2013 started off with a bang and although most of us got out of the holiday cheer, some of us were looking forward to the February Hands on Harvest that took place in Robertson on the weekend of the 21 Feb. The whole idea behind “Come wine with us AWAY” was to experience the wine farms first hand, after initially connecting with the winemaker during the “Come Wine with Us” restaurant gatherings . We thought the Hands on Harvest would be the ideal opportunity to pursue this. We attended the weekend with a small group of loyal supporters who supported us throughout last year, and we hope to add more to this very special group of winos.
It was a privilege organising this trip and therefore we’d love to share a few of the places we visited: We arrived on the Friday afternoon in Robertson and then headed off to Bakenoord guest houses which is nestled along the Breede Rivier on your way to Bonnievale. We were welcomed by Annemi, the owner who escorted us to our guest houses. Bakenoord, which consists of 4 cottages, 1) onder die Bloekom which sleeps 4, 2) Die Kraal which sleeps each 3 people and then the 3) Honeymoon suite which sleeps 2.
2 of the cottages include a lovely braai area where many laughs were shared during the course of the weekend. Come wine with us thoroughly enjoyed the stay and would definitely return.
Friday Evening: Arendsig wine Farm – End of Harvest dinner with the wine maker (www.arendsig.co.za)
For the Friday evening we were booked for dinner with the wine maker, Lourens van der Westhuizen at Arendsig. His lovely wife, Lizelle van der Westhuizen welcomed us at their brand new venue on their farm.
The idea was to do an end of Harvest dinner which included fresh roasted tomato soup, Tapas, Quiche Loraine, Beef Bourguignon and Crepe Suzettes.
All very typical French inspired dishes made in the middle of the Boland by the lovely caterer herself, Di Doms and her team from Plum Kitchen!
A definite highlight of the weekend by far! Lourens and Lizelle shared some of their new vintages which was a complete marriage with the food. Arendsig is very dear to us at Come wine with us, as they were the first wine we ever tasted exactly 1 year ago. Thank you very much for a memorable evening
After a great evening with Arendsig we were up early the next day, ready for all the activities to take place. Each guest was given a breakfast basket which included fresh scrambled eggs, bacon, croissants, fresh fruit and yoghurt and breakfast juice made by the lovely Lesley from Relish catering. We then got on board Marc Powells transport which ensured a strict no drinking and driving rule as “Come wine with us “ is a proud supporter of this movement.
Arriving at Weltevrede wine farm, everyone was very excited to bottle their own bubbly.
Weltevrede bubbly and wine maker, Phillip Jonker gave us a brief introduction as to how bubbly is made, and where it originated from.
In a very informative power point presentation, he demonstrated what exactly needs to be done when disgorging bubbly.
We then got a chance to degorge and bottle our very own bubbly.
This was a very fun and entertaining exercise, but best of all is that you were allowed to take your bubbly home !
Busy adding the magic potion…………………*
Getting all corked up!
Finishing off with the lables…..
Champagne/Cap Classique for everyone!
Next stop was Quando wine Estate for a private tasting with the wine maker himself, Fanus Bruwer. This was an intimate but really special tasting which we would not forget easily. Fanus presented us with some of his hand selected wines and demonstrated how he nurtures his vines, together with brother Mani, during the course of the year.
When the vineyards are harvested, each single block especially the Sauvignon Blanc, is harvested differently according to its location/terrior. Each wine variety is then tanked separately after which he blends the wine according to what he thinks would be the ideal blend. One of the most difficult things to do as a wine maker is to decide what to blend with what. Be it red or white, remains a true art. Fanus claims this is his speciality and he thoroughly enjoys blending his wines. Quando wines consist of a small but very versatile and quality range. Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin/Voignier Blend, Dry Rose, Sweet Aperitif Sauvignon Blanc and last but not least, the only red wine produced on the farm is a Pinot Noir. A def must visit when you are in the Robertson Valley.
If there is one place, where you have to pop by for lunch and a tasting, it has to be Bon Courage. Nestled underneath a big green pepper corn tree and Cape Dutch character building, it oozes a homey vibe to all visitors and locals.
At Come wine with us, Bon Courage is a very familiar face & yet memorable face. We started with a very informal tasting presented by the two very friendly ladies, Bea and Mavis.
First up ,was the ever so popular Jacques Bruwer Cap Classique which has received numerous awards and has been named one of the top Cap Classiques in the country.
After ending our tasting off with the ever so popular and bold INKARA Cab and Shiraz, we went for lunch at the popular Cafe Maude.
Renowned for their amazing burgers we decided to put it to the test. On the menu was the classic Cafe Maude burger Blue cheese burger.
All of us was presently surprised by the size of the meal and perceived it as being very good value for money. A few guests had the steak and onion rings which went down an absolute treat.
Our last stop for the day was De Wetshof wine Estate. Also a familiar ‘face’ to Come wine with us. De Wetshof, renowned for their super Chardonnays and delicate Pinot Noir really does make a statement when you enter the tasting area.
The beautiful Cape Dutch building is based on Thibault’s famous Koopmans-De Wet House in Cape Town, and oozes class and style.
Come wine with us was treated to a cellar tasting that was based on Chardonnays from all over the world. Some wooded, some un- wooded from De Wetshof itself and also some interesting Chardonnays from Chablis, France.
It’s remarkable to taste how one grape variety can vary in so many different styles due to the change of the terroir and wine making process. Johan De Wet, who is in charge of the marketing at De Wetshof together with Bennie Stipp, gave us a tour in their state of the art cellar.
One always wonders how much actually goes on behind the scenes when producing wines and De Wetshof clearly vouches for that due to their nurturing which starts in the vineyard right through to bottling. Like the saying goes, “Wine is bottled poetry”
At Come wine with us we are passionate about drinking great wines and having an awesome time. We would like to thank each and every person involved in making this an unforgettable weekend. Here’s to the next one!
Lots of foodie and wine love
Sybil and Peet
Thank you to Lucil van Deventer for the stunning pics you can view her website on:
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