Something I try to do when in the Winelands of the Cape, is not read the hype about a particular wine estate before I get there. I am a novice in many ways, but for me, I have found the wine farms I love the most, are the ones less corporate and more family orientated. We have a rich heritage here, and the passion in the farm, the grapes and the wines are important. As they say, wine farming must be a passion and I hold true to that.
In London, a treat is buying the Morgenster Olive Oil. The stories and reviews are legendary, so today I went in search of the home of this favourite, thinking Olive Oil, rather than wine if I have to be honest.
Situated next to the incredible Vergelegen, I had to stop to take a picture of these moo cows. Rustic bliss. The avenue leading to the farm is landscape of what it is all about, the agriculture, the farm lands, situated in the heart of Somerset West. Then there are the blossoming Apple trees…
Yup, it is an overcast day and I have the iPhone rather than the Canon this time, but you have to be here to see the magnificence of white in line. Classy stuff. Was Morgenster what I imagined? Driving up to the parking lot, modern buildings, white and austere. Nothing wrong with that I thought, not perhaps the Colonial Cape Dutch expected. Enter the wine tasting room, to be greeted by a lovely lass, a price list and a roaring fire – where is the summer, I thought, but it created just the right ambiance for a spot of wine, or Olive Oil tasting. Certificates in frames of accolades accomplished. Had mum not been left in the car, I would have succumbed to a slow imbibing of reds but I was on a mission today. You see, the new visa laws imposed I know, has created a dearth in tourism, radical reduction of visitors and wanted to know if it impacted on their own business? Interesting, but no, but then not too many families are going to settle for a day of tasting wines … What about the restaurant I asked?
Next building. And the first day of opening! An Italian flavoured menu.
With this view. Make a note for future lunches. And yes, the owner of the restaurant did voice concern over the visa laws and slump in tourism. Undaunted however, I believe the future is bright. The enthusiasm is palpable, people hard at work to deliver the finest in cuisine. So watch this space.
Just goes to show, there are offerings a plenty in the Wine lands area, the choosing and lingering all on offer for the avid enthusiast of wine and fine dining. One has to put aside a day, a time to just indulge in the finest in the world. I strongly believe we are up there with the Great French estates, the Italian family owned estates and the rest of the world. If not better, but style in these South African venues are unique. The decor, the design, is world class. South Africa knows how to do it right.
Even though I somehow expected something different from Morgenster, I was not disappointed. Maybe not the conventional, but the different – and on my list for next time.
I bought the tapas, and the Olive Oil. Cannot put the wines in my suitcase back to Heathrow. Loving it all!