. We are super keen to stock up on his wine once it is bottled.

Craig was kind enough to let us buy some of his wine from the barrels. What was cool about this is that he let us put the cork in our own bottled wine. So he got out the manual cork presser and we each had a go at putting a cork in the wine we bought. It also added to our wine tasting experience here.

The Spookfontein wines are finished with a wax top. He does each bottle by hand. With this winery being relatively small a lot of things are done manually and with a lot of time and love.

They are still building the tasting room. I like the shape of the building and the views are really nice up there too!!!

At the moment there is roadworks being done on the road and it is very hard to find Spookfontein. I therefore decided to take some photos to help you find this place. As you drive along the road towards Creation you will go through road works. Before you get to the end of these roadworks you will see a building on your right with a red roof. Look for this on your right and then you will see the gate to Spookfontein just after it. The gate has an A4 sign saying Cellar on it. If you get as far as Ataraxia, then you have gone too far.

Do yourself a favour and book a tasting with Craig, I am sure you will appreciate the tasting just as much as we did. This truly is an up and coming winery with great wines!!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

November wine tasting event

This month on Thursday the 15th of November my wine club members will be gathering at the Five Flies in Cape Town for a "Chrissy's favourite wines" tasting event.

Last month a friend asked me to put together a list of wine I recommend he should buy for Christmas. It then gave me the idea that perhaps others in my wine club would also appreciate this list. I therefore decided to hold a wine tasting evening where we could all enjoy trying ten different wine varietals and perhaps stock up on wine before Christmas also. There are some great specials for those who buy wine on the night.

I am not going to tell everyone the wine I have selected yet (that will be revealed on the night), but I can tell you the wine I have picked are my favourites and the ten varietals I have chosen are:

Chenin Blanc
Dessert wine

If you would like to attend this event, please contact me on westerncapewineries@gmail.com.

Tickets are R130 this includes canapes and the wine tasting. The event starts at 6.30pm with canapes and then the wine tasting begins at 7pm. The event usually finishes around 9.30pm.

This month Nick Davies from The Franschhoek Pass Winery (Morena) will be the guest winemaker. He will explain how MCC is made and answer any questions you may have throughout the night.


Be sure not to miss this event. It is a lot of fun, informative, professionally done, yet relaxed.

This event is best suited for those who are beginner/intermediate wine drinkers. I.e. Don't know much about wine but they enjoy drinking it :-)