Wicked Wild, Wacky Wine
Next weekend is the annual Wacky Wine, a wacky weekend filled with wine, food, and great experiences. I’ve been hearing about this weekend for years but have never actually been, so when I was invited to join in on a Robertson Wine Valley Wacky Wine preview media experience last weekend, I was pretty excited. Here are some of the top gems we visited over the weekend, including wine farms, restaurants, and all-round epic adventures.
Wacky Wine Preview: Day One
We started our Wacky Wine preview experience at Rooiberg, the place you certainly won’t miss coz they have a giant red chair outside, which you can literally spot a mile away. It’s known as the largest red chair in Africa, and you can climb to the top and enjoy stunning views of the wine valley, which I absolutely loved. We tried some of the Rooiberg wines as well and had some of their yummy food, and I can definitely recommend the Rooiberg Muscadel. Sweet and delicious.
From Rooiberg we travelled to Graham Beck, which certainly needs no introduction. The tasting room offers great views of the property, and you can enjoy some of the best bubbly in the world here. Plus, they have an epic French theme planned for Wacky Wine this year, which is guaranteed to be lots of fun.
We had a picnic lunch at Springfield Estate, and the cool thing here is that you can actually bring in your own lunch, and then just enjoy the Springfield wine with it. It’s a gorgeous location, beautiful rich lawn next to a lake, guaranteeing some leisure time.
From Springfield we travelled to the heart of the Robertson Wine Valley to Windfall Wine. This is probably the most far-away place we travelled to over the weekend, and it gave that full country experience, with wide open spaces and complete silence. They do a selection of wines and even some brandy (The Hunter) in a stunning bottle. The winemaker is an absolute gem, full of interesting stories, and they make a pretty epic Sauvignon Blanc, which I can highly recommend.
We went to Rosendal for dinner, a charming little place that has that old-school country feel. The chef is an absolute star and the dishes were divine – from an interesting take on dolmades, tender asparagus, veggies, steak, and a beautiful tart for dessert. The service needs a little improvement and our waitress wasn’t the friendliest of the bunch, but the chef and his culinary skills makes coming to this place worth it (plus he’s super friendly).
Wacky Wine Preview: Day Two
Platform 62 is probably one of the coolest places I’ve ever visited. I don’t even know what to call it – it’s an art centre, a tourist shop, a wine experience, a café, and an adventure park with hundreds of chickens and the cutest (and fattest) pig in the world (who will follow you around for some love and attention). We went here for breakfast, which was lovely, and then joined in on proprietor Leon’s own brandy pairing, which was an absolute gem. I might actually do a whole feature on his brandy pairings and brandy cocktails, but if you’re in the area I’d definitely suggest giving these a try!
From Platform 62 we travelled to Zandvliet, which is pretty much the picture perfect wine estate. Their manor house is beautiful, their gardens lovely, and the view absolutely stunning. Zandvliet has a wine range called ‘My Best Friend’, and you can get a red, white, rose, and a muscat of these. These four are my new best friends – light and easy drinking, super affordable, and absolutely lovely!
Van Loveren offers some of the coolest wine pairings I’ve ever seen, and to indulge in something a little different I tried a wine cooler and sweet treats pairing (popcorn, ginger biscuits, candy floss, a cake pop, and nachos). They also do alcohol-free kids’ pairings. Pretty epic, huh? Van Loveren also boasts a stunning garden, which is something a little different to many of the other estates. Many of their trees have interesting back stories, so I’d recommend joining in on a tour of the garden (look out for the story about the tangled tree).
Mimosa Lodge and De Wetshof Wines
We continued this adventurous day with a food and wine pairing at Mimosa Lodge with De Wetshof wines. I love good food (as you might have guessed), and Mimosa was brilliant – from the swirly butter and bread in the beginning, poached kingklip entrée, spaghetti starter, roast kudu, and decadent elderberry mousse, this was all divine. De Wetshof also does a beautiful selection of wines and a wide range at that, so definitely worth tasting these!
Wacky Wine Preview: Day Three
We stayed in the cottages at Weltevrede, but it wasn’t until the last day that we actually visited the estate. What a treat this was. They spoilt us with a hearty breakfast, and then took us to their underground wine cellar for a Chardonnay tasting. This was definitely a beautiful experience and one I could highly recommend. My favourite? The Weltevrede 1912, a tribute wine that absolutely blew me away.
From Weltevrede we went on to Klipdrift, which every South African will be familiar with. We did a brandy and fudge pairing, which was very interesting. I particularly enjoyed their Klipdrift Black Gold, a brandy infused with coffee and cocoa, making it almost like a liquor.
Our last stop of the trip was Viljoendrift, where we enjoyed a beautiful river cruise and a make-your-own picnic experience. You can even get your picnic to have on the boat. How cool is that?
So there you have it, a quick run-down of an amazing Wacky Wine preview weekend, and some gems that can help you plan your Wacky Wine experience. For more info on this wine festival, visit their website here.
I Love Foodies will be back next week with lots of exciting features. We’re also launching a new recipe series, so stay tuned for that! And don’t forget to tune into social media this weekend as we’ll be coming to you live from the Good Food and Wine Show.
Until then, happy munching!
Review Date: May 2016