Just a quick recap of some of the wines we enjoyed over the last week or so. We didn’t actually visit any wine farms, but found some fabulous new spots for drinks, delicious new spots to dine and some great wines whose farms we need to visit.
During the week we had dinner at Guardian Peak restaurant. Some family from out of town were wanting dinner on a wine farm and Guardian Peak is one of the few that is open after 5pm. It was an absolute hit, with one of the guys saying the Lamb Rack was some of the best lamb he had tasted in a long while. We had a nice big table of family and friends catching up with great food and wine. Half the table enjoyed the Sauvignon Blanc 2013, light & crisp with tropical fruit aromas that remind you of summer, while the other half opted for the Frontier Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 which is really nice too. A bit heavier than some of the table preferred, but perfect with our Espetadas and Springbok Venison – yum! We had an awesome evening at a great restaurant with a spectacular setting.
Friday night we walked the streets of Stellenbosch, enjoying the entertainment of the annual VENSTERSproductions. What an awesome atmosphere, and so well organised with all the streets closed off. You certainly have to give it to the first year students, they dance around in ridiculous outfits with so much enthusiasm, you can’t help but be entertained! We headed into town just before 9pm (and before it got too rowdy at Vensters) to get a bite to eat. Of course everywhere was full, being Stellenbosch Wine Festival Week as well as all the new students (and their parents) arriving in town. We tried to have a drink at Bartinney’s Wine & Champagne Bar (E was there with friends during the week and wanted to take me back) and Schoon de Companje, but both were closing up. So Apres Bistro & Pizzeria it was. Great vibe, delicious pizza and a nice range of craft beers – no wine tonight, the 40 degree heat demanded thirst quenching craft beers!
Saturday morning we hit up Root 44 market. I think it is definitely more of a lunch time market because it was still quite quiet when we arrived starving at 10am. Of course the little people were in their element as they had free reign on all the jungle gyms and carnival rides! But after our favourite bacon and egg jaffel we had a drink down on the deck overlooking the vineyards. We missed the Park Run this week – an easy 5km time trial run they have every Saturday before the market starts – a fantastic way to start off the weekend, running/walking through the vineyards. Next time. Instead we relaxed and enjoyed a drink with friends, I had a delicious glass of Pecan Stream Chenin Blanc (Waterford Wine Estate), dry with fruity flavours of peach and apricot. Which reminded me, we need to get to Waterford Wine Estate sometime soon. Their wines are delicious and so too, the infamous chocolate and wine pairing.
After a bit of admin and furniture shopping we stopped in Stellenbosch town for some lunch and tried Schoon de Companje again, this time with success. Lovely, lovely spot whether on the sidewalk or inside. Delicious food, bread, meat and sandwich options to choose and pair. I had some ciabatta with slow roasted tomatoes and red wine pork belly – explosion of taste… mmmm! Do yourself a favour and pop in there, the artisan breads and pastries are delectable, they also have a boutique butchery and a host of other artisan goods. We ordered a bottle of Noble Savage Sauvignon Blanc, to enjoy with our leisurely lunch. Interestingly, Noble Savage is a new wine range from the Bartinney Private Cellar on Helshoogte Pass (and yes, the same people as the Bartinney Wine & Champagne Bar mentioned above). They call the Noble Savage range a sexy blend of mischief. Very well priced and a lovely light lunch time wine full of granadilla and kiwi flavours. Definitely got to make a plan to get back to Bartinney’s.
For an early dinner with friends we took one of our Ridgeback treasures. E was at their farm during the week and they were having a little bit of a sale… I think we got the last bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and a few bottles of their delicious Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 for R60 – that is a bargain!! Very smooth and being a 2010 you can enjoy it now or keep it for a few years. I know a Cab Sav is not everyone’s favourite, but if you do enjoy it, this is certainly one to keep on the wine rack.
So, while no actual wine farms were visited… some good wines were enjoyed and a few more farms added to the list of future visits.
How was your weekend?
Annandale Road, Stellenbosch
Tel: +27 21 881 3899
BARTINNEY PRIVATE CELLAR
Helshoogte Pass (R310), Stellenbosch
Tel: +27 21 885 1013
Main Street, Noord-Agter Paarl
+27 21 869 8068