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Unique and surprising: Wine tastings with a difference
Locals share their favourite wine tastings and pairings
Last updated: 21 July 2022
The Western Cape is known for producing excellent wines, and locals love to drink it. So we’ve asked them to share their favourite and most unique tasting and pairing experiences. We have a world-class wine-producing region with many top-notch farms, so there’s definitely something to suit every wine drinker and their budget.
PAIR MUSIC AND WINE – SILENT DISCO-STYLE
Traditional cheese-and-wine pairings are way too passé for Black Elephant Vintners – it offers something far more rebellious: Every Saturday this eccentric cellar tastes wine to the rousing sounds of rock ‘n roll. Lauren Jeffrey highly recommends this pairing to those who appreciate music. Taste champagne or wine and boogie to classic rock.
More to try: If you enjoyed Black Elephant Vintners wine, pop by for Drive-Buy Wednesdays to buy takeaway wine at a 15% discount.
Cost: R150 - R300pp
Times: Every Saturday, from 11am
40a Uitkyk Street | Franschhoek | 021 876 2903 | Image: Tasting Cape Town (@tastingct)
TRY A TRULY SOUTH AFRICAN EXPERIENCE
We have to agree with Sally Thynne, that “wine and pies at Imbuko” are at the top of the list of unique wine-tasting experiences. Situated in the heart of the Boland Winelands, Imbuko, meaning ‘admiration for’ in Xhosa, offers a pairing that includes four wines and four cocktail pies. These pies bring you traditional South African flavours, like chicken, melanzane, lamb shank, and bobotie. There’s also a jungle gym and vast lawns for the kids to play on.
More to try: Put your wine knowledge to the test and try a Blind Tasting (stand a chance to win a hamper)
Cost: R90 pp
Times: Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm; Saturday, 9am - 3pm
Imbuko Wines | Wellington | 021 873 7350 | @imbukosa | Image: Juliana Pretorius
TASTE WINE, UNDERGROUND
This family-owned wine estate offers both vintage and non-vintage MCCs, dessert wines and award-winning chardonnays. It also boasts a range of interesting wines such as Turkish delight gewürztraminer, vanilla chardonnay, cherry-choc merlot and a cigar-box shiraz. An exceptional thing to do, recommended by the CapeTownMagazine.com team, is a candlelit wine tasting of the estate's premium wines in the underground tunnels which were used as cooling vaults for wine during the earlier days of winemaking. How cool is that?
More to try: Create your own bottle of Cap Classique to take home
Cost: From R60 pp
Times: Monday to Saturday, 8.30am - 5pm
Weltevrede Wine Estate | Bonnievale | 023 616 2141 | @weltevredewines | Image: Weltevrede Wines
POP MORE THAN JUST WINE CORKS
For Eonay Terblanche, “Popcorn and wine at Stellenbosch Hills” is a must-try if you’re looking for unusual pairings. Pair hand-crafted gourmet popcorn, with flavours such as cupcake, salted caramel, cinnamon-and-pretzel, and dark chocolate, with four wines from the Polkadraai range when doing this playful tasting. Each session is about 30 minutes, whereafter you can explore the beautiful vineyards. Bookings are advised.
More to try: The Biltong and Droewors Adventure, which pairs cured meats with six wines
Cost: R60 pp
Times: Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm; Saturday, 10am - 3pm
Stellenbosch Hills | Vlottenburg, Stellenbosch | 021 881 3828| @stellenbosch_hills | Image: Stellenbosch Hills
EAT ROOSTERKOEK ON THIS LANDMARK FARM
The CapeTownMagazine.com team recommend a visit to Klein Goederust Boutique Winery, the first fully black-owned wine farm in Franschhoek. Its buffet restaurant is in an elegantly restored 1920s building and serves a variety of fresh salads and warm side dishes with braaied lamb, roosterkoek and chicken. Do try the MCC, named after the owner’s mom, a former farm labourer. Its wine tasting rooms are ready to host you.
More to try: The lamb-on-a-spit buffet
Cost: R180 pp (taste 5 wines)
Times: Monday to Sunday, 10am - 4.30pm
Klein Goederust Boutique Winery | Franschhoek | 076 278 7569 | @klein_goederust | Image: Klein Goederust
FOCUS ON THE PREMIUM WINES
This estate offers a variety of wine-tasting options and is loved by the CapeTownMagazine.com team. Try the Vinoteque Tasting, a personalised tasting in a private room, where wine ambassadors tell you about the history of La Motte wines. Or opt for the Current Vintage Tasting, it includes the estate’s award-winning Pierneef wines. Plus, you can do this tasting from home, order the wines online and book a virtual tasting. But do try to go in person, if you can – to experience the great atmosphere at La Motte Wine Estate.
More to try: MCC tasting or a cellar tour
Cost: From R30 (depending on the experience)
Times: Tuesday to Sunday, 9am - 5pm
La Motte Wine Estate | Franschhoek | 021 876 8000 | @lamottewine | Image: La Motte Wine Estate
GO WILD WITH MUSHROOMS
Reader Janine Mitchell recommends “wine and mushrooms in George”. Houtbosch Wines is set in the heart of the Garden Route at Redberry Farm, a family-friendly venue where the tasting options are broad. The wild-mushroom pairing matches a variety of Shiitake mushrooms with three wines. And while parents do adult things, kids can get messy with a chocolate fondue.
More to try: Chocolate, fudge, biltong or donut and wine pairing
Cost: R75 pp
Times: Monday to Saturday, 9am - 4pm
Houtbosch Wines | Redberry Farm, George | 066 218 6321| @houtboschwines | Image: Houtbosch Wines
OPT FOR A NOUGAT PAIRING
Visit the House of J.C. Le Roux, where you can try Erin Taai’s favourite tasting of “bubbly and nougat”. On summer days, take a seat in the outdoor tasting area – it offers breathtaking views. This sparkling wine pairing includes five wines paired with a selection of nougat and Turkish delight. If you’re under 18 or the designated driver, you can still be part of the fun and opt for the non-alcoholic version of this pairing.
More to try: A cheesecake or pizza pairing
Cost: R105 or R95 (non-alcoholic)
Times: Monday to Thursday, 10am - 4pm; Friday to Sunday, 10am - 5pm
House of J.C. Le Roux | Stellenbosch | 021 876 8000 | @houseofjcleroux | Image: House of J.C. Le Roux
TAKE A TRIP TO THE GARDEN ROUTE
Jakkalsvlei Wines is a popular destination in the Garden Route area. Visitors are amazed by the breathtaking vineyard and mountain views on the farm. There are a variety of wine tastings, but reader Zelda Gallagher gives her vote to the “macaroon with wine” tasting. Macaroon flavours include honey and lavender, strawberry, coffee mocha, chocolate and cherry, and dark chocolate and salted caramel. Plus, kids can do a meat and juice pairing.
More to try: The prawn-and-wine pairing
Cost: R150 pp
Times: Monday to Sunday, 10am - 4pm
Jakkalsvlei Wines | Garden Route | 044 333 0222 | @jakkalsvleiwines | Image: Jakkalsvlei Wines
CHOOSE 1 OF 3 GREAT TASTING OPTIONS
Another team favourite is Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards, it offers an affordable wine-tasting experience in its modern tasting room. There are three ways to do this: if you prefer a DIY option, choose any six wines from the estate’s five ranges of wine; if you like guidance, a wine ambassador will guide you through it and then all the members of the group will drink the same wines; or you can order the wines online and do a virtual guide of them. The venue is family-friendly, so bring the kids along to Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards.
More to try: Have a hearty rotisserie lunch
Cost: R55 pp
Times: Tuesday to Sunday, 9am - 5pm
Leopards Leap Family Vineyards | Franschhoek | 021 876 8002 | @leopardsleap | Image: Leopards Leap
ENJOY A TASTING AND PLATTER FOR TWO
Visit this wine lounge for a truly unique experience. Reader Tanya Ford remembers having an interesting pairing of “wine and blue cheese at Longridge Wine Estate”. Plus you can have a wine tasting for two at a special price. You’ll get four wines each, paired with a snack platter that includes blue cheese, biltong, droewors, onion marmalade, grapes, strawberries and lavash. Plus, enjoy panoramic views of False Bay and Table Mountain.
More to try: Jasper Raats Single Vineyard Wine Tasting (taste five wines)
Cost: R150 for two people
Times: Monday to Saturday, 8am - 10pm; Sunday, 8am - 5pm
Longridge Wine Estate | Stellenbosch | 021 855 2005 | @longridgewineestate | Image: Longridge Wine Estate
By Simone Strydom
FOR FURTHER READING
End every month with a Wine & Climb at Cape Point Vineyards
Pair music and wine in a punk rock cellar at Black Elephant Vintners
A guide to wine bar crawling in the inner city
Taste wine in a themed cave at Klein Roosboom
Taste unique, local wines at the East City Wine pop-up
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