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, 3 June 2013


Spacious tasting room, plenty to do on the estate and a great range of good quality wine.

Today I went to Spier for a wine tasting with Anthony who is one of the winemakers. He assists in making the white wine. It turns out there are different winemakers for the white wine and the red wine. Quite clever to have the winemakers focus on one or the other, rather than both.

It was my first time visiting the Spier Wine Tasting Centre and I couldn't get over how spacious the room was and how nicely they present their wine.

They have plenty of wine tasting options:
1) Frans K. Smit tasting at R90 pp. This includes a tasting of their top-tier, award-winning wines.
2) Heritage tasting at R60 pp. This is a food and wine pairing.
3) Spier tasting at R35 pp. This includes a tasting of three wines from the Spier range, 1 from the Creative Block range and 1 from the 21 Gables range.

They also have olive boards at R55, cheese boards at R60, cured meat board at R65 and a Frans K. Smit board at R85. They truly have something for everyone here.

We started the tasting with the Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (R47) which was rounded, grassy, had slight pepper/capsicum notes. It had a fresh tart/sharp finish.

The Chenin Blanc (R38) was smooth, fresh, easy drinking and pleasant.

The Chardonnay 2012 (R47) was buttery, smooth, light and pleasant.

Creative Block 2 (R85) is 89% Sauvignon Blanc and 11% Semillon. It was fresh, had citrus tones, nice body, fine by itself but would probably go great with food.

21 Gables Chenin Blanc (R118) spent 14 months in french oak, the grapes are from bush vines from Durbanville. This wine had good citrus and fresh acidic tones.

The Creative Block 3 2010 (R115) is 80% Shiraz, 17% Mouvedre, and 3% Viognier. It had a nice deep fruity/berry flavour, smooth, easy drinking, light on the palate, and strong on the nose.

Creative Block 8 2010 had an awesome nose! I loved the taste also. It was very fruity but a little dry. It is a blend of 8 varietals which included Pinoatge, Cab Sauv, Shiraz, Merlot, Malbec, Mouvedre, Barbera and Viognier. It is a fair trade wine. This wine was made for the Chinese market. There is some left which you can buy only at the tasting room. I highly recommend you get your hands on this wine. It is very nice.

As you can see they have a nice range of wine and also price range!!

What I appreciated about visiting Spier is that I learnt there is so much more to this estate than just the wine. There were tiles hanging on one of the walls in the tasting room each with a different piece of art. They have an art project called the Spier Arts Academy to support upcoming SA artists. They sell the tiles in the tasting room for R1200 each to support the artists. The Creative Block wine was named after this Art project.

There is a 4 star hotel on the estate, a restaurant called Eight and a deli which serves picnics called Eight To Go. This wine estate practises sustainable farming and they have gone one step further by rearing their own sheep and chickens. In the restaurant they serve the eggs, chicken and lamb from the farm. Apparently they try to use natural and organic ingredients from their farm or from nearby farms whenever possible. I like this farm to fork approach they apply here.

I visited this estate on two other occasions in the past two years. Once was to do a tasting but it was closed, so instead we went to the bird sanctuary and got to hold owls, that was awesome!! The other occasion was for a friends birthday. We had dinner at Moyo, the restaurant is on the estate, and had our meal in a tree house. This restaurant has a very cool vibe and atmosphere.

I recommend one visits Spier. There are plenty of things to do on the estate, like having a picnic, holding an owl, tasting some wine, eating at the restaurant plus much more.

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