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, 30 November 2013


Today we went to Thelema for a wine tasting as we have tasted their wine at several wine festivals recently and each time I was really impressed by their wine. I therefore thought it was time to finally taste the entire range.

A tasting costs R25 and is waived on purchasing wine. The service was friendly at Thelema, there were three staff members on at the time, which was ideal for the amount of customers they had. There wasn't a moment that we felt like we were not being looked after.

The view from the tasting room is absolutely stunning!!

I recommend visiting this wine estate. It was a nice experience, they have great wine and a fantastic view!! If you are looking for a place to eat lunch before or after Thelema then I recommend Tokara Deli (the wine estate next door to Thelema) which has modern decor, pleasant experience, good service and very reasonably priced food. If you are looking for fine dining food then I recommend Delaire Graff or IndoChine (both at Delaire Graff Wine Estate across the road from Thelema and Tokara).

Here are a few photos from the lunch we had at Tokara Deli, we would definitely eat here again:

This wine area is absolutely a fantastic choice if you only have one day to visit wineries. I would definitely suggest visiting Tokara, Thelema and Delaire if you visit this area.

My tasting notes on the Thelema wines:

Thelema Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (R75) was very lovely. It had a nice tropical fruity aroma. It had a round mouth feeling. Quite a sharp/fresh taste, tropical fruity flavours and a nice long finish. I liked this wine.

Sutherland Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (R70) was nice on the palate. More melon and grapefruit taste. Was pleasant, balanced and smooth. I liked this wine.

Sutherland Viognier/Roussanne 2010 (R90) the Viognier is quite prominant on the flavour, smell and feeling on the palate (round-mouth feel). The Roussanne adds an interesting taste and makes this wine overall interesting. Lovely long finish (stone fruit flavour dominates). I didn't like this wine.

Sutherland Chardonnay 2011 (R90) had quite a fresh taste on the palate and finish. Relatively light, doesn't seem very wood influenced. Too fresh a Chardonnay for my liking, its too light. It's nice but I thought this wine was ok.

Thelema Chardonnay 2012 (R110) huge difference between these two Chardonnays. More body and creaminess. Lovely flavour, feeling and finish. Stone fruit flavour dominates on the finish. I liked this wine.

Ed's Reserve Chardonnay 2012 (R110) more floral and spicy. Nice round mouth feel and smooth. Some taste comes through which I don't get; almost a mix of lime and stone fruits.

Sutherland' Shiraz Grenache Rose 2013 (R60) easy drinking rose. Off day. Pleasant. ok.

Sutherland Riesling 2011 (R65) quite  afresh/lime taste. Not so keen on this wine.

Thelema Riesling 2011 (R65) nice body and round mouth feel. I liked this wine. It was a little sweet on the side. Probably ideal with spicy food.

Thelema Muscat de Frontignan 2013 (R55) lighter than the Riesling. Sweet on the nose. Little sweet with a little citrus/acidity on the palate. This wine was ok.

Sutherland Pinot Noir 2012 (R110) had a lovely colour (deeper colour to other PN's). Nice fruit driven flavour. Very pleasant. Not too easy drinking. It was perfect, I liked it.

Sutherland Syrah 2009 (R100) smooth but spicy. Fruity. It was ok.

Thelema Shiraz 2010 (R130) Smooth, deep red fruit aroma. Medium body. Little dry. Prefer to the Sutherland. Was ok/nice.

Sutherland Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot 2009 (R100) Very intense and interesting nose. Also interesting on the palate. Almost fynbos characteristics? It was ok.

Thelema Merlot 2010 (R130) was very smooth, very fruit driven, medium in body, is a serious (ish) Merlot. I liked it.

Thelema Rabelais 2008 (R350) was smooth, fruity, had big flavours, medium body. Was nice. Received 5 stars with Platters.

Rhine Riesling Late Harvest 2009 (R75 for a 375ml bottle) was lovely on the nose, smooth, light-medium body, lovely fruitiness, I liked it, it was pleasant.

Overall I think the Thelema wines are great. I'm sure everyone in a group can find something they like here. My favourites were the Thelema Riesling and Rhine Riesling Late Harvest, which I bought a few bottles of.

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