Thursday, June 20, 2019

Robertson Wine Valley's Wacky Wine Weekend 10. Arendsig

Sometimes after a good dinner, you awake quite hungry for breakfast. So we packed up at Tanagra, checked out and thanked our hosts by 7,30 to get to Arendsig in Bonnievale where we were invited to breakfast at 8.30. Oops no, Lynne got it wrong, it was 9.30(!), so we arrived an hour early. Actually it was fine as we got the most beautiful early morning winter views of the countryside on our trip there. We risked the short route via the Steenbokvlakte Road skirting the Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve. It is gravel all the way but much, much shorter than going back into Robertson and "all round the houses" for 40+ kilometres. There is a rather vertiginous mountain pass on the way and we were so glad we had not driven that way when the road was wet with rain. But it is a beautiful route. John grew up on dirt roads in Botswana and, later, was in a rally team so he has no problem driving on them
We had encountered freezing fog on our way back from Montague the night before and could see patches of it on this road
as we came down the road into Bonnievale. But it looks so romantic! And it is a very bonny vale
They were still getting things ready for the day but we were happy to walk around, have some coffee and enjoy the early morning and not get in the way
The farm has some lovely views across the valley
At 9.30 people began to arrive and the sun came out to shine. The low temperature of 7.5 we had seen that morning went up during the day to 25 degrees
Is it a Triffid? About to whiplash Lynne? We have one in our garden and had no idea that it could grow a flower stem this long
Called the Fox Tail Agave, aka Lion's Tail, Swan's Neck, official name Agave attenuata
Beautiful late Autumn/early winter landscape over the vines
Across the river, the mountains turning blue
We enjoyed a thorough tasting of these wines after breakfast!
On offer for lunch
All lined up and ready for opening - the White wines. The Sauvignon Blanc is very much in the Marlborough style; they have a lovely Soft Chardonnay which spends 11 months in old oak barrels, and a very good Chenin Blanc. The Viognier is elegant with soft peach notes but dry with long flavours, a terrific wine which spends 10 months in old small French oak. Its very Condrieu in style. Had to buy some
And the Red wines. The pinot noir is tempting and has a typical strawberry raspberry nose with classic cherry flavours and gentle wood. The Granache has wood smoke, dark berry fruit and those lovely wild flavours, Its young and needs time. The Shiraz is complex, spicy dark berry fruit on the nose, Salty with cherry fruit, licorice, pepper and chocolate. The Pinotage grown on shale has leather and salt on the nose and palate. Tight tannins mean this needs to age. The Pinotage grown on chalk has richness, dark berry fruit, chalky tannins and again salt on the end. The 2017 Cabernet Block 9 is classic with cassis berries and leaves, and salty minerality. The Mourvedre has richness, wildness, mulberry and cherry and is full and satisfying, with soft tannins. An amazing selection
And yet more
The farm dog Boerseun (Farmer’s son) a St Bernard, is as soppy as they come and loves being made a fuss of
Across the valley lies Weltevrede where we visited the day before
First cup of coffee for about 6 months! But she hasn’t warmed up yet
Tasting wines but who remembers Bashews soft drinks?
The lads start a cooking fire
And tables are laid for breakfast
Boerseun wants some too
Arendsig spoils its guests. Time for breakfast. To begin with, a selection of lovely fruits with yoghurt
There was also a nutty Muesli and some juices
Croissants and good home baked breads served with jam and butter
And a wonderful cooked breakfast of farm sausage, crisp bacon, tiny seared Roma tomatoes and two very fresh fried eggs. Delicious and just what we needed. 
Lourens joined us at the table and one of his twin daughters also did for a short while
A quick cuddle and she was off. Mom looks on
Another view of farms and vineyards in the area
Lourens and Lizelle van der Westhuizen. They also cater for functions and weddings on the farm and you need to contact Lizelle for information.
A man and his wine
And suddenly it was busy and lots of people were tasting the wines and buying
We could not resist and came home with a couple of boxes
People arriving for lunch in the the Marquee. We had to leave for our next appointment at Quando
Boerseun was finding it hard going & relaxed for a nap or a tummy rub!
Thank you Lourens and Lizelle for superb hospitality, wine and breakfast

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