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.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Durbanville Hills - lunch

We decided to meet my boyfriend's parents for lunch today. I had heard that the chef had changed since we last dined at Durbanville Hills, so I booked us a table to check it out.

The place was busy. In fact, all of the Durbanville Wine Route was busy, which was awesome to see. I am pleased that everyone is catching on to the fine cuisine, views and experiences one can enjoy in the Northern Suburbs and without having to head in to Cape Town or out to Stellenbosch.

The restaurant has a lovely modern, fresh and open feeling to it. The service was fine but it could have been better. I remember we couldn't find our waiter to order drinks on one occasion and then again when we wanted to order our food, for example.

All of the food we ordered was nice, but nothing wowed me to be honest. I would eat here again, especially as it is convenient for those of us living in the Northern Suburbs, but I wouldn't come out of my way to dine here if you are a tourist with limited days to enjoy the fine cuisine on offer in the Cape. As you can see in my photos below, the presentation is good and the meals look interesting, but the flavours just lacked and didn't leave me wanting more. If you look at the prices, you can see that it is good value for money however.

Chicken Galantine R110
Potato gratin,bacon, red wine and pearl onion sauce

Braised pork belly R65 (starter)
Pickled cabbage, jus.

Twice-baked butternut and cumin souffle R50 (starter)

Chocolate lava pudding, white chocolate and pistachio fudge and a tot of Van Ryns 12 year old brandy R65
Spiced Orange Creme Caramel, peach and apricot brunoise R60

After lunch we went down to the tasting room as I wanted to taste some wines but unfortunately we missed the cut off point. I was a bit gutted as I really had hoped to taste the wines and didn't expect for them to close before we finished our lunch. However, the lady who I spoke to was very kind and suggested I could taste three wines (for free - very kind of her) at the counter, this suited me perfect and I was really grateful for this suggestion! I tasted the Durbanville Hills Sauvignon Blanc at R50 a bottle, the Chardonnay at R50 a bottle and Rhinofields Sauvignon Blanc at R90 a bottle. I didn't make many tasting notes on these wines so haven't written them here.

Durbanville Hills has a nice "package" going on here. They offer various wine tastings which include:
Crystal Tasting: A selection of eight wines including a souvenir crystal glass. Price : R45.00
Chocolate and Wine Pairing: Selection of five wines paired with five artisan chocolates. Price : R65.00
Biltong and wine Pairing: Selection of five wines paired with five types of biltong. Price : R80.00
Rhinofields Food and Wine Experience: Our six Rhinofields Reserve wines, expertly paired with a variety of dishes such as chilled tomato soup and crème brulee. Price: R120 Duration: 75 minutes Booking is advised for this pairing.

As you can see they have something for everyone. They have outdoor and indoor seating. They offer picnics which you can enjoy under the trees, and inside you can enjoy a platter of cheese, meats and breads while doing a wine tasting. They really do cater for everyone.

They are open Monday to Wednesday 9am to 4.30pm, Thursday and Friday 9am - 6pm, Saturday 10am - 4pm and Sunday 10am - 4pm.

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