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, 29 June 2013

Manley - Christmas in Winter

This wine estate was on our way in to Tulbagh from where we were staying at Reflections and we hadn't heard of it before so decided to check it out.

We were greeted by the owner and shown through to the back where we could sit outside. Yes it was winter but it would have been a sin to sit inside on such a beautiful day!!

A tasting is R25 per person and waived on purchases of wine. However, if you go for the Christmas in Winter festival (which I highly recommend) then you pay a once off fee, get a glass and can taste wine at all the participating estates. 

Even though the winemaker was around, the owner did the tasting with us, which I thought was a bit strange, especially as he wasn't able to give us a very informative tasting... Anyhow, the tasting was pleasant as we were able to try some wines we hadn't tasted before, enjoy the views and after the tasting we enjoyed a pleasant walk on the estate. It is a beautiful place and I think it would be a lovely place to get married. They have a chapel on the estate, a function room, a restaurant and lovely gardens. What more could you want? Oh and there is accommodation on the estate!! It really is an ideal place for a wedding!!

As for the wine, this is what I thought:

Semillon 60% and Sauvignon Blanc 40% 2010 at R65 a bottle was very fresh, crisp, not too acidic, rounded, light, medium bodied, slight lemon hints. It was very nice.

Thatch House Red (Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon blend) 2009 at R50 a bottle was light, smooth, with some dark berry flavours coming through. It was nice.

Pinotage 2011 (R85 a bottle) was fruity, had nice berry flavours, was smooth and pleasant. Was nice.

Merlot 2010 (R85 a bottle) was also smooth, fruity, little spicy, powdery tannins. Was nice.

Shiraz 2010 (R85 a bottle) was fruity, smooth, a little spicy and pleasant. I liked this wine.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (R85 a bottle) had nice cherry aroma, soft and pleasant. Was nice.

Overall we enjoyed our experience here. I would recommend this place if you are in Tulbagh. Be sure to take a stroll on the property if you come here, it is beautiful!!

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