Heather and I enjoy taking a few days off each month to go out and experience the beautiful winelands that the Cape Province has been blessed with. We are always amazed to find little hidden gems out there. Here is a little write up and some images from our recent trip to the Robertson valley wine region.
Nuy On The Hill
Our first stop on our trip was the tasting room/restaurant at Nuy on the Hill. Located near Worcester, with beautiful views of the Matroosberg Mountains. it was opened in December 2015. It has rustic feel with open-plan, high-ceiling interiors with a patio overlooking the vineyards. The restaurant offers wine tasting and paring, full menu and Deli. It is child friendly with playground and playroom. Nuy on Hill has a variety of different foods on their menu, ranging from tapas, wood-fired pizzas, hamburgers and steaks, to a selection of Banting dishes and desserts.The wines are affordable and there is a large variety. Nuy Wine Cellar is well known for their top Muscat wines and with all the honours received over the passing years, they have proven time and again why they deserve this title. We purchased a bottle of the red Muscadel to enjoy on a cold evening with some good friends.
Zandvliet Wine Estate
Zandvliet Wine Estate is located on the outskirts of the Robertson Valley Wine Route, it runs along the Cogmans River, with the great Langeberg Mountains in the distance. It is one of the very first wineries in the country to bottle Shiraz. The story of Zandvliet is all about Shiraz and extends back to the first plantings during the 1870’s. We were treated to a wonderful tasting in their beautiful tasting room. They say, when in Rome, do like the Romans so our favorite wine here was the Shiraz. Mouth and nose with notes of plums, blackcurrants and pepper with hints of dark chocolate, mixed spice and wonderful concentrated fruits.
Excelsior Wine Estate
Just along the road from Zandvliet we arrived at Excelsior. We had visited this estate before a few years ago. The wines are great, but it is the Blend, Bottle and Label experience that you must try. The estate produces several full-bodied, fruity whites and lush, supple reds, and gives tribute to its horse-breeding origins with an equine-themed label. We blended a wine made up of 60 % Shiraz, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. This was a gift for our son Matthew who is looking after our house and cats while we are away.
De Wetshof Wine Estate
The main reason for this trip was a visit to De Wetshof wine estate. The vineyard hotel is hosting a food and wine pairing next month and we needed so image for the pre drinks slide show. We were met by Heinrich, the sommelier/tasting room PR gentleman. He very kindly took us through the current vintages from the estate. This is a very elegant tasting room and if you haven’t been out to visit yet you must add this estate to your bucket list. We came away with a case of their Finesse, a stunning Chardonnay.
Esona Boutique Wines
Another memorable farm. A boutique estate as they only make a certain amount of wines. Quality versus quantity and quality won at this estate. We were very lucky to taste the 2010 to 2016 vertical of their Chardonnay. We were not disappointed. As they were poured they just got better. We decided together that the 2012 was the winner on the day. We had lunch here and enjoyed the views that the surrounding vineyards provided. Thank you to Daneen for taking such special care of us during our visit. This is a young lady who knows her wines. We enjoyed their Chardonnay so much that we bought the vertical 2010 to 2016.
Arabella Wine Estate
We arrived at Arabella wine estate early on the third day. It was still crisp and chilly and the first pour of their Pinotage went down very well. They have a wonderful range of wines at this estate. They are also known for breeding horses. Thank you to Simone for taking care of us. I am sure that this tasting room could get quite busy, but we were very grateful to have it all to ourselves. As mentioned earlier we enjoyed the Pinotage.
Springfield Wine Estate
I am not going to say that one estate was better of more memorable, but one of them that stood out was Springfield. They make some yummy wines here and the staff are just so accommodating. The tasting room is plain and relaxed, but it leads out to a patio with chairs and umbrellas which look over a beautiful lake. This is a place that I could quite easily spend some special time at. Alett, you have a wonderful way with people, and your knowledge of wines is admirable, you are a credit to the estate. Looking forward to seeing you again. The wine which stood out for us was the Wild Yeast Chardonnay. Complex, pineapples and pears, crisp acidity and a wonderful finish.
Bon Courage has just been awarded a Pinotage top 10 award and they are tickled pink about it. Trish very kindly took us through the tasting. They have some special wines and to us their Shiraz stood out. They also have a tasty little Noble Late Harvest, a bottle of which we gladly bought for the cellar at home.
Any trip to Robertson is not the same without a visit to the Klipdrift distillery. They always has a special arrival drink. This time was no different. The Klipdrift Ngqo has been created by the master brandy blenders at the distillery. They used their expertise to balance the smooth boldness of brandy with fruity flavors of citrus, apple and a hint of ginger. It is available in 440ml cans, it is gold in colour, with a little fizz and a slightly creamy head when poured. Ngqo is a Zulu word that means “hits the spot” and it certainly does just that.