There are a few wine farms that are simply magical. For me, La Motte in Franschhoek is one of those.
Before we deep dive into our experience at this wonderful wine estate, let’s take a quick look at some of the experiences La Motte has to offer.
La Motte Art: Exploring Sculptures
La Motte not only makes fantastic wine but the sculptures at the estate tug at my heartstrings each and every time I visit.
From the majestic four-metre-tall Wine Bearer (who welcomes you as you enter La Motte) and The Kiss (depicting the love between a mother and her daughter) to the vibrant Blushing Bride, amongst many others, these works of art move me beyond words.
But while art is a central estate feature and one definitely worth exploring, that’s not all.
Things To Do And Explore At The La Motte Wine Estate
There is so much more to do at La Motte.
Here’s a quick overview of the estate highlights:
- Bakery & Garden Cafe: Enjoy breakfast, brunch, or lunch, or simply visit for a casual coffee or afternoon drinks. The daytime cafe has indoor and outdoor seating available, and guests can explore the La Motte gardens with ancient oaks, lawns, a pond, and a farm-yard-inspired playground for the little ones. Guests can also buy loaves of bread and patisserie to take home.
- Farm shop: The La Motte farm shop sells a range of deli and homeware goods but is currently closed for renovations. The shop is expected to re-open in 2024.
- Hiking trail: Adventurers can enjoy the La Motte self-guided hiking trail and explore a wealth of fauna and flora, protea gardens, sustainably-farmed vineyards, wildlife, and views of the Franschhoek Valley. The circular hiking trail stretches about 6 km and starts at the La Motte Tasting Room.
- JAN Franschhoek: Guests can enjoy a seasonal tasting menu and wine pairing, served at a communal table and set in a charming historical cottage.
- Museum: La Motte has always been associated with art, as is evident by the many sculptures, and the museum offers guests a chance to explore this connection further. The works of Jacob Hendrik Pierneef are featured in the museum, but there are also changing art exhibitions. The museum is currently closed for renovations and is expected to re-open in 2024.
- Restaurant: We’ve dined at the La Motte restaurant in the past and have always had wonderful experiences. The restaurant is currently closed for renovations and is expected to re-open in 2024.
- Sculpture walk: On the sculpture walk, guests can visit and learn more about 11 of the sculptures on the estate. Many of the sculptures are by South African artist Toby Megaw, but there are also a few other sculpturists in the mix.
- Wine tasting: Enjoy an introduction to La Motte’s acclaimed wine portfolio in an elegant setting.
While we’ve experienced many of these elements in the past – like the museum, restaurant, and farm shop pre-closure – our most recent visit led us to try their fantastic wines in the tasting room.
The La Motte Tasting Room
Although I have tasted quite a few of the La Motte wines in the past (and enjoyed them immensely), this was my first time visiting the tasting room.
Turns out, it’s recently been refurbished and fully renovated. I can’t compare it to what it looked like before, but I can say that it’s a beautiful tasting room full of charm and character.
With a choice of seating at tables or comfy couches, you can see into the maturation cellar via large glass windows, enjoy original artworks by Pierneef, and, in winter, cosy up to a toasty fireplace. Perfection!
La Motte prides itself on its well-informed ambassadors – and they aren’t exaggerating. We had the absolute pleasure of being taken on a wine-tasting journey with the incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastic James.
The La Motte Wine Tasting
La Motte offers quite a few different tastings, ranging between R60 to R250 per person.
We were lucky enough to taste the entire La Motte wine selection, which we’ll walk you through below.
For simplicity, I’ll group the wines into their collections and not the order we tried them.
Also, for point of reference, I’ll add the estate cost per bottle to each wine tasted. You may find different prices in shops and/or if you order for delivery.
The La Motte Estate Collection
I’m a firm believer that all good things start with bubbles.
Luckily, we started our tasting with the MCC in the Estate Collection, along with some of the other Estate Collection wines.
- 2018 La Motte Méthode Cap Classique Brut (R390 per bottle): This award-winning bottle of happiness consists of 95% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Noir from Franschhoek. You can certainly never go wrong with this oh-so-classy MCC.
- 2020 La Motte Franschhoek Chardonnay (R159 per bottle): This is an interesting wine. With a definitive buttery smell, this wine does not taste wooded at all. It’s great for those who are unsure of those wooded Chards!
- 2018 La Motte Franschhoek Syrah (R190 per bottle): Where most wines from La Motte contain grapes from other regions, this one only contains grapes from the Franschhoek area. I really enjoyed this complex red with hints of plum.
Estate collection MCCs and wines are presented as limited releases in the tasting.
The La Motte Classic Collection
The La Motte Classic Collection consists of four beautiful wines.
- 2022 La Motte Sauvignon Blanc (R94 per bottle): This is a perfect easy-drinking wine. Made with grapes from three regions, this fresh wine has grapefruit and gooseberry notes.
- 2021 La Motte Rosé Vin de Joie (R99 per bottle): Pure joy. This light blush wine consists of 71% Grenache, 19% Mourvèdre, and 10% Syrah, and it reminds me of summer strawberries. I absolutely loved this pretty wine.
- 2019 La Motte Millennium (R99 per bottle): A beautiful blend of 44% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot, and 10% Malbec. An aromatic blend with notes of earth raspberry, this wine really is a winner!
- 2019 La Motte Cabernet Sauvignon (R159 per bottle): A full-bodied wine rich in tannins, this is exactly what you’d hope for in a Cab Sav. Personally, I’m not a Cab Sav fan, but if you are, this is a great choice.
The Classic Collection is available as the standard wine-tasting selection.
The La Motte Pierneef Collection
The Pierneef Collection pays tribute to the artworks of Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, which are featured throughout the estate.
There are two wines in this collection:
- 2021 La Motte Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc (R159 per bottle): This is a more complex wine than the La Motte Sauvignon Blanc from the Classic Collection and is an absolute winner. With notes of green pepper and gooseberry, this wine is perfect for almost any occasion.
- 2018 La Motte Pierneef Syrah Viognier (R299 per bottle): This is a beautiful blend of 95% Shiraz and 2% Viognier. With hints of mulberry and spice, this was another wine I really enjoyed.
Like with the other collections, different vintages of these wines are also available.
The Grand Finale: The Hanneli R Collection
Last but certainly not least, we tasted the 2015 Hanneli R (R1,400 per bottle) – more specifically, we tasted bottle 511 of 3570.
This elegant red blends 58% Shiraz, 32% Grenache, and 10% Petit Syrah.
It really doesn’t get more perfect than this one.
Other vintages of the Hanneli R are also available to purchase via La Motte’s online wine store.
Contact La Motte Franschhoek
While you can buy La Motte wines at a range of retailers (locally and internationally) and order online for delivery, we highly recommend visiting the estate.
There is so much to do and see, and it’s definitely worth a visit.
You’ll get all the details below.
La Motte Wine Estate
Address: La Motte Wine Estate, R45 Main Road, Franschhoek
Call: +27 21 876 8000
I Love Foodies Thank Yous: As always, we loved our adventure at La Motte. James, our wonderful wine ambassador, spoiled us with his vast knowledge and love for wine, and we’ll be sure to ask for him the next time we visit. A huge thank you to James, the entire team at La Motte, and, of course, Danné from Hatch Communications for putting the entire day together and for ensuring that we could travel safely with Magnas Tours.
Article Date: March 2023
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