wine

Taste of Cape Town

On Friday evening, Lois and I went to the Taste of Cape Town festival. It was an amazing mix of great food, fantastic wines, and a massive selection of micro-beer. In short, a great evening!

I think that the best part of it was that most of the vendors were small independent companies making and selling great produce, and there was so much to choose from. Several restaurants were selling starter portions of their signature dishes, so both Lois and I filled up on a selection of small meals.

Spices

Fresh Spices from the Jewel of India; their curry was amazing. Lois had the vege and myself a chicken curry.

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Some of the the beer from the Craft Beer Project; mostly sourced from micro-breweries. We shared a lovely pear and then apple cider.

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French Onion Soup and Muscles.

The festival is spread out on a field at the Green Point Cricket Club, and you can park in the Stadium just across the road. This is the first time that we have been to the fair, but it was a lovely way to spend a Friday evening, and I am sure that we will both be back next year.

Yes there are loads of people, but it is so spread out that you hardly feel crowded at all.

Here are a few more pics.

Manor House

Buitenverwachting manor house

Living in the Cape, you are surrounded by beautiful old Cape Dutch houses. This is the main residence at Buitenverwachting in Constantia. Imaging waking up every morning to that wonderful view of the Constantia vineyards?

Of course while you are there, visit the tasting room, and stock up on their wonderful wines. Or stay for a picnic or a meal in their excellent restaurant.

If you are lucky you might even be able to visit the cellar and see the wines quietly maturing in the barrels.

In the cellar

Wine barrels

In the distant past, I was very lucky to make wine at Buitenverwachting wine farm in Constantia, so it was great to be back in the cellar at the weekend (even if just for a few minutes to collect some stuff ). While I was there I grabbed this photo of these barrels in the maturation cellar. Each barrel contains 225l wine. At a rough estimate, this room contains about 200 barrels, which is 45,000l wine.

That should be enough to keep anybody quiet for a few days.Buitenverwachting , which means  “Beyond Expectation”, makes some of the top wines in South Africa. Get a bottle of the Christine if you can find one, truly amazing.

The Stone Kitchen

Last Sunday, we decided to drive to Wellington for lunch and some wine tasting. What we had completely forgotten is that small towns like Wellington close on a Sunday. Absolutely nothing was open. Well almost nothing…

Dunstone wines

Dunstone wines

But, it was still wonderful weather, so we were not going to let that stop us. So with the help of some friends who live in the area (thanks Doug from PT Productions and Dawn from Jorgensen Distillery), we managed to find what was probably the only open place in Wellington, but also one of the nicest restaurants I have ever been to. It is called The Stone Kitchen, and it is found on the Dunstone wine estate. At about 2 hectors of vines, it is a tiny little estate but with some fabulous wine. But the restaurant was great, the food was simple, fresh and tasty.

When we arrived they were full, but after a quick wine tasting at the bar counter (we finally got our wine tasting), they found us a table. The chef came out to introduce the menu, and we made our choices.

Warthog burger

Warthog Burger

I had a grated warthog burger, with onion marmalade and cheese, and Lois had the goat’s cheese salad. Now for Lois to eat goat anything is pretty amazing! But at the chef’s instance she tried some of the goat cheese, and she loved it. She actually asked where they got such good goat’s cheese (that does not taste like, well…goat). I could tell you the answer but I will save that for a future post.

The amazing chef

The chef

So two suggestions. Firstly if you want to go wine tasting on a Sunday, stick to the well-known areas like Stellenbosch or Paarl, and if you want a fantastic meal, goto the Stone Kitchen (but best to book – they were very full). And their sauvignon blanc and merlot are both brillant wines. We took a few bottle of each home with us.

Wine tasting in Stellenbosch

Welmoed wines

Yesterday we took some friends winetasting and to lunch in Stellenbosch. We started off at Welmoed, an old favourite of ours. I love visiting this farm because they have a great selection of wines at great prices, and because the staff are always helpful and friendly. I have only had good experiences there, and I almost always have some of their wine in my fridge.

Hartenberg picnics

Then we went to Hartenberg for lunch. They also have some wonderful wines and a great tasting room (you actually sit down at tables and the staff come around and describe the wines and let you taste them). But Hartenberg wines are clearly of a different quality (and at over double the price of Welmoed wines) clearly in a different price range.

Hartenberg make a lovely picnic lunch which includes breads, cold meat, chicken, cheeses and dessert for R120 per person. You can sit outside the tasting room, or at one of the many tables scattered around the gardens. I have had a few picnics at Hartenberg and it is also a lovely experience.

A very civilised way to spend a Saturday.

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