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Wine Wednesday (4)

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Viljoensdrift wine – Sauvignon Blanc.

I haven’t forgotten the wine lovers out there!

The estate I have chosen for today, unfortunately does not sell to international buyers on line. That nearly caused me to not add them to my WW team, but I am also promoting the Robertson Wine Valley and not only the wines.

Viljoensdrift Estate, has its roots in the 1800’s, when the first of the Viljoen family (Villion was the surname of the French Huguenots that landed in the Cape) started planting grapes for wine and brandy making. From 1968- 1998, the farm grew and delivered grapes to the co-op, but when dad Ben stepped down, brothers Fred and Manie decided to start producing their own wines from the excellent grapes they were growing on the farm. The rest, like they say, is history!

Alongside grapes, they also grow deciduous fruits, and they take conservation very seriously by trying to keep as much as possible of the unique natural environment intact as possible. They are committed to the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative, which aims to minimize the loss of threatened natural habitat and to contribute to sustainable wine production, which gives them five stars, in my opinion.

Aside from the fact that the farm is situated on the Breede River in beautiful natural surroundings, Viljoensdrift is well-known for the fact that they are the only farm in the area that does a ferry trip on the river, and it is well worth taking the time to enjoy drifting down the river. You can buy some ‘provisions’ πŸ˜‰ from their deli on the premises – wine, cold drinks, cheeses, charcuterie, freshly baked sourdough bread, olives, pickles, and much more!

With your nibbles and drinks you can then get onto the ferry, and enjoy an hour or so of peace and quiet, listening and watching the abundance of birds cavorting in and around the water.

The deli.
The ferry.
Some of the fare on offer.
Drifting on the river…

If you are planning a trip this way, please have a look at the Viljoensdrift website, to know more about their wines and what they offer you as tourist.

I hope you can begin to understand that should you ever be so lucky to visit South Africa, and you love wine, you cannot miss out on a visit to the Robertson Wine Valley!!!

PS. This is NOT a paid ad, nor am I in any way compensated for this or any of my other wine posts, I am merely trying to promote the area I live in and love!

Friday. Friyay?

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The view from Chapman’s Peak Drive towards Hout Bay, yesterday, on one of the most beautiful days in a long time…

“Rest and be thankful.” ~ William Wadsworth

It is weekend, people!

To be honest, I’m not sure why I am so excited about it. My days are pretty much all the same these days. Which does not necessarily mean it is boring. It means I don’t have to go into the office every day for the whole day, I can go in for a couple of hours, or more. I can even go on a Saturday if I want to. Or not go in at all. My choice. And apart from that, I can sit in my PJ’s and blog until 10 in the morning if I want to (I’m not saying that is what I am doing now… πŸ˜‰ ) My SO* and I can go to Cape Town on a Thursday for the whole day, should we want to. Which we did, yesterday. πŸ™‚

I’m rambling. What I’m trying to say is, my life is pretty much my own at the moment, and weekends are not much different to me from the rest of the week. So I have no real reason to be excited about it being Friday. Yet, I am. Years of conditioning, I suppose.

I hope your week was not too rough, and I hope you have a wonderful couple of days, doing whatever it is you prefer doing on a weekend. Spend some time being thankful for health, family, time off, having food on the table, etc.

So, until next time, blog friends, rest and be happy! πŸ™‚

Looking back towards the mountains and part of Chapman’s Peak Drive.

*SO – significant other

Wine Wednesday!! (2)

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One of the views from inside the tasting and bistro building.

This time, I am actually on time with my post!

I just want to clarify – I am not going to go into detail about the wines – the notes and flavours etc. I will only feature vineyards and/or wine tasting venues that I feel have really good wines, or wines that are good value for money. I am going to tell you about the experience, the people, the surroundings, so if ever you come to South Africa, and you like wine, then you know where to go!

Today I am featuring a place called Esona Boutique Wine Estate. It is still a ‘young’ estate (compared to some in the Western Cape!) – the current owners, Rowan and Caryl, have made a lot of changes to the farm since they bought it in 2003, and has been producing wines for the last 10 years. It is set in beautiful surroundings, again, like the previous one I featured, in the gorgeous Breede River Valley, near my town Robertson, just over a 150km from Cape Town.

One of the vineyards.

They currently produce Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Frankly My Dear (RosΓ©), Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir, Grenache, and Colombar, and are planning to add another 4 wines to the repertoire soon.

The tasting takes place in a beautiful old cellar underground. The wines are absolutely delightful, and is presented and tasted in such a way that you really appreciate the nuances of the wine – you also get to pair the wines with fruit and chocolate, which opens up your palate to a whole new world. The young lady that does the tasting, is very knowledgeable and friendly. An interesting fact that comes across clearly, is that the shape and size of the wine glass makes a huge difference in the taste of the wine!

In the cellar.

Esona also has a Bistro where you can eat something while enjoying the views and the wine – I think one can easily spend hours there with family or friends.

Just before the wine is poured…

Rowan and Caryl take teaching and development very seriously, and they sponsor young people in the area so they can learn how to become chefs and wine makers. Please take the time to browse their web site, who knows, you might just see something you would like to order… πŸ˜‰

https://esona.co.za/

Please do visit South Africa, we are friendly and welcoming hosts, and remember to include our beautiful valley and world class wines in your itinerary!

Until next time, stay safe, don’t drink and drive, and start planning your trip to sunny South Africa!! πŸ˜€

Cape of Storms.

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Stormy weather in the Du Toit’s Kloof Pass.

I am back on the topic of weather. I am told that it is a much safer topic than religion, politics and finances, so I’ll stick to something safe. For now. πŸ˜€

We’ve had fantastic Cape winter weather the last few days! Only, it is supposed to be Spring, and since we are in a winter rain region, the rain should be coming to an end now.

Yesterday we’ve had ferocious winds over a large portion of the Western Cape, and some rain to go with it. The Cape is notorious for its bad weather since early days. There are numerous shipwrecks around our coast that is testament to the fact. It is also one of the most beautiful places on this earth.

Sir Francis Drake, English explorer said of it :β€œA most stately thing and the fairest Cape in the whole circumference of the Earth.” I tend to agree with him, and so does a whole lot of other people on this planet, since Cape Town has been voted Best City in the World for the seventh year running.

But back to the ‘storms’ part of it – over the years the winds and extreme weather around Cape Town have often made it into the news – people get blown over and tossed around, trees are uprooted, it causes accidents and damage to properties. Yesterday we were on our way to Cape Town and saw a big truck (a link!) blown over just outside the Huguenot Tunnel! Fortunately nobody was injured. For some interesting reading, here is a link that explains a bit of the geography and reasons behind the weather: https://capepoint.co.za/cape-of-storms/

To be fair, this gorgeous part of the world is also known as The Cape of Good Hope, because of the possibilities that opened up to Europe when the route around the Cape was discovered – trade with the Far East and India became more than a dream.

All of this information is just so I could post the picture above! I needed a good reason to do that, so… πŸ˜‰

Wine Wednesday – one day late…

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The garden at Silverthorn Wines, on the bank of the Breede River.

I wanted to start my Wednesday wine blog yesterday, but I got distracted by other things, so my very first Wine Wednesday blog, is happening on a Thursday… No nasty comments, please! πŸ˜‰

Last week I told you about my visit to a few wine farms in the area (see https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/zelmare.com/1391) , but I only touched on the five places we visited, with a promise of more detail later – so, here we go!

If you love wine, wine tasting and beautiful surroundings, you get it all when you visit our general area, and you get it in spades when you visit Silverthorn Wines.

When you step out of the vehicle, you are immediately drawn to the scenery, as this beautiful winery lies on the banks of the Breede River. The hosts, John and Karen Loubser, has only recently started producing their wine full time on the farm, as John worked as wine maker on another farm, and their grapes were transported there and made off premise.

The tasting room.
John and Karen.

They give you a quick tour of the production area, and then it is time to get down to the serious business of tasting! The tasting happens around a large family size table (with a story of its own!) in a wonderfully informal style. John enjoys telling you about his wines, and he encourages any questions you may have. Interesting tidbits about the terroir, and the general area, makes for an entertaining tasting.

Production area. (That is not the tasting table!)
The tasting table.

Now, the wine… Silverthorn Wines produces only MCC. What on earth is that?, you may ask. Well, MCC is the South African version of champagne, but we may not call it that, of course. So in SA it is called MCC – MΓ©thode Cap Classique. Basically it is champagne, made like champagne, and tastes like champagne, only it is not called champagne.

Silverthorn Wines produce 4 different MCC’s, of which 3 is readily available, and the fourth is only available once a year, when it is auctioned by the Cape Winemaker’s Guild. The wines are excellent, and for me personally, it is impossible to choose a favourite. Even the names are tantalizing – Jewel Box, The Green Man, The Genie, and The Big Dog.

The wines with their beautifully designed labels.

If you are a wine lover, and if you ever visit South Africa, I would highly recommend that you take a few days to tour our area to taste our superb, world class wines and enjoy our beautiful scenery and friendly people.

To know more about Silverthorn Wines, or to order, please visit their site at https://www.silverthornwines.co.za/ (This is NOT a paid advertisement, it is merely an attempt from my side to promote our wines and area.)

Until our next visit, be safe, be happy! πŸ˜€