Nothing “BOT” about Botriver Spring Weekend
Nothing “BOT” about Bot River
Winter can really just drag me down, don’t get me wrong – I love a good fireplace, winter coats and boots, but there comes a time in your life that you just need to see bright colours and let go.
So when I heard that the 2017 Bot River “Over the Rainbow Spring Weekend” was taking place on the 1st weekend in September, I had to be there. I finally had the opportunity to satisfy my craving for some colour and exceptional wine.
The event is where wineries of Bot River showcase their great Farms, Wine and Diversity. It’s all about celebrating this Rainbow Village.
With Bot River being 45min drive out of Cape Town, we left home around 10:30 that Saturday morning hoping to visit at least 4 wineries, so we put the address in our trusted Google Maps and hit the road.
Almost 2 hours later (due to some misdirection), after being directed through the entire Bot River Valley and 2 bonus stopslater, we finally arrived at the Bot River Tourism Office.
Whatever frustrations and anxiety we had immediately disappeared, upon the receipt of our wine glasses at the Tourism Office.
Our first stop – the Winery closest to the Tourism Office, being Beaumont Family Wines.
Beaumont Family Wines (or should I say Bluemont)
Beaumont Family Wines is just that, a “Family”! We were welcomed by members of the family as we entered the Estate and my little one was escorted by the winemaker’s son to the designated kiddies play area. The adults were off to do what we do best – sampling some great wine.
Beaumont Chenin Blanc 2017– This Chenin Blanc was so refreshing after that long drive, that I could’ve easily finished the bottle while sitting on their “stoep”. Apple and Pear flavours filled my mouth, with a refreshingly crispness. A perfect way to start the day.
Beaumont Pinotage 2014 – I was really keen on tasting the Pinotage and it definitely did not disappoint. It was intense, plummy and elegant with a long finish.
Beaumont Vitruvian 2012
I’m big on blends and find the art of blending fascinating. Finding the perfect balance is key, so when I sampled the Vitruvian Blend of Mourvèdre, Pinotage, Shiraz , Cab Franc, Petit Verdot& Malbec, it was like a well-orchestrated harmony, such a great expression of rich and elegant fruit and finely structured tannins.
We stocked up on some great wines and made our way to the next winery.
So, if you find yourself in need of a getaway, why not give Bot River a visit and stay at Beaumount.
Next stop was Wildekrans Boutique Wine Estate.
This international award-winning vineyard overlooking Walker Bay, set within a picturesque 1000-hectare Estate and tucked away in the beautiful Bot River Valley was pretty in pink. We were welcomed with a MCC Brut Rosé.
Although my daughter refused to get on the tractor the other kids on the farm enjoyed the trip around the vineyard.
By now we were starving and “Obviously” our thirst was real. I don’t know if I was hit on the head or if this was the after effects of driving through the mountains, but I enjoyed the 2016 “The Sharks” Sauvignon Blanc. It was crisp, refreshing with less than the typical green flavour. It was far more tropical with citrus notes. The acidity was well balanced which makes the wine pleasant with or without food and complimented the cheese platter which we paired it with. We then dug into some ribs,like it was going out of season as well, as the brisket which we paired with the estate 2016 Pinotage. The assortment of berries on the palate, followed by a hint of spice and wood smoke from gentle soaking in older French barrels made this the perfect pairing. If this quick experience was anything to go by, I can only imagine what the experience at the Forage would be.
Although my body wanted to spend the rest of the day soaking up the sun, we had one more place on our list.
Gabriëlskloof Estate Yellow was anything but Mellow.
The drive up to the Estate was like driving to Spring, if Spring was a destination, as we were surrounded bright yellow fields of canola and wheat. The estate, a beautiful breath of fresh air had me pause for a minute, so that I could take it all in.
This time my little one had already made a new friend and was jumping her cares away. With my hands free, it was time to taste the wines from this unique territory.
We started with the 2017 Rosebud, a blended Rosè. This wine is made of Syrah and Viognier from Gabrielskloofand was a beautiful soft pink, in colour. Although the 2017 vintage was early, it delivered beautifully to the palate. It definitely had hints of Strawberry and Papaya and was not the sweet kind of Rosè that your aunt would buy,however, you should let her try it. I promise she’ll like it.
Next up was the 2015 “The Blend”. I liked this one, I mean…..I just liked this one. It had delicate violets and black fruit on both the nose and mouth, with hints of vanilla and tobacco leaf. Beautiful fine velvety tannins -elegant with the finesse a good blend should have. It was just that freakin good.
Sampras tried the 2015 Syrah and absolutely loved the white peppery nose and enjoyed the lingering taste. The 2015 Syrah makes for a great addition to your wine collection, as it will continue improving and developing for five to eight years after harvest.
We were about to call it a day, when I was delighted by the 2013 Five Arches. I was obviously not prepared for it.It was just so elegant with a sexy finish, a wine that is really subtle but bold, with a long lingering finish. You just want to close your eyes and enjoy the moment. It was amazing! What a difference that 9% Merlot makes and how perfectly orchestrated this blend is.
We ended up sitting on the “stoep” just a little bit longer enjoying the food, wine and beautiful view.
So next time you want to visit the wine route, why not visit the beautiful Bot River
Like I said, There’s Nothing Bot about Bot River!
For accommodation options in the area visit: www.botriverwines.com.
The Bot River wine family consist of Arcangeli Family Vineyards; Barton Vineyards; Villion Wines; Luddite Wines; Genevieve MCC; Beaumont Family Wines; Gabrielskloof Wine Estate; Rivendell Estate & Vineyards; Paardenkloof Estate; and, Maremmana Estate.