When I first heard that Leipzig Country House did monthly food and wine pairings, I was super keen to give them a visit. Situated in the Nuy Valley in Worcester, it's about and hour to an hour and a half out of Cape Town. We decided to visit one Saturday because we, (okay, I), felt like a nice drive and day out away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The name, Leipzig, is from the German "city of music", where the forefathers of this estate stem from. Originally, Mrs Alida Smit, who was born on the neighbouring farm, bought the section of land that is now known as Leipzig. Today, the farm is run by Alida Bester, who is the youngest daughter of Alida and Francois Smit. Alida Bester, along with her husband, Vian, maintain a truly lovely wine venue! (On a side note, if you see any woman who works at Leipzig on your visit, you can greet her with the name "Alida", and you will probably be correct!) 🙂
As mentioned above, Leipzig offers a different food and wine pairing each month. The month of October was a mini burger and wine pairing. Yum! But on previous occasions, they have had a filled pancake and wine pairing and even a waffle and wine pairing, which sounds awesome!
The whole estate is really beautiful. I loved the pretty displays around the wine tasting venue (see below). They even have an old petrol pump from "back in the day".
I had expected a small wine tasting section, as they are a boutique-style winery, but there are actually various spots for you to taste the wines and relax for the afternoon. You can choose to sit outside, under a cover (see below left), or even inside (see below right), where I noticed there was an aircon - ideal for the warm weather coming up.
But their outside area on the grass is truly beautiful (see below). You can relax with cushions under the umbrellas and literally chill out. It's so peaceful there! I like the low tables so that you can easily have the food and wine pairing there too, if you'd like.
Their mini burger pairing included three mini burgers: a chicken one, a venison one and a beef one (see below). They were really fresh and delicious! I liked the chicken burger the best as the crumbed chicken burger was super tasty.
The wines used in the pairing were:
- Leipzig Sauvignon Blanc 2017
- Leipzig Grandmaster (red blend) 2015
- Leipzig Pinotage 2014
We were fortunate to meet Mrs Alida Smit, (affectionately known as Lida), who explained a bit about the history of Leipzig and how she came to be there. She also told us a bit about the first wines that were made at the estate.
For our wine tasting experience, we were blessed with a vivacious woman whose name was...wait for it...Alida! Alida Marais is super passionate about Leipzig and this carried through to us too. She's very hospitable and quickly makes you feel right at home.
The Sauvignon Blanc is lovely for only R80 a bottle. It's perfect for those hot, summery days. It is fresh with tropical flavours of guava and pineapple. It paired really well with the chicken burger. I think this combination is perfect for a picnic!
The Grandmaster is a red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec. This wine was really smooth and had delicious flavours of dark plum and blackcurrant. It costs R130 and I think it deserves that price. It was paired with the venison burger. I'm not a massive venison fan, but The Husband loved this combination the best. The rich flavours of the venison pair well with this blend, which has spent 9 months in oak barrels.
The Pinotage was also really great! (We happened to visit Leipzig on #pinotageday.) It has yummy flavours of berries and smoke. I found it to be very easy-drinking. Because it's a 2014 bottle, and it has been resting in the bottle for 20 months, it was the perfect time to drink it when we did. It paired really well with the beef burger, and I imagine it would be great with a lamb dish too.
You obviously don't only have to do the pairing (although it is awesome). You can also taste a range of their other wines.
The White Leipzig is something truly special as it is their flagship white wine. For just R100 a bottle, it is a citrusy blend of four cultivars: Chardonnay, Viognier, Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc. I haven't tasted something quite like this before, as I usually only taste the red blends. This one was lovely, with flavours of peach, honeysuckle and butterscotch.
We also tasted the Chenin Blanc, which is quite unique as it is made from bush vine chenin, making the flavours a lot more concentrated. It was aged for 6 months, so it has a more oaky taste than other, regular Chenin Blancs. It costs R110 a bottle. Although I liked this wine a lot, I really loved the White Zeipzig! (I'm going to go back for that one soon!)
If you're lucky, you might get to see JB (short for James Bond) on your visit. He is Alida Marais' dog and he is just so lovable and friendly. Here he is relaxing in the afternoon sun - lucky him! (see below).
Leipzig also has a beautiful country house (see below) where guests can stay the night. They also do weddings and have a gorgeous chapel. It's truly a stunning place.
I also found out that they do wine sleepovers! How awesome would that be? They have a wide range of experiences, like wine blending and a trailer and tractor sundowner evening. You can read up more about their experiences here.
Overall, we had a lovely afternoon that was definitely worth the drive from Cape Town!
Contact: +27 (0)23 347 8422
Address: Nuy Valley between Worcester and Robertson
Star Rating: ****