On our third day in South Africa, our host and tour guide Thomas takes us all the way to Stellenbosch and Franschhoek to try several wines and do an ice cream tasting.
The actual tour consists of only wine tastings but I’m afraid I’ll be drunk by noon and ask him to replace one winery with something else. And if you know me just a little, you also know how super friggin happy I am about the ice cream choice!
We head out to Fairview first. Fairview is a working farm housing a collection of micro-businesses all sharing in a common goal – “to create artisanal and sustainable produce, with a focus on fine wine and cheese” (Fairview website).
They offer a variety of products and services. We chose the Wine & Cheese Tasting for R40 per person (€2,70/$3,30) and get to try 6 wines and a collection of accompanying cheeses. They have two tastings to chose from: the classic tasting and “something different”. Each one combines 2 whites with 4 reds. We like whites much better and therefore got to taste the 4 white wines and were recommended the two comparatively mild reds:
Fairview Darling Sauvignon Blanc
Aromas: Green figs, guava
Goes well with: Anything really!
- Fairview Chardonnay
Aromas: Jasmin blossom, citrus
Goes well with: Smoked Fish
- Fairview Verdelho
Aromas: Melon, citrus
Goes well with: Goat’s Cheese (guess what they served it with!)
- Fairview Viognier
Aromas: Stonefruit, honeysuckle
Goes well with: Vitello Tonato
- Fairview Pinotage
Aromas: Lavender, plum
Goes well with: Ostrich, lamb, venison
- Fairview Shiraz
Aromas: Pepper, red berries
Goes well with: Roast beef, venison
We like the Sauvignon Blanc the best. The other wines are okay but not necessarily the best we’ve ever had. To me, Fairview isn’t as much about the taste of the wines as about the whole customer experience. I really like the atmosphere they create: 4 unique, barrel-shaped ‘pods’ facilitate a welcoming and social tasting with dedicated hosts to guide and assist us.
Next stop is at Leopard’s Leap (click for more info) in Franschhoek which offers a great variety of very easy-drinking quality wines that are popular in the local and international markets alike. They offer great services such as wine tastings, buffet-style rotisserie-based lunches, and cooking classes.
For R80 per person they serve us 5 different wines to our liking. We choose:
- Sauvignon Blanc (Classic line)
- Chenin Blanc (Classic line)
- Lookout Semi-Sweet Chenin Blanc/Muscat (Lookout line)
- Chardonnay Pinot Noir (Classic Line)
- Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir (Classic Line)
We love them all – maybe the first couple of wines finally kick in or these wines really are amazing. Tristan and I agree that their Lookout Semi-Sweet is the best wine we have ever had and buy 6 bottles. On a side note: if you buy 6 bottles of wine, you get the tasting for free!
I highly recommend this place! If you don’t feel like drinking that much wine, just go and sit, eat, and relax. This location is super cool!
Last stop for wine is at the Spier Wine Farm (more info). We hop in right before they close and get to taste all wines for FREE as they would have to pour the wine from the opened bottles down the sink anyways.
It’s a very short visit. Therefore, this post probably doesn’t do it justice.
The wine is okay but coming from Leopard’s Leap it honestly is rather disappointing. The location is very nice, though. There’s a restaurant where you can get everything for a picnic out by the lake. Very cool for families with younger kids!
We end our tour with some ice cream as already mentioned above and head back to Capetown to watch the sunset on Signal Hill.
So, stay tuned. 😉