Wellington Weekend – Part Two

So if you have been following along, you would have read Part One of my Wellington Weekend Adventure 🙂 This is now Part Two, and if you have a read below, you’ll find out a little bit more of what Wellington has to offer! #heartwellington

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SIXTH STOP: DIEMERSFONTEIN

After our delicious dinner, we headed over to Diemersfontein where we were spending the night. The sun was just beginning to set as we arrived and so we got to see this beautiful image of the sky (photo does not do it justice).

We stayed in the Thokozani cottage, but there are a few other ones to choose from. I did not get a chance to check out the others, but we were pretty chuffed with this one. It has a nice stoep outside where you can have a seat and peacefully sip on a glass of wine.

This cottage has six bedrooms, each with its own en-suite bathroom. The rooms have aircon and a little tea/coffee station, which is a necessity in the morning 🙂 This was the room I stayed in.

And a little peek of the bathroom.

After a good night’s rest, we went for breakfast. Breakfast is served at the new Aan Tafel Restaurant. It’s simple and unpretentious, and its got a laid-back, farm-kitchen feel to it.

This big table at the window is in the perfect position to make the most of the view and it would be perfect for a family or a group of friends.

(If you have stayed over at Diemersfontein, the breakfast is complimentary.)

Once we were seated, you could order a coffee or help yourself to some juice. I ordered a cappuccino, but it is not included with your breakfast, so expect to pay a little bit extra.

The breakfast has two “parts” – firstly, you can help yourself to the cold section which includes: fresh fruits, yogurt, cereals and fruit juice.

And secondly, there is the hot breakfast, which includes: scrambled eggs, bacon, tomato, potatoes and toast. The breakfast comes as is, but you may opt to leave off certain items as you see fit. I opted to leave off the potatoes, as I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to eat it all. (The toast comes separately and is not pictured here). The breakfast was tasty, though – I finished it all 🙂

We then popped in next door at Diemersfontein’s tasting area to begin our tasting. If you just want to do a standard wine tasting, they offer 4 wines for R40, which is very reasonable – especially if you look at the generous portions they pour for you.

We, however, wanted to try a pairing (of course) and so we tried their Carpe Diem pairing for R100. Their Carpe Diem range is their flagship range, so this pairing is really good value for money. The Chenin Blanc is paired with cheddar cheese, the Viognier is paired with blue cheese and green fig, the Malbec is paired with droëwors and the Pinotage is paired with beef biltong.

(I’ve had this pairing before and I remember that they had a Sauvignon Blanc paired with a slice of lemon! I know this sounds crazy, but it was well though-out as the acidity in the lemon really lessened the acidity in the wine and made it more fruity as a result.)

I enjoyed this pairing that we had just as much. The Chenin Blanc was great (I seem to enjoy all the Wellington Chenins) and it paired perfectly with the slightly-salty cheddar cheese. The Viognier was also good and it was complex and full-bodied enough to handle the blue cheese and fig being paired with it. The other two pairings went well together as both the saltly, spiced droëwors and the spiced biltong brought out the fruitiness of their respective wines. A really good pairing as a whole.

Diemersfontein also offers a sweet pairing, called the Sweet Temptations pairing for R80, as well as a Wine and Brandy Pairing for R100. We got to try their brandy and I must admit, it was a bit wasted on me 🙂 I can say, though, their Cape Vintage Pinotage and Sweet Sun-Dried Viognier are both truly delicious! Those two wines paired with a blue cheese would be heavenly!

My Highlights: The Carpe Diem Wine Pairing and the beautiful accommodation

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SEVENTH STOP: BOVLEI (WELLINGTON WINES)

After we had packed up, we headed on to Bovlei, which is the tasting room for Wellington Wines. The weather had just started to change and it felt as if we were already in the middle of winter, which is weird, for Wellington, in March!

Luckily, it is a really cosy tasting venue and super comfortable to hang around for the whole afternoon. I immediately spotted the fireplace and also the pile of blankets on the right and so I have already earmarked this spot for a winter visit.

I like the fact that they have made intimate circles for groups of people to do a tasting, but you can also sit at a table if you wish to do so.

The tasting room is also a shop, where you are able to purchase all of the Wellington Wines.

I like how they have decorated it to add the feel of a cellar.

We tried a few good wines, but I was quite impressed with this La Cave – a red, Cape blend for R165 a bottle. It’s a full-bodied wine with flavours of blackberries and plum and a hint of nuttiness.

One of the special things about Wellington is that the people there a) are very proud to tell you they’re from Wellington and b) are genuinely interested in its history and what makes it a good wine region. Xania, from the Wellington Wine Route showed us this cool chart sheet, where you can see the statistics of all things Wellington.

The tasting room offers quite a few tasting options. You can have two standard wines pairings: the La Cave wine pairing for R65 or the Duke wine pairing for R50. Both are good options, but as the La Cave range is their premium range, I’d pick that one.

Then, they have this magical pairing of Doughnuts and Wine 🙂 It includes 4 of their Duke Wines, paired with 4 very delicious doughnuts. And it only costs R60! Awesome!

They also make delicious burgers (although we were too full to try one), and tasty platters, like the one below. My advice is: Order a platter to share for the table while you do the La Cave tasting, and then order a Doughnut and Wine Pairing to share too! 🙂 (winning, all round)

My Highlights: The Doughnut and Wine Pairing, those yummy platters and the Cape Blend

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FINAL STOP: DOOLHOF WINE ESTATE

We arrived at our last stop in the pouring rain! Doolhof Wine Estate, although pretty in winter, is absolutely stunning in the sunnier weather, so some of my photos will not do it justice. When the weather is a bit better, it’s great to sit outside under the umbrellas to do your wine tasting.

The inside tasting venue, although small, has comfortable seating where you can sit in small groups with your friends and family. You can also order a light lunch while you do your tasting.

Their wine tasting costs R50 for 5 wines which is very reasonable, and, if you purchase a bottle, the tasting fee is waived. We got to taste their Malbec, Malbec Rosé (this was a first for me), their Pinotage and their Dark Lady Pinotage. I always enjoy Doolhof’s Pinotage, but I was pleasantly surprised by the Malbec. It costs R195 a bottle and has flavours of blackberries and blackcurrant with some floral aromas. It’s full-bodied and I imagine it would be lovely to have next to the fire in winter.

Then, we were privileged to get to taste their flagship wines, which are not usually available for tasting. You can buy yourself a bottle if you feel like spoiling yourself, but they do not come cheap. The Riviersteen Chenin and the Moreston Chardonnay are both R390 a bottle and the Bloedklip Malbec is R875. But, wow – these are great wines. Both whites have such good complexity, and are well-balanced, with high acidity. Out of the two, I guess I would pick the Chenin as I am just into Chenins at the moment, but I can appreciate that the Chardonnay was just as good. The Malbec, though, was really good. Premium wines come at a premium price, but it is worth it for this full-bodied, complex wine showing lots of black fruit flavours and minimal ‘oakiness’. It’s restrained and truly delicious.

I also really liked the labels. They each have their unique story and are a depiction of the terrior in which each of them was made. (For instance, the first bottle depicts the exact layout of the Chenin Blanc block. How cool?)

Doolhof also have two types of accommodation: they have an AfriCamps ”glamping” site, as well as their country house.

I haven’t yet stayed over, but this is what you can expect in the country house if you’d like to spend the night…

and

and even a swimming pool! It looks amazing!

My Highlights: The Riviersteen Chenin, the Bloedklip Malbec and also their Signature Malbec.

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Thank you so much to Xania and the Wellington Wine Route for arranging our media weekend and a BIG thank you to all of the wine farms who hosted us! We’ll be back soon! #heartwellington

And, as always, a special thanks to my wine friends, @thewittywinewoman, @throughmywineglass and @thewinegirlcapetown xxx