Monday, 3 September 2018

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Anthonij Rupert Wyne

What turned out to be one of my favourite experiences on this trip happened to be the visit to Anthonij Rupert Wyne. Everything was so well planned out & the most incredible service from every person that was part of the day here.

We arrived to a glass of bubbly & got to walk around the Anthonij Rupert tasting room which served as the Manor House on the estate & is completely furnished in mid 19th century Cape Dutch style.

Thereafter we were ushered out to find this vintage Rolls Royce parked outside, only to hear that this would be our ride for the day. 

Now I may not be the biggest car person on this planet, but when it comes to old cars & especially cars of this caliber, I get somewhat excited. So off we drove up around the farm on the private roads, that are closed off to the public, all the way to the Franschhoek Motor Museum. 

Here we were taken on a private guided tour of each motor vehicle, motorcycle & bicycle that was on display at that moment in time. What an experience. Our guide for the day was so knowledgeable about every item on the show floor; from who, when & where it was manufactured, to how it found it's way onto the showroom floor today. I fell in love with some of those cars, & looking at some of them, I realised that I was born in the wrong era. I so would have loved to drive some of those older beauties back in the 40's or 50's.

With over 100 years of motoring history & unique collection at this beautiful setting,  I rate it is a must see for every person, whether you're a car fanatic or not. You'll be able to appreciate the beauty & history behind some of those incredible collection items. 

What also makes it quite cool is that you can visit 4 times in 1 year & see different cars out on display every time, as they are changed up every few months just to add some new variety to the mix. 

Located at the museum is also a restaurant & wine sales for just in case you need to something to eat or a refreshment.

But then, off we went again in the vintage Rolls Royce back across the estate, taking the scenic route & enjoying the drive. What I can say about this estate is that nothing was out of place. You can see that a lot of effort has gone into the details here & that everything is maintained to the most perfect conditions. Making it such a pleasure to sit back & relax whilst taking everything in on this visit. 

Finally we arrived at the Terra Del Capo tasting room, & a lovely welcome glass of fresh, crisp MCC. This tasting room was built as to showcase the Italian inspired Terra Del Capo range. 

Kicking things off here with a cheese & wine pairing. But there is a twist. Nothing is specifically pre-paired for you. You are left to sample an array of cheeses & sip on 4 of their wines & find pairings that fit your palate & discover what works for you. 

Terra Del Capo - Pinot Grigio : a light, crispy yet aromatic fresh white that gives you hints of stone fruits & some lemon on the nose. On the palate you should have a good balance & structure with a refreshing aftertaste. A blend of grapes form 3 different regions within the Western Cape, each then contributing to a different & unique attributes of the wine. 

Terra Del Capo - Sangiovese : a complex wine with ripe cherries on both the nose & the palate. With highlights of a bit of spice. You can definitely get that hint of oak that's just added some depth to this glass. You may even get a slight mouthful of light cocoa in that soft aftertaste. 

Anthonij Rupert - Optima : what I love about this bottle is that what you get on the nose, you'll get on the palate. So expect some ripe red & black fruits mixed with some spice. A complex full bodied wine that could even describe as being somewhat chunky, but beautifully structured flavours of black cherries, blueberries & plums. 

L'Ormarins - Cape LBV : a little something sweet & spicy to end off with. Nuts & Ripe Plums on the notes, that will have you thinking of that Christmas pudding. On the palate those nuts develop into more distinct roasted hazelnuts & pecan nuts. A smooth & balanced glass where you can expect the flavours to remain in the mouth for a wine as that aftertaste develops. 

The fine cheese selection has a bit of local & imported artisanal cheese, that too, are made in a true Italian-style. From a mild & grainy to a strong & creamy, they have included smoked Mozzarella, aged Fontina & Gorgonzola. 

Finally catch the tram back up to the manor house to end off the magnificent day at this beautiful estate. 

Visit Anthonij Rupert Wyne here.
You should also note, that any visit to Anthonij Rupert Wyne is by appointment only & you won't be able to get through the security gates if you have not made that appointment. 


Tuesday, 21 August 2018

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Steenberg (Part 3 - Bistro Sixteen82)

After checking in and relaxing for a bit next to the pool, we headed on back up the tasting room at Steenberg. This is where Bistro Sixteen82 can be found, & I was expecting a great dinner. But what I got was not just a great dinner, it was an incredible educational, dining experience that is worth talking about. 

The modern contemporary design aesthetic from the tasting room & hotel follow through into this welcoming space, giving the restaurant a relaxed, yet vibrant & alive feeling. 
So Bistro Sixteen82 was opened back in 2009 & one would describe it as a proper bistro & tapas styled restaurant, that offers breakfast, lunch & dinner.

I honestly didn't really know much about the restaurant at all in the aspects of what they serve etc. So it was really a unfolding discovery as we went along. So, in the evenings, they only have a Tapas menu to eat from & their lunch menu is quite a bit more extensive in the sense that they have a selection of starters, mains & desserts to choose from. (Also, they have a full separate vegetarian & separate a vegan menu for those who are a bit more specific about what they eat.)

So we just ordered a few of the tapas from the specials board, & well, me being me, I popped another bottle of the Steenberg 1682 Chardonnay MCC just because it was another great day of #WineRoutingWithLloyd.

When my Dad & I eat out, you know there will always be Oysters. It's a given, & this evening was not going to be any different, so we got a plate of fresh West Coast Oysters, & washed them down with a glass of bubbles. 

Gambas, "Persillade" - which is essentially a prawn dish served with a sauce/seasoning made from chopped parsley, garlic, herbs & olive oil. 

Baby Patagonian Calamari - pan-fried baby squid. Always something to get right, either you'll end up with a plate of tubes that are like rubber. But these were cooked perfectly, with a great texture & slight bit of crispiness. 

Pickled Fish "Tacos" - Probably my favourite dish of the eve. Thinly blocked slices that have been mixed with a variety of fresh herbs & are served in a hard 'taco' shell. Again, a beautiful balance of flavours that play around & the changing textures of fish & crisp taco. 

And a chocolate dessert that I'm still salivating about. Great balance of both flavour & texture. And beautifully presented. A visit here is most definitely worth it, & you'll immediately get the idea that Chef Kerry Kiplin had quite a bit of Asian influence when putting her meals together. 

So earlier I mentioned that this was an educational dining experience. A big issue that has ruffled our seafood menu's is sourcing seafood that is ecologically responsible. So, Bistro Sixteen82 & ABALOBI, are pioneering SA's 1st restaurant-supported fishery that supplies sustainable & traceable premium quality seafood caught by small-scale local fishers. Providing smaller fishing communities with better prices for their fish & in essence a better livelihood for their entire family. "The direct route from boat to plate, ensures sustainability both for fisherfolk & for the resource."


When a piece of fish is brought to your table, alongside your plate is a wooden fish with a QR-code, that when scanned using the mobile app, will give you the entire story about the fish from hook to cook. You can trace exactly where this fish is from, where it was caught, how it was caught & by whom it was caught. So you can eat in peace knowing the full story about the fish on your plate. 

Check out Bistro Sixteen82 here

Sunday, 19 August 2018

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Steenberg (Part 2)

Checking in to the Steenberg Hotel itself was an experience that just exudes luxury & the finer detailings in life that I so love. Stopping at the hotel doors, with a welcome party waiting for your arrival, your luggage gets whisked away & before you know it, you are ushered inside whilst your car is being parked for you. The most friendly welcome & glass of bubbly on arrival after being escourted to a private lounge where the host comes & sits with you taking you through the features of the hotel & room amenities. 

A very interesting fact on how this spot at Steenberg became a fitting place for the hotel. Back in 1741, when travelers came to the country by ship, the estate was situated 1 day's journey from Table Bay & 1 day's journey from Simons Bay, making it the perfect stopover & most travelers would have to overnight. And so, an early 'hotel' was established to accommodate & supply hospitality to these travelers.

Fast forward some 270 years later, add some restoration & you find yourself in the lap of luxury. The beautiful 24 luxury room, 5-star, boutique hotel is situated on the estate in the Constantiaberg amphitheatre of the Table Mountain Range. The top class accommodation varies from the striking heritage rooms, contemporary premier rooms, family rooms & rooms in the original Manor house which date back to 1740. 

The rooms are absolutely exquisite in my opinion. We stayed in a room in the old Manor House, that is decorated in a modern contemporary style with all the trimmings that you can imagine, finished off with 2 chandeliers in the room. Naturally, you can find a coffee station, equipped for that early morning coffee before you head on out to breakfast. 

Time for breakfast & Catharina's Restaurant, which is situated in the original winery is where you can find a freshly spread buffet breakfast, or you can opt in to just order a hot breakfast from the menu. So either way, you are sorted for the day. (Oh, this restaurant is actually open to the public for breakfast, lunch & dinner. So even if you're not staying over, you can pop in to enjoy a 5-star dining experience of contemporary South African cuisine.)

When you're not up at the tasting room drinking wine, you can relax next to the pool & sip on a drink & catch up on some reading. Or if you really want to relax. There is a spa on site, that I have heard is incredible. I didn't get to visit though, but from some of my friends have been & I followed their adventure online & I had some serious FOMO. So on my next #WineRoutingWithLloyd trip, I will make point of popping in here for a spa day. 

So please do check out Steenberg Hotel here. I can imagine that this is most definitely one of the places that you really need to add to your bucket list. 

Thursday, 16 August 2018

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Steenberg (Part 1)

One of the estates that I was probably most excited to visit was Steenberg. Situated just behind Table Mountain, or more accurately, Steenberg Mountain & a mere 30 min drive from Cape Town City, this estate is steeped in heritage. 
Originally 'Swaaneweide' - The Feeding Place of the Swan, established back in 1682 & it sure has come from very humble beginnings & grown into one for the most prestigious & luxurious estates in South Africa. 

So I popped in for a wine tasting & well, let's just say that they have a tasting menu that will have you coming back for more every time. With a total of 6 different tastings that you can indulge in their Sparkling Wine Range, Fleet Range, Estate Range, Flagship Range, Icon Range & even do a Proprietors Collection Tasting. To see more about these tasting, check it out here

I was spoiled & got to do an extensive tasting from all the ranges, whilst relaxing at the outdoor terrace next to the infinity pool. And it's most definitely a lot to talk about, so I'm going to get down into detail about some of my favourites, & then leave it up to you to go try out the rest. 

By now, you should know that I'm all for bubbly, so I started with tasting the MCC's.

Steenberg 1682 Chardonnay MCC - pale lemon colour with a very delicate mousse, with fresh granny smith apples on the nose, crisply moving on to the palate with hints of honey, toasted croissants & pistachio's. With a lingering refreshing finish. 

Steenberg 1682 Pinot Noir MCC - a beautiful fresh pale pink glass with strawberry sorbet, citrus blossoms & toasted brioche coming through on the nose. A nice crisp yet creamy mineral balanced palate with hints of ripe pink grapefruit. Also with a lingering refreshing finish.

Steenberg Lady R MCC - a gorgeous pale copper hue in a glass. Aromas of apple blossoms, honeysuckle & raspberries with a delicate creaminess on the palate that is complimented by the crisp acidity. A bubbly with such finesse & bubbles that create a structured, yet elegant texture.

The Semillon - almost a white gold colour with a very interesting nose. Aromas of citrus, pears, vanilla & yellow stone fruits. On the palate you'll get hints of honey followed by fresh fleshy apricots & some dried herbs in a fruit concentrated wine, rich in creamy texture with a slight bit of spiciness that lingers on the palate. I rate that this is a complex wine that will definitely age very well. 

Magna Carta - concentrated flavours or white blossoms, melons & white stone fruits that start on the nose & carry through to the palate to reveal an elegantly structured wine of 40% Semillon & 60% Sauvignon Blanc. The spiciness from the oak & the zesty acidity definitely give this wine a backbone. A gorgeous fresh, almost full bodied wine that I imagined will really pair well with so many foods & is certain to age really well. 

The Catharina - named after the first owner of the farm back, Catharina Ras. An intense ruby red colour fills your glass, & as you swirl aromas of blackcurrants, cedar wood & smoked meats touch the nose, accompanied by ripe black cherries, fynbos & star anise. On the palate you're bound to get some spice & savoury flavours from the Syrah, some strawberry from the Merlot. Then the Petit Verdot is there to add some body. A wine with a nice balance of acidity & minerality. 

Then they pulled out this beauty. Not even knowing anything about it, or what it actually was.
Capensis - one of the most complex & expressive Chardonnay's that I have ever had. (Probably the best wine, to date, that I have ever had in my life to be truly honest.) This is the one wine that still stands out, & when people as me what was your favourite. This is the one that always comes to mind. With lemon zest, white truffles & bergamot on the nose, accompanied with hints of lilies & vanilla beans. Onto the palate the creaminess just unfolds with slight flavours of a soft lemon. A beautiful texture & well balanced wine that is a must try. 

I even had to book into the hotel for a night stay. That's coming up in my next #WineRoutingWithLloyd article. 

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Evergreen Manor & Spa

Right down in the historical core of Stellenbosch, lies a luxury guest house that offers that old world charm & grace with a touch of modern convenience. The Evergreen Manor & Spa's main house was built back in 1904 in the Victorian style of those old grand country houses that you see in the movies. 

Literally nestled under a few ancient oak trees in the centre of Stellenbosch & a few minutes walk from almost anything in Stellenbosch ranging from restaurants & galleries to museums & historic buildings. And bonus for me, Stellenbosch is also pretty much right in the middle of the winelands. So it makes a perfect central point to travel from daily when you are in the area & in need of some #WineRoutingWithLloyd. 

What was a real treat here, is that this little gem of a guest house has it's own spa! And I'm not one to let a mini spa day escape my schedule. It was the middle of the trip & from all the driving & walking & sipping, my body was holding a lot of tension, so I just had to. There is an extensive range of treatments of offer with a team of highly qualified therapists on site for your convenience. I opted for a full body aroma therapy massage that just hit all the right spots & left me feeling tension free & relaxed. 

So a bit more about the guest house: 
There are 9 (very spacious) en-suite, air conditioned bedrooms, each with a private entrance. (3 of these are 'Honeymoon' suites, which are even more spacious & more private.) Rooms are equipped with just what you need may need: Coffee stations, Mini-bar, Internet & Television. 

One of my favourite aspects of the guest house, is that it is furnished as to keep true to the style & beauty of a Victorian villa. Oh, & the guest house offers off-street parking. Believe me, in Stellenbosch, this is hard to find. (Almost as hard as finding a parking spot when the students pull into town for lectures.)

Breakfast is served daily downstairs in the intimate dining room, where you will usually find a continental breakfast spread & you get to opt in for any other hot breakfast of your choice. If you are lucky, you will find the owner of the hotel joining you for breakfast & a chat. Lovely to see that the owners of the guest house are still so hands on with their establishment & make your stay a whole lot more pleasant. 

After breakfast, or during a hot day, you can go relax next to the swimming pool & just enjoy the serene setting. 

Check out Evergreen Manor & Spa here. I for one, know that Evergreen Manor & Spa will definitely see me when I'm in town again.