Spice Route

Being right around the corner with a beer & biltong bar which now stays open until 8pm (most farms close at 5pm) we do tend to frequent this lovely farm, and always take visitors with us!
We actually first tasted the Spice Route Chenin Blanc in the Cayman Islands (see previous Wine with dinner post).

The view from the wine tasting area is just spectactular, from the vineyards and farms below to the Stellenbosch mountains & valley on the left and all the way to Table Mountain in the distance.  You can just about spend an entire day at thus farm with all the different options (we almost did).

Grappa tasting & the pizzeria – I went for a birthday lunch this year.  It was horrible weather, but cosy inside with the fireplaces.  We sat on the Grappa tasting side, took our own wine and had fantastic pizzas, delicious thin crust pizzas, specifically the Giorgio, Parma ham & Rocket and also the Flammkuchen (Tarte Flambe, which is a thin crust pizza with cream cheese, onions, bacon and garlic).  A lovely afternoon in the cold and wet weather.

DV Artisan Chocolate – There is a great chocolate tasting experience here and a lovely espresso bar.  You can actually see where the chocolate is being made, taste the cocoa beans and the variety of chocolates from different regions in the world.  Excellent chocolate and delicious tasting!

CBC Brewery  – A glass wall is all that stands between you and the brewery if you enjoy seeing the full process and watching all the machinery in action.  The beer making methods and information is all artistically captured on the walls.  I have not actually done at tasting at the brewery, but I have enjoyed a few IPAs and Pilsners with a bowl of biltong at the adjacent Biltong & Barley.

Glass StudioA must see.  The creations are amazing and they are often busy at work melting and molding the glass, which is quite amazing to watch.

Restaurant A delicious menu which I have yet to taste.

Wine TastingDefinitely one of the most enjoyable wine tasting experiences there is.  The TRHs are very knowledgable and friendly, the wines are superb, the view is amazing.  There have even been some birthday or bachelorette wine tasting parties at the tables on the lawn, which are a great idea.

My wine notes below…

This was definitely the best WHITE of the day.  It had a nose of apples and pineapple with a very crisp and fresh taste, some gooseberry flavours coming through.  The winery notes mentioned grapefruit and floral notes with tropical fruit, fresh cut grass and green tea flavours.
A very nice wine.

Originally from the Rhone Valley, this varietal is usually blended with RED wines.  It has a lovely vanilla nose.  It is a very smooth wine to drink, with a full ripe fruit flavour and has a similar finish to a RED wine, which seems strange, but believable given the blending information.  I definitely agree with the winery’s notes about and elegant length finish.  Not my first choice of wines, but interesting and enjoyable.

I thought this wine had a slightly fruity and soft rose nose, almost like the smell of the make-up and perfume combination a older aunt might have.  It definitely had a CHENIN finish in the taste, that slightly more asyn taste than a Sav B.  I could taste pears, with some peaches and apricots.  Having spent time on barrels, there is a slight wooded taste to the wine, like the spiced apple flavours mentioned in the winery’s tasting note.

As our well informed tasting room assistant taught us, the Mourvedre is the light baby sister of a Shiraz.  It is a Spanish grape with a French name.  It is spicy but less bold than a Shiraz.  It smells slightly sweet, but spicy and light.  I noticed it has quite hectic legs, and on tasting you get the tannins at the back of your throat.  A very nice fruity wine with a smoky finish and an apt description of a younger Shiraz.  A very enjoyable RED wine.  I definitely agree with the wild herb and smoky aromas in the winery’s notes.

The varietal created with Pinot Noir and Hermitage (France).  Apparently this wine can be kept for almost 10 years.  I did not think it was amazing, more of an easy drinking pizza wine.  “A lekker kuier wine” as someone else at our table described it.  It is definitely a lighter Pinotage with not such strong coffee and chocolate flavours, a lot more fruity, maybe a little too fruity.  The winery accurately describes it has have a subtle spice with raspberries and plums.  Not my favourite Pinotage, personal preference.

SPICE ROUTE CHAKALAKA 2010 (Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan, Petit Sirah, Grenache, Tannat)
Chakalaka is a spicy African relish made from a blend of a number of ingredients.  In the same way, they say, this wine being a blend of 6 wine varietals is a similar spicy blend of African flavours.  It is very dark in colour and has a definite spicy, smoky clove nose.  It is a solid wine.  Having both the robustness of the Spanish varietals and the softer effects of the French varietals, this blend is excellent.  It has a delicious flavour of plums, sweet oak and spice.  With all the flavours, I would agree that this wine can be paired with just about any food.  A lovely blend!

Fantastic wine.  A Syrah is the same grape as a Shiraz, but the wine has been made using old world style (the grapes being of Persian origin) wine making techniques, whereas a Shiraz is made using new world techniques.  The old style creates a smooth, less robust palate.  This wine has spent 20 months in French oak.  It smells of liquorice and white pepper with a hint of cedar wood coming from the oak.  It is a medium bodied wine with a lovely combination of fruit and spice flavours.  A fantastic wine, no need to pair with anything it can definitely be enjoyed by itself.



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