Monday, February 10, 2014

Franschhoek Summer Wines at Leopard's Leap

This very modern winery is situated on the main road into Franschhoek and this building contains the stylish tasting room, a shop selling modern kitchen equipment and accessories and the large restaurant and open kitchen where they also hold cookery lessons.
The different wine farms' stalls were all set up on the lawn under umbrellas, with seats and umbrellas in the middle. Suited for summer drinking, most of the wines were white, with a couple of rosés and some good MCC bubblies.  We tasted Sauvignon Blancs, Semillons, Chenins, Viognier, Chardonnays, several blends and Terra del Capo's good Pinot Grigio.  We particularly liked La Bri’s Chardonnay, so well made by Irene Waller, Haute Cabrières Belle Rose and Morena’s Brut Rosé. The standard of wines was very high and most were eminently drinkable, nay quaffable.
The chef on the left is Granville Riffel from Franschhoek and told Lynne he is Reuben Riffel's cousin. He works under  Head Chef  Pieter de Jager. Their pastry chef had lots of dessert delights on offer to tempt us.
Lunch was a serve yourself salad buffet and your plate was weighed to gauge the cost. We had a Moroccan chickpea couscous salad topped with a hot harissa, an artichoke and egg mixed salad, a potato salad, beetroot, beans and many more. If you didn’t eat meat you were fine, you just didn’t add any at the end
Then you could add a large slice of this magnificent crisp rotisserie pork, or some barbecue chicken. And there was apple sauce and other accoutrements to go with the salads and the chicken.
Our first bubby of the day was the MCC from Morena, lovely and crisp and lively
Lots of enthusiastic festival goers queued to taste it
La Motte offers the best selling sauvignon Blanc in South Africa from the farm next door
Takuan von Arnim showing the delicious Haute Cabrière Belle Rose
Lizelle Gerber, Boschendal's white wine maker, with their Brut Rosé
Ghenwa and Geza Steingaszner with Kevin Swart of Black Elephant Vintners and his wife
BE Vintners winemaker Jacques Wentzel with Barbara Swanepoel and her daughter
Anelle van Tonder of Babylonstoren
A band played Springsteen, rock, pop and other oldies
Great seating on the cool shaded and misted terrace and the queue for the buffet behind.  Everyone seemed to eat lunch; the queue went on for ages but was reasonably quick.
There were also some good chilling areas if you wanted a rest from tasting
The spacious lawn gave the large number of visitors plenty of room and no one felt crowded
Two English visitors, escaping the British winter with a glass of Leopard's Leap bubbly
poured by Lillian Jonker and Stian Willemse
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© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014
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