Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Stanford Wine Route Launch: Robert Stanford Estate

Our first evening started at Robert Stanford Estate, established in 1855. Wine was first grown here in the 1890s, one of oldest vineyards in the area. The estate was owned by entrepreneur Sir Robert Stanford who gave his name to the area. He turned the estate into a provision farm and shipped the fresh produce to Cape Town in his cutter which he moored in the cove which also bears his name
It is currently owned by the Malan family, who take an environmentally friendly approach to farming and are proud of their Biodiversity Champion status. They also have a Restaurant called Madres Kitchen run by Madre Malan, Jan Malan's wife, but we did not get to eat there on this trip. It is only open from Thursday to Sunday from 8 to 4 pm
A glass of their excellent chilled 2014 Sir Robert Stanford Sauvignon Blanc awaited us, Nice and crisp and classic
The comfortable and well tasting room with fireplace
Wines for tasting and purchasing in the tasting room
The 2013 vintage of their Pinot Noir
Jan Malan guided us through the wines
We were taken on a walk up to their small distillery The Stookhuis
Where they have a mini column still that produced their grappa and other fruit spirits under the label Robert Stanford & Brothers
The gabled back of the tasting room
Time to get on the Stanford Vineyard Tram to go up to the dam. It is pulled by a rather smoky tractor. They need to extend the chimney as the smoke blows back on the passengers, so not very healthy
A grey heron followed us up the hill ...
... & seemed to want to join the party
It was an exciting trip on quite a long bumpy road but soon we reached the summit and found the tasting of their wines cleverly organised alongside the dam
Nice to see a full dam
The views looking down at Stanford were superb
Cheese, strawberries to accompany the wines. Madre’s Kitchen can organise picnics by arrangement
The strawberries went very well with the Shiraz, which is full of fruit and spice and very attractive. We also enjoyed the 4½ star The Hansom, a blend of Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc with 20% Merlot. And then there was the extremely quaffable rosé
A basket full of Clivias, one of our most beautiful indigenous bulbs
Cloud coming down over the mountain. We were blessed with a dry weekend even though the weather had threatened
Sunset over the dam
Back down in the Tractor tram, listening to Jan Malan talk about his vineyards
A lovely start to the week. Now we were off to dinner next door at Stanford Hills
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015

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