Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Robertson Wine Valley's Hands on Harvest - Sunday

What a contrast! After Saturday's blistering heat, we woke to wonderful soaking rain in our valley on Sunday. We had bacon and eggs and hot cross buns to soak up the intended wine, tied up, packed and set off to return the keys in Robertson, all by 10 o'clock
We then headed for the Festival market at Viljoensdrift and, by the time we got there, the rain had stopped, so we could wander around and not get wet
We met viticulturist Martin Bruwer on the Quando table, with his wife Estelle and winemaker brother Fanus and, of course, had to taste the wine, of which we are rather fond
Next to them were Lourens and Lizelle van der Westhuizen on the Arendsig table. Beside making their own wine, Lourens makes for and consults to several local wine farms: Esona, Jan Harmsgat, Mimosa, Star Hill. They had a very good day on Saturday, with several events during the day, including a picnic and tasting on the side of the river on their farm
Jan Harmsgat had their wine and some cartons of their Pomegranate juice from their large orchards. We tasted it and it is very good, fresh and not too sweet. It does not taste earthy and dark, as if it has beetroot juice added to it, as some of the other brands do. Lynne could not resist buying a box. It lasts up to 2 weeks in the fridge, apparently. If unopened, for a year
Tasting some olives, oil and new wines
Lots to taste. You could buy a glass for R20
You know it's a real market when you can buy freshly picked country vegetables; things to eat there or take home
Things for children and a neck wine holder made of leather
Jumping castles for bouncing and ponies to ride
Scarves for sale, 3 for R100
Warm popcorn and chilly kids at the play corner
Real leather bags for sale
And two Rottweilers, who brought their human from Cape Town. Well, someone has to like them, they look a little scary; these were very well-behaved and friendly
Good looking cakes
Ashton cellars and Lynne, their representative, whom we'd met on Saturday at the cellar
Now we are talking. We so enjoyed tasting the wines from DeWetshof. 3 excellent chardonnays and a Cabernet Sauvignon were on offer
Wishing it would warm up on the Rietvallei table
and tasting and chatting on the Bon Courage table
A tiny warm wriggly Muppet!
Fanus Bruwer of Quando wines
Estelle Bruwer
Suddenly it was time for lunch and the sun came out. So off we went to Van Loveren, where the entrance to the tasting room frames the palm avenue and the view toward the Langeberg mountains,
to see their beautiful gardens
and see what they could offer for lunch
Tables outside the restaurant, which had rather loud live music
So we found a table a little way away, under the trees
We ordered a bottle of the Christina 2016 Chardonnay and were so impressed we had another with lunch. It was a lazy lunch and took us a good 3½ hours. It is crisp and elegant, lightly wooded and full of buttery citrus flavours. The poor driver had a few sips and watched
The Mexican burger, topped with guacamole and served with a killer chilli sauce; nice and spicy. We were served crisp chips instead of the potato wedges on the menu, but didn't mind at all
The mushroom burger comes topped with cheese, mushrooms and served with a creamy mushroom sauce. Heaven (but not for John!)
The pizzas are huge with very thin bases. This was the Margarita, topped with capers and anchovies, pesto and olives
The Springbok Carpaccio and rocket topped pizza. Both were enjoyed and some went home in a box for later
Huge colourful koi at our last stop, the Graham Beck winery
The reflecting pool with a little wind on it. At the end, one of the many sculptures bought by Graham Beck; a rider. Another looking like a lily pad is in the centre of the pool.
A display of huge champagne bottles showing the riddling technique
The tasting counter. Bubbles at the ready
The line up of Riedel tasting glasses. All these MCC bubblies are worth tasting and buying. Winemaker Pieter (Bubbles) Ferreira really does know how to make the best, in the traditional French champagne style. The nearest glass contains the top MCC: Cuvée Clive, now tasted in the new style champagne glass, which you can buy in the shop
Time to go home and find out that the Cape Town Cycle Tour had been cancelled due to extreme winds and a terrible fire in Hout Bay. Glad that we had such a relaxing time with no wind

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