At Dellrust Estate there are loads to do besides the normal cellar activities, from quad bike trails and picking and stomping your own grapes to making a barrel of your own wine.
Not being the quad bike sort – and no hair for the wind to blow through – I spent some time with the Bredells in their Cellar Door tasting some of the available vintages.
The Bredells export quite a bit of their wines, luckily they have an easy to pronounce name!
At the entry level there is an enchantingly labelled Vinehills Red, illustrations by well known winelands artist Frans Groenewald. The sort of wine you would happily grab off your local supermarket shelf and give a whirl, the currently available is a Ruby Cabernet and Tinta Barocca Blend, no oak maturation, grippy tannins and bags of fruit, fun wine.
There's a white to follow, a soft round blend of Chardonnay, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc – easily slip that one into my picnic basket.
At the top end, there is the deeply delicious Three Vines, a velvety mélange of Pinotage 30%, Shiraz 30% and Merlot 40%. Albert selects specific blocks of what he considers his best of the three grapes and makes the wine from them separately. Blending takes place before the wine is matured in small French Oak casks – some first fill and some from previous vintages.
The Bredells are well known for their ports, there is ‘Big Anton’ up the road who regularly cuts 5 Platter stars for his JP Bredell ports. Albert of Dellrust makes a seriously good winter beater of 90% Tinta Barocca and 10% Touriga Naçional – Cape Late Bottled Vintage 2002 which has fat sappy Christmas pudding fruit and spices from the almost three years of resting in oak barrels.
I also had sip of his Jerepigo – it’s a Chenin which he fermented out slightly before fortifying it with grape spirit. It was somewhat chilly getting there at 09h00 in the morning, so it warmed me on my way.
Next stop Onderkloof Wines
I also stopped at Onderkloof Wines and Vines belonging Danie Truter who has been a friend for 30 years. Danie sits under the Schaapenberg east of Somerset West in the Helderberg bowl making some pretty stunning wines, sad more people don't know about them.
I have always been a fan of the Onderkloof Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2002 vintage of which shows some impressive fruit and the oak, though shining bright allows the dark cherries, blackcurrant and soft plums to show at their best. Lovely layers of fruit punctuated by flavours of vanilla and spice.
I am also very fond of Danie's Pinotage – dark deep red in colour with wonderful mulberry coming through – or should that be marvellous mulberry? He's no slouch at turning out some good whites too, as his Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay prove.
Michael Olivier, a well known Cape food and wine fundi, trained at The London Cordon Bleu Cookery School. He's currently the food & wine specialist with Pick 'n Pay, occasional broadcaster and hospitality industry consultant. For more information on Michael please visit his website is www.noshnews.co.za or ask Michael a wine related question on Food24.