I was invited by the Stellenbosch Wine Festival organizers to enjoy a prelude to their Annual Festival, proudly presented by Pick ‘n Pay.
It just happened to be around the time that the City Of Crew was in Cape Town and I really couldn’t go without some of my favourite friends joining me on this little trip; Dean Cothill, Louw Lemmer, Joshua Terry and River Leask.
Our journey started at the magnificent Villiera Wines. We then bubbled our way over to Simonsig Wine Estate and found ourselves in the very popular House of JC Le Roux where we also enjoyed a delicious lunch.
There are just not enough words to describe one of the best days of my life! Plenty of laughs, inside jokes, wobbly legs, holding of hands, lying on the road, playing in the vineyards, eating delicious food, drinking amazing bubbles and sleeping on the way back to Cape Town!
I am not sure about they boys, but when we drove along the Villiera Wines entrance that was guarded by beautiful trees on each side, I got a few goosebumps. I just knew, one, this was going to be amazing, two, we are in for a treat of a day and three, I was going to be a model between these trees.
We were directed to the tasting area, which is set up under the shade of more beautiful trees in a courtyard, here we met other bloggers and “Wineo’s”.
Villiera Wines paired 4 of their MCC Sparkling Wines with Sally Williams Nougat range and did it work!
First up on the tasting table was the Grier Brut paired with the Honey Nougat with Almonds and Cranberries. The cranberries in the nougat balances the raspberry undertones of the bubbly. I just liked the crunch of the almonds!
This was followed by the Villiera Tradition Brut paired with Honey Nougat with Macadamias. The thing we all noticed was the that this was more fruitier and “softer” the macadamias an already creamy nut provided balance…..and crunch.
The third pairing was the Monro Brut paired with Honey Nougat with Almonds, we were told that this the most mature bubbly in the Villiera range and also the most “nuttiness” due to the age. The underlying marizpan from the almonds combined beautifully with the the Monro Brut.
Finally, my favourite of all the tasting, the Tradition Brut Rosé with the Rose Turkish Delight, visually the two look perfect, I mean who doesn’t like a double dose of PINK! Everything just worked here. Please Sir, can I have another?
After the tasting, together with my “jelly legs” we explored the vineyards and modeled between the trees.
Click on Villiera to open their website.
Simonsig Wine Estate
Next stop, Simonsig Wine Estate, not that I know the region at all, but the estate has a spectacular view of a mountain range, Simonsberg. No doubt that is where the name Simonsig stemmed from.
First up we got to taste the Kaapse Vonkel Brut paired with an Apple Flavoured Macaron. Now, to be completely honest, I have never had a macaroon before I tasted these. But when the girls ate them, I could tell but the ooh’s and ummm’s that it was good. So now my macaron standards have started rather high. We all tasted apple together with under tones of apricot and red cherries, the sweet deliciousness of the apple flavoured macaron fitted perfectly with the Brut.
Next up was once again my favourite, the Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rosé paired with a Raspberry Macaron. There was so many flavour explosions, strawberry was the strongest flavour I could taste, but we were told there was some red berries and some citrus layers, of course it was paired and balanced well with the raspberry Macaron, this bottle screams sophistication and finesse.
Last tasting was the Cuvée Royale paired with a very yummy Lemon Curd Macaron (I am sure I had more than 3!). After my first sip, I tasted citrus, but then we were told to taste again and this time taste some lime. I noted down that there should be a taste of almond and brioche too, don’t think I have “Wineo” palette, yet. The lemon curd macaron balanced the citrus and lime flavours perfectly.
After our tasting, we were then lucky enough to witness a Sabrage demonstration, Dean got picked to show us how it was done. So if you don’t know this, Dean’s nickname is “Thor”, so it was rather amusing for us, there was Thor with his “hammer” (Sword). We had a failed first attempted, but bang on the money second time round! Well done Deano!
Click on Simonsig to open their website.
The House Of JC Le Roux
After a morning a spoils, we headed to our last destination, The House Of JC Le Roux for a delicious lunch, followed by a tour of the cellar and we had a tasting of bubbly with a choice of either savoury or a sweet selection (of course, I decided on the sweet!).
First up, the JC Le Roux Pinot Noir with Chocolate Millionaire Shortbread with fudge and black lava salt, what a mouth full, but what a mouth full! Fruity in flavour with a distinct hint of berries, the creamy fudge and black lava salt provided a crisp finish. YUM!
Yip another Rosé (and first of two Rosé’s) delights, the JC Le Roux Pinot Noir Rose with Butternut Meringue, another flavorsome bubbly of nuts, raisins and biscuit! Paired with once again perfectly with Meringue. I begged for more….
You had me at Mojito Meringue, yip that is what was paired with the JC Le Roux Brut, I just knew right here, that bubbly pairing could be a thing for me. I honestly don’t recall what I tasted, all I knew, it was amazing!
Next up, we had the JC Le Roux La Vallée with Vanilla Fudge. The buttery tones complemented the light yellow gold hue, definitely the most fruity of them all, with hints of litchi and pear.
What a way to end the day, with the JC Le Roux La Valee Rosé with Dried Fig coated in fudge, salmon blush in colour and the sweetest of the bunch with powerful fruit flavours, perfect way to send me on my way.
Click on JC Le Roux to open their website.
More about the annual Stellenbosch Wine Festival.