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.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Dornier - Wine Club

Today it was Dorniers turn to host the Valley Wine Club tasting. Dornier is a beautiful wine estate!! The views are just spectacular. Check out the location, the buildings and the views:

The view from the tasting room:

The restaurant Bodego is beside the tasting room in an old dutch building:

The tasting room is a nice size and with homely decor:


Louise Starey hosted tonights tasting at Dornier. Louise has such a great knowledge on wine and is an asset and ambassador to Dornier. She welcomed us at the door, we were promptly given a glass of wine on arrival while we waited for everyone to arrive. She was the one to point out to everyone that the sun was setting, so we all went outside to take photos and admire the view. Louise is building a nice relationship with the new female winemaker at Dornier, so she is able to tell stories about what is happening in the cellar and it shows her true interest in wine. It is awesome to see that someone who is passionate and informative about wine is at the tasting room at Dornier. If you are looking for a nice place to enjoy a meal, soak up beautiful views and recieve an informative tasting on good quality wine then Dornier is the place for you.

We started the evening off with a tasting of their Cocoa Hill Chenin Blanc (R48 a bottle). This had a fruity nose, was medium body, smooth, fruity - more so that of stone fruits, it was acidic. This wine was ok but I didn't really like it.

Cocoa Hill Sauvignon Blanc (R63 a bottle) had a tropical fruity nose, was light, fresh, crisp, off dry, it had hints of guava and gooseberries, it was nice and I liked it.

Cocoa Hill Rose 2013 is made from 100% Merlot (R48 a bottle). It was pressed on the skins only so had a beautiful light salmon colour. It was off dry, had lovely flavour - that of peaches and cream on the palate, nice finish, it had a peach and strawberry aftertaste. I was really impressed by this wine so bought a few bottles. Such good value for money!!!

Cocoa Hill Red 2010 (R63 a bottle) is a blend of 60% Merlot, 30% Shiraz and 10% Cabernet Franc. It had nice dark berry fruits on the nose and same on the palate. It was pleasant, smooth and fruity.

From the Dornier Range we tasted the following:
Dornier Merlot 2007 (R94 a bottle) had slight green pepper (capsicum) on the nose, is a little spicy, medium body, smooth, fine tannins/little powdery and had a thorny finish. It's nice but I don't like it and wouldn't buy it.

Dornier Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (R94 a bottle) is a little spicy, little dry, light-medium body, I like it!!

Dornier Pinotage 2011 (R94 a bottle) is very nice. It is slightly spicy, has lovely dark fruity flavours, nice body (light - medium), is a little dry, I really liked this wine!!!

Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot (R94 a bottle) is 50% Cabernet and 50% Merlot. It has slight pepper/capsicum aromas, medium body, a little dry, I am undecided if I like this wine.

From the Dornier Donatus Range we tasted:
Dornier Donatus White 2011 (R153 a bottle) which is a blend of 85% Chenin Blanc and 15% Semillon. It has an unusual smell, something along the lines of orange peel or zest. It was smooth on the palate and had a lovely finish. Only 2000-3000 bottles are produced of this wine. I found it more of a food wine. It had medium body, is lightly wooded, it was recommended that this wine be served with pork belly, gorgonzolla cheese or seafood. I thought this wine was nice, I liked it.

Dornier Donatus Red was a heavier red, dry and fruity. It is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec and 8% Cabernet Franc. It spent 16 months in barrels of which 50% was new oak.

My favourites of the evening were the Dornier Pinotage, Dornier Cabernet Sauvignon, Cocoa Hill SB and Cocoa Hill Rose.

I definitely would recommed you visit this estate if in and around Stellenbosch. As mentioned the views are spectacular, the service is very good and they have a lovely restaurant on the estate also. If you can come in the evening to catch the sunset it is well worth it:

We all thoroughly enjoyed the wine tasting experience at Dornier:

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