Thursday, October 27, 2016

Three Robertson wine farms: 1. Lord's near McGregor

When we travel long distances out of town, we reckon that, if we have paid for the petrol to drive the distance, we might as well stay over and explore the area in more depth, find new wine farms and farms we haven't visited before and re-establish old connections. This time we spent Monday in the McGregor area and in Robertson visiting three wine farms. The first was Lords Winery
Not to be confused with Lords Guest House, (also owned by the winery but way down the valley on the Robertson side of McGregor), Lords is set right up the McGregor Valley on the "Road to Nowhere" to the Boesmanskloof Pass, where you can take the long walk across the mountains to Greyton. It's a great stop for refreshment either way. We were so warmly received and entertained.We really enjoyed our visit and will definitely return soon. The views from the farm are superb and the wines really impressed
The farm, nestled beneath the mountains, has the winery behind the main building, Our appointment was for 10.30
Walkers follow that road right up the hill and over the pass, one of the most popular hikes in the Cape. It's a day's walk of about 15 kilometres but, unless you have a car at both ends, you have to return to your start point the next day. There is a place to swim on the journey. The two towns of Greyton and McGregor are about 3 hours apart by road, round a rather large mountain range. Accommodation at either end is good
The farm entrance
Now you know
We were met by Jacques Oosthuizen, son of the owner Jacie
The wine cellar and tasting room
We sat on the terrace
had a tour of the barrel cellar
and admired some of the Cricketing memorabilia. Yes, the owner is a cricket fan; the farm is named after Lord's Cricket Ground. A place rather familiar to Lynne, as she lived not far from it for many years
They were in the middle of bottling their MCC. As happens with many smaller producers, the bottling plant comes to you in a truck
Wonderful views all around
The tasting room
A Good Luck Barrel with some bargains
Spring grapes. Karoo fynbos and blue mountains
Umbrella up for the sunny day
Jacques mother had prepared this lovely plate of nibbles especially for us. We felt very honoured. The light-as-air crispy vetkoek are tiny dumplings deep fried in mutton fat and they are eaten with the cheese and jam. The tiny pies were filled with moist egg, spinach and feta cheese with a buttery crumbly layer of thin pastry, beautifully flavoured
We tasted the wines. The MCC Brute won the Best Non Vintage award at the Amorim Cork Awards in 2014. It’s yeasty and zesty, with a good prickle and long raspberry flavours from the 100% Pinot Noir. The unwooded 2016 Sauvignon Blanc has green leaves, granadilla and green pepper on the nose and is tropical on the palate. The 2015 Chardonnay with 6 to 8 months in barrel has rich cooked peaches and vanilla on the nose, it’s crisp with chalky tannins, richness and more of vanilla on the finish
Pinot noir has the biggest share of their vineyard; 2016 was a big harvest, they had to buy more barrels. The CRAFT Pinot Noir is rich, with red berries on the nose, dark bitter wood, almost chocolate and liquorice, then more berries and cherries on the palate. Finally the 2012 Three Barrels Shiraz, wood, spicy dark fruit on the nose and palate, smooth with a nice kick of warm alcohol followed by more spice and black pepper and vanilla ice cream on the end
A fiscal shrike surveys his territory
Jacques took us through the wines and was a wonderful host. He has many exciting plans for promoting the farm and has invited us back to see some of them. We intend to accept the invitation
Then off we went down the dusty road back through McGregor and out the other side for our appointment at Tanagra
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016
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