Friday, 12 July 2019

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Le Pommier

Le Pommier Lloyd Loots

When you're driving from Stellenbosch to Franschhoek, along the Helshoogte road, you'll end up going past quite the few spots to stop in for some wine. But the one that #WineRoutingWithLloyd discovered & absolutely loved, was Le Pommier Wine Estate! 

Best way to summarise Le Pommier would be to say that it is an intimate country lodge with just 12 suites & 2 self-catering units where you can visit the restaurant for a hearty meal, or sip on some wine whilst sitting in front of the fireplace or on the patio looking out over the Simonsberg mountains. 

Le Pommier Fireplace

Keeping things simple, but by no standard inferior, you'll find a Sauvignon Blanc, Rose, Cabernet Sauvignon & Red Blend in the tasting room to sample & sip.

Le Pommier Wine Tasting

Offering a unique food pairing for these 4 wines.

A Cape Malay style prawn with the pale green Sauvignon Blanc. The nose of gooseberry & tropical fruits accompanied by a palate of lime & a mineral finish. 

The salmon pink Rosé with hints of strawberry on the nose & rich fruit on the palate. Definitely a wine that is very inviting & perfect for those summer months next to the pool snacking on small bites. 

A fresh beef pie with the red blend giving off some dark black berries & black currants & hints of refreshing menthol. Soft & velvety with a lingering aftertaste. 

With the full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, thin slivers of carpaccio bring out the spicy plums & cigar box & finishes off with a rich long sweet fruit. 

Le Pommier Wine Pairing

Le Pommier Accommodation

As the French name suggests, the farm is situated on land that once used to be an apple orchard & now homes the vineyards used to produce the wines on offer. Explore the estate a bit & you'll end up finding some beautiful accommodation options that are inviting & really had me relaxing the moment I arrived. 

Le Pommier Accommodation Bed

Le Pommier Accommodation Bath

Off to dinner after a bubble bath in that gorgeous tub!
The restaurant is quaint & inviting. (Even more so with the fire going to warm you up in the evenings.) The menu is uniquely South African - Cape Malay with a twist! So think Bobotie, Chicken Pie & Malay Chicken Curry - just some of the options to choose from. 

Le Pommier Restaurant Wine Fire

I opted for the Lamb Shank & paired it up with the Red Blend. (What a delight!) And why not end off your dinner with a proper Malva pudding too! 

I was properly full after dinner & ready for a good night rest! And then to top it all off, waking up to this view is something that will have you kicking off your day relaxed & rejuvenated after watching the sun rise over the water. 

Le Pommier Sunrise

Check out Le Pommier here & plan your next stopover between #VisitStellenbosch & #FranschhoekLife.

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Driven by the #KiaSportage

Thursday, 11 July 2019

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Neethlingshof

En-route from Cape Town, just before you get to #VisitStellenbosch, you'll see really tall stone pines in the distance. There's an entrance to a wine farm at the foot of this iconic avenue & you need to pull in here to go explore! A pleasant discovery for #WineRoutingWithLloyd at Neethlingshof Estate.

Kia Sportage Car Tall Trees

An estate with over 300 years history that could keep you busy for an entire day. From the moment you arrive, you'll get a sense of the history & see how it is showcased throughout the estate & in the wine.

Neethlingshof Wine Cellar

Upon entering the tasting room, you can follow the rich history & stories about the biodiversity on the estate all through to a spacious area whilst receiving warm & friendly greetings from the staff.

On offer at Neethlingshof is a "Flash Food, Slow Wine Pairing." This was rather interesting, with getting a selection of bite-sized portions of 'fast food.' This pairing really took things back to the basics, & by basics I mean, no fancy plates of food. Literally the type of things that you can make at home, or just buy at your local store. (So you can try this at home!)

Neethlingshof Fast Food Wine Pairing

For only R120 per person that gives you 5 dishes & 5 wines, that's going straight to the bargain bin! What I would even do, is opting in to have this as a Starter, before ordering a Main meal. I mean, who doesn't like a bit of variety & options when eating? Another aspect of this pairing that I really like is that if you leave some wine & a bite or 2 of each plate, then you can revisit the pairings & mix them up a bit to see what your palate likes. 

Neethlingshof Private Cellar

The Gewürztraminer! Guys. If you're wanting to try the wines that are really unique & different, then this is the one. A beautiful bouquet on the nose with fresh sweet fruits, predominantly litchi for me. The wine may be slightly deceiving in the sense that on the nose it comes across as sweet, but on the palate, it's something completely different & unique.

Adding to the uniqueness, Neethlingshof have a signature range called the 'Short Story Collection.' These are wines that share moments, people & experiences to reveal the rich & flavourful characteristics of Neethlingshof. 

My favourite - the Caracal. A Bordeaux-style red blend that is dark plum in colour & hints of dark black cherries & a nose full of oak & caramel. On the palate it is definitely a full-bodied wine that is velvety smooth & the best part for me - soft tannins. What a beautiful wine. (I think this is where I narrowed down my love for a good Bordeaux-style blend. Whilst writing this I'm slightly salivating at the idea of pairing this wine with roast lamb.)

#WineRoutingWithLloyd Neethlingshof Estate

Another cool thing to do at Neethlingshof is a guided tour of the cellar where you'll get to learn a bit more about the history of the estate & smaller property details that they incorporate in their wines.

Neethlingshof Cellar Tour

Neethlingshof hosted #WineRoutingWithLloyd in the private family cellar, where they store their collection of wine... I had a look around! 
I spotted the oldest bottle of Neethlingshof on the shelf too. Check out the video here.

Neethlingshof Wine Bottle 1984

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Driven by the #KiaSportage

Monday, 8 July 2019

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Lovane Boutique Wine Estate

Lovane Boutique Wine Estate Lloyd Loots

You know what we love? The boutique wineries! So, I was super excited to visit Lovane Boutique Wine Estate in Stellenbosch for this round of #WineRoutingWithLloyd. So literally right next to Neethlingshof, you'll find the entrance to this little gem along the Stellenbosch Wine Route. 

One thing about these boutique style spots, is that it's usually the attention to detail that really impresses me. And the team at Lovane did not disappoint! The moment we arrived to a warm welcome & greeted by the friendly faces in reception & shown our room for the eve. (Yes, we got to stay the night & enjoy the property in all it's glory. 

Lovane Boutique Wine Estate Accommodation

So a bit about more about the guesthouse that is situated on the estate. A 4-star rating with 16 very well-equipped rooms. I mean, what more do you really need in your room besides a comfortable place to sleep, good coffee & a relaxing spot to freshen up? Well they have a whole lot more to offer in the spacious rooms that look out over the vineyards & property. 

Lovane Boutique Wine Estate Breakfast

Breakfast is served FRESH every morning, as it is prepared in the kitchen of the main building. Offering a cold continental breakfast to start things off & then you can indulge in a hot breakfast to finish your start to the morning off. A bonus here is that you can sit out on the deck enjoying your meal whilst taking in the morning sunrise over the vineyard.

I initially was not sure about the wine that I was going to taste at Lovane. Honestly, I had never heard of the estate before arriving there. So head on downstairs to the underground tasting room & cellar. 
A great intimate spot for delving into some wine & great conversation. I was lucky enough to have owner & winemaker - Hennie Visser. Interesting fact is that he hasn't been making wine for that long. He actually gave up his day job as a CA for a passion of wine. (I love stories like this.)

Lovane Boutique Wine Estate Tasting Room Hennie Visser

With quite the impressive range of varietals to taste. From the usual Sauvignon Blanc to the rarer 'blending' Petit Verdot. 

The Sauvignon Blanc is beautifully crisp & full of those tropical flavours that you would expect from a real fresh Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc. 

A Chenin Blanc with amazingly fresh apricot & passion fruit characteristics. 

Then that Petit Verdot! Oh wow. A wine that is generally uses by most winemakers in a blend to soften that bottle out a bit. But here, it's in a bottle of it's own. I love that. A rich deep ruby red colour in the glass. You can definitely smell that this is a dry wine, but with a soft touch of dark red fruits on the nose. Even more so on the palate - a soft mouthfeel with a lingering aftertaste of blackcurrants. 

Then there is the Isikhati - the flagship full-bodied red blend, which highlights the elegance of the Cabernet Sauvignon & intensity of the Cabernet Franc. Ripe dark cherries & plums that are balanced with a good acidity & velvety mouthfeel. 

Lovane Boutique Wine Estate Vineyards

This is a #WineRoutingWithLloyd  spot that will be visited again for a #VisitStellenbosch experience that is like no other. Check them out here.

Thursday, 4 July 2019

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Van Ryn's

#WineRoutingWithLloyd loves discovering not only new & cool wine, so we headed out to Van Ryn's for a brandy treat. First things first. I'm not the biggest brandy drinker, but then again, thinking back my exposure to brandy in my past was pretty much brandy & coke. So, I was intrigued to see how this #VisitStellenbosch experience would go down. 

Upon arrival, you are shown to a rather impressive tasting room, which sort of reminded me of a medieval/middle ages lounge area. The sort that you'd expect to find in a castle where royalty would spend their days in front of the fireplace. It's absolutely beautiful & the smell in there is something that I wish we could have put into a diffuser to take home. 

Did you know that Van Ryn's is the only brandy producer in the Stellenbosch region?

Off we go on a special tour of the distillery to see what happens & where it happens. A very impressive setup of large stills & copper piping. Even some of the very old stills are still in use & going strong to produce brandy. Even watch skilled craftsmen in action with some cooperage, as they assemble a barrel. 

We opted for a tasting & pairing of Van Ryn's with handmade Belgian chocolate. 

So what really caught me by surprise was that upon taking that 1st sip of brandy, I was expecting a strong mouthful of alcohol & yet, it was not that bad. So if you're worried about this tasting taking your breathe away & burning your throat, you can be reassured that it's not something to stress about. 

Three glass of brandy, paired with 3 Belgian chocolates.
A very interesting mix of brandy & chocolate. Follow the same steps as when doing a wine pairing: sip, bite, sip again. But with brandy. You must not swirl your glass!

The 10, 12 & 15 year Van Ryn brandy each has it's own characteristics that are complimented by the different chocolates. Bringing out not only flavours, but a variety of textures too. Think smooth, warm & glowing. It really is an experience that I enjoyed. 

Check out Van Ryn's on your next trip to Stellenbosch! 

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Driven by the #KiaSportage

Monday, 1 July 2019

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Blaauwklippen

Lloyd Loots Blaauwklippen

Need something to do on a Sunday when you are down in Cape Town? Then look no further than stopping in at Blaauwklippen Wine Estate to #VisitStellenbosch

Blaauwklippen Wine Estate Family Market

The Blaauwklippen Family-Market has become one of the biggest family orientated things to do on a Sunday & is guaranteed fun for the whole family! With plenty to please your palate, including incredible market-style cuisine from around the world - Greek kebabs, German Flammkuchen, Indian Samosas, Chinese dumpliings & so much more. Oh, & don't forget, you'll be able to enjoy various Blaauwklippen wines under the fig trees whilst listening to some local musicians as they entertain you from 10:00 to 15:00.

Blaauwklippen Wine Estate Tasting Room

Or you can head through to the tasting room. This is where you'll find some more to do. I opted in for a Macaron & Wine Pairing. Presenting a luxurious pairing of homemade macarons with Blaauwklippen wines. (Let me just first mention that these are FRESH macarons that are prepared daily & are divine!)

Blaauwklippen Wine Estate Pairing

Pistachio x Diva Zinfandel MCC
Imagine fresh Granny Smith apples & brioche on the nose from the MCC which compliments the pistachio rather well. The zesty acidity & fine mousse of the MCC counter the sweet creaminess of the macaron.  

Rosewater x Ons Sprankel Perle Rose
Beautiful sweet candy floss & soft floral aromas on the nose, which are naturally only enhanced by the rosewater. The light fizz is rather complimenting on the sweetness of the macaron. 

Raspberry x White Zinfandel
A nose of fresh strawberry & cream with hints of citrus & fresh stone fruits that pair with raspberry. Creating a bit of a plush fruit salad effect in your mouth. 

Blaauwklippen Wine Estate Macaron

Salted Caramel x Zinfandel
A gorgeous red with hints of tobacco, fruitcake & sour cherries get a bit of extra dimension thanks to the salted caramel. The slight saltiness combined with tannins, balance the sweetness of the caramel & macaron. 
Chocolate x Cabriolet

A rich blend of reds giving you plums & dark berries, combined with Christmas spice making sure the that dark chocolate flavours are enhanced. The velvet smooth wine combines well with the sweetness of the macaron. 

Blaauwklippen Wine Estate Macaron Pairing

Most definitely a very unique & different pairing. Usually I would not be one to pair something as delicate & sweet with wine. However, this is definitely a pairing that hits the nail on the head. I'd highly recommend you head to Blaauwklippen yourself to try it out. 

Check Blaauwklippen out here

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Driven by the #KiaSportage

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Kunjani Wines

#WineRoutingWithLloyd Kunjani Wines

#SayKunjani - the new words on the lips of a few of us! Kunjani Wines is another #VisitStellenbosch find that is simply beautiful. Beautiful in every aspect. The wine, the food, the tasting room & the people!

Just out along the Bottelary Hills, you'll find Kunjani Wines nestled adjacent to their own vineyards. And as you drive in, in the late afternoon, this is the view that greets you. 

Kunjani Wines Tasting Room

The contemporary modern winery with it's charcoal colour exterior & red/orange accents. I love the industrial feel from the get go, so I know that I'm going to be very comfortable for my visit. 

Greeted by the owner of the winery herself - Pia Watermeyer is one lovely & dynamic lady. I immediately noticed that she has a passion & love for all the things that I myself love! So I knew we would get along & have a great time from the get go. 

Pia Watermeyer Lloyd Loots
Image from TOPS at SPAR Wine Show

The wine range available is sweet & simple with all those bottles that we just love. A Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Rosé, Shiraz, Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon. What more do you need? It's always a great idea in my opinion for a winemaker to focus on a smaller range of wines & excel in those, rather than having a massive range of wines & then none of them are any good. So bonus here, that all these wines are of the highest quality & you'll just have to experience them yourself to really know what I mean. 

The Kunjani Wines have just received a new label, which I was under strict instruction not to share before the big reveal about a month ago, so I snapped up some picks of the new labels on a new occasion when they visited Montecasino for the TOPS at SPAR Wine Show. 

#WineRoutingWithLloyd Kunjani Wines Shiraz
Image from TOPS at SPAR Wine Show

Oh gosh, what really stood out from the wines for me was definitely the Chenin Blanc. A pale straw colour that is smooth & fresh on the palate at the same time. A wine that definitely warms up your whole glass with tastes of baked apples & a hint of lime. So much character & depth right here. It's easy drinking & going to be lovely for that afternoon wine this winter. 

Kunjani Wines Rose Stolen Chicken
Image from TOPS at SPAR Wine Show

Ah, & don't let me forget the Stolen Chicken Rosé with it's pale rose gold glimmer in a glass. Ripe raspberries on the nose giving you the idea that it may be slightly sweeter, but it's got a beautiful minerality that balances out the flavours & acidity so well. I'll be sipping on this, these coming summer months at the sea. (Just follow the #SayKunjani on social media & you'll find my pictures there.)

Lunch time! Whether it's a Trout or Salmon Gravalax to kick off a light lunch with, followed by a seared tuna salad, you will always find something to eat whilst visiting Kunjani Wines with an ever changing seasonal menu.

Kunjani Wines Gravalax

Kunjani Wines Tuna Salad

Or if you're keen for something a bit more on the heavier side to accompany that glass of Cab Sauv, then a Springbok Loin is never a bad idea. Check out the latest menu here

Kunjani Wines Springbok Loin

If you end up having such a good time & you don't want to leave, then you can always do a bit of an overnight stay in one of the Villas available at Kunjani Wines. #WineRoutingWithLloyd stayed in the Cabernet Villa. Check out the other accommodation options here

Kunjani Wines Accommodation

A spacious self-catering space that is equipped with everything you'd need whether you're there for one night or staying for a month! All of the Villas look out onto the vineyards & from your patio, you can enjoy the sunset, as the last rays of light set over the vines. 

Kunjani Wines Vineyard

Then I just really want to go back & mention the design aesthetic & architecture of this place! WOW! It really is one of my favourite wineries from this trip. The modern touches & clean cut lines are amazing & really visually appealing. (Plus, it make for great IG photos too!)

Kunjani Wines Tasting Room

Kunjani Wines Tasting Room

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Driven by the #KiaSportage

Kia Sportage Kunjani Wines Sunset

Oh yes! A last bit of added humour! I spotted this in the men's toilet... 

Kunjani Wines Bathroom Humour