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.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Esona Wine Estate

Today we went to Esona Wine Estate to see what this new wine estate has to offer. We were greeted by Melissa at the door and taken in to the shed where they are currently doing wine tastings, as the wine tasting centre and restaurant-to-be is still under construction. As you can see in the photo below, you can enjoy the wine tasting outside also.

We were taken through a vertical tasting of the Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Shiraz. They serve their wine in Riedel glasses; each wine glass is chosen specifically for the different wine varietal they serve.

A few facts on this estate:
  • All their wine is from Single Vineyard Blocks. 
  • Esona means 'The Very One'. 
  • This wine estate only makes 2500 bottles of each varietal.
  • Each block has a uniquely different soil type (see photo below)

We started the tasting with the Sauvignon Blanc 2012 at R68 a bottle. I got pear, pineapple and apple on the nose. It was also light and fruity on the nose. It had a very sharp taste with a lot of lime, lemon and minerality.

The 2011 Sauvignon Blanc (R63 a bottle) was lighter on the nose compared to the 2012, I didn't get as many prominent smells with this one. The sharp lemon/lime taste was lighter and more gentle on the palate also.

The 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (R58 a bottle) seemed slightly sweeter on the nose, perhaps leaning towards honey... It was still sharp with lemon and lime tastes but it was more rounded off. It had a nicer finish to it also. I got a bit of apple on the palate with this one and I liked the finish.

Out of the Sauvignon Blancs the 2010 was my favourite, then the 2012 and then the 2011.

We then moved on to the Chardonnay which we tasted in a different style of Riedel glass. It was a lot bigger in volume (compared to the Sauvignon Blanc glass) and had a wide rim. The 2012 Chardonnay (R68 a bottle) spent 9 months in 3rd fill barrels, it was rounded, had notes of peach and had a lovely finish. It was not so buttery or creamy but it did have nice subtle oak influences.

The 2011 Chardonnay (R72 a bottle) has a slight sharp, fresh, acidic taste to it. It was lovely on the nose and yellow in colour compared to the 2012. It had a more buttery nose in comparison to the 2012. To be honest I didn't really like the taste as it seemed a little tart.

We then moved on to a very tall and big volume glass for the Shiraz. This did nothing for the 2011 Shiraz (R88 a bottle) as I couldn't smell any of the berry flavours, all I got was alcohol. After shifting my wine into a different glass I could appreciate the berry and dark chocolate influences you get on the nose. It was smooth and had an interesting flavour.

We were very lucky to try the 2010 Shiraz (R83 a bottle) as this is not usually open for tasting due to being sold out. This one was absolutely fine in the tall Riedel glasses. It had a lovely smell, bit of dark chocolate, slightly spicy, and lovely berry flavours. It was very lovely!!

After our wine tasting we were taken to the tasting room and restaurant-to-be construction site for a look around of what we can expect to see finished next time we visit.

Melissa showed us the cellar of the tasting room which is under ground and made from old concrete wine tanks. They have had someone observe these tanks and it is believed they are more than 80 years old.

They have broken through the walls of the concrete tanks to create bigger rooms where they will allow guests to walk through when visiting the tasting room. It is really interesting to see what an old concrete wine tank looks like and hear the stories that come with these tanks.

On the first floor/ground floor of the building is where the wine tasting room will be. They have a lovely big window which allows you to enjoy the gorgeous views while trying the Esona wine.

Upstairs is where the restaurant/deli will be. There is going to be a decking upstairs where guests can enjoy the views from outside the building.

They have a downstairs patio where guests will also be able to enjoy a wine tasting while soaking up the views and lovely weather.

Overall it looks fantastic and I cannot wait to see the final result. I highly recommend visiting this wine estate before the building is finished as it is awesome to hear the stories that go with the place and to see this place develop into what is going to be a very nice winery to visit!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the visit and sharing your Esona experience! :)