A little disappointing actually. We have been wanting to visit Solms Delta for a while now after reading about them in numerous magazines. The way they have integrated the indigenous fynbos into their restaurant menu, the museum documenting some of the country’s history, all the concerts and events they hold on the estate and after tasting the delicious flagship Africana at the winter wines festival last year, we keep meaning to pop in for a visit.
So on Sunday, on the way to watch a friend’s band, The Flying Dakotas, playing in Franschhoek, we stopped into Solms Delta for a wine tasting.
Granted it was about 4pm on a Sunday afternoon and the weather wasn’t great with grey skies and light rain, but there were still quite a few people. Upon arrival, no-one was particularly friendly when we were trying to ask how it all works. It seemed like one group had just finished a wine tasting and were moving on for a tour of sorts, another group was having a tour of the room in which we were instructed to sit. The room houses artifacts and loads of information regarding the history of the farm and most of Franschhoek. Our TRH was lovely, well spoken and very friendly, but the general atmosphere wasn’t that great.
The wines were interesting, a lot of varietals I haven’t heard of before and a delicious Peartiser! I know with the heat in the last few weeks it probably is necessary to keep the red wines cool, but one must be careful not to cancel out the full flavours with the temperature, we were warming our glass with our hands to better taste the red wines.
I do quite like the unique names of the wines. The Vastrap 2012 is a Chenin & Semillon blend, quite sharp and tart from the Chenin, but a soft finish. The Amalie 2012 (Viognier, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc) has spent time in French oak and has quite a buttery, Chardonnay juice type of flavour – I think it would go great with a rich pasta or risotto. The Lekkerwijn 2012 (Mourvedre, Grenache Noir, Viognier) is an earthy dry and light rosé, for when you can’t decide between a red or a white. It is light like a summer white, with a dry red finish, a great picnic wine. The Langarm 2012 (Pinotage, Touriga Nacional, Shiraz, Mourvedre) which has only been in stainless steel tanks is quite interesting and quite dry, you can immediately pick up the Pinotage on the nose. The Hiervandaan 2011 (Shiraz, Mourvedre, Grenache Noir, Carignan) could stay a little longer in the bottle to smooth out, quite a bit of white pepper spice and currant fruit flavours, a typical Rhone red blend. They also have bubbles, but sparkling (not MCC), made from only Shiraz, the Cape Jazz Shiraz NV. If served cold, it is delicious, like sparkling grape juice just with a drier finish!
Lastly, not wine, but the farm produces a pear cider called Dik Delta Perry NV which is a light, fruity peartiser drink – actually tastes like it would go great with breakfast… or lunch. Nice experimenting!
Overall, not my favourite experience. I can understand the tourist attraction (and I think the tourists are favoured here). Love their labels and their beautiful setting, and would still like to try the Fyndraai Restaurant, but was a little disappointed with the whole museum and wine tasting experience – from a locals perspective.
Have you been before? What did you think? Did we catch them on a bad day, at the end of a Sunday afternoon shift?
SOLMS DELTA WINE ESTATE
Delta Road, off the R45 on the way to Franschhoek
Tel: +27 21 874 3937