Wine Flies Wine Tours

Wine Flies Cape Town Wine Tours

From R750 per person
Make sure to ask for group specials for
CapeTownMagazine.com readers
 
021 423 2444/ 021 462 8011
www.wineflies.co.za
info@wineflies.co.za
winefliesZA
Wine Flies Wine Tours
winefliestours

Wine Flies Cape Town Wine Tours

Wine flies when you’re having fun: Experience real wine with real people on this blast of a wine tour

“Welcome aboard Mave the Gaelic Goddess,” trumpets Lord Riaan Renke, as he swings the minibus onto the highway in the direction of the Cape Winelands. Riaan and his fellow Wine Lord, Francois van Binsbergen, are the team behind Wine Flies - a boutique wine tour company that operates daily.

“We visit smaller, family-owned vineyards,” Riaan explains. “We break that stigma of pretentiousness that wine can sometimes have.”

Styling themselves as ‘hopeless romantics’, the duo focus on creating ‘unique and real experiences’ - with a whole lot of fun along the way. Though, there are some rules.

“Lord Mave’s rule number one,” intones Riaan, commanding the attention of the eight of us (a mix of Americans, Germans, Italians and, of course, the token Capetonian, me.), “We play musical chairs: every time we get back onto the bus after a stop, you have to sit somewhere new. Number two, we leave no wine or no one behind. And lastly, no politics, religion or sex before lunch.”

Today we’ll be visiting five wine estates, kicking off the tour at Villiera in Stellenbosch with a glass of bubbly. Riaan says the vinous excursion starts off light and gets more serious in terms of wine as we go along, ending off at Annandale, the domain of rugby legend Hempies du Toit.

The cheerful driver regales us with stories of Cape Town and its wine industry. He tell us to “pay attention”, as there will be a quiz after lunch; apparently, we get bonus points for spotting game or birds of prey.

“Who can see it?” Riaan asks. He’s pulled over to the side of the road, two minutes short of our first stop. We crane our necks, peering through the glass. “Ah, a giraffe!” shouts someone excitedly - and just like that, it’s game on.

Soon we find ourselves walking through Villiera’s vineyard, some of us are now wearing ‘drinking hats’ gamely supplied by Lord Riaan. We were warned that there would be ‘a little education’, and this is where it happens. Glass in hand, our tour guide goes through the winemaking and viticulture processes in his casual upbeat style, and in no time we know our de-stalking from our punch downs. A cellar tour follows, after which, we sit at a long table in the courtyard.

“Did you know it takes 5 ½ twists to open a wine bottle?” says Riaan, demonstrating with a bottle of Villiera Sauvignon Blanc.

“Wine tasting is a sensory journey. We drink to remember—not to forget.” He proceeds to tell us about the ‘five S’s of the sensory experience’: sight, swirling, smell, sipping and savouring. The last ‘S’ is amplified when Riaan pairs biltong (a local cured meat product) with red wine.

Once we’ve tasted through the range, we clamber aboard Mave, excited for the next destination.

Cheese, the city of oaks and braaivleis

Our jolly group arrives at Fairview Wine Estate in Paarl for a cheese and wine tasting (not to mention photo opps with the resident billy goat). We’re directed to a wine pod and form a circle around it. A tasting host takes us through the tutored pairing; we try camembert, blue cheese, and even chevin dusted with chakalaka, a spice mix modelled on the typically South African tomato and onion relish.

Feeling appropriately cheesy and firmly wearing our wine legs, we continue our journey and head through the historic town of Stellenbosch aboard the marvellous Mave. We learn the town is also known as ‘Eikestad’, which translates from Afrikaans to ‘city of oaks’, as almost every street is lined with the towering trees.

Riaan points out historical buildings and sites, weaving them together with tales of the 300-year winemaking legacy. Even as a local, it’s fascinating. Stellenbosch is revealed to me as I’ve never seen her before.

The drive takes us to Middelvlei wine estate. There isn’t any pretence here. This is a real farm, complete with mud, cats curled up in the sun and, inexplicably, a wallaby fraternising with a coop of chickens.

Lunch is served at a long table overlooking rolling green fields, the sky hot and blue above. A traditional boerebraai (farmer’s barbeque) is the order of the day: starting with butternut soup in an enamel cup and braaibroodjies (cheese and tomato sandwiches toasted over a fire) smoky off the coals, followed by boerewors (farm sausage) and chicken kebabs.

Feeling restored and ready for more wine, we head into the cellar with a sleepy boerboel dog loping after us. Here we taste red wines straight out of the barrel.

The group, now all fast friends, walks amiably back out into the sunlight after the tasting towards Mave. It’s time for our next stop, Lovane, one of the smallest wine estates in South Africa.

The boutique winery was named after the copious chameleons that inhabit the property (Lovane meaning chameleon in Xhosa). We immediately file downstairs into the cellar, a space not much larger than a bedroom. All the wines have Xhosa names, and we taste through the range, ending with a port. This is when Riaan breaks out the chocolate, and the women in the group let out audible sighs of delight.

Onward we go: from one of the smallest wine estates to one of the oldest. The sun is just beginning to dip, cutting dramatic shadows through bare tree branches across Annandale’s wide driveway. Covered in dust and cobwebs, the estate’s cellar building has that derelict magic about it. The range of red wines is outstanding. The tasting host explains that they age the wine in the barrel for eight to ten years, rather than in the bottle.

After drinking deep glasses of the voluptuous wine we trawl outside to catch the sunset. Riaan has one last trick up his sleeve. He passes around glasses filled with South Africa’s favourite spirit, brandy (made in the same style as Cognac), with pieces of dried apricot. A delicious pairing, not to mention a delicious ending.

The next stop? Home. Riaan drops me off at my gate and leaves me with these parting words: The only way to learn about wine is to practice.”

And the quiz? After enough wine, we decided we were all winners.

Tip: Wine Flies runs these scheduled tours seven days a week and they only operate in the Stellenbosch area. Also on offer are the Wine Lords Private Tours that can be customised based on what you want to see (drink). These private tours also allow you to visit other regions outside of Stellenbosch.

The Bill: Offering great value, a Wine Flies tour is reasonably priced at R750p/p, and this includes all tastings, pairings, lunch as well as a full day’s entertainment. It’s a small price to pay for an unforgettable day in the Stellenbosch Winelands, a trustworthy and knowledgeable guide and seemingly unlimited wine and food.  

By Malu Lambert

---

Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt? Why not try the Wine Flies duo's Forgotten Route tour to Matjiesfontein. The excusion whisks you off to a Karoo town where time stands still.

---

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle and check out our Pinterest boards for updates. Not to mention, subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with what's hip and happening in our pretty city. 

Cape Town Events Calendar
September 2017
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Cafe CapriceAbsolut Winter Brunch at Cafe Caprice

Expect exotic themes, delectable brunch dishes and destination-inspired cocktails

The AfroFest - 7The AfroFest: An Ode to African Culture

1 continent, 3 days, 18 venues; From Congo to Cape Town

Swordfern Exterior by NightSwordfern Hair Emporium’s Bring A Bro Hair Special

Bring your bro and get a haircut on the house from Swordfern

Cape Town Fringe - 2017 - 1Cape Town Fringe Festival

Find out why Cape Town is SA’s capital of creativity at this popular arts fandango

La Motte ConcertsClassical Concerts at La Motte Wine Estate

La Motte's culture of excellence reaches far beyond wine-making, by embracing the wonder of classical music

Pierneef food and wine pairing 3Food and Wine Pairing at La Motte

Discover a match made in the divine tasting room of this Franschhoek estate

Native YoungNative Young at Dizzys Live Music Fridays in Camps Bay

Rock out with Native Young at a popular Camps Bays hotspot

La MotteHistoric Walk at La Motte in Franschhoek

Discover interesting history and heritage of the Franschhoek area on the La Motte estate in the Cape Winelands

La MotteSip and Swirl the Nectar of Yesteryear at La Motte

You had me at Merlot

Shakespeare - 1The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

Something is rotten in the state of Denm… Cape Town

Bay Harbour MarketSoothe Your Soul with Live Music at Bay Harbour Market Every Saturday

Celebrate our unique South African spirit with live music at one of Cape Town’s most vibrant markets every Saturday

SwordfernSwordfern Hair Emporium’s Gender-Neutral Cuts

Cutting costs, and saving water, with gender-neutral haircuts at Swordfern

African Soul Surfer BackpackersYoga and Surf Specials with African Soul Surfer

Ride the wave of surf and yoga camps with African Soul Surfer!

SANParks Tankwa NPFree Week of Entry to SANParks in September

Get up close and personal with Mother Nature for mahala at Mzansi’s breathtaking national parks!

EclecticaEclectica Design and Art Presents ‘Dream Rift’

Brush away all the facts, and journey to a world connected by dreams and realities

Painterly Group Exhibition‘Painterly’ Group Exhibition at the Grande Provence Gallery

The beauty of oil paint steals the show at this art showcase

PSL Soccer FixturesABSA PSL: Cape Town City vs Polokwane City

The Citizens will want to take the shine off of Polokwane City's season

best winter dishes ricks cafe americainRick’s Café Américain’s Weekly Lunch Specials

Pop over to the charming Casablanca-themed restaurant for a hearty meal that won’t break the bank

We Cannot Be Silent Exhibition launch 2017Exhibition: We Cannot Be Silent at the Castle of Good Hope

A dynamic multimedia exhibition seeks to challenge ideas around gender violence in Cape Town. We Cannot Be Silent – it’s time to take action.

African Soul Surfer BackpackersSurf Lessons with African Soul Surfer

Learn to surf with the kiffest surf school in Cape Town!

MAReSOLMAReSOL’s Mouth-Watering Winter Menu

This authentically Portuguese restaurant brings the heat this winter

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Children's Events Cape TownKids’ Party Special with Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag

Treat your little one to the ultimate military-style birthday bash and save R500

Primal Eatery The Primal Hour at Primal Eatery

Get the best wine, pairings, and cocktails at the Primal Hour

HQ-web-ready-259.jpgFriday Night DJ and Dancing at HQ Restaurant

#AfterDark with DJ Rene: start the weekend with a steak dinner, stylish cocktails and suave tunes by The Frenchman

Villains Ale House Logo 2DJ nights at Villain’s Ale House

Kick start your weekend with DJ nights every Thursday, Friday and Saturday

The Queen and PeasantThe Queen and Peasant Weekend Meet and Greets

Treat yourself to a tasting of fine wines, beers and spirits this weekend

Jack BlackBeers and Bands at Jack Black Brewery and Taproom

Every Friday night the Jack Black stage is lit up with local talent

Glowing Rooms 3Glowing Rooms SA offers a special opening price!

Pay a special rate for entrance into SA’s first 3D space-themed glow-in-the-dark mini-golf adventure

Fun Car Hire Red and Black BeetleFun Car: Cheap Car Hire in Cape Town

Buzz through the Mother City in a budget Beetle, Citi Golf, Jeep Cherokee, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and more

Camissa Township Tours Formal HousesCamissa Township Tour and Robben Island Visit

Embark on a cultural journey and experience the Mother City’s townships with Camissa

Om Revolution sunsetOutdoor Yoga Classes with The Om Revolution in Cape Town

Bend, stretch and meditate with this affordable mobile yoga studio in and around our pretty city

Rush glow in the dark dodge ballCosmic Rush at Rush Indoor Trampoline Park

Teens get your blood pumping inside with a glow-in-the-dark indoor trampoline park

Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel & Spa ReceptionSpa and Sparkling Wine Special at Luxe Laser & Spa in Tamboerskloof

Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay Cape TownFriday Night at The Bay Harbour Market

Ring in the weekend with live music, craft beer, hearty fare and happy shopping in Hout Bay

marianne wine estate 6Dinner and Jazz Special at Marianne Wine Estate

Wind down with some great food and free live music every Friday evening

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.