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, 28 January 2013

Bellevue Wine Estate

Today I woke up and decided I should check out some of the wineries on Bottelary Road.

I started off with Bellevue and was so pleased I did. The wine tasting room is pretty unique and what I like the most about it is it's rustic and traditional style.

In the tasting room you can see the concrete tanks the winemakers used to use on this farm. It is pretty cool to see.  After visiting a few wineries on this road, I realised there are several wineries who have these concrete tanks in this area.

I was informed that Bellevue is the name of the estate and Morkel is the name of the family that owns it. You will see with their wine that they use Morkel on some of the labels and some have PK on them. PK is the previous owners name.

We started the tasting with the Premium Collection Morkel Shiraz 2010 at R50 a bottle. It has a nice spicy aroma, is soft and spicy on the palate, elegant with a grippy finish.

Morkel Pinotage 2009 is R95 a bottle. It turns out Bellevue Estate was the first to plant Pinotage grapes in South Africa in 1953 along with Kanonkop. This Pinotage has an interesting aroma, is lovely on the palate, has great body, I really liked it!

At Bellevue they use French made American Oak barrels on several of their wines. What was interesting is that the winemaker has tried various oak barrels and found this one works well on many of his grapes. He said that the wine chooses the barrels rather than the other way around. I liked this.

Morkel Malbec 2010 is R95 a bottle. It has an interesting herbal, spicy, fynbos aroma. It smells delicious and tastes just as good. It has soft tannins and spent its time in French Oak barrels. I just loved this wine.

PK Morkel Petit Verdot 2009 is a single varietal and sells for R145 a bottle. It has an interesting nose, is beautiful on the palate, smooth and just beautiful. The winemaker mentioned that this wine is ideal with fatty/heavy food and I completely see where he is coming from. This wine has a long finish and is very nice!

The last wine to try was the Tumara 2005. It is a bordeaux style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. It spends 34 months in new French Oak Barrels. It is smooth, tasty, has deep berry and tobacco aroma. This wine sells for R125 a bottle.

As much as I wouldn't recommend the wineries on Bottelary Road as first port of call, especially if you are a tourist to Cape Town and only have one day, I would say that if you are a local and haven't visited the wineries on Bottelary Road, you must check them out!!

They have a lot of history, surprisingly great wine and a charm that I had not expected from them prior to visiting them.

Check out my review on Fort Simon and Goede Hoop also. These three wineries made for a very pleasant afternoon of wine tastings.

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