I discovered Vriesenhof just over a year ago before #WineRoutingWithLloyd last year. So when I knew I was heading back to Stellenbosch, I would definitely add a visit to the list. So this is a wine estate, that is not on the main road & is tucked away in a serene setting at the foot of the mountains.
Follow the road, until the there is no more tar & you hit a dirt road, then you know you are still on the right road! We arrived early & the mist had just cleared. From the tasting room, you have the view of the mountains & vineyards below, which I believe will have you gazing into the distance for ages.
What I quite like about Vriesenhof, is that they don't have a massive range of wines & rightly so, they focus on what they do best.
Starting with only 2 white wines.
The unwooded Chardonnay is light & fresh with hints of peaches & lingering gooseberries on the palate.
On the wooded Chardonnay a bit of minerality with that beautiful roasted almond on the nose that follows onto the palate alongside some pears.
Then you see that the focus is on their red wines.
Pinotage - blueberries galore on the nose for me on this one, followed by more of that along with some cherries on the palate.
Pinot Noir - subtle hints of strawberries & a bit of earthiness. On the palate ripe strawberries mixed with that minerality.
Grenache - think bright red fruits: cherries & raspberries on the nose with a beautiful full mouthfeel that is silky smooth & lingering hints of those ripe red cherries.
Grenache, Shiraz, Mourverde - ripe dark fruits & blackberries with hints of a dark chocolate on the nose & palate. Beautifully balanced & ever so creamy.
Kallista - beautiful notes of tobacco & leather hit your nose & then a mouth full of dark red fruits & black pepper.
So interesting fact is that the manor house & cellar are not that old & were only built in a style as to present the buildings to seem a whole lot older than what they actually are. And, the first wine was produced under the massive oak trees surrounding the now cellar in 1981.
In the tasting room, there is a painting, that has been painted on a leather hide. At 1st glance, you may think that it's just a canvas with much of nothingness on it. But the longer I sat there, & the more I looked, the more I saw. It is an incredible piece that consists of faces. The longer you stare, the more faces you'll find. I am reminded of a few historical art pieces that may have given the artist inspiration to put this together for the cellar master & owner - Jan Coetzee.
This is definitely an estate on the list that you should go check out. The peaceful setting is great if you're looking for an experience that is not rushed & there aren't hordes of people descending on the tasting room.
#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Driven by the #KiaSportage