Thursday, October 10, 2013

Franschhoek Uncorked 2013 - what we drank, ate and saw

Last month I went to the Franschhoek Uncorked wine festival in the Franschhoek valley. It was pouring with rain, but otherwise, a very wonderful wine-consuming day.
Much like Wacky Wine (although for a slightly older, more sophisticated crowd), guests get a pass which allows for tastings at different participating wineries.
We went on a Sunday, so we couldn't get too out of hand, but had a fabulous day visiting some of our favourite spots (and some we hadn't been to before).

We started at our faithful Haute Cabrière, where my hubby tried his luck at tossing tennis balls into a tyre on the lake in order to wine a prize. He won a bottle of bubbly last year, but sadly (and because of the strong winds - he said) he couldn't quite get it right this time round. So we went off to try the new vintage of the Tranquille and the Pinot Noir Chardonnay. The Belle Rose is a truly lovely bubbly.

Next we headed off in search of The Chocolate Block - famed red wine blend from a winery called Boekenhoutskloof. They also make the Porcupine Ridge and Wolftrap range of wines.
They have just launched the new vintage of the blend and have changed the percentage break down slightly. It's quite different in terms of flavour, compared to the previous vintages. I was a big fan of '08 and '09. Boekenhoutskloof is not normally open on the weekends, so if you have to opportunity to visit the estate, you must.
Our next stop was down the road at La Bri. I do love their Viognier and, as I hadn't been to the winery before, we made a quick stop before meeting up with our friend Rudi (winemaker of D'Aria) for lunch.

We decided to try The Kitchen at Maison Wine Estate for lunch. While we waited for a table we samples their wines by the fireplace (it was a chilly September day). We also did a cheese and wine pairing. They are known for their Shiraz and it's so worth popping in if you are Shiraz lover like me. 

I had the line fish for lunch and hubby and Rudi had the pork belly. The food was delish, although I think a little overpriced. But it was worth trying it out.

cheese and wine pairing at Maison

line fish at The Kitchen at Maison

Pork belly, gnocchi, guava, fennel, pumpkin miso lime emulsion at The Kitchen at Maison
Our last stop was Franschhoek Cellar. They hosted wines from a few different producers, so we got to taste a number of different wines and had delicious nougat and strawberries dipped in chocolate fountain chocolate. They also had a boutique chocolate maker and a cheesemaker showcasing their produce. Naturally my sweet-toothed husband was obsessed with the chocolates, and only regrets not buying more. I really liked the Franschhoek Cellars Shiraz (no surprises there)...

Franschhoek Cellar
For more information on the festival, visit:
Passes are R120 per person for the weekend.
It's worth making a weekend of it and staying over in Franschhoek on the Saturday night.
Great affordable cottages can be found at Bo La Motte. Visit the website for more info:
Or for even more budget accommodation, try Otter's Bend Backpackers:

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