Tag Archives: The House of Krone

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 27 November

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Cape Town has been named the winning city (ahead of Vancouver and Venice) in the Telegraph Travel Awards 2013. Describing all three cities as water-based, Cape Town’s point of difference is its ‘Michelin-starred restaurants’ (sic), staying in traditional as well as modern accommodation, climbing mountains, surfing the Atlantic Ocean, and relaxing at the beach. The city’s status as World Design Capital 2014 is also highlighted. ‘This really is a city that everyone who visits it loves: an English-speaking destination that offers sun, sea and culture in one place – and all just 11 hours’ flight away, with no jetlag’.

*   The inaugural World Travel Market Africa, to be held in Cape Town from 2 – 3 May, is planning to sign up 700 exhibitors.

*   Alan Wong, Jamie Oliver, and Gordon Ramsay are the world’s richest chefs! 

*   Stellenbosch Street Soirees will be held again to demonstrate the town’s Continue reading →

‘Celebrating Méthode Cap Classique’ a sparkling success!

A most beautiful as well as informative coffee table book about South Africa’s sparkling wine industry has just been published.  ‘Celebrating Méthode Cap Classique’ has been written by Di Burger, and is the first complete bubbly book.

The book traces the history of champagne to South Africa’s sparkling wine industry, which innovated with Cap Classique forty years ago, being a bottle-fermented bubbly made in the traditional French style.  Kaapse Vonkel was made for the first time by pioneer winefarmer Frans Malan at Simonsig in 1971, while ‘Cap Classique’ wines were made for the first time in 1992.  Chairman of the Cap Classique Association, Pieter ‘Bubbles’ Ferreira of Graham Beck Wines, writes in the introduction to the book that ‘South Africa has the oldest grape growing soils in the world’.  Combined with its bountiful sunshine, the Western Cape is a perfect location for growing grapes of excellent quality for the production of Cap Classique. 

Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) is the term which describes the South African bottle-fermented production of sparkling wines in the French méthode Champenoise style.  They are dry, with less than 12 grams of sugar per litre.

The book includes profiles of the major sparkling wine producers (Simonsig, Boschendal, Graham Beck, JC le Roux, Pongrácz, Villiera, Haute Cabrière, The House of Krone, Laborie, Backsberg Estate, Avondale, Bon Courage Estate, Van Loveren, De Wetshof, High Constantia Wine Cellar, Steenberg Vineyards, La Motte, Morena MCC, Saronsberg, Colmant, Veenwouden Private Cellar,  Mooiplaas, Quoin Rock Winery, Chabivin, Klasiek by Catherine, Namaqua Wines, MC Square, Domaine des Dieux, Lourensford, Old Vines Wine Cellars, Neil Joubert, Teddy Hall, Welteverede Wine Estate, Charles Fox, Francois La Garde, Longridge, Silverthorn Wines, Genevieve, LovanE Boutique Wine Estate, Saltare Wines, Tanzanite Wines, Ros Gower Wines, Wonderfontein, Cederberg Private Cellar, Riebeek Cellars, Groot Constantia, Dieu Donné Vineyards, Roodezandt, Aurelia MCC, Bramon, Viljoensdrift Wines,  Sterhuis, Perdeberg Winery, Véraison MCC, and Allée Bleue Estate). 

The book describes four styles of making sparkling wines: the ‘impregnation method’ (injecting carbon dioxide into vats of still wine); the ‘tank method’ (second fermentation in tank instead of in the bottle); the ‘transfer method’ (second fermentation in bottles, the cloudy wine is sucked out of the bottle through a filter to remove the sediment); and ‘Méthode Cap Classique’ (second fermentation in the bottle, with a solution of sugar syrup, yeast and aged wine added to create carbon dioxide and alcohol in the bottle, aged on the lees for 18 months – 5 years).  In total, there are 90 sparkling wine producers in South Africa, of which 53 are featured in the book.  Grape cultivars used most often in the production of sparkling wines are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  Beautiful photographs by Riehan Bakkes reflect the vineyards, cellars, and products of the wine estates producing sparkling wines. 

Woolworths’ Allan Mullins recommends serving a glass of bubbly at the start of a function, to ‘awaken the taste buds’.  Food and Cap Classique pairings for breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in the book, and recipes by TASTE and Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly are featured, as are recipes from Simonsig’s Cuvée restaurant, The Salmon Bar, David Grier, and Terra Mare Restaurant.  Pairings with Lindt chocolate desserts, and cheese are also featured, as are cocktail recipes with sparkling wine, created by the Cape Grace Hotel.

‘Celebrating Méthode Cape Classique’,  Stacked Publications, www.stackedpublications.co.za. Tel (021) 685-2146.   R300. 

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com   Twitter: @WhaleCottage

Gourmet Food and Wine evenings will warm up winter!

One of the exciting things about winter is that a number of restaurants are offering excellent value Gourmet evenings, with top wine makers presenting their wines, paired with special dishes prepared by the chefs of the restaurants.  It is a shame that some of the dates clash.

The Pavilion at The Marine Hotel, Hermanus

6 May:   Bouchard Finlayson Winery

3 June:   Paul Cluver Wines

1 July:   Klein Constantia Wine Estate

5 August:   Creation Wines

2 September:   Hamilton Russell Vineyards & Southern Right

The 5-course dinners, paired with wines, cost R 320 per person.  Tel (028) 313-1000

The Grand Café Camps Bay

11 May:   Peter Falke Wines

15 June:   Stellekaya

13 July:   Haute Cabriere


The Grand on the Beach

18 May:   Antonij Rupert Wines

22 June:   Ernst Gouws & Co

20 July:   Peter Falke

The 3-course food and wine pairing dinner costs R300.  Tel (021) 425-0551

Bosman’s, Grande Roche Hotel, Paarl

27 May:   AA Badenhorst Family Wines with winemaker Adi Badenhorst

10 June:   The House of Krone with winemaker Matthew Krone

22 July:   Glen Carlou with winemaker Arco Laarman

26 August:   Backsberg with winemaker Guillaume Nell

3 September:   Nederburg Auction Pre-dinner with cellarmaster Razvan Macici

28 October:   Raats Family Wines with winemaker Bruwer Raats

The 5-course meal with wine, coffee, canapés and petit fours costs R690.  Tel (021) 863-5100

The Garden Room, Mount Nelson Hotel

29 April:   Vergelegen with winemaker Andre van Rensburg

27 May:   Bouchard Finlayson with winemaker and owner Peter Finlayson

24 June:   Neil Ellis Wines with owner Neil Ellis

29 July:   Groote Post with winemaker Lukas Wentzel

26 August:   Rust en Vrede with winemaker Coenie Snyman

30 September:   Deetlefs with winemaker Willie Stofberg

28 October:   Boschendal with winemaker Lizelle Gerber

15 November:   Moreson with winemaker Clayton Reabow

9 December:   Boekenhoutskloof with winemaker Marc Kent.

The 7-course dinner costs R 395 per person with matching wines.  Tel (021) 483-1000

Chenin Wine Bar and Restaurant

26 May:   Ernie Els Wines

Cost is R 100. Tel (021) 425-2200


28 April: Buitenverwachting winemaker Brad Paton

Cost of the 5-course meal is R460.  Tel (021) 794-3522

Nobu at One&Only Cape Town

29 April:   Stark-Condé Wines

Cost of the 7-course meal is R R480.   Tel (021) 431-5111

What’s On, Watson Street

7 May:   Fleur du Cap winemaker Christoff de Wet

Cost of the 6-course dinner and wines is R300 per person or R500 per couple.  Tel (021) 422-5652

Marika’s, Gardens

9 May:   Mischa and Eventide

6 June:   Barton Wines winemaker JP Geyer

4 July:   Nabygelegen with winemaker James McKenzie

Cost of 5-course dinner and wines is R 200.  Tel (021) 465-2727

1800°C Grill Room, Cape Royale Luxury Hotel

7 May:   Hartenberg Estate

2 June:  Morgenhof

7 July:   Warwick wine estate

4 August: La Motte Wine Estate

Cost of 4-course dinner with welcome drink and wines R335.  Tel (021) 430-0506

Casa Nostra, Sea Point

28 May:   Fairview

2 July:   Klein Constantia

Cost of 4-course meal R230.  Tel (021) 433-0187

Bergkelder, Stellenbosch

30 June:   Fleur du Cap Unfiltered

Cost of 5-course meal, Wine and Flavoured Salt tasting by Craig Cormack of Sofia’s is R400.  Tel (021) 809-8025

French Toast

22 June: L’Avenir Vineyards

6 July:   Constantia Glen

3 August :  Diemersdal

7 September:   Creation Wines

5 October:   Rustenberg Wines

Cost of 3-course Tapas and wine pairing R 220 per person.  Tel (021) 422-3839.

24 August: Overgaauw vintage port pairing (with David van Velden) with food, R80.  Tel (021) 422-3839

Café BonBon, Franschhoek

8 June:  Jacoline Haasbroek from My Wyn

22 June:   Haut Espoir

4-course dinner and wine pairing R195 per person.  Tel (021) 876-3936

La Mouette, Sea Point

8 June:  Arco Laarman from Glen Carlou

4-course French theme dinner R240 per person. Tel (021) 433-0856

Swiss & Austrian Social Club, Sea Point

11 June:   Waverley Hills Organic Wines

5-course dinner paired with five wines R250.  Tel (021) 434-8405


19 July:   Joubert-Tradauw

9-course emal paired with wines R225.  Tel (021) 424-6334

15 on Orange

21 July:  Warwick wines

6-course meal paired with wines R295.  Tel (021) 469-8000

Knife Restaurant

27 July: Glenwood Wines

4-course meal paired with wines R220.  Tel (021) 551-5000

Warwick Wine Estate

22 and 29 July: 4-course dinner paired with Warwick wines, celebrating Stellenbosch Wine Festival.  R390. Tel (021) 884-4410

The Class Room, Hermanus

12 August: Rust en Vrede

3-course dinner paired with wines R195.  Tel (028) 316-3582

Harvey’s at Winchester Mansions

3 August: Avontuur Wine Estate

5-course dinner paired with 7 Avontuur wines R345. Tel (021) 434-2351

5 October: Luddite

5-course dinner paired with 6 Luddite wines at R345 per person Tel (021) 434-2351

Sinn’s, Wembley Square

25 August: Durbanville Hills with winemaker Wilhelm Coetzee

4-course dinner paired with 4 wines R225.  Tel (021) 465-0967

Pure Restaurant, Hout Bay Manor

24 September:   Groote Post wine estate

5-course dinner paired with wines R 260.  Tel (021) 791-9393

96 Winery Road

28 September:   Van Ryn’s

4-course dinner paired with Van Ryn’s brandy R320.  Tel (021) 842-2020

Cassia Restaurant, Nitida wine estate, Durbanville

30 September:  Nitida wines

4-course dinner paired with Nitida wines R 300.  Tel (021) 976-0640

Bayside Café, Camps Bay

30 September: Beyerskloof Wines

5-course dinner paired with Beyerskloof Wines R 175 per person.  Tel (021) 438-2650

Clos Malverne, Stellenbosch

28 October: Clos Malverne wines

5-course dinner paired with Clos Malverne wines R 445.  Tel (021) 865-2022

La Residence, Franschhoek

18 November: Waterford Wines with winemaker Francois Haasbroek

6-course Dinner paired with Waterford wines R 800.  Tel (021) 876-4100

The Vineyard Hotel

Friday 13 May

Schalk Burger & Sons

Friday 27 May

Warwick & Vilafonté

Friday 10 June

West Coast Wines with Tierhoek

Friday 24 June

Stellakaya with Ntsiki Biyela

Friday 1 July

La Motte

Friday 15 July

Solms Delta Wine Estate

Friday 5 August

Dombeya Wines with Rianie Strydom

Friday 19 August

Catherine Marshall Wines

Friday 2 September

Meerlust Wine Estate

Friday 16 September

Favourites from Wine Concepts

Friday 7 October


Friday 21 October

Wines from the Swartland (Kloovenburg, Babylon’s Peak)

Friday 28 October

Constantia Valley Wines

The dinner costs R 250 per person.  Tel (021) 657-4500.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio:  www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

Tulbagh Wine Route needs marketing, must extend its tasting times!

Staying in Tulbagh for a wedding this past weekend afforded me the opportunity to visit some of the better known wine estates in the area.  What is surprising is that almost all wineries close on Saturdays at 2 pm, and are not open on Sundays.  Tulbagh promotes itself as a wedding destination, so most visitors to the town would only have two or three hours before a Saturday afternoon wedding to visit the Tulbagh wine estates, and therefore many visitors would not be able to visit them all.

A handy Tulbagh Valley and Village Map with tourist attractions, including the 13 wine estates in Tulbagh, was made available to us at Rijk’s Country House.  An interesting note on the Manley’s website indicates that Tulbagh was previously known as a white wine region, but the earthquake in 1969 changed wine production to red wine (the connection is not explained), and the region now produces fine red wines, Shiraz in particular.

Rijk’s Private Cellar

We stayed at Rijk’s Country House on our first night, and therefore the winetasting at the Rijk’s Private Cellar the next morning was a must.  We had been welcomed with a most generous glass of Shiraz at Rijk’s Country House on arrival, so we were familiar with it on arrival at the tasting room.  I asked the charming Lucilia Turner which were the signature wines, and she said that the Pinotage and Chenin Blanc win the most awards, yet most associate Rijk’s with Shiraz.  I admired Lucilia for her ability to chat, pour and sell her wines to all the visitors, without offending anyone.

The tasting room is extremely functional looking, with a counter in a vast room, creating an echo as it is not filled with enough furniture.  The furniture is wooden tables and chairs, and a far corner has some couches.  Lots of certificates for prizes won by the wines are against the wall.  There is no marketing information about the Rijk’s wines at all to take away, other than the price list.  A folder on the counter contained interesting information about the history of the wine estate, and technical details about the wine-making.   Johan Wiese is the viticulturist, and Pierre Wahl the winemaker.  Günter Brözel, ex-Nederburg, was a consultant to the setting up of the cellar, which was completed  in 1999.

The 136 ha property was bought by Neville Dorrington twenty years, and was named Rijk’s after Rijk Tulbagh, the Governor of the Cape between 1751 – 1771.  The wine estate produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Pinotage, Chardonnay, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc.

The tasting fee is R 10 per wine tasted, but the fee is waived if one buys Rijk’s wines.  One can taste a large selection of wines – Rijk’s Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (R90), Chenin Blanc 2008 (R90), Chenin Blanc Reserve 2007 (R160), Chardonnay 2006 (R90), Chardonnay Reserve 2007 (R160), Fascination 2008 (R120), Iceberg Red 2004 (R70), Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (R120), Pinotage 2006 (R130), Shiraz 2005 (R130), The Crossing 2006 (R80), Bravado 2004 (R120), Rijk’s Estate Syrah 2007 (R250), and Rijk’s Estate The Master (R250.

Rijk’s Private Cellar.  Tel (023) 230-1622. www.rijks.co.za  Monday – Friday 10h00 – 16h00, Saturday 9h00 – 15h00

Saronsberg Winery

I had previously tried the Saronsberg Shiraz, which had come highly recommended, but really did not like it.  I had been recommended on Twitter to visit Saronsberg, and decided to do so, notwithstanding my feelings about the Shiraz, and I am so happy that I did, as this wine estate is completely out of the ordinary, with a very modern tasting room, which seemed a surprise to find in Tulbagh. 

Great care and lots of money appear to have gone into the building, set at the edge of a pond, with interesting looking sculptures by Angus Taylor in the garden attracting one’s attention immediately.  In fact, as one drives in, the sculpture with a stone on its head attracted attention to something different to  expect.   The path leading to the tasting room gives earthiness through a stone walkway, but is very uncomfortable to walk on.  The tasting room is a triple story open plan building, a surprise interior when one enters it.  Downstairs is the tasting room, with a Paul du Toit painting facing the tasting counter.  The two staff members were hard pressed to serve everyone, and seemed disinterested in answering all the questions.  I was referred to the website to find out more about Saronsberg and its owner Nick van Huyssteen, the staff only knowing that he is an entrepreneur from Pretoria, and a property developer, who bought the land from Twee Jonge Gezellen in 2002, naming it Saronsberg after a local mountain.  The tasting room was completed in 2003, and the first grapes were harvested in 2004.  Van Huyssteen is about to open an art gallery near or in the Old Biscuit Mill, the staff said.  A Grand Piano is also in the tasting room, and the wine tasting assistant told me that it is used for events, if they are asked very nicely to host them in their venue.  There are also two long wooden wine tasting tables, surprising with the Philippe Starke ghost chairs placed around them.

Upstairs, over two levels, are the works of art from Van Huyssteen’s private collection, including three by Christo Coetzee, as well as works by Jan Vermeiren,  Walter Battis, Norman Catherine, and other artists.  It would have been helpful to have had a pamphlet about the art collection, to explain more about the artists and their paintings and sculptors. 

The tasting fee is R 25 for an unspecified number of wines, and is waived if one buys Saronsberg wines.   I asked the tasting assistant what their signature wine is, and he said that 50 % of their production is Shiraz, it being the only red wine that they produce. The Paul du Toit painting is depicted on the Provenance wine labels.  The winemaker is Cape Winemakers’ Guild member Dewaldt Heyns, and the wines are sold under the following labels:

·         Saronsberg – one can taste Chardonnay 2008 and Viognier 2009, costing R85 each, Shiraz 2008 costs R 150, Full Circle 2008 (a Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvedre and Viognier blend) costs R 195 and Seismic 2006 (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec blend) costs R 170.  Seismic has won an impressive collection of awards, while the Shiraz has also performed well at the Veritas and Michelangelo Awards 2010.

·         Provenance includes in its range Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (R60), Shiraz Rosé 2010 (R45), Shiraz 2009 (R95) and Rooi 2009 (R95) 

·        Nick & Forti’s has three wines, but the Shiraz 2006 and Epicenter Red 2006 are not available for tasting, yet can be bought at R75 each. The Viognier 2008 is available to taste, and costs R65. The name for this sub-brand is made up of Van Huyssteen’s name as well as that of Forti Mazzone, the owner of Pretoria restaurant Ritrovo Ristorante.

·      Saronsberg MCC Vintage Brut costs R120 for the 2007 vintage

Saronsberg’s pay-off line is “A Passage to all senses”, and “Discover – Listen – Breathe – Feel – Taste” is the mantra of this estate.

We left, feeling disappointed that the wealth of art and investment in Saronsberg is not matched by the tasting assistants, who were functional wine pourers and payment takers, but did not spontaneously volunteer one piece of information about their wines.

Saronsberg Winery, Tel (023) 230-0707 www.saronsberg.com   Twitter: @Saronsberg  Monday – Friday 8h30 – 17h00, Saturday 10h00 – 14h00.

Manley Private Cellar

We stayed at Manley’s Wine Lodge on our second night of the weekend, and the manager Alicea was sweet enough to offer to do a wine tasting with us on Sunday, as we had run out of time on Saturday.  She did add that she was not a professional wine assistant, being employed to run the guest house.  The owner of the wine farm is David Ovenden from London, who visits regularly.

We were recommended the Shiraz, which covers 2,9 ha of the farm, Cabernet Sauvignon makes up 1,75 ha and the Merlot, Pinotage Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc a hectare each.  The Shiraz has a 4-star rating by Platter and an International Wine Challenge silver.  Alicea said that the Shiraz 2007 and Pinotage 2009 are the best sellers, each costing R85, as do the Merlot 2008 and Cabernet Sauvignon 2008.  A Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 blend costs R80, Thatch House Red 2009 R 50, and Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2010 blend R65.  The Tasting fee costs R 25 for an unlimited number of wines, but is waived if one buys any wine.

The tasting room is very unimpressive, with a cottagey look, with three small wooden tables.  Bigger groups can do the tasting outside.  Big blow-up posters of each of the Manley wines decorate the wall.   On weekdays one can be lucky to have the winemaker Stefan Hartman do the tastings, while on Saturdays it is done by Theo.

Manley Private Cellar, Tel (023) 230-0582. www.manleywinelodge.co.za  Monday – Friday 9h00 – 17h00, Saturday 10h00 – 14h00.


We popped in at Montpellier on our way back from Saronsberg, and were surprised to see so many cars on the estate.  We could not find the tasting room open, it having a note to say that it closes at midday on Saturdays. Clearly they had a function at the wine estate.  We saw a sweet-looking chapel in the vineyards some distance away as we were driving towards Montpellier.

Montpellier.  Tel (023) 230-0656. www.montpellier.co.za  Monday – Friday 9h00 – 16h00, Saturday 9h00 – 12h00 

Other wine estates in Tulbagh

·          Drostdy Hof Wines : Tel (023) 230-0203. www.drostdyhof.co.za  Monday – Friday 10h00 – 17h00, Saturdays 10h00 – 14h00


·         Lemberg is a Boutique Winery, started in 1978 by Janey Muller. Now the winemaker is Henk du Bruyn.  Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, Shiraz and Pinotage.  Tel 082 749 7585. www.lemberg.co.za  Monday – Friday 9h00 – 16h00, Saturday  10h00 – 14h00


·         Theuniskraal Wine Estate was bought by the Jordaan family in 1927, and is associated with Riesling, even though it also makes Semillon Chardonnay , Bouquet Blanc, Prestige and Rosé.  Tel (023) 230-0687. www.theuniskraal.co.za . Open Monday – Friday 9h00 – 12h00 and 13h00 – 17h00, Weekends 10h00 – 12h30.


·         Tulbagh Winery was founded in 1906, and produces a wide variety of wines: Chenin Blanc, Colombard/Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rosé, Dry White, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Pinotage, Shiraz/Pinotage, Dry Red, Klein Tulbagh Range, and Paddagang Fortified Range.  Tel (023) 230-1001. www.tulbaghwine.co.za  Monday – Friday 8h00 – 17h00, Saturday 9h00 – 13h00.


·         Twee Jonge Gezellen Estate –  The House of Krone offers underground MCC cellar tours. Tel (023) 230-0680. www.houseofkrone.co.za   Monday – Friday 11h00 and 15h00, Saturdays 11h00.


·         Waverley Hills Organic Estate offers organic wines and olive products.  Tel (023) 231-0002. www.waverleyhills.co.za  Monday – Saturday 10h00 – 16h00, Sunday 11h00 – 15h00.


·         Schalkenbosch – Edenhof Wines. Tel (023) 230-0654. www.schalkenbosch.co.za  Tasting by appointment.


·         Blue Crane Vineyards Tel (023) 230-0823. www.bluecrane.co.za  Tasting by appointment.


·         De Heuvel Wine & Olive Estate Tel (023) 230-0350  www.deheuvelestate.co.za  Monday – Friday 9h00 – 17h00, Saturday 9h00 – 14h00    



Generally marketing is not a strength of the wine estates in this region, characterised by extremes in the estates presenting themselves – from the unexciting Rijk’s and Manley tasting rooms, to the avantgarde and colourful Saronsberg.  In general all wine estates were guilty of not providing brochures or any marketing collateral for visitors to the Tulbagh wine estates to take home, bar a little pamphlet at Saronsberg.  All wine estates were on the Tulbagh map, but this just provides contact details and opening hours.  The Tulbagh Tourism brochure does not even list all the wine estates, probably because it costs to be listed in it. Saronsberg is the only Tulbagh wine estate to be on Twitter, it would appear.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com   Twitter: @WhaleCottage