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, 24 March 2015


I was out this way for work and had 30 minutes to spare, so I decided to stop off at Wildekraans. This winery is on route from Cape Town to Hermanus and about 2-5 minutes drive off the highway (once you have turned off from the N2 towards Hermanus). If you are heading on the N2 from Cape Town to Swellendam then you turn off the highway towards Hermanus and not even five minutes later you turn off for Wildekrans. It really isn't much of a detour, if you need to get back on the N2, which is nice.

It is a nice estate, and the vineyards look well kept.They look like they are sitting on some relatively rocky soil? Yet it looked like the vineyards were on the less interesting/rocky soil areas.

I was welcomed by a lady at the tasting room. It was a quite a good size room and I saw they have outdoor seating as well, so I imagine one can enjoy a tasting inside or outside.

The lady serving me did a great job in providing an informative tasting. You could tell she had been working for the company for a while, she was confident and could speak well about each wine. My overall experience was very good. 

The first vintage produced here was 1992/1993 and the winemaker is William Walkenson.

I tasted the following wines:

Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014 at R52 a bottle.
It lacked aromatics on the nose, had a fresh tropical flavour on the palate, was a little floral, and had a flour mouth-feel on the finish.

Estate Chenin Blanc 2014 at R52 a bottle
Again not much on the nose, had lovely balance between fruit and acidity.

Premium Range Sauvignon Blanc Barrel Select Reserve 2011 at R115 a bottle
This wine was matured for 3 months in all new oak barrels. It lacked again on the nose, had a nice mouth-feel on the palate, soft fruit flavours coming through, very light flavour though. Slight acidity on the finish. Good lingering finish with freshness and acidity.

Premium Chenin Blanc Barrel Select Reserve 2013 (flagship white) at R170 a bottle.
This wine was matured in new oak barrels for 12-15 months. Good flavour on the palate, lovely honey tones, oak compliments with slight nuttiness. The lady informed me that there are honey bush planted between the vines which has an impact on the flavour of the wine. This wine had some sharp/fresh flavours and a little bit of acidity on the finish, as well as a nice lingering finish. There is minerality on the mid palate and finish.

Estate Range Cabernet Franc/Merlot 2012 at R75 a bottle.
This wine spent 12-15 months in 2nd and 3rd fill french oak barrels. It had an interesting nose with hints of cigar and fynbos. It was nice and soft on the palate, light - medium weight, a little dry on the finish. Earthy tones and fruit on the palate. It is a nice blend. Aging potential 7 years. Drink before 2019.

Estate Range Pinotage at R77 a bottle.
Interesting/unusual aroma. It felt like it was the alcohol hitting me, but it was only around 14%. it was a little dry on the palate, sharp on the finish. I wasn't a fan.

Premium Range Cape Blend Barrel Select Reserve 2012 at R175 a bottle.
Spent 18 - 24 months in new french oak barrels. It is a blend of Pinotage, Shiraz and Cab Sauv. Lovely and soft, good flavour with fruit, spiciness and earthiness. Medium body and a little dry on the finish.

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