I have a very dear friend who is the unofficial boss of the Robertson Wine Valley. And when she tells you to come to the Robertson Slow– you pack a bag. And when she sends you an itinerary – you do what she says. I was so delighted to spend a weekend being bossed around the Robertson Wine Valley with a glass of wine in hand! This was my first year at the Robertson Slow Wine Festival. And I can already tell you I’ll be back for more.
Thank you for your patience with regards to pulling this post together! It is a mammoth post about a region I am really passionate about. And to be honest- you really only need to be reading this when tickets for Robertson Slow are on sale next year ;)!
We snuck out of work as early as we could and headed out into the Friday traffic! I would recommend taking a half day off work if possible as Robertson is pretty far and the traffic can be crazy on Fridays! We arrived juuuust in time for our very fancy five course dinner with De Wetshof. It was worth the rush to be greeted by a glass of chilled bubbles and lovely canapes.
Friday night at De Wetshof with Robertson Slow
De Wetshof is famous for their chardonnay and I thought I knew their wines until I found out they had FOUR chardonnays, a fantastic riesling and some really lovely red wines. I was so delighted to have the opportunity to taste through their wines – especially paired with such delicious food! Mimosa is the fine dining spot in Robertson and they were in charge of cooking the food for the evening.
We were absolutely blown away by the food and I would highly recommend giving Mimosa a visit. I know they’re going to be a great excuse for a repeat visit! My favourite dish of the night was probably the walnut, brie and artichoke ravioli served with a white truffle cream. It was the fanciest comfort food in the world- and I could comfortable have eaten a much bigger bowl of this! However, each dish was fantastic with the duck breast deserving a special shout out! My favourite wine was surprisingly the 2017 riesling which had perfect green apple sherbet flavours! This wine was very closely followed by their 2017 Pinot Noir which was light and delicious!
Waking up to a slice of Paradise
We arrived at our guesthouse late at night in the pitch dark. We grabbed bags, found hidden keys and climbed straight into bed. It was such a surprise to wake up to the most beautiful view the next morning! We stayed at Rosendal Winery and Wellness Retreat in Robertson. We stayed in one of their spa suites with the most gorgeous view over the pool out into the natural surroundings! Our room was the perfect retreat for Robertson Slow with a gorgeous bath tub for me and afternoon naps for Jono.
Our first stop of the day was luckily not wine related! We started with an olive and olive oil tasting at Marbrin Olives. I loved our tasting with Briony who is an absolute hoot with plenty of direct commentary on the olive industry, farming and South Africa as a whole. We bought a giant jar of their Mission Olives and their Chilli olive oil which we have been sprinkled on salads, steaks and roasted butternut! I would highly recommend visiting Marbrin and supporting our local independent olive farms.
The full Zandvliet experience
Zandvliet was our lunch stop of the day! But before lunch we had plenty to do! We started by exploring their underground Muscat tanks to see their latest art exhibition. This was a unique experience and definitely worth visiting if you’re at the farm.
We then joined them for a wine blending experience which was such fun! I have done this before at Excelsior and Vergenoegd and it is such a fun experience! The best part is that your wine blend is such a lovely souvenir to take home. We created a red blend with their shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and mourvedre. We’ve set a date to open both our wines and compare how well they have aged- I’m convinced I am going to win! For more details on the blending experience follow the link here.
Wines blending and the competition set we were ready for lunch! We shared a fantastic charcuterie platter with plenty of cheeses, cured meats and fresh fruit all served with wonderful warm farm bread. It really was the perfect lazy lunch and I would highly recommend joining them for a charcuterie platter whilst tasting their wines.
Make sure to finish with a Clemengold gin and tonic! We didn’t realise that Zandvliet is also the home of Celemgold gin! Their gin is delicious and flavoured with sundried clemengold peels. We loved our gin served with fresh citrus and a sprig of thyme.
Accidentally gatecrashing the Mont Blois party
We were chatting to my friend, the unofficial boss of the Robertson Wine Valley. I mentioned that I was dying to try the Mont Blois chardonnays. She said- I’ll just give them a call and let them know you’re on the way. No answer. She suggests we just head on through for a tasting. We hit the road and arrive at Mont Blois to a FULL ON party! They are hosting a lunch on their stoep, the wine is flowing, the inappropriate jokes are out in full force!
Next thing we know we’re invited to the party with a glass of wine in hand! I felt awful for crashing their party but goodness do they have some outstanding wines! My favourite is the Hoog en Laag Chardonnay. They also have really fantastic muscadel with the Harpie being our favourite. If you’re a serious wine drinker I would definitely suggest arranging a tasting with Mont Blois.
Dinner with Kranskop
Our final stop of the Robertson Slow was dinner at Kranskop. We joined Newald Marais, Kranskop owner and winemaker, for an intimate dinner in their wine cellar. This was such a special experience which was curated just for the festival. Newald’s wife served the most incredible osso buco to pair with the Kranskop Tannat. Tannat is not common in South Africa and this was a brilliant example of the varietal. We actually purchased the Tannat and have recreated the osso buco pairing for my dad’s birthday recently.
The wines from Kranskop are fantastic and great value for money. I also went home with bottles of their viognier and noble late harvest! I wish I had gone home with the recipe for this tart too!!
We had such a wonderful experience with Robertson Slow and loved the intimacy of the festival. I hope I have inspired you to join us going a little slower in Robertson next year.