Monday, March 09, 2015

A visit to Anthonij Rupert Wines

At some wine farms you just get a tasting room experience, at others like Anthonij Rupert, there are a lot of great experiences. It is a very beautiful farm with almost as much garden as vineyards. We started the morning with tea in the gazebo, accompanied of course by a glass or two of their MCC.
The beautifully restored dining room which is used for private tastings. The farm was inherited by Johann Rupert in 2001 following the tragic death of his brother Anthonij
Gidi Caetano showing us around the La Garonne Manor House
The classically furnished drawing room
A wonderful antique glass-fronted walnut cabinet filled with English china
The tasting can be held on the terrace...
...which has great views of the gardens and the mountains
and some shade
Or you can taste inside
There are two guest rooms, furnished in the same style
with spectacular Victorian style bathrooms
Very fine examples of pressed local flora, prepared at least a century ago
This snowdrop example is very skilfully done and even includes the bulbs
A St Francis drinking fountain for animals
The slave bell at the entrance to the superb rose garden
A variety of evening primrose
An old cellar which has been converted into company guest accommodation
Magnificent roses in Mrs Beck’s rose garden, planted in 1992 for her son’s wedding
They surround the gazebo
Old friends enjoying the sunshine
A damask rose with the most wonderful perfume
Tea in the gazebo. You need to book this at least 24 hours in advance, but it’s a perfect place for friends to meet, for small celebrations and special occasions. Or even small wedding ceremonies
So many wonderful choices. Top shelf had macaroons and smoked salmon pastries, next were cheese scones and butternut filo tartlets, the bottom had flourless chocolate tarts, wonderful lemon cream filled brandy snaps, semolina financiers and more divine macaroons
All went very well with the L’Ormarins Brut Classique MCC
Anne, facing temptation with a good pot of tea
A stone celebrating the gardener of the rose garden, Oom Storm van der Westhuizen
Then it was on to the Tram for a trip around the farm. The vines on the top of the hill remain, but on the rest of the farm they are doing extensive replanting
Marvellous Cabernet Franc grapes just waiting for the harvest
A view of the new dam being built on the farm and of the bare vineyards which will only be replanted in three years' time when the ground has had time to rest
A view of another of the farm’s ‘trams’ which take you around the farm. They do not run on rails. The trams are housed on L’Ormarins, at the Franschhoek Motor Museum and at the two tasting rooms, Terra del Capo and Anthonij Rupert, the latter on the adjacent Anthonij Rupert Estate.
The trams travel in tandem between the two venues, with each journey lasting approximately 30 minutes and operating on a hop-on hop-off basis.
It is a trip filled with magnificent views of the surrounding countryside
A copy of Rodin’s The Kiss is in the gardens near the wine cellar
And these gardens are full of excellent sculptures being collected by Johann Rupert
It also has a marvellous potager garden for the chef, filled with vegetables and herbs
L’Ormarins Manor House
Then it was back to taste the full range of the Cape of Good Hope wines and Two of the top Anthonij Rupert wines with winemaker Dawie Botha. The are grown on four farms in the group and are all terroir specific.  It is an amazing range to taste and we suggest you go and try these wines for yourself. Lynne particularly liked the elegant Semillon with notes of pine nuts, straw and quince, a clean, fresh and layered food wine. The Merlot has an intense nose with vanilla, cinnamon and cherries with a hint of white pepper and it’s a velvety mouthful of Bing cherries and cassis flavours with chocolate coffee wood  
Gidi joined us
Winemaker Dawie Botha guided us through the tasting and we discovered that they will soon have a truffle harvest on the farm
There is another Potager garden at the tasting room
Then we drove down to the Terra del Capo tasting room for lunch. They brought us many dishes to try. This was a lovely salad, very well dressed
Good charcuterie platter
Arancini balls stuffed with molten mozzarella
Superb deep fried lightly battered quid and a garlic aioli – some of the best we have had lately
Deep fried tempura courgette slices
The menu
Chocolate ice cream topped with a strawberry for Anne
A cappuccino for her afterwards
Lynne had the cheese platter with red preserved figs
The outside of the Terra del Capo tasting room
All the photographs were taken by Lynne for a change. She is not as good as John, especially when focusing!
The Antonij Rupert 2008 Red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot and Merlot is a great wine, and has layers of minerality and soft velvety fruit with some salty licorice ‘drop’ and lovely balance.  The Petite Verdot is a pretty fruit driven wine on hints of expensive new oak
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015

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