Vivez Bien * Live Well

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Stop and Smell the Rosé

This is a long one so you might want to get a cup of coffee or something a little stronger...I won't judge!
When I did a previous post on the Brita Carafe, I suggested that since I fared so well on the water taste test, if there were any obliging wine farmers out there, I would very happily do some wine tasting too. Well, it turns out there are some obliging wine farmers out there. Well maybe just one....

But first let me back track a little and turn to the subject of road trips. I love a good road trip. But I am married to Dave, and while he is a very good-natured, easy-going and accommodating sort of a guy, there is something about a long car trip that brings out the inner airline pilot in him. As we pull out of our driveway he starts with calculations that involve time of departure, road traffic assumptions, wind speed, refuelling requirements and a host of other factors to work out our ETA down to the last nano-second. Bathroom stops and food stops will and shall coincide with refuelling stops even though our food and bathroom urges might not be quite so co-operative. I do remember a very stressful trip when I was heavily pregnant with twins when my bathroom stops were needed every 15 minutes. There was a lot of sighing, recalculating and re-calibrating that went on before we reached our final destination. I have also had to frequently remind my very male dominated family that when a girl demands a bathroom stop, she means an actual bathroom, not a lone tree or bush on the side of the road! So the upshot is, that given the opportunity, I would love to stop at all the interesting places that I see as we whizz along to get to our destination at the required time but I dare not suggest this as our ETA would be severely compromised. So I sit in silence and dream of the day....

One place that I have always noticed on the N2 on our trips back from Knysna is Gabrielskloof. The wine estate is perched on a hilltop surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. I love the simple style of the buildings and the way they blend into the surrounds. The whole setting just looks so appealing and reminiscent of France.

As luck would have it, the wine gift that arrived on my doorstep was from Gabrielskoof. Surely a sign that a visit to Gabrielskoof was imperative to get a feel for the place and take some photos before tasting the wine. And so it was arranged - part-owners of the estate, Catherine and Barry Anderson, very kindly showed us around, including a visit to the state of the art wine cellar, and we chatted like old friends over a bottle of very delicious Gabrielskloof Madame Lucy MCC. Dave later confessed to me that, not being a lover of bubbly, he accepted a glass out of politeness, but then found that he couldn't get enough of it! High praise indeed!

The tasting room is just so tasteful....along one wall, a magnificent armoire bought on a trip to France....

 ...and opposite it is a beautiful daybed upholstered in antique French linen.

 At the far end is an inviting lounging area and beautiful fireplace. 

The tasting room leads out to a beautiful lawned courtyard with two matching reflecting pools.

There are enticing seating areas dotted around on the veranda. 

Every corner is just so inviting....

The combination of stone walls, lavender and olive trees instantly transports me to France.

After a lovely stroll around the estate, we went for lunch at the Gabrielskloof Restaurant. The entire meal from start to finish was absolutely delicious as was the bottle of Gabrielskloof Viognier we shared.


All in all, a wonderful day out in the Overberg. But there was more to look forward to because I still had my gift of 2 bottles of wine and a bottle of olive oil to look forward to ...

As is was my birthday on the 9th of November (you might want to make a note of it for future reference) and I was going for lunch with a group of girlfriends (aka The Ladies That Lunch), I thought who better to share the wine with than this group of fun women. None of us are wine experts but Malcolm Gladwell will be pleased to know we are putting in a very good effort to reach our ten thousand hours of practice! 

Well, the Ladies that Lunch declared the Gabrielskloof Rosebud to be dry and delicious, not overly fruity, the perfect accompaniment to a summer lunch and a very pretty pink colour. By the time we got to drinking the second bottle which was Gabrielskoof Sauvignon Blanc, we forgot that we were supposed to be making intelligent comments about the wine and just quaffed it down which I think is compliment enough! 

So there you have it....I can highly recommend the wine and I can highly recommend a visit to Gabrielskloof for wine tasting and a meal. They have a Favourite Things Market coming up on the 16th, 17th and 18th of December which looks like it will definitely be worth a visit. Maybe I'll see you there. 

Till next time

Sharon x

P.S. I haven't yet tasted the Gabrielskloof Olive Oil but in my research I discovered that it was named one of South Africa's top 5 olive oils so something else to look forward to and I'll tell you about it in another post.

P.P.S. I may have been given to a little exaggeration on the subject of my husband and road trips.


  1. Your husband sounds absolutely delightful. If that is his only fault you are BLESSED. Now, that bottle with the poodle on it just stopped me in my tracks. What a wonderful gift !! And, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DARLING SHARON. & yes, it's marked down for next year !!!

  2. First off...happy belated birthday! What a gorgeous winery! That wasa treat to see! Your husband sounds just like mine. Someday I would like to take a road trip where I could stop along the way as many times as my heart desires. :)

  3. Sharon,
    What a fun post. The winery reminds me so much of the wonderful wineries in Northern California. I've not tasted a rose in many years, despite their popular resurgence here in the states. I may have to see if I can find a bottle of the one you've mentioned.
    Happy belated birthday!

  4. Such a great recommendation... I hope to get to that winery one day.