Ah Cape Town, there is nothing better than living in this beautiful city. With the mountain on one side, the ocean on the other and the rolling wine farms out in the distance, where else would you want to live in the world? And what’s even better about Cape Town, is when you can’t go out to the winelands, the winelands come to you.
Once a month, usually sometime in the second week, wine farms from all over the Western Cape drag their wares into the middle of town and coax the locals out to taste their wines. And it doesn’t take much coaxing. With people coming out in their thousands and packing the bars and restaurants, lining up to slightly fill the glasses with wine, town becomes packed with jolly folk taking over the streets.
It’s only on this, as well as First Thursday evenings that the streets become fair ground for drinking in public and boy, do the Cape-tonians love this. Sauntering from bar to bar, wine glass in hand, “viners” avidly follow their maps and follow in droves to the next bar listed.
We started at number one on the list, 91 On Loop, a quirky open bar that featured a selection of wines as well as Constantia Glen who generously poured us a glass of their “Three” which consists of three of the most revered Bordeaux varieties; Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Our favourite at this bar was the magnum sized Lanzerac Cabernet Sauvignon and both wines were smooth, palatable and oh so moreish that we simply had to move on to the next stop.
This second stop was Gin Bar and as we walked in, were assaulted by the sight of chocolates, brownies and just the most decadent sweets with smug looking servers standing behind the counter knowing that no-one could walk out without stopping to buy. The beautiful Gin Bar offered two farms, DaschBosch and Moreson. While Daschbosch offered two unique reds and whites, we tried the delicious MCC from Moreson. A light Chardonnay, bubble fringed with texture and sprite, we had to drag ourselves away from trying another glass and had to move on to the next venue.
The next stop was Charango, and here we came across some Splattered Toad and their white and red ranges. This, together with the Grande Provence from Franschoek kept us in this venue for quite some time. While sipping on the Chardonnay, strong hints of the Eucalyptus that grows on the farm came out in the wine, and the pourer discussed the farm and its lovely rich history.
Popping across the road, we somehow managed to find a seat at the long table in the Weinhaus and BierGarten. This allowed us the breather that we needed as we looked to take on the queue forming around Marianne wine. Their decadent Merlot which has won a gold Veritas award, swirled in our glasses and the wonderful pourers encouraged us to try the rest of what they had offered. Across the tent however was another tasting and we had to move on. With the ever growing crowds, we made our way across to Dombeya and asked for a glass of their award winning Boulder Road Shiraz.
Now crowd- weary and with sore feet, we skipped across the road and found a perfect spot in La Parada to settle down and have something to nibble. Diemersdal had unfortunately run out of wine earlier, but we eagerly tried the last glass for the night, the Chenin Blanc from Perdeberg which was crisp, delicious and so easy on the palate that we had to make friends with the pourers and have a chat about their farm. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to the likes of HQ and IYO Burgers, were I just knew a bottle of Runner Duck was just waiting for me. But we ended off the night with a bottle of the Fairview La Capra Pinotage, which was in fact a perfect end to the evening.