Haute Cabriere, Home of Pierre Jourdan, Franschoek, 11.02.11

IMG_6141The Western Cape is one of the most popular wedding destinations in the world due to the beauty of its incredible wine farms. There’s no denying the charm of the Stellenbosch Wine Route or sophistication of the Franschoek wine valley. With many of South Africa’s best dining rooms found nestled in the restaurants of wine farms, living in the Western Cape makes a beautiful day out easy to achieve.

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Haute Cabriere is a fine example of this culinary – wine – gorgeous day out – eloquent farm experience. Home of Pierre Jourdan’s sparkling wine, the farm is positioned on the curvaceous hill side of the Franschoek mountains over looking the valley below. Whether you visit the premises on a hot or cloudy day, the shadows of the clouds amp up the ravines of the opposing hills and highlight the patchwork vineyards or the blue sky shines above the glowing valley.
IMG_6150From the foyer introduction to the history and inception of the land, the tour moves down a magical twirly stairwell into the tasting room below. Magical because you can’t see where it will lead you! Here the process of sparkling wine is explained. The fact that the bubbles are created naturally by the wine and not blasted into the fluid by a soda stream machine always fascinates me. Under the beautiful bottle chandelier, the tour moves into the underground cellar. Barrel after barrel line the stoney walkway.

IMG_6149The cellar is larger than we can see but the cool, sound absorbing, atmosphere intrigues all the visitors.The wine tour starts at 11am on Saturday mornings and is either hosted by owner Achiem or his son Takuan. Most flirtatious and bold, these gents know how to charm the ladies and act like “boychies” for the men. The tour is filled with lots of fun, humour and charisma – I have yet to see any of Haute Cabriere wives, they’re probably saints putting up with these jovial men!

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Both Father and Son (depending who’s in that day) fill the tour narration with frivolous humour, making the tour feel eloquent, special, yet fun and relaxing. They’re passionate about drinking the wine, not savouring it and putting it on a pedestal for “one day” but rather making it the joy of most days. The art is in the joy of wine consumption, a pretentious life style is not the way at Haute Cabriere. Once leaving the cellar it’s back to the tasting room for the giddy part of the tour. 8 wines (on average) are shared on the tour. The host briefly explains the process of the wine making, what flavours and occasions compliment each variety of wine.
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From sparkling, to white, red and even a dessert wine – Ratifia, there’s a smooth Pierre Jourdan wine for everyone. My personal favourite is the tranquille, a light coloured white wine, light on alcohol – about 11%. Each wine and pricing information is available in their brochure, a new edition to the tour), which helps jog the post morning tasting memory should you like to purchase any of the wines.
IMG_6142Enjoy lunch at Haute Cabriere’s own delectable restaurant or head back down into the Franschoek valley and enjoy a casual lunch at French Connection, Reuben’s or one of South Africa’s finest: Le Quartier Franscais, by chef Margaret Jansen, not to mention an array of other popular farm hosted restaurants such as La Motte or chocolate tasting at Backsberg. Franschoek really is a valley of oral delights!
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