October really is wine month in the Cape...
Even though we're still a few months from harvesting season, plenty of wine farms celebrate their 2012 releases this time of year and, with the summer sun playing along, there's more than enough reason to head outdoors this weekend.
Last weekend I went to Season of Sauvignon, which takes place in the Durbanville wine valley region. I was so sad to see that one of my favourite boutique wineries had closed: de Vallei. It's a sign of the times. But determined to support these wine farmers more than ever by consuming copious amounts of alcohol, we rallied some friend together for some serious wine tasting.
We started at Hillcrest wine estate (http://www.hillcrestfarm.co.za), where we did a vertical tasting of their sauvignon blancs. We also thoroughly enjoyed the reds (particularly the cab sauv merlot) and the rose. After lining our stomachs with some brownies and buying some olive oil, we headed off to the next wine farm, Nitida (http://nitida.co.za).
We shared a bottle of the Nitida Sauvignon Blanc, which was easy drinking without too much acidity, followed by a lunch at their Tables Restaurant. The menu offers casual cafe-style meals such as burgers, steak rolls, paninis and muscles, fairly reasonably priced.
It was a busy day and there was a slight mix-up with out order, which we didn't mind, but a woman (who we presume was the manager) came out apologized, and then said that our waiter would pay for his mistake as he should know better. We were all a bit put off by her attitude and headed off soon after to the main tasting room to try some of the other wines.
The tasting was basically finished (it was only about 1:45pm), so we only managed to try a couple things from the last remaining bottles before we headed off to our next stop.
We arrived at D'aria (http://www.dariawinery.co.za/) in time for some live music, plenty of wine tasting and festivities. We were loving the sauvignon slush puppies and sauvignon tequila shots, which only added more to our festive mood. I went on to the reds pretty quickly, as D'aria makes an amazing shiraz, called Soprano... many mores bottles ensued...
Our friends headed back to Cape Town, while my husband and I continued on through the rugby and well into the evening – dancing to an awesome 80s cover band – before deciding that we'd had far too much fun to possibly drive home, and ended up staying at a hotel down the road...
But that's not the end of our wine-tasting activities this month...
Tomorrow is the annual Pinotage on Tap festival at Diemersfontein (http://www.diemersfontein.co.za/). Tickets are R320, but they include lunch, a separate goodie bag with water and sandwiches, a chocolate fountain (very popular) activities, games, live music (including Albert Frost, Gerald Clark and Goodluck) and most importantly, as much wine as you can drink – straight out of the barrel.... This year I see they are offering camping facilities for those who don't have designated drivers. There is also a return bus from Cape Town. Check the website for details.
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