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.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Bellevue Wine Estate - Second visit

I just love the wine here, so I went for a second tasting to get some more stock.

Unlabelled Chenin Blanc 2012 was very fruity, nicely balanced, slight underipe fruit flavours on the finish, but pleasant. This sells for only R20 a bottle.

Under their premium collection I tried the Morkel Pinotage 2010 (R95). It was smooth, fruity, very pleasant. It had nice medium body, lovely dark fruity flavour. I liked this wine.

Morkel Atticus 2010 is a Cape Blend (R95). Wow!! Gorgeous aroma and taste. Stunning. Very ripe fruit flavours. Nicely balanced and integrated!!

Morkel Malbec 2010 (R95) had wild berry and spice aroma and taste. It was soft, had a very unique aroma, it was lovely.

Under the Super Premium range I tried the PK Morkel Tumara 2006 (R125) it had grippy tannins, medium - full body. Quite fruity. It was a little dry on the finish. It was a serious red.

I am a big fan of their wine. The experience is quite nice also as it is traditional and rustic. This place is worth visiting.

Saturday, 15 March 2014


I have driven past this winery so many times on my way to and from work and today I had a bit of time so dropped in to taste the wine.

(All the photos used on this page are from the website as I cannot find my photos that I took).

I was the only one there at the time of visiting which was nice as I got a very informative tasting from the guy that was working that day.

I tasted the Shiraz 2009 at R150 a bottle which was soft, smooth and a little spicy. I liked this wine.

The Shiraz 2003 at R250 a bottle was soft, medium bodied, was nicely aged, round mouth feeling, little spicy. I personally felt it was past its prime drinking time however.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 at R190 a bottle had a nice tobacco nose, was soft and smooth on the palate, a little spicy and had a lingering finish. It was quite a serious wine so I suggest drinking this with food or aging longer.

Merlot 2009 at R140 a bottle had a lovely nose, was smooth, had an elegant body, with rich berry flavours and fine tannins. I thought this was a good wine until I got to the finish. I didn't like the finish as it was a little dry and I didn't agree with the mocha flavours that came through on the finish.

Pinotage 2009 at R120 a bottle was soft, light, medium body, a bit green, savoury, and marmite tones. I didn't like this.

Methode Cap Classique at R180 a bottle had nice biscuit/yeasty characters, was creamy, nice, had hints of honey and nuts on the palate, with a tropical fruity and dry finish.

Chardonnay 2012 at R100 a bottle had light oak on the nose, a lovely oak, nut and fruity flavour, was soft. I thought this wine was lovely.

Out of all these wines I bought a bottle of the Shiraz 2009 and Chardonnay 2012.

To be honest, I wouldn't go out of my way to visit this winery. If you are driving past and have some time to spare then why not. Even though the service was very good, and the wine tasting experience was fine, the overall experience didn't impress me.

Saturday, 1 March 2014


Some friends and I visited a few wineries in Franschhoek today and this one really impressed me.

We had a look around the place before sitting down for a wine tasting. There is a tasting room and restaurant here.

I was impressed by the length of the long tables outside on the grass and the lovely setting here. The place was quite busy, so it looks like another place which you will be better off booking in advance.

Inside at the tasting room you can enjoy a wine tasting or a wine and food pairing. We all chose to do the latter at R50 pp. The pairing was very nicely done and was truly the best one I have had so far.

We tasted the Maison Chenin Blanc Reserve 2012 at R150 a bottle. This was ok, but it didn't jump out at me. It was a little bit watery, yet fruity. It seemed to lack character that you would get from older vines.

Maison Blanc de Noir at R110 a bottle, was a very pleasant dry wine with lovely fruity flavours and a long finish. It went very nicely with the sweet truffle.

Maison Shiraz 2011 at R140 a bottle, was beautiful on the nose, had stunning spicy and berry flavours, was smooth, light - medium bodied, I liked this wine.

The lady serving us happened to have a bottle of the Shiraz 2010 open and gave us a taste which was very nice of her. This one had heavier berry tones to the 2011, it had more tobacco leaves and leather tones. It was dryer than the 2011.

Maison Viognier 2013 at R180 a bottle isn't usually opened for tastings, but the lady serving us was very kind and gave us a tasting of this wine. It was smooth and silky, had nice soft fruity aromas and taste. It had subtle stone fruit flavours.

Maison Chardonnay 2012 at R120 a bottle, I was not a fan of. It was a little tart, was light in body and again seemed to lack character in comparison to wines from older vines.

Maison Cape Ruby Port at R150 a bottle was stunning. It had very nice fruity flavours. I love the colour of this wine also!

Maison Straw Wine at R180 a bottle was lovely. It was not too syrupy, not too sweet, it was just right. It went nicely with the gorgonzola/blue cheese.

I finished the tasting with a cup of coffee and I have to say it was excellent. If you don't feel like a wine tasting here, then be sure to enjoy a cup of coffee.

I highly recommend visiting this winery. The service was good, the staf were polite, the food and wine pairing was well prepared and the overall experience was very pleasant.


Today we went to Franschhoek to visit a few wineries. We started at Chamonix as I had tasted a couple of their wines recently at a few wine events which I really liked and decided to therefore go and try the whole range.

The place is very nice and has a nice charming feeling to it.

On arriving at the tasting room we were told it costs R30 to taste the non-reserve wines and R50 to taste the reserve wines.

We sat outside to enjoy our tasting. Between the three of us, we were able to taste all the wines as we chose to do 2 reserve tastings and 1 non-reserve tasting.

MCC 2007 (R155) was stunning. It tasted wooded. It had typical Chardonnay characteristics. Lingering finish. Loved it!!

Chardonnay Unoaked (R70) was nice and fresh.

Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (R70) was green, grassy, pepper and asparagus notes on the nose and palate. Fresh and acidic.

Chardonnay 2012 (R125) soft, round, fresh, lovely. I liked this wine.

Rouge 2011 (R48) was ok.

Reserve White 2012 (R145) dry and sour. Went well with the olives. Bitter finish though. I didn't like this wine.

Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2009 (R145) smelled wooded, it was smooth, with a lingering biscuit and yeast finish. Low acidity, but comes through on the finish.

Chardonnay Reserve 2012 (R230) was smooth, creamy, oak on the nose, lovely flavour, light on the palate but with nice body. I liked this wine.

Pinot Noir Reserve 2012 (R250) dark cherry colour, sour, soft and light, not dry. I didn't like this wine.

Troika 2011 (R200) had a beautiful Cab Franc smell, light-med body, little dry.

My favourites were the MCC, Chardonnay, Chardonnay Reserve and Troika.

They have a nice restaurant out the back which has a nice quiet and hidden feeling to it. I would like to eat here next time I am out this way. It looks like a nice place to spend the whole afternoon drinking, eating and catching up with friends!!

Overall I liked the experience here. Unfortunately I just didn't seem to like the majority of their wines. I think it is worth visiting though.