As we head furiously towards Christmas, the weekends seem to blur into an array of activities and festivities! This last one was filled with Madiba memories, kitchen teas, first birthdays, wine farms and sea swims.
The boys started Saturday morning with a leisurely breakfast at Ridgeback Wines, a small unassuming wine farm in Agter Paarl. We popped in there briefly during the Ommiberg festival at the beginning of the year and really enjoyed their vibe they had going. The restaurant has a deck which sits over the small dam, home to a few swans, with a homely, down to earth farm feel to it. We will definitely be taking people back here.
The boys were raving about the whole experience, a genuine boutique winery without all the hoity-toity-ness. The TRH is a qualified Sommelier who gave so much insight to the wines and just made the experience that much more enjoyable. They have really smart labels and I just the Ridgeback silhouette. The name comes from the Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs on the farm, and the Rhodesian roots the farm owner has. In the old days Ridgebacks were used for lion hunting and the name embodies the strength and quality of the red wines produced on the farm today.
According to the boys, it was some of the best wines that they have tasted and at reasonable prices too. Of course a few bottles were bought and proudly shown off, so I will have to post about them when we next enjoy them. The wines which landed up on my wine rack were the Ridgeback Journey 2012, a Bordeaux blend, the Ridgeback Shiraz 2008 and the Ridgeback His Masters Choice 2008, an SMV blend (Shiraz, Mourvedre, Viognier). The later two can still be kept for another 5 – 8 years, so we will have to see how long they last on the wine rack.
Us girls met up with them at Allee Bleue wine farm. I always expected this farm to be busy with tourist buses and the likes, but it was really quiet when we got there. No weddings on or anything. The tasting room is very chic and modern, but we sat outside on the couches with the beautiful weather.
I was there for a wedding a couple of years ago and it really is a beautiful venue, my friend walked down the “aisle” between the vineyards, drinks were on the lawn under the trees and the reception in the Manor House courtyard.
There is a delightful little bistro as you drive into the farm, but the wine tasting, picnic area and beautiful settings are at the end of the driveway.
Between us we enjoyed a couple of bottles of the Allee Bleue Sauvignon Blanc 2013, which is deliciously light, tropical and refreshing on such a hot day! The grapes used are actually from vineyards in the Walker Bay area which is up the coast, of course the sea breezes creating great conditions for a Sav B. I was super keen to taste the Brut Rose, it just looks so lovely, but there were no other takers – perhaps next time.
Another beautiful weekend with friends and family. Looking forward to the long weekend and counting the days to the holidays!
From the N1, take the R44 turnoff towards Wellington. Just after Windmeul Cellar turn right towards Paarl. About 100m and the farm will be on a dirt road to your right.
Tel: +27 21 869 8988
Latitude:-33.673333 Longitude: 18.915
Intersection of R45 and R310 on the way to Franschhoek.
Tel: +27 21 874 1021