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, 24 June 2013

Welmoed - Stellenbosch Vineyards

Lots of wine brands are on offer here under one roof. Great service, informative tasting and a nice experience. They have a restaurant also.

I have been driving past this estate everyday for the past 8 months on my way to and from work. Today I had a day off so I decided to pop in for a tasting.

I had no idea that Welmoed/Stellenbosch Vineyards have many different brands under one roof and that there is so much to taste. For those of you who have been following my blog, you will have noticed I struggle to choose when there is such an extensive list!!

The service here was very good. The person who served me was Cobus. He was very friendly, informative and made me feel very welcome here. They have heaps of wines to try and from several different brands: Credo, Welmoed, Kumkani, Arniston Bay, and Versus. With such a selection, it makes it very hard to decide what to taste. If I remember correctly a tasting is free here and you can pretty much taste as much as you like.

They have a big tasting room, a nice fireplace and they have a restaurant also. The wine is very reasonably priced, from as low as R25 a bottle for the Versus and Arniston Bay wine to R145 a bottle for the Credo Shiraz.

I recommend visiting this estate if you are out this way. It was a good experience I had here. Out of all the wine I tasted, the Credo wines were my favourite.

Wine tasting notes:
Credo Chenin Blanc 2010 (R100 a bottle) Spent 28 months in French oak, of which 80% was in new oak barrels. 14.5% alcohol. Wow, I really liked this wine. It was fruity, yet had butterscotch flavours. It was smooth, round, medium – full bodied. I liked this wine and bought a bottle.

Credo Chardonnay 2012 (R100 a bottle). 8 months in barrels. Interesting on the nose, hints of ginger and pear. It had an interesting taste also. I think it’s more a food wine. Has all the flavours of buttered toast, citrus, treacle, toffee, melon and a hint of ginger as described in the tasting notes. It is smooth on the palate and unique. I liked this wine and bought a bottle.

Credo Shiraz 2010 (R145 a bottle) is fruity on the nose, has dark fruit flavours, grippy tannins, bold, med-heavy body wine. It was nice.

Credo Shiraz, Merlot, Viognier 2010 (R100 a bottle). Has dark fruity flavours, is a little dry, medium body, serious red wine, slight tobacco on the nose. This wine is smooth and rounded. Little spicy on the palate with a spicy finish.

Welmoed Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (R38 a bottle) has an awesome pungent tropical fruity nose, very fresh, fantastic flavour, smooth, not too acidic. I liked this wine – purchased a bottle.

Welmoed Viognier 2012 (R38 a bottle) was fresh, crisp, slight peach aroma, slight acidity on nose and palate. I liked this wine.

Welmoed Shiraz 2011 (R38 a bottle) has dark chocolate and berry aromas, hints of ripe berries, fruity, soft, not spicy, light wine. Matured in steel tanks with staves.

Welmoed Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (R38 a bottle) was a little green, little dry, was ok.

Welmoed Red 2008 (R48 a bottle) was a blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cab Franc and I didn’t like it. It was a little dry, light – medium bodied, the flavours were not right/not balanced, slight tones of dried apricots. I didn’t like this one.

Kumkani Single Vineyard Range Cradle Hill Cabernet Sauvignon (R89 a bottle) spent 22 months in French oak, I could smell pine needles on the nose, was a little dry, ok.

From the Arniston Bay range I tried the Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (R35 a bottle) which I didn’t like. I thought it was a little fizzy, fresh and crisp.

They will have a MCC from August at only R79 a bottle. I think it will be worth while going back to try that.

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