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Riebeek Kasteel gets hell hot in summer so bear that in mind when planning day excursions. Wine tastings are a good way to start as wines from this region have a distinct character. It has something to do with the seasons and the soil. There are South African cultivars that grow particularly well in the Swartland (Black land) like Shiraz. Pinotage is unique to South Africa, it's a new age Pinot Noir. Do make a point of tasting them. Visit The Wine Collective or Wijn Kollectiv in Short Street for wine tastings. They are in the heart of Riebeek Kasteel and stock a good selection of wines from the region to suit all pockets. We are unashamedly thrifty and the bloke who helped us wasn't fazed by that at all. If you happen like any of the wines you bought, they do on-line deliveries all over the world. www.thewinekollective.co.za. Good to know.
|Wijn Kollectiv Winkel|
Wine farms are without doubt a really big attraction in the Riebeek Valley. The nearest wine farms are: -
|Wine tasting at Allesverloren|
The name of this farm means - All is Lost. The widow Cloete who owned the farm came home to find the San people had set fire to the place and she uttered those words. The name stuck but don't worry, the farm is in good nick. It is the oldest wine farm in the region. They do a wine tasting for R20 but waiver that fee if you buy wine. We liked that. And bought a few wines including a dry rose. Who knew rose could taste so good? They do an exceptional port but we're not keen on sweet or fortified wines. The Pleasant Pheasant cafe is on the other side of the farm and they serve - great wine obviously - at a bargain R20 a glass - but pizza, burgers and quiche with chips or salad. Not gourmet, but good. They are the only vineyard that has a restaurant unlike most of the other wine routes in the Cape.
Pulpit Rock -
|View from our walk at Pulpit Rock wine estate|
I mentioned we did a walk from this wine farm earlier in this post. You may want to do the same. Pulpit Rock is a new winery, the first grapes were harvested in 2004. It belongs to the Brink family who have been farming in the area for more than 5 decades. I loved the wines. And loved the prices.
|Kloovenberg Wine Estate Riebeek Kasteel|
We couldn't do wine tastings - and still drive - to all the farms so this one sadly was given a miss. Hey, there's always a next time? What's nice about this estate is that it has buildings going back to the 18th century. It was mentioned in the History Route Guide as a "must see" for it's architecture.
Swartland Winery -
|Lunch Break at Pleasant Pheasant at Allesverloren|
We never got to this winery either but apparently it's a good source of exceptional quality bargain wines. They won 4 Bronze and 2 Silver Decanter World Wine awards in 2013 and 2014. Their Pinotage and Shiraz were in the top 100 wines in South Africa in 2012.
The Swartland Wine Route is a bit further out and includes even more wine farms. Ask for a Swartland Wine and Olive Route map at one of the wine farms or find it on www.swartlandwineandolives.co.za. We're partial to dry reds. Have to say, the dry reds in this region are right up our street. These wines definitely need to breathe to be at their best. My husband and I tend to buy organic wine but over the years of visiting wine farms we have noticed that farmers are steering away from using a plethora of biocides - aka herbicides, insecticides, nematicides, termiticides, molluscicides, piscicides, avicides, rodenticides, predacides, bacteriacides, fungicides - yes really - and engaging in a more natural approach to vinticulture. I've not seen nets covering the vineyards before to keep birds out, but saw them on this trip. And we heard birds in the area. Yay! So although the wines aren't labelled organic, they are much cleaner than in the past. South Africa exports a LOT of wine to Europe and the EU standards for pesticide levels are high. Also a consumer shift to cleaner and greener wines is forcing vineyards to be compliant to stay in business. Great news.
|Italian restaurant in town|
Don't forget to do an olive tasting as well. Should you miss out on olives at any of the wine farms you can always pop in to Het Vlok Casteel which is right in Riebeek Kasteel. They sell the best olives ever. And other olive products such as skincare and oils.
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If you go to My Holidays and Trips page you can find out about other places we have been to.
Labels: Riebeek Kasteel, Wines. estates