Wednesday, 25 July 2018

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Spice Route Destination


I won't lie. I was honestly pleasantly surprised with my visit to Paarl & the surrounding areas. I even found my way to Spice Route Destination. (Slightly later than expected, but I made it. And I can now say that I am so glad that I did make it.) What a view to sit & enjoy. In the distance (approx 70km away, you can see a slight outline of Table Mountain.


So a bit about the Spice Route Destination. The story goes that many years ago, when ships used to dock at Cape Town, mariners would blast their horns & this was usually heard as far as the Paarl mountains. This call was not only to announce their arrival, but also signal farmers that it was time to mount their horses & go collect & trade. The same experience is what Spice Route Destination is channeling, by bringing hand picked artisans with a collection of flavours & celebrations of Cape culture together & to support each other. 


Off to La Grapperia Bistro & Pizzeria, which could easily be summarised as an Italian/German styled bistro with everything from Pizza to Eisbein & Gin; and Gin & Tonic to Beers. What I most loved about this restaurant, is that it is plain & simple, with nothing too fancy & unpretentious! Most definitely a great homely vibe buzzing from the moment we arrived to a very busy restaurant. (So if you plan on a visit, especially on a weekend, best you make a reservation.)


On arrival, I opted to take a break from the wine & have a G&T. So one of the artisans that you can find at Spice Route Destination, is Wilderer - Fynbos Gin. They make a mean Naartjie G&T, which comes highly recommended! The actual distillery is also on site and right next door to the restaurant, so you could definitely pop in there & see how they create their gin. 


On arrival, I opted to take a break from the wine & have a G&T. So one of the artisans that you can find at Spice Route Destination, is Wilderer - Fynbos Gin. They make a mean Naartjie G&T, which comes highly recommended! The actual distillery is also on site and right next door to the restaurant, so you could definitely pop in there & see how they create their gin. 


On to our late lunch/early dinner. A very exciting & big menu to choose from. So, if you are not as indecisive as me, you won't have any trouble finding something to eat. For starters classic garlic snails & pulled lamb bitterballen with a traditional German mustard.


On to mains. I was told that the pizza here, is simply incredible & that it is a must. Well, they were right & I'm telling you the same thing now!

I opted for a pizza with salami, ham, olives & artichokes. It was simply delicious & what a great combination of savoury flavours. With a nice crispy thin base, this is one wood-fire oven pizza that I'm currently craving as I write about it. 


Another on site artisan is Spice Route Wines. Coming in all the way from the Swartland area, winemaker Charl du Plessis sure has a talent for making magical wines.


I decided on the 2015 Spice Route Mourvèdre.  Well, firstly, because this is a very scarce varietal in South Africa & secondly, because I had never had a 100% Mourvèdre before. So to me, that just made perfect sense to try something new in a new place. On the nose, you get dark black cherries with hints of nutmeg & cardamom. These carry through to the palate & develop into more mature fruits. A beautiful wine with a great medium body & a slight bit of iron-like undertones which emphasize the savoury elements of the wine. A great choice to go with my pizza. 


As the sun sets, you can experience this beautiful view finishing off your glass of wine, or just get your evening started. Either way, the Spice Route Destination is a must see & you'd definitely need some time to really enjoy every moment here. 

Check out Spice Route Destination here.