A Good Year

A Good Year: September 2013

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

TSIBA Trail Run - Hartenberg Estate, Stellenbosch

With summer slowly starting to show its face, we no longer have the grey gloom as an excuse not to get out of bed for a trail run or breakfast on a beautiful wine estate.

So, this weekend is another TSIBA trail run at Hartenberg Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, hopefully we'll see you there.  If not for the run then for some wine tasting afterwards.

See all the details below:


Directions to Hartenberg:
From the N1, take the R304 turnoff towards Klipheuwel / Stellenbosch
Turn right, under the bridge
Turn right onto Bottelary Road and look out for signs to the farm. 

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Monday, 23 September 2013

Wine and Holidays

I hope you're enjoying the long weekend... and if you are at work today - at least you know, tomorrow is a holiday!
For South Africans tomorrow is Heritage Day, more commonly known as National Braai Day, so people across the country will be coming together to enjoy some good wholesome homegrown specialties on the coals (wood if you are serious about braaiing) and a relaxing holiday with family and friends.

Canola Fields of the Western Cape
Kleinmond, Western Cape
This weekend was an awesome time with friends in Kleinmond, braaiing for just about every meal - ribs, chicken, steaks, you name it.  Between the group we managed to produce some great wines to  with our delicious meals.  Beyerskloof Pinotage a perfect match for a relaxed Sunday evening, with its easy drinking, always enjoyable full fruit flavours.
The Hidden Valley Hidden Secrets and Mischa Wine Estate Cabernet Sauvignon followed on from one another complimenting the ribs, braai broodjies and salad.  Lovely spice in the Hidden Secret coming through from the Shiraz and softened by the Tannat and Mouvedre.  The smooth sophistication and well rounded black cherry, nutmeg flavours of the Mischa Cab Sav were thoroughly enjoyed by the whole table.
And of course, what would the weekend be without some bubbles from JC Le Roux, La Vallée (the gold bottle) for the girls while enjoying a leisurely game of boules on the lawn.  It tastes like apple juice with the soft bubbles creating the dry finish.... delicious!

This past Friday night was also the 2013 Perold ABSA Cape Blend Top 10.
The Cape Blend is in fact still a relatively new blend, the requirements being a that minimum of 30% and maximum of 70% of this red wine blend needs to be our indigenous red wine cultivar Pinotage.
The top ten winners are listed below:
Top 5:
Anura LB Cape Blend 2012
Clos Malverne Spirit of Malverne 2011
KWV Abraham Perold Tributum 2011
Sumaridge Epitome 2009
Viljoensdrift River Grandeur Cape Blend 2011

Runner's Up:
Flagstone Dragon Tree 2011
Namaqua Cellar Door Pinotage/Malbec 2011
Warwick Three Cape Ladies 2011
Welbedacht Hat Trick 2010
Windmeul Cape Blend 2012

I am glad to say we have at least two of those currently on our rack and will be enjoying them with our Heritage day celebrations.  So, why not get yourself a proudly South African Cape Blend to celebrate this Heritage day or even an easy drinking Pinotage.  If the sun comes out and the weather is fine, perhaps you would prefer a white to welcome the back the summer... try a dry pinotage rosé, or a crisp peachy Chenin Blanc (Beyerskloof Chenin Pinotage), there are loads of great South African wines to choose from.

What are you drinking this Heritage day?

Franschhoek Valley from the top of the Pass   

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Friday, 20 September 2013

Val de Vie - Wine, Polo & Housing Estate & Sunday Market


Sunday was grey and rainy, so the pictures are not great, but Val de Vie really is a beautiful setting, I will have to post more pictures when we hit the market next time.
With Summer supposedly on the way the market opened up again yesterday and is held every second Sunday of the month.  They also have an awesome Pongraz and chocolate tasting you can do on market days - we left that for next time.

The market is great, its small enough to not be overwhelming with too much choice and competition, but the quality of the stalls is very impressive - the food stalls are amazing!!  If you have little people they also have a heap of activities to keep them busy.

Given the rain, there were surprisingly quite a few people who had made the effort to get out to the market.  We'll definitely be back at the next one, hopefully outside on the lawn with a Polo game in the background... as you do.

The wine tasting is at the restaurant overlooking the Polo fields.  The setting is pretty spectacular in the Drakenstein Valley at the foot of the mountains over looking beautifully groomed Polo fields.  There were no matches or horses out the day we popped in.  The restaurant and bar area are very stylishly decorated and you can sit anywhere to do a wine tasting (well we did anyway).

It also must be said, since enjoying different tasting glasses at different farms, the small tasting glasses that you often find (and today at Val de Vie), really don't do much justice to the wines.  They don't open up the aromas and flavours and sometimes give you a completely different impression on the wine.

I think Val de Vie is better known as a Housing Estate than a wine farm.  We actually did not see any vineyards, come to think of it.  But their wines are well worth a try, most of them quite easy drinking.  Even the TRH commented saying, "none of the reds are heavy or tanniny they are all quite easy drinking".  They are not too badly priced either.

A few wine notes below...

With a slight bit of Turkish delight on the nose, this Rose is more of an off-dry Rose, not too sweet, not too dry.  It is quite refreshing, but a little sour with a more grapefruit flavour.  It has a slight tongue cluck on the finish, but if you enjoy your more tart, grapefruit flavours then this is a great summer wine.

As per the TRH, because the vineyard area on the Estate is quite small, the Chenin Blanc grapes are actually brought in from Hermanus where there is more of a sea-breeze and "minerals in the ground" influenceIt is quite crisp, but also quite tart and slightly vinegary, not particularly smooth.  We gave it a 5 out 10.  

Again these grapes are sourced from elsewhere.  The wine maker worked together with Groote Post and used grapes from the Darling area.  Although the Chenin notes mention guava, we actually thought this Sav B had very strong guava aromas and flavours.  The aromas on the nose are lovely and fresh.  I could definitely taste the acidity mentioned in the notes, with a slightly sour finish.  It is a good Sav B.

Val de Vie GVC 2008 (50% Grenache Blanc, 30% Viognier, 20% Clariette Blanche) 
This is a white blend (I have never heard of the Clariette).  According to our TRH, these are all Rhone, France varietals which suit the climate of the Franshhoek Valley very well.  This is the only wooded white wine of Val de Vie and you can definitely pick that up on the aromas.  The smells are not unlike a Chardonnay actually with buttery oak aromas and a little bit of an earth, fynbos hint as well.  Having said that, the flavours are much lighter than the aromas and leave a very slight Chardonnay sort of finish, but very smooth, different and enjoyable.  The tasting notes mention citrus zest and wildflowers which I can definitely agree with.  You can also taste the vanilla impact of the Viognier together with the fruity flavours and slight oak.  It may sound strange, but the actual liquid of the wine was light and yet the air that fills your mouth on the after taste is very full and oaky.  This was definitely our favourite Val de Vie wine.  4* John Platter.

VAL DE VIE RYK NEETHLING 2010 (56% Shiraz, 20% Mourvedre, 13% Carignan, 7% Grenache, 4% Cinsaut)
Apparently Ryk was actually involved in the production of this wine, it was not merely named after him.  This wine has a lot of flavours going on, but they don't linger very long.  You can definitely taste the Shiraz focus in this blend, with the usual peppery smells dominating the flavours.  It is quite smokey with not a lot of berry or fruit flavours, but it is also quite easy drinking, almost like a slightly watered down Shiraz sort of flavour.  The actual wine is quite dry, but somehow the aftertaste is not.  We both agreed that this wine is definitely better than a 2nd tier or "Best Value" wine, but not as good as some of our favourite blends.

This wine is darker and more purple in colour being 100% Shiraz.  It has the distinctive pepper flavours and aromas combined with the dark fruits.  It is a little tart on the tongue, but otherwise a good Shiraz.  It could smooth out a bit, but those harsher flavours could be due to the small glasses.  A very enjoyable Shiraz.  4* John Platter.

See at the market - dates per the website 22 Sept 2013, 13 Oct 2013, 26 Oct 2013, 10 Nov 2013 etc.

R301, Jan Van Riebeck Drive, Paarl
Tel: +27 21 863 6100
33°48’15” S 18°58’04” E 

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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Fork & Cork Festival in Wellington


It was a good friend's birthday over the weekend and he chose to invite everyone to attend the Fork & Cork Festival in Wellington for some celebrations.  Great idea!

The festival was held at Kleinevalleij event venue which has the most beautiful setting at the foot of the Bainskloof Mountains - even under the grey skies of this past weekend.  Being a smaller wine region, the festival was smaller and less crowded, which actually meant you could interact quite easily with the winemakers and farm owners and taste a number of exceptional wines from boutique farms which are not often open to tastings.

While you can try to taste everything, it probably won't be in your best interests later in the day, so we looked for the lesser known farms and those we hadn't tasted before and tried to find a variety.  Below are some of the farms and wines that stuck out for us on the day.

We started with a Welbedacht MCC, you can't go wrong starting with Bubbles!  Dry bubbles and apple flavours make this MCC, named after the estate owner's only daughter, a very enjoyable glass of Bubbly!

I tried to find some Rosés to broaden the summer wine options, but there are not very many made in this area, well at least they weren't available for tasting.  The Jacaranda Pinotage Rose was quite a lovely dry wine with the Pinotage berry flavours coming through.
Old School (Alkmaar Wines) have such a great concept going, with blackboard looking labels and the Old School theme of Masters, Professors, Mistresses and Reunions used to name their wines.  We actually had a long chat to the owners of the farm and being a smaller boutique winery, one can certainly taste the hard work and heart that has gone into each vintage.  
The Mistress was our favourite of the day, an SMV Blend (Shiraz, Mourvedre, Viognier). another reviewer was quoted as saying, "move over 50 shades of grey" here comes the Old School Mistress.
A delicious red blend, smooth as anything with some rich spice on the palate.
The Professor is a Pinotage also of great quality and The Master, being a Cab Sav / Merlot blend finds the best qualities of the two varietals and draws them out.  Each vintage is appropriately noted as "The Class of ...".
Really great wines, we will have to pay them a visit and stock up on some wine education.  Just as a note -  being a boutique, their wine tastings are by appointment only and wines need to be bought through the farm.

Now honestly, if I see a Chardonnay for R20 I usually run a mile because it will probably have that overpowering oak and honey combination with the sour aftertaste - not pleasant at all.  But the White Rhino from Linton Park Wines was actually not bad at all.  Not award winning, but certainly a Best Value.  The Red Rhino Pinotage was also very enjoyable for a whopping R30, I think.  My cousin and I bought one of each to enjoy on the grass outside with the live band, perfectly suited.  If you have a wine palate, but you're on a student budget and would rather go without than drink some old plonk, you might want to get in on these wines... and you can save the odd Rhino while you are at!  Everybody wins.  We did find their stand later in the day, but nonetheless while they may not be award winning wines, they certainly get a "Best Value" vote from me and I would definitely enjoy them at a casual braai with friends.  
The farm's Linton Park range is also very reasonably priced and pretty good, the Shiraz has won a number of awards, so too has the Merlot.  Next time you see their wines, you should give them a try and let me know what you think!

Bosman Family Vineyards is another 'tasting by appointment only' farm, so we made a point of trying some of their wines while we were at the festival.  Great quality wines!  We did not get to their second tier brand - De Bos, but the the Bosman Family wines were really good.  The Adama Red 2010, a predominantly Shiraz based blend was very enjoyable, typical white pepper, mineral flavours with your dark fruits - lovely.  The Optenhorst Chenin Blanc was also a lovely silky blend of almond and apricots.  The Bosman Erfenis was another delicious Cape Blend, these blends are popping up more often and it is great to see.  With an almost equal combination of Pinotage, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot and Shiraz (a little Cinsaut in for good measure), this wine's red berry fruit and spicy oak flavours are fantastic.

After all the Shiraz based and spicy wines we had tasted the Doolhof Minotaur, which has many awards and we absolutely loved last time, actually seemed a little too rich on the fruity side this time around.  Still an awesome wine, but worth noting the intense juicy berry flavours one gets when blending Pinotage, Malbec and Merlot.  Shiraz, Cab Sav and Petit Verdot are also in the blend, but you can certainly taste the full fruit flavours of the first three varietals.  A note to self for future reference and food pairing.

I am sure there were other fantastic wines we didn't get to, but like I said, it is not in anyone's best interest to attempt everything on offer.  These were some of my favourites.  What are your favourite Wellington wines?

There were a handful of small foodstalls to keep your bellies full.  The roosterbrood which we had from Festa was DE-licious!  I really want to go back to TWIST deli and restaurant in Wellington sometime, their food looks amazing.  
Even with the grey weather, it was a lovely afternoon, a very well put together festival and great atmosphere outside under the tent with the live band.  

On the way up Bainskloof Pass
Tel:  +27 21 873 0075

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Monday, 16 September 2013

Chocolate Block for a winning review


Check out my case of The Chocolate Block!!

Rossows restaurants were running a competition for the month of August - you could win a case of Chocolate Block for writing the best restaurant review.  So with nothing to loose, I typed a quick review of an awesome little restaurant we went to in Stellenbosch - www.rossouwsrestaurants.com

And now I have six bottles of Chocolate Block on my wine rack - fantastic!!
Well five actually... one bottle was already enjoyed on the weekend - what better way to enjoy, than sharing with good friends?!  Even the beer drinking boys managed to sneak a glass to enjoy this delicious wine.

You can taste the quality!  A lovely smooth red blend (prodominently Shiraz with Grenache Noir, Cab Sav, Cinsault & Viognier) - it certainly lived up to my expectations.  Dark fruit and spices together with floral notes to soften it, the tasting notes aptly describe this wine as"Textured, composed and seamless in style".  Delicious... thoroughly enjoyable!

I'll have to put up a more detailed review on the next Wine with dinner occasion.

I have yet to get to the Boekenhoutskloof farm, but I have heard rave reviews and must definitely make a plan to get there!  

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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Beyerskloof Pinotage Burgers


On Saturday we decided to earn our breakfast and ran the 13km to Windmeul Market, a bit ambitious maybe but we made it.  The marker was more festive than usual with all the potjie competitions tents and waterblommetjie stations.  The usual breakfast and a few sneaky snoek and feta samoosas were delicious as always, and well earned.


Someone mentioned they were heading to Beyerskloof to pick up some wine for friends and family in Pretoria, and with no other plans we all decided to jump on the bandwagon.  With such lovely weather why wouldn't you want to be out and about in the beauty of the winelands!?
If you are ever at the Beyerskloof tasting room, find Jacques - what a treat!  Great entertainment and certainly not shy when pouring you a sample to taste... you probably will end up leaving with a few bottles in the end!
A few of us were shouted at for being anti-social, tasting wines while the others sat on the deck.  But Jacques was convincing us of how the 2013 Chenin Blanc Pinotage is one of the best thus far and how the Pinotage Dry Rose is so lovely - you can drink a whole bottle and not have a headache the next day, because it is DRY and not SWEET.  He even topped up our glasses as we headed out to the restaurant for some lunch.

The Chenin Blanc Pinotage is lovely, very light in colour, pears and peppers on the palate and perfectly crisp for summer!  The Pinotage Dry Rose is also great, with the rich crimson rose colour you expect that sometimes sickly sweetness, but it is not at all, it is berries and creaminess with a dry finish - really quite enjoyable!

Lunch orders were for Pinotage burgers all around, I don't think anyone even looked at the menu for other options.  They are enormous, and DELICIOUS!!!  The meat is fantastic, great quality and I'm not sure how they make their onion marmalade (except for the Pinotage inclusion), but there are definitely some secrets there.  We've tried to replicate it and failed.  On a beautiful day, paired with the Chenin - we had one very satisfied table! 
The last time we were here with a group of Londoners and they declared outright, "The Best Burger they had ever had!!"

After seeing a tray of purple coloured beers being delivered to the table next door, the boys enquired and ordered themselves one of the Pinotage Beers for tasting.  It was surprisingly quite good.  Very heavy, a bit like a dark Weiss beer - I don't think you can do more than one, unless you are a dark beer kinda guy.  Well worth the taste though.

We headed back to the tasting room after lunch to make a few purchases and sampled some of the Lagare 2010 Fortified Dessert Wine, which is quite delicious.  It is made with the typical Port varietals (Tinta Barocca &Touriga Nacional) as well as Pinotage grapes (Being Beyerskloof and embracing ALL things Pinotage).  It is very dark in colour and the Pinotage adds a lovely dynamic.  It is not too syrupy or heavy like some dessert wines, but has lovely plum and dark berry flavours.  I would like to have some vanilla ice cream on the side next time to compliment it - yum!
We took a case of Beyerskloof Pinotage home with us (a good household favourite that always goes down well - your typical plum,cherry, mocha and cedar flavours altogether in an enjoyable above average easy drinking wine) as well as a bottle each of the Chenin Pinotage & Pinotage Rose to increase the summer wine collection on our rack. 

Beyerskloof really have done an excellent job of capturing their market.  Their wines are reasonably priced and of a good standard, they embrace the student market rather than trying to avoid it and yet somehow still make you feel like you are wining and dining in the winelands.  A relaxed, simply designed, thoroughly enjoyable farm to visit.  We often pop in for a burger or even to share a bottle or two on the restaurant deck.  I also enjoy how they have managed to fully embrace the Pinotage grape and find ways to bring it into most of their wines, remarkable. 

A beautiful afternoon in the winelands - great wine, delicious burgers and a chilled, bustling atmosphere throughout the restaurant and winery.

Along the R304 between the N1 and Stellenbosch
Tel: +27 21 865 2135

 - Closed on Sundays

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Friday, 6 September 2013

Happy Friday!


The weather is fine and it is going to be a fantastic weekend! Especially after this week, if you had month-end like me you'll appreciate a good FRIDAY sized glass of wine!

What are you up to this weekend? - there are loads of festivals and activities happening in the winelands, check out my "FESTIVALS" page for a few of them.

Not to mention a bit of rugby and some support for our Boks.

This SA RUGBY Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon may not be Ernie Els Wines' finest wine, but it is still enjoyable and perfectly suited to a braai with friends and some test rugby! 
The Springbok label also brings a bit of gees to it all.  It's certainly a great gift for the host and to avoid you arriving empty handed.

What wine are you drinking this weekend?


Thursday, 5 September 2013

Bouchard Finlayson Boutique Winery

Another awesome weekend in Sandbaai - we were actually there on the weekend of the Hermanus Wine Festival, but it looked a little cramped in the tent so we headed for the farms and stopped in at the festival one the way back for some delicious snacks.  Eat restaurant had awesome pitas and there was a delectable stand serving sugar coated nuts of all types - mmmm... amazing!!

Bouchard Finlayson wine farm was on our list to visit the last time, but I think they were closed.  So this time around they were definitely the first stop.  Quite unassuming, I thought the tasting room was the house close to the road, but in fact you drive right up the hill and of course have an awesome view all the way back to the sea (in the distance) when you get to the top (I think the sea view is a pre-requisite in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley), a pity about the brown vineyards of winter.  The tasting building is a simple white painted thatch building with beautifully manicured lawns with a similar looking manor house nearby.

This is a boutique winery specialising in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley is particularly suited to these varietals due to the clay soil and cool sea breeze, similar to those varietals' wine regions in Northern France.  Bouchard Finlayson's Galpin Peak Pinot Noir (unfortunately not available for tasting) has won many an award and accolade, and helped them keep their reputation as one of the top wineries in South Africa. 

 If you want the private tasting with the wine maker, down the cellar, you will have to book ahead.  There was a group there when we went and it certainly looked like a lot of fun in there.
If not, the rest of the tasting room also gives you the feel of being down in a cellar.  Barrels and wine lieing in arches in the brick walls and a simple vase full of Proteas adorning the tasting tables.

The folk here are extremely friendly and accomodating - our group all tasted different wines and I think we managed to cover most of them.
While some preferred the Blanc De Mer, others frowned and declared the Hannibal the clear winner of the day, but all were considered very good wines.

Excellent wines and a lovely relaxing cellar experience.

A few wine notes below (compiled using everyone's comments) ...

There is a small compliment of semillon in this wine and you can definitely notice it, there are no hard edges at all, it is utterly smooth.  It has that slight bubble effect on your tongue.  Lovely tropical flavours with a minerality that leaves some herb flavours lingering at the end.
Quite delicious!
This is a white wine blend, mainly Riesling, Viognier and Sav B with a few other smaller percentages.  It is a light and enjoyable wine, a bit tart and acidic I thought, but a good summertime wine.  It smells like fresh cut apples and has mango, apricot and vanilla flavours.

The Missionvale is quite similar to the Crocodile below but has spent slightly less time in the French Oak resulting in more honey aromas and melon and vanilla on the palate.  Rich, but light flavours.  We also thought it was a bit smoother than the Crocodile.
This is a limited edition wine which has been 50% wooded, you can tell by the buttery nose.  Even so the caramel flavours are not too overpowering and you get more of vanilla, cinnamon and spiced apples with a cream apricot sort of ending.  A lovely Chardonnay!
The Hemel & Aarde valley is very good to Pinot Noirs, I always seem to like them when I am there.  This one was superb, the best I have tasted!  A lighter, browner colour than the usual rich red you find in Pinots (could be the lighting), with quite serious legs.  After 10 months in French Oak you definitely notice the floral and toasty wood aromas.  It has lovely red berry, somewhere between a cranberry and a mulberry, flavours with quite earthy and dry finish.  It is definitely more dark and robust than most Pinot Noirs.  Delicious! 
(R245 per bottle)

While the name scares me a little, this is actually an excellent wine.  It was an all-round favourite.  A blend of Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, Mourvedre, Barbera and Shiraz where the grapes have been separately fermented.  It has a slightly browner hue to it with unusual, soft berry, foreign aromas.  It smells like it's not from around here, like something I would expect from Europe.  It has minimal tannins, it is soft and yet somehow complex, light but still robust and very smooth with lovely berry flavours and a little spice.  A well deserved 5* in the John Platter Guide.  A lovely lovely wine! Excellent!
(R209 per bottle)

Another beautiful day in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley... Love this part of the world!

Valley Road, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
Tel: +27 28 312  3515

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Monday, 2 September 2013

Road Tripping Route 62


We really are blessed to live in such a beautiful part of the world!

This weekend was a road trip up through the Garden Route to celebrate milestone birthdays in Plett and the trip home was via the Route 62 meander.  We saw the most spectacular scenery, drove crazy mountain passes and moved swiftly from dry arid lanscapes to rows upon rows of fruit trees and further onto sea views.

The plan was to stop at some wine farms on the way home on Sunday, but Cango Caves took a little too much time, amongst a few other Farm Stall stops and viewpoint (photo op) stops!

In Ladismith however, we managed to find ourselves a bottle of BOPLAAS TINTA CHOCOLATE which is made from the Portuguese cultivar - Tinta Barocca, at one of the small wine shops in the tiny town.  The wine won a top ten award in the CAPPA Cape Port & Wine Challenge in 2013, so we thought it was a good choice.  I'll do another wine with dinner post when we decide to open the bottle!  I'm expecting a very fruity, juicy wine as the warmer Mediterranean red wine varietals often are.

The Boplaas farm is situated in Calitzdorp which is an area well known for its PORT production and host to the Port & Wine Festival usually held in June.  Along with Ladismith and the surrounding towns, this area also forms part of the R62 Brandy Route.

The R62 Route ventures out of the lucious farmlands of fruit orchards and vineyards and into the drier, fynbos covered Klein Karoo.  Strangely, this dry soil and hot climate of the region is exactly what the Port grape varietals thrive on.  The well-drained soils of the region, where vines struggle to ripen, are perfect for port-wine production.  Calitzdorp is often referred to as the Duoro Valley (the home of Port in Portugal) of South Africa.  We are not massive fans of Port which is why we opted for one of the red Portuguese varietals which also grows well in the dry weather. 
Where heavy rains cause grape berries to swell up and dilute the flavours, the dry climate here  obviously results in more concentrated flavours and sugars in the grapes.  This of course is the reason why the fortified wines and brandies from this area are so good, not too mention the effect of the terrior and soil in the region.  The soil in the region has limestone (calcium carbonate which forms the Stalacmites & Stalactites in the Cango Caves), Scali (Afrikaans for Shale, which is the Carbon substance and gas they are trying to extract in the 'Fracking' activities) and a number of other sedimentary rocks mixed of mud and clay minerals - all of these have an effect, if only a slight one, on the flavours of the wines and ports produced.

What have been your experiences on the R62 Route and their wines, ports and brandies?

Road trips are always an awesome way to see your country!
A few other stops along the way....

Friday afternoon we headed for Swellendam which took us through Robertson (the upcoming Wine on the River Festival, 18-20 October well advertised), then onto Ashton and through the beautiful Farmlands.  The quaint Montagu on the way home for padstals and blossoms, and a quick stop at a Roberston Padstal for homemade pies and a loaf of farm bread!

We popped into Wildebraam Berry Farm and liqueur tasting (just outside Swellendam) on Saturday, it was a little early for liqueurs, but the jams and deli items are all available for tasting.  There are some delicious products at this farm nestled at the foot of the Langeberg mountains. 
Well worth a stop if you are in the area.  We left with a few items including the Pickled Habeneros for my uncle which are apparently 15 out 0f 10 for hotness and have been known to make a grown man cry - eish!

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