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, 6 May 2013


This is a lovely place with a modern interior, lovely views and relaxed yet professional service.

The tasting room is very spacious with various choices of seating arrangements. You can sit outside, which is exactly what I did on this gorgeous sunny day. Or you can sit on the couches near the fireplace in winter. If you are a big group there are plenty of tables and chairs inside and outside to choose from.

The staff here are very relaxed which I really appreicated. I chose a seat outside on the balcony for my tasting and Tom (one of the Marianne Estate staff) came out and joined me for the tasting. I had a nice chat with him and other guests who were outside enjoying several bottles of wine. It really was such a relaxed and welcoming vibe here. I loved it!!!

I have to say, I struggled to make notes on the wine, it seemed very different to most SA wine (and what my palate is now used to) and I couldn't distinguish the aromas or taste, so I don't have much to say on them. None of the wines were bad, they all were of good quality, but nothing took my fancy. Having said that, I did buy a bottle of their Rose. I do plan on going back for another tasting in hope that I can make some better tasting notes.

I was informed that the owner of the place is French and the current winemaker is Francois who previously worked at Waterford Estate. They have a great line up here and a great recipe for success. They are closing for a month in winter to renovate the tasting room and make some changes. Their vision for the estate sounds really awesome and it is in tune with what guests are asking for, which is awesome to hear.

On the estate they have a restaurant called Olivello which is on your left as you drive up to the Marianne Estate tasting room. There is also a 4 star B&B on the estate with light catering provided at the tasting room. This would be a very nice place to stay in Stellenbosch if you are planning on visiting wine estates in the area. The staff seem to bend over backwards to make sure everyone enjoys their stay here, so I would recommend staying here while in Stellenbosch.

I really liked this place, the atmosphere, views, relaxing vibe, I was so at home I didn't want to leave. After a very relaxing wine tasting I was very happy and will definitely sit on the balcony for many more wine tastings. This is a place I could easily visit over and over again!!

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