D’Aria Wine Farm & the Entertainer App.

The Durbanville Wine Valley is relatively unknown to us, we have only ever visited Durbanville Hills Wine Farm and we loved their wines.

This time round thanks to The Entertainer App, we decided to head back that way and visited D’Aria Wine Farm. They don’t take reservations for tastings and when I emailed they did mention they get very busy and they do…So get there early.

They have quite a big tasting room, with various areas for tasting as well a beautiful lawn where you can bring your own blanket and enjoy a picnic.

The Tasting Room offers some really good nibbles namely:

Gourmet Burgers                               -R  80.00

Cheese & Meat Platters                  -R 150.00

Cheese Board                                      -R  80.00

Oysters                                                 -R  12.00

Kids – Chicken Strips & Chips          -R 65.00

Kids – Chips                                          -R 20.00

Their vineyards are situated at the back of the Tygerberg Hills, mainly in north-facing and east-facing rows. Situated 10km from the Atlantic Ocean, the sea breeze cools the grapes at night after the warm summer days.

D’Aria wines are handcrafted from start to finish. Grapes are handpicked and bunch and berries undergo a second sorting, also by hand, at the cellar.

They offer Tasting at R20.00 for 5 wines, which is serious value for money and they not shy, they are very generous.

We decided on enjoying the Meat and Cheese Platter with our tasting. Our daughter ordered the kiddies chips, this was so yummy we had a second one :).

Using the Entertainer App was easy enough and the Tasting Room Assistant was very helpful and assisted when I got a bit stuck.

1.       D’Aria Pop Song Sauvignon Blanc Sparkling 2016

A crisp dry Bubbly with a supernova of flavours reverberating out of a cellar with great acoustics.

Celebrate summer with the crisp dry bubbly. *direct from website*


2. D’Aria Sauvignon Blanc D’Aria Sauvignon Blanc

DESCRIPTION: A fresh, tropical style of Sauvignon Blanc with hints of guava, melon, asparagus and gooseberry aromas and flavours. An accessible wine with good mouth feel and a lingering finish. *direct from website*

FOOD: Seafood dishes are an excellent fit with this wine. Also good paired with chicken, vegetable dishes and salads. *direct from website*


3.D’Aria The Songbird Sauvignon Blanc


DESCRIPTION: A complex Sauvignon blanc, combining aromas and flavours of green pepper, asparagus and gooseberries with tropical fruit and hints of grapefruit on the finish. The palate is full, yet elegant. *direct from website*

FOOD: A serious food wine calling for white meats, from fish and shellfish to chicken and pork. Ideal with vegetarian dishes as well. *direct from website*


4. D’Aria Rock Song Sparkling Dark Shiraz

A sparkling Shiraz with a dark soul.


5. Music by D’Aria – Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

DESCRIPTION: This blend is designed to be an accessible, easy-drinking red for everyday enjoyment. The wine is characterised by juicy, red fruit and just a hint of gentle tannins and vanilla from the wood treatment. *direct from website*

FOOD: Good with roast beef, lamb casserole, grilled pork and meat or tomato pasta dishes. *direct from website*


6. D’Aria Merlot

DESCRIPTION: A medium-bodied wine designed to emphasise rich, plum fruit complemented by gentle tannins acquired through judicious wooding. *direct from website*

FOOD: This wine pairs well with meat dishes such as game (venison), beef stew, roast lamb, duck (particularly with a fruity sauce), as well as rich fish such as tuna and salmon. *direct from website*


7. D’Aria Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Sauvignon Merlot


DESCRIPTION: Complex blends featuring two of the classic Bordeaux varieties. The nose and palate are full of pure, rich, dark red fruit. A well-balanced, elegant wine that nevertheless has a firm structure, allowing for a few years further bottle maturation. *direct from website*

FOOD: Ideal as an accompaniment with rich meat dishes such as roasted fillet, lamb, duck, game (venison), beef stew and casseroles. *direct from website*


8. D’Aria SV D’Aria SVShiraz


DESCRIPTION: This full-bodied, fruit-driven wine shows the distinctive coffee, milled pepper and violet characteristics of classic Shiraz, complemented by the gentle floral notes of Viognier. *direct from website*

FOOD: Good with beef steak, veal, spicy foods and rich pasta dishes. *direct from website*


9. D’Aria The Soprano Shiraz


DESCRIPTION: A deep red wine with ripe, red fruits and milled pepper on the nose, followed by black berries and spices on the palate. The finish gives hints of dark chocolate. *direct from website*

FOOD: This wine is highly recommended with grilled, richly flavoured red meat, game (venison) and beef stew. *direct from website*


10.   D’Aria Lullaby Noble Late Harvest


DESCRIPTION: Light golden in appearance the wine displays honey notes and dried apricots on the nose. The full sweet pallet is well balanced with a gentle yet fresh acidity which results in a lingering finish. *direct from website*

FOOD: Pairs well with cheese, dried fruits and baked desserts. *direct from website*


11.   D’Aria Potstill Brandy – The Piccolo


DESCRIPTION: Masterfully blended with no additives from three selected 5 year old brandies, to enhance the flavour profile on the mid-pallet and taste. The layers of strawberry, cherry, orange peel, vanilla, and whims of spicy hazelnut on the nose, and mixture of intense fruit flavours only to be appreciated by a true brandy connoisseur. A silky smooth rewarding aftertaste and complex finish. *direct from website*

SERVING SUGGESTION: The complex yet delicate flavours and aromas make this an ideal brandy to be enjoyed at room temperature or on the rocks. Ideally served with dark chocolate and rich desserts. *direct from website*


Unfortunately they were sold out of their Best seller D’Aria Blush and having tasted it before we can

For the full album click HERE

D’Aria Wine Farm

Tel: 021 801 6772 / 021 979 3650



A taste of Blaauwklippen – February 2017


Having visited the Blaauwklippen Family Market before, we were quite excited on the prospect of going back again. We have been to two wine and dine events at Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa, so their amazing wines weren’t unknown to us.

The farm is steeped in history and all the staff is both friendly and very knowledgeable about all things Blaauwklippen.

Our lovely hostess Yolanda welcomed us and then took us on a tour of the Tasting Room. They have a Bistro, Tasting Room, Vinotique and Spirits room. It’s also adjacent to their cellar and cellar tours can be arranged prior to your visit.

The staff and managers are very attentive and wait staff were on standby to attend to everyone’s beck and call.


For art lovers they also have a studio and artworks are on display throughout the tasting area, for visitors to enjoy and also to purchase.

Various Tastings are on offer (prices per person):

  • Wine Tasting – R 75.00 (a selection of 5 wines)
  • Chocolate and Wine Tasting – R 120.00
  • Canapé & Wine Tasting – R 205.00
  • A taste of Blaauwklippen – R 450.00

Today we had the wonderful job of enjoying a taste of Blaauwklippen.

A taste of Blaauwklippen is a perfect way to enjoy the wines as well as the most freshest and delicious food in a perfect setting.

We thought we’d have our own version of Come with Us and scored each course out of 10 for food, wine and their pairing, in that order.

Please note this is just our preference and taste, it well worth it, go and book your tasting today.


Prawn Katafi served on a Lime and Litchi mousse with Grapefruit, Coriander and Red Spring Onion Salsa, this paired with a glass of Blaauwklippen Diva MCC.

This was my dish and pairing for the day, its fresh, zesty, fruity everything you’d want from a dish. The prawn was cooked too perfection. Jason has 2 top pairing and this was one as well. The Blaauwklippen Diva MCC is the perfect wine to compliment this dish no doubt!

10, 10, 10



This changes from time to time and on our visit, we had one of my favourites a Mushroom Arancini Ball paired with the Blaauwklippen White Zinfandel. Really enjoyed this pairing and the fresh mushroom salad on the side was the perfect combination to pair with the White Zinfandel.

8, 8, 8



Crispy Pork Belly with an Orange infused butternut purée and Plum Chutney, paired with a glass of Blaauwklippen Cabriolet, a 6 blend wine. This was Jason’s second pairing for the day. The sweet Butternut purée and tart Plum chutney was ideally suited for the Pork and the velvety Cabriolet.

10, 10, 10




Rainbow Pepper crusted Springbok lion in Macadamia nut and Cranberry sauce served with Polenta croquette. The Blaauwklippen Red Zinfandel is the perfect partner for this dish. Perfectly cooked Springbok, crunchiness of the nut and tart sauce was beautifully complimented by the Red Zinfandel.

8, 9, 8.5





Gorgonzola panna cotta on a Honeycomb and dried Broad Bean crust served with Melba toast, fresh pear’s and Berry couli. This is enjoyed with a glass of the most delicious Blaauwklippen Zinfandel Noble Late Harvest. Jason loves all things Gorgonzola, so this course was one he really loved. I am not partial to Gorgonzola, but I had a spoonful of everything on the plate and it definitely works. The wine, though, my favourite for the day, I could happily have that as my fifth course 😉

7.5, 9, 8





Deconstructed Dark Chocolate and Orange Tart with Hazelnut crust. This was paired with an 8 year-old pot stilled Blaauwklippen Brandy. Jason, who doesn’t even like Chocolate actually managed to finish his dessert and said the Brandy was the perfect pairing for the dessert. Unfortunately I couldn’t manage to eat another morsel, but will definitely be back to try it next time

9, 8, 8



For the full album click HERE


To book you next visit please contact them:


TASTING ROOM / CELLAR / BISTRO+27 (0)21 880 0133

Summer Times (1 October – 30 April)
Mondays to Saturdays: 10h00 – 18h00
Sundays & Public Holidays: 10h00 – 17h00

Winter Times (1 May – 30 September)
Mondays till Saturdays: 10h00 – 17h00
Sundays & Public Holidays: 10h00 – 17h00





Louivale – Devon Valley Stellenbosch


Louisvale, Home of Chardonnay, and once you’ve had a chance to sample some of their wines, you’ll be sure to understand why. They pride themselves in making the best wooded and unwooded Chardonnay as well as some pretty good reds and blends.

We had the pleasure of meeting the winemaker Mr Simon Smith and being taken on a guide tour. As they already in Harvest 2017, we were taken through the entire process, practiced on the farm, showing us the full cycle from grape to wine.

Simon, a self-confessed “old skool” wine maker, prides himself in using the tried and tested methods that has work for them for so many years and the awards and accolades bestowed on them is a true tested to the saying, “if it aint broke, don’t fix it!”


Louisvale has 3 ranges:

The Louisvale Range – Their Flagship Range made up of 5 wines

Louisvale MCC Range – 2 MCC’s

Stone Road Range – Every day drinking range made up of 4 Wines



After our very informative tour by Simon, we went down to the tasting room where Yvonne took care of us whilst we had our tasting. The tasting room, is really cool and spacious, they have various rooms as well as an outside are overlooking the pool, where you able to take in the stunning views of Devon Valley.


We decided to taste 5 wines as well as the 2 MCC’s and enjoyed it with a Cheese platter.

1stLouisvale Chardonnay-Pinot Noir 


A deliciously blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, has both citrus as well as berry fruit aromas. Not being partial to Chardonnay myself I actually found this quite easy drinking.

 Food Suggestion: Salads, Fish, Poultry (as per the website)


2nd – Louisvale Chavant 


The hint of butterscotch on the nose, appealed to my sweet side.

 Food Suggestion: Fish, Poultry and Pasta (as per the website)


3rd – Louisvale Chardonnay 2013


Jason star of the show and as Louisvale is known for their Chardonnay, one is not surprised.

 Food Suggestion: Fish, Poultry, Pork and Rich Pasta (as per the website)


 4th – Stone Road Merlot 2014


My wine of the day, though I generally steer clear of Merlot’s this deep, plum aromas and velvety taste made me all warm and fuzzy.

 Food Suggestion: Red Meat and Stews (as per the website)


 5th – Stone Road Cabernet Sauvignon


Full bodied with aromas of black current and plum.

Food Suggestion: Red Meat and Stews (as per the website)



6th – Louisvale MCC Rosé

 Really good sparkling wine, perfect for a warm lazy Summer’s Day. Aromas of strawberries and cherries on the nose.

 7th – Louisvale MCC Brut

Zesty lemons and green apple flavours. Aromas of fruit and brioche on the nose



Tasting Fee:

MCC – R20

All other Wines – R 40

Full Tasting – R60

For the Full Album Click HERE 

Be sure to contact them to arrange as booking as the Tasting Room fills up quite quickly 🙂


Tel: +27 21 865 2422

Fax: +27 21 865 2633

Email: helene@louisvale.com


Devon Valley Road

Devon Valley


Western Cape


Le Franschhoek Wine Dinner Series 2017

Only a few weeks away from our first Wine Dinner for 2017 with Dish at Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa.


Every month Chef Emile Fortuin and his team collaborate with a different wine farm. The end result is always a huge success.

There are a few new farms on this year’s series but also some good ones from previous years and we look forward to each and every one of them.

For those who have not yet attended, where you have been, if I can offer you some advice, book the Stay and Eat option, you will not be sorry. Even better make a weekend of it; there are plenty of things to do in the lovely town of Franschhoek.


The prices can be confirmed with the lovely folks at Le Franschhoek and Spa but you looking at round:

R 695.00 per person for the dinner

R 2995.00 per couple for the eat and stay option.

Below are the dates and confirmed Wine Farms in this year’s series.

Be sure to contact them and reserve your place:


Email reservations@lefranschhoek.co.za

Phone 027 (21) 876 8900


Fri, 24 February: Van Rhyn brandy and Spirit tasting

Fri, 24 March: Zevenwacht

Fri, 21 April: Quando

Fri, 26 May: Mooiplaas

Fri, 23 Jun: Maastricht

Fri, 28 Jul: Doolhof

Fri, 25 Aug: Nitida

Fri, 22 Sept: Blaauwklippen

Fri, 20 Oct: Groote Post

Fri, 24 Nov: Stark-Conde.

Dates correct at time of posting.


Chef and the Vine series at Reuben’s at the One & Only Hotel 2017

In February, we see the kickoff of the 2017 Food and Wine paring presented by Reuben’s restaurant at the One and Only. The events offer a unique opportunity to enjoy arguably some of the best wines currently available, coupled with a unique dining experience. Diners are treated to not only exquisitely prepared meals, but also a unique perspective on all presented wines as wine makers share their intricate knowledge.

The list of winefarms represented this year includes:

23 February 2017

De Toren:

Situated in Stellenbosch,   De Toren is renowned for its Bordeaux style blends, which was awarded Platinum status in 2016. De Toren was also nominated in the top 10 wine producers in South Africa.


30 March 2017


Is situated on the farm Skyfields, in the beautiful Hemel-en-Aarde region just outside Hermanus. Four wines currently make up the Antaraxia range an unwooded Sauvignon Blanc, a wooded Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir and a red blend called Serenity.


27 April 2017


The name finds its origin in Greek, roughly translated, it means “Dream”. This wine farm can be found in the beautiful and picturesque Elgin Valley and is renowned for its consistent delivery of excellent vintages.



30 May 2017

Holden Manz:

Is nestled situated in Franschhoek and boasts 22 hectares of spectacular mount view. Thierry Harberer is the winemaker, and has brought he’s international experience to this multi-award winning vineyard.


29 June2017


Thelema is situated atop Helsgoogte pass; interestingly Thelema Mountain vineyards consist of 2 estates, Thelema in Stellenbosch and Sutherland, in Elgin.  Thelema, once a rundown fruit farm was thankfully purchased by Gyles Webb and he’s wife. It was recently rated one of the top 100 estates in the world.


27 July 2017

Hamilton Russel:

Situated in the Hemel-en-Aarde  Valley just outside Hermanus, This vineyard has become synonymous  as a specialist in the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay variants


31 August


This Estate has a rich history, owned and run by the Ratcliffe family. Well known for its Bordeaux style blend “Warwick Trilogy” which has become one of the flagships of the local wine industry


28 September


This vineyard sits at the foot of the Simonsberg mountains. The majority of the grapes are of the Pinotage variety followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot variants.  Kanonkop has been handed down from father to son for over 40 years and  has a rich history of producing award winning wines.


26 October

Rust en Vrede:

Recognised both locally and abroad for its superb red wine. It is the first South African red wine to be on the  list of the top 100 wines of the world for  four consecutive years.


29 November

Rupert Wines:

A familiar family name in the South African landscape,  their impressive  portfolio of winefarms  includes farms in the Franschoek, Darling, Swartland and Elandskloof areas.  This affords Rupert wines the opportunity to select grapes from some of the best producing locations for their wines.


13 December

Delaire Graff:

Another award winning estate, situated in Stellenbosch. The recipient of countless awards. The estate is well known for their Bordeaux and Chardonnay vineyards in the Helshoogte region.


Please contact the Reuben’s at the One & Only Cape Town:

Reservations +27 21 431 4511 or +27 21 431 5888 or email: restaurant.reservations@oneandonlycapetown.com

Thanks Mario Arendse for contributing.


Come Wine With Us in 2017


I was fortunate to attend a few Come Wine With Us (CWWU) events last year and I absolutely loved the events. The organisers go to great lengths to ensure that no two events are the same, from venues,  themed evenings to, designing your own wine label etc.


It all plays out in a very relaxed atmosphere where patrons enjoy  an evening, fine dining and of course fine wine.  One is also given some  insider insight and background information into the featured wines by the various wine makers.

For those that enjoy a night out with good food and wine, these events are a worthwhile addition to your diary.

The event dates are as follows:

  • 8&9 March Durbanville Hills party


  • 7&8 June Wine Masters Reserve


  • 6&6 July Plasir de Merle


  • 2&3 Aug Boland Cellar


  • September TBA


  • 4&5 Oct – Best of Whisky Come Join Us


Be sure to sign up to their newsletter to stay informed. CWWU


Thank you MArio Arendse for contributing.





A mother’s touch – Lapo’s Kitchen



Lapo Magni is a Chef, who opens he’s home in Observatory Cape Town, and he’s kitchen once a month to prepare the most delicious and authentic meals around. The group generally range around 25 patrons comfortably.

I use the word patron very loosely as very quickly one comes to realise that many of these visitors are not here for the first time and are akin to a proverbial cult following. I met a young lady who hastily told me that last year she never missed a single dinner at Lapo’s!

 It’s really not hard to understand why; Lapo is enigmatic, warm and charming, always at the ready to engage the room with a tale or two about the evening’s offerings, its origins and history.

Lapo prides himself on intimately knowing and understanding the origins of most, if not all, of the ingredients he serves, ensuring that the vegetables are organic or that the meat used is  from an ethical source, I have visions of the delicious wild boar sourced locally that I enjoyed on my last visit.

On this visit to Lapo’s, he’s Mom was the resident Chef for the evening. And it really is something else to be served Italian food, made by Italians as they would make it at home.

  • Our First course was a courgette or zucchini flan on a rich and creamy sauce made entirely from cannellini beans. A delicious start to the evening.
  • The next course was the, get this, Lettuce Risotto which was my favourite for the evening. I know, reading this you are thinking how or better yet why would anyone want to put lettuce leaves in Risotto. Well, the explanation is rather simplistic. Like any mother will tell you, getting your kids to eat vegetable is at the best of times an arduous task Lapo’s mother came up with this simple and nutritious recipe to solve this conundrum. Lettuce leaves are after all filled with nutrients. I just think it’s yummy.
  • Now, the next course posed somewhat of a challenge for me. It was a staple in my household and over the years there were numerous changes to this recipe, in an attempt to somehow change its appeal .It never happened, and I tried to no avail to convince my mom that I was, in my mind, in fact allergic to meatloaf. Nevertheless this meatloaf was a welcome surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was served with peas and a delicious mash; each tasty morsel hungrily devoured.
  • The evening was sealed with a delicious Tiramisu, one of my favourite deserts served with berries

An evening at Lapo’s is a must do, It really is way more than just a dining experience and I would venture to virtually guarantee that you will be back. A more humble, hospitable and charismatic host you will not find. Not only does Lapo open up he’s home and he’s kitchen, but also he’s heart. The entire experience feels like sitting around the table with old friends, enjoying a glass of wine.  Can’t wait to go back!

Thank you to Mario Arendse for contributing to the article

Fot the full album click here