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Wine Wednesday (3)

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One of the blocks at Van Loveren.

Time for wining again! πŸ™‚

I skipped a couple of weeks, but I decided that I’m not going to break my head about that, as long as I do a Wine Wed. every two or three weeks, and it is on a Wednesday, at least.

So, I think today I’ll do a place that I’ve been to the most. That in itself should tell you something. Today we are visiting Van Loveren Wines.

Van Loveren is very well known in South Africa, as they have a very wide range of wines, and they have been going for three generations – the one stronger than the previous, every time. It all started in 1937 when Hennie Retief’s father bought him the land, later his two sons, Nico and Wynand took over from him, and now it is their four sons (the Four Cousins), that are running the show. Their success has much to do with their courage to take risks, and innovative thinking.

They have amongst many others, the Van Loveren Wines, their Heritage Range, the Christina wines, the Single Vineyard Heritage Range, the Rhino Run wines, their Premium Conservation Range, the Five’s Range, their Empowerment Range, Tangled Tree wines, their Eco Range, and Four Cousins, their Lifestyle Range. To see all their ranges and wines, and their history, please click on the link above.

I love visiting the winery, because it is in such a beautiful setting, and they have a gorgeous area under the trees where you can do your wine tasting and relax with friends and fmily. Their wines are delicious, and my personal favourites are the Van Loveren Colombar, and the Van Loveren African Java Pinotage. I always have a bottle or two (or more, but who’s counting?) of Van Loveren at home in my little wine rack.

My youngest son, doing some wine tasting with me at Van Loveren, just before he left for Ireland.

There is a lovely place to have lunch – Christina’s Bistro, where you can also sit and eat under the trees (weather permitting) and enjoy your food, your wine, and the stunning garden. They offer wine tasting, cellar tours and garden tours, and there are hiking and mountain bike trails.

The gardens.
The cellars.

All in all, I would recommend a visit to Van Loveren Wines should you ever be in the Robertson (Breede River Valley) area of South Africa, it is definitely well worth a visit.

Until next time, blog friends, enjoy your wine, but please don’t drink and drive. πŸ™‚

PS. This is NOT a paid advertisement, or sponsored in any way, this is me promoting the area I live in, and the excellent wines that are produced here.

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˜€

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˜€

Wine country (also known as ‘peace for the soul’.)

Pic taken from the tasting deck at Excelsior Wines.

I seriously cannot believe that four days have passed since my last post. It is scary how time is flying at the moment…

Since I live in one of the most beautiful areas (in my humble opinion, anyway!) in our country, I thought I’d tell you a bit about it, and of course, show you a bit of its beauty.

I am going to keep it short, but I’ll post something about our wines and area regularly – you know about my personal aversion to never ending posts!

I live in a town called Robertson, in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Now, some of you may know – South Africa produces some of the best wines in the world. Visitors to our country normally concentrate their wine tastings and tours in the Stellenbosch, Franschhoek (translated from Dutch, it means French Corner) and Paarl areas, but our valley, the Breede River Valley, makes wine every bit as good as the ones produced there. Also, the areas around our wine farms are as beautiful!

So, I am making it my mission to promote our area to potential visitors, as I think a bit of extra marketing never hurt any business! I actually moved here 2 years ago from a very different part of the country, and I cannot tell you the difference it has made in my life!

It probably has more to do with personal peace and less with the specific area, but since it makes me so happy to be here, you can understand that I want to share this with the world – or at least with anyone that wants to listen! Don’t you think your surroundings have a profound influence on how happy you are?

The few pictures I am sharing with you today, was taken last week Thursday, on a wine appreciation tour I did with a few other locals. ( I am only doing a few quick photo’s as an appetizer, I’ll go into more detail of each place in separate posts – if you are interested! πŸ˜‰ )

We visited five of the many gems in the area, and it was an eye opener to realize exactly what quality of wines there are in this area. And the people! Knowledgeable, friendly and welcoming. If ever you do come to South Africa, please put our valley on your itinerary!

Until next time, cheers! πŸ˜€

The setting of Silverthorn Wines.
The vineyards at Esona Boutique Wine Estate.
The barge on the river at Viljoensdrift Wines.
The huge cellars at Van Loveren.