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, 19 October 2013

Sadie Family Vineyards

Eben Sadie is not one to do things the "normal" way. His winery for a start off is not open to the public for tastings and sales. Instead, when he has time in his calendar between checking his vineyards, making the wine and surfing, he will notify those on his mailing list that he will be doing a tasting on xyz date. It is then first in first served to call to book a spot on this one off tasting.

I have found Eben an interesting guy to meet and listen to on both occassions. He talks a lot and one is warned of this before the tasting. After the first time, I was more prepared for the second time of standing around for 2.5 hours before spending 30 minutes tasting the wine with him.

As many of you would know, Eben is making premium wine here in SA and at some high prices. I guess that might have played a part in why he was selling more of his wine overseas before anyone locally even knew about him or were willing to pay for a bottle. He had to become famous first overseas before those living in SA took notice of his wine.

It is interesting to see that Eben is going away from using oak barrels to make his wine. When we visited this time around, he had all of 9 barrels left. A cellar tour is always interesting with Eben and entertaining, therefore I do recommend joining their mailing list to be invited to the next tasting.

Comments I made on the wines:
Skerpioen 2012 is a blend of Palomino (a Spanish varietal) and Chenin Blanc. It was fresh, acidic, balanced, had minerality, and a lingering finish. It had a fresh aroma. Strong fruit flavours which I couldn't define. Eben mentioned that this wine will be good with osyters and has 8 years aging potential.

Skurfberg 2012 is 100% Chenin Blanc. It has subtle fruit flavours, is nicely balanced, has nice body, and a lovely lingering finish. Full-mouth feel and minerality on the palate. I liked this wine.

Palladius 2012 -  the grapes for this wine are sourced from thirteen vineyards and it is made up of ten different grape varietals. We therefore weren't told all the varietals used, I guess it would be a bit of a mouthful. This wine had an oily aroma, was aromatic and floral. It was smooth, had a sharp flavour, was slightly tart, had a long finish. I have noted that it starts sharp and finishes oily. The sharp taste reminded me of fruit which is picked too early and therefore hasn't ripened yet, it reminds me of lime too!! Having said all this, it is a nice wine and maybe decantering or aging this wine would do it more justice.

Pofadder 2012 is made of Cinsault. It is 13.8% alcohol. It smelled quite high in alcohol and also smelled a bit like marzepan. I loved the colour of this wine, it had a beautiful black berry nose, light body, and was a little dry. Again I found this wine to have sharp flavours but not as much as the Palladius. Overall this wine was nice and had lovely flavours.

Soldaat 2012 grapes come from Piekenierskloof and is 100% Grenache Noir. This wine had a unique fynbos smell, with a bit of capsicum (bell peppers) on the nose also. It had a very strong smell. The wine had a lovely texture on the palate, it was a little dry, yet smooth, light-medium body. Again I found this wine had some sort of strange sharp, almost bitter, taste. The closest thing I could describe it to is cranberries. It had an unusual taste and it is an interesting wine. Perhaps this wine would be better if served with food. It was fruity with a slight bitterness.

Columella 2011 had a beautiful nose. This wine had lovely berry aromas, lovely flavour, had layers, was balanced and yet complex. It was a little dry. Probably better served with food. I liked this wine.

Out of all these wines, the ones I asterixed were the Skurfberg 2012, Pofadder 2012 and Columella 2011.

Eben Sadie is an interesting character and the experience is very different at this winery to any other. I therefore do recommend one visits this winery when they are open for tastings. Just be warned, you cannot buy wine at the winery, so if you see it at a shop, buy it there. Oh, and allow three hours for these wine cellar tours and wine tastings.

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