Last weekend was the turn of the Franschhoek wine farms as we headed out to the Franschhoek Winter Wines Festival at L’Ormarins. This treat was courtesy of our wonderful friends Kathy & Steve as my birthday present!
What made this festival different was that all of the estates sent their winemakers to showcase some of their best red wines in one place – at the Franschhoek Motor Museum at L’Ormarins wine estate.
This is quite a spectacular venue in its own right. Four large halls house an assortment of beautiful vintage, sports and racing cars. These include the first Ford – “Model A” – bought by a South African businessman in New York and the Rolls Royce Phantom (pictured below).
Not only are all of these cars in mint condition, they are also all in perfect running order. So, for the car enthusiast, I’m told, there is an opportunity once a month of volunteering to drive the cars and give them all a good “run”. A petrolhead’s dream come true!
22 Franschhoek wine farms
All of our favourite estates were represented amongst the 22 farms. Some we’ve mentioned in our previous posts on the Winelands, such as Boschendal; Haute Cabriere and Rickety Bridge. Then there are some new ones such as Paserene, that have only had their tasting rooms open for a month and are definitely worth a visit. Owner and winemaker, Martin Smith says his farm is named for the order of birds that includes his namesake, the Martin. Technically, the correct spelling is Passerine, but still, try and figure out – or remember- that little gem after tasting 22 reds…!
His Paserene Marathon 2016 was definitely one of the most impressive of the day. It has an unusual blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 51% Petit Verdot and 7% Carménère. Everything about his wine is artistic, including the simple but beautiful label and we can’t wait to taste his Chardonnay.
Another new and interesting one for us was Haut Espoir, with their 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, from a single block planted in 2000. The farm runs along biodynamic principals, which is in their words a “spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture, food production and nutrition”.
The Rupert stable
The wines of Anthonij Rupert Wyne featured prominently, with the Cape of Good Hope Riebeeksrivier Southern Slopes 2013 and their Terra del Capo Sangiovese 2014 standing out. The late Anthonij Rupert’s love of all things Italian has had a big influence on the wines produced by this estate.
La Motte was also amongst the 22 estates represented, with their Pierneef Syrah Viognier 2015, a unique red-and-white blend. This estate is another in the Rupert stable, owned by the Rupert daughter, Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg. Hanneli and her brother Johann (who now owns L’Ormarins) are also in partnership with the De Rothschild family of France. They produce wines on the Fredericksburg farm under the well-known Rupert & Rothschild label.
To complement all of these beautiful wines, the chefs at Terra del Capo provided a few delicious dishes. Italian sausage with cannellini beans (the men had two helpings each of this one!); oven baked potato soup with a variety of gourmet toppings (creme fraiche; croutons; cheese; dried onions; pancetta) and wild mushroom arancini with truffle aioli. Absolutely delicious, all of it! We couldn’t decide which to choose so we got two helpings of everything and then went back for more. They also served an interesting and very yummy selection of treats for those of us with those sweet teeth…
A lovely day all round and some potential new wine farms to visit!
Don’t forget – we’d love to hear your comments and feedback, as well as your own experiences. Please send us any comments or questions you may have, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube; sign up to receive new posts, or click on the Booking.com search box to book your next adventure!
Until next time!