Thursday, April 03, 2014

A tour to Darling

We'd made appointments with Ormonde, Charles Withington in his lovely Darling Wine Shop and Groote Post. Leaving the harbour at about 9 am, we reached Ormonde about an hour later. Zia du Toit, the marketing manager met us and introduced us to Adré Rheeder who took us into the vienyards.

Ormonde General Manager Adré Rheeder talks about the terroir of the farm
We tasted the Alexanderfontein, Ondine and Ormonde wines with chocolates made to suit the wines 
Marketing Manager Zia du Toit led the tasting
After this great experience, we paid a visit to Charles Withington
at the Darling Wine Shop
who gave us some of his own wines to taste and his 7 year old potstill brandy. 
From there, we moved to Groote Post for lunch at Hilda's Kitchen in the old Groote Post manor house
A starter plate of Darling charcuterie
Salmon trout salad
Mushroom quiche, another choice as starter
A seafood pie, made with kingklip, mussels and calamari
The Old Man's steak roll served with garlic crème and hand cut chips was chosen by two of us. It was so good that John tucked in before he remembered to take a picture. It was delicious, the meat being well-matured, full-flavoured and very tender, served medium rare

After lunch, we moved to the winery for a tasting with Wimpie Borman. As we walked in, we were surprised to see Lukas Wentzel, the winemaker. As it was mid-harvest, we did not expect to see him, but he interrupted his busy schedule to give us a taste of the fermenting semillon and sauvignon blanc from the tank,
after which Wimpie led us through the range of Groote Post wines
Groote Post is not only a wine farm. Peter Pentz, the owner, is a dairy farmer who also grows wine with his son Nicholas. A large part of the farm is a nature conservancy, with a good number of animals living in a natural environment. Wimpie took is in their safari vehicle 
for a tour of the farm
They have a breeding herd of quagga. These are  a subspecies of the Plains Zebra (Equus Quagga) which does not have stripes on its rear quarters. It became extinct through excessive hunting in the 19th century. It is being revived through selective breeding and there is a small herd on Groote Post
as well as other animals such as eland, wildebeest, springbok and oryx
After the tour, we hit the road for Cape Town harbour and the ship, with a cheery farewell from Nick Pentz and Lukas Wentzel
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014
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