Wine

Esona – The VERY One

Let us introduce you to the hand written story of Esona (Xhosa for “The very One”). .. Esona is a boutique winery, producing limited release wine from single vineyards nestled beside the Breede River in the Robertson Wine Valley. Husband Rowan, and wife Caryl, found this 17 hectare farm situated between Robertson and Bonnievale as a place of relaxation from the busy city life. As all great things take time they developed this once before vegetable farm into nine hectares of vines in 2004 and bottled and released the first Esona wine in 2010. The farm is maintained by a small team that...

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Bains Cape Mountain Whisky is the best

Take that whisky snobs. Bains Cape Mountain Whisky, distilled in Wellington, has won the award for Best Grain Whisky in the world for 2013 , as awarded by Whiskey Magazine. Of course we have been singing Bains' praises for a while now. It is the only whisky we serve in the restaurant, besides our Kentucky Bourbon, but that is another story... The World Whiskies Awards took place in London last week, where more than 300 whiskies battled it out during three intensive blind tasting rounds, for the coveted title of ‘2013 World's Best Whiskies’. After last year's Japanese domination of the single...

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Food & Wine Pairing Ideas

At Augusta's African Kitchen we try hard to get the most interesting wines, often a single bottle, for our guests to try. When it comes to our own blended red La Belle Dame sans Chapeau, we deliberately worked with Andy Barnes from Mischa Estate on a red which is all berry and rich, while also having the ability to merge well with rich flavours and our kitchens' liberal use of spices. In then end we settled on a blend of Melot (in American Oak- suck on that wine snobs!!) and Petit Verdot. The result was a wine which pairs naturally with curry, chicken, cheese and most things actually. It is also...

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Inner City Drinking. No problem.

At the yearly Cape Country Routes AGM we were introduced to Jean Vincent Ridon and his wonderful wines, vision and mission.  In the middle of the Cape Town CBD you will find this, the only urban winery in South Africa. Signal Hill Winery is also the most traditional winery, making wine only a few hundred metres from where the first grapes where ever pressed in South Africa, on the 2nd of February 1659... they are part of so much history and now also really help to shape the future of the South African wine industry! Signal Hill Winery is becoming famous worldwide for its range of experimental...

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Cerno wins in 2012 – maybe our La Belle Dame next year?

Andy & Michel discussing the blend

Congrats to Andrew Barns and Mischa for being awarded yet again at the Michelangelo International Wine Awards. This year, on top of the gold stickers, Andrew's Mischa Cerno 2009 was awarded the Tonnellerie de Mercurey Trophy  for "Best Bordeaux blend" in South Africa! Andrew is also the man who guides us in producing our delightful red blend La Belle Dame Sans Chapeau and for those of you who have visited here, Bailey our rotund pavement special, started out her journey to Swellendam with Andy and his gorgeous wife Rachel. FROM THE MISCHA TASTING NOTES Our exclusive Cerno is a terroir...

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La Belle Dame Sans Chapeau

Bottled, labelled and ready

This is it! Labelled and ready for enjoyment. This year's blend is a corker (pardon the pun) and a most daring blend of Merlot and Petit Verdot. The blend is 50/50 which is most unusual but as we just do it to have fun we saw no reason to follow convention and decided to go all the way. It was a tough decision as the varietals on their own were great BUT blended they created a flavour profile which was so unique we could not resist! Merlot is well known Bordeaux varietal to most while Petit Verdot is mostly known as a blending grape that originated in France. It’s one of the five Bordeaux...

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Something to wine about

Cava Augusta

The cellar at Augusta de Mist has always been a musty old place, mostly used for storing garden tools and outside furniture but it is also a most romantic little spot with rough walls constructed from big rough stones and surprisingly high ceilings. It has always been a room with a secret aspiration to be a wine cellar, and we being the sensitive wine-loving folks we are, have finally put the finishing touches on the space to make it as inviting as possible. It is a simple, unpretentious space where our delicious handmade wine can mellow and mature. It is also a most traditional-style tasting room:...

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Organic in Paradise

Greg in his restaurant

Suurbraak is a quaint village situated 19km east of Swellendam, also known by the ancient San as 'Xairu' meaning beautiful or paradise. One of the villages charms is its isolation, being situated off the Wine Route R62 and busy N2, but this is not without its pitfall as this limits the financial resources for its residents. For this reason there are many people working hard to put Suurbraak on the map, hoping to make Xairu a place to stay and enjoy the sights, rather than a passing place. Found at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains, the village has a lot to offer the discerning traveller, including...

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O Schist!

schist_granite_low_res

Our neighbours and good friends, Chris and Andrea Mullineux who make up, Mullineux Family Wines are constantly seeking out and refining the very best Syrah vineyards they can find in the Swartland. After 8 years, they have finally found two single vineyards that are best able to express the special Granite and Schist based terroirs they are planted in. The 2010 vintages of these single terroir wines, the Granite and Schist Syrahs, were released earlier this year. Mullineux feels these two very special wines are the ultimate expression of the Terroirs in which they grow. Jancis Robinson describes...

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Something to wine about

Andy & Michel discussing the blend

We recently spent the day in the vineyards in Wellington agonizing over which varietals to use for the 2011 Eau Sauvage. The previous vintage was a daring little experiment with equal amounts of Mourvedre, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. And this was a huge success with all who tasted it, even the most anorakish wine tasters we presented it to. The wine of the moth group who tasted it gave it a 4+ out of 5. BUT you could not get away from the fact that the mixed marriage was an issue. Bordeaux and Rhone just don't mix. It is a varietal Romeo & Juliet tragedy, because the offspring of the two great...

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