Friday, August 30, 2013

A visit to Plaisir de Merle (Franschhoek)

Plaisir de Merl wine tasting

Mr Fabulosity at Plaisir de Merl
 Thirsty, and looking for our first wine-tasting stop on our recent visit to Franschhoek, Mr Fabulosity convinced us to pull into Plaisir de Merl. I'd never been to the wine estate before, and after a long, winding drive, we finally arrived, to be greeted by the most gorgeous peacock.

The setting is quite picturesque and the wine tasting room is welcoming, but quiet. This is by no means a rowdy spot for students. Tastings are conducted in the Tasting Centre, once an old barn which was built in 1823. It's relaxed, but sophisticated and the wines are meant to be enjoyed slowly (ie, not a place to visit if you're in a rush). There are comfy couches and historical ornaments,  showcasing a bygone era. The sound carries, so tasters mumble to themselves in their little corners, in between sips of wine.

Plaisir de Merl tasting room - pic by Julia Freemantle

wine tasting at Plaisir de Merl

They have a selection of wines on offer in different tasting and pricing categories:
Cellar Tour and Tasting:
A tour of the Cellar, which is surrounded by a moat, plus wine tasting = R120 per person (booking essential).
Standard Tasting:
A basic sample of the Plaisir De Merle range = R40 per person.
Flavour Sensation:
Wine tasting with food pairings: Sauvignon Blanc and sundried tomatoes, Chardonnay and cashew nuts, Merlot and frozen berries, Cabernet Sauvignon and fruit cake, Shiraz and biltong and Grand Plaisir with delicious confectioneries = R70 per person.
Sweet Sensation:
Award-wining red wines with a fudge tasting = R70 per person.
Exclusive Tasting:
A tasting of our rare single varietals: Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. This experience is rounded off by the Grand Plaisir, a blend of cultivars chosen to provide layers of flavour and complexity = R100 per person.

We just opted for the standard tasting as an introduction to the farm and also because we had a long day ahead of other places to visit. I liked their Chardonnay and their Shiraz was excellent!

Plaisir de Merl wine tasting

Plaisir de Merl wine tasting with Jules
Monday to Friday:
9am - 5pm.
10am - 4pm (November to March) and 10am - 2pm (April to October).
Closed on Sundays and public holidays.

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