Thursday, March 22, 2018

Off to Noordhoek for the day with a visit to Cape Point Vineyards and lunch at the Food Barn Deli

Another jaunt to the winelands to show our visitors yet another stunning view, taste some wine and eat a light lunch. The view over the vineyards from Cape Point Vineyards is spectacular – Noordhoek’s Long Beach is one of the longest beaches in the country. Here you can visit the Thursday evening market where we used to work, have a meal in the restaurant or order a picnic and have it on the lawns. We stopped to admire the view and then told two young men in the small shop we were going off to the winery to do a wine tasting ......
We went to the cellar, a kilometre or so up the road, where we have often enjoyed tastings, only to find that the tasting is actually back at the main farm which we had just left. And it has been for a while. We were a bit put out that the two young men had not stopped us going to the cellar, as they are the people who do the wine tastings next to the restaurant! There is no sign above their door saying “Wine Tastings Here”. Nor does there seem to be a proper wine tasting centre. Strange for a wine farm
Luckily, John bumped into the winemaker Riandri Visser, whom we know and, although she was rushing to get her grapes into the tanks, she took the time to chat to us and said we were welcome to go down to see the cellar. They are making wine in good French oak barrels, but also amphora and concrete eggs. It was a hive of activity and we didn't stay for more than a few minutes. She offered us a tasting of the fresh juice, but we didn't want to take up any more of her time; she was flying to ProWine in Germany the next day to spend two days there and then rush back to finish the harvest
 Hunger had now set in, so we found ourselves a table at the Food Barn Deli. The menu is on the blackboard and breakfast is served all day. In the evening, they have a Tapas menu that looks interesting. Second hand books for sale too and, in the shop, lots of local jams jellies, sauces, spice mixes and, of course, the bakery
Caught checking our phones! something you won't see often!
An Eggs Benny with smoked salmon
Enormous hamburgers topped with bacon and cheese, with sauté potatoes R125
An Eggs Benny with mushrooms and spinach
An enormous ciabatta filled with not much smoked salmon, and a garden sized helping of watercress. The dill cream was spread on the top slice with the rather strong capers. And it came with a huge salad, well dressed. R125
The Village Green
We then decided to go back to Cape Point Vineyards for a wine tasting. As they have no tasting room, we had to sit out on the terrace in a chilly, howling Southerly wind that cut through us like a knife. They really need to put up some sort of screen and surely no one is going to sit outside to taste wine in the coming winter?
We were the only people there, other than a large party on the lawn below
This is the "tasting room". No seating and no sign. We thought it was a shop, as it is packed with branded Cape Point Vineyards merchandise and a few bottles and a till
Wines available for purchase and tasting. Three of us tasted the five wines and paid for three tastings. Nicolette bought some wine. They charged us R80 per person tasting, with no refund if one makes a purchase. Hmmm. Well at least they took pity on us and we tasted the last two in the shelter of the 'tasting room' but had to stand, as there is no seating. We really think this is not working and must put a lot of people off. Or people simply miss tasting the wine because its hidden or difficult? We came to the conclusion that they sell most of their wine to people eating in the restaurant. So different from the tasting experiences in the many other wine farms we visit in the Cape. The descriptions by the young man pouring the wines we were given were a little wanting. Never should a wine be described as "harsh" or "high in acid" if you are trying to sell it and his reasons for the development of the characteristics of the wines were quite creative

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