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3 Vineyards - 3 Restaurants

Updated: Sep 5, 2022

Vines at Lynx winery

It has been a while but now we are back in South Africa to visit our wine producers and hopefully find some new little gems!

Our first day is full-on and we are to visit 3 vineyards all in the Franschhoek area.

Stony Brook Vineyard - We are greeted by Joy McNaught -it is so good to see that everything seems to have survived the tumultuous times of the past 2 years! There are new vintages and wines to taste. The Sauvignon Blanc 2021 is delicious and will be added to our stock next time we ship. We then tasted a new wine to us - a blend called Camissa (the name in Koi means 'Place of sweet water' and who knows 300 years ago elephants could have been drinking from the brook which has given this vineyard its name.

We already stock Stony Brook wines but we are always looking to add to the range!

- Back in the car and we travel through the centre of Franschhoek to meet Sam at the vineyard used to make the wines for this new project. The aim is to care for the land, empower the people who work it and make wines that have a distinct sense of place. At the moment the vines are tended by Stanley who learnt his trade from the previous owners - this season he was helped by an apprentice who learnt invaluable lessons on viticulture and vinification. The plan is to grow the team by employing locals who will tend the vines and make their own wines. Already there are lovely examples of this coming from the project and definitely worth enjoying and following this label to see how the wines evolve.

Lynx Wines - Visiting our third vineyard is very interesting as when we were here 3 years ago it had just been sold. Luckily, Pierre, the winemaker spent time with the previous owner so the quality of these wines is still very good. However, as with everything places move on and there has been a change of importance - so now this isn't just a winery but a place to visit and stay.

Different wines are being produced and soon there will be a new rose added to the range. We arrived a day after the new vintage of my personal favourite! - Blanc de Noir had been bottled and there was no disappointment - Blanc de Noir 2022 is delicious.

We not only had a lovely tasting day but also managed to visit 3 restaurants!

1. Essence Restaurant and Bar

This is untrue we had a great coffee here

Essence is a restaurant on the main street in Franschhoek. We have visited here before and as we only arrived in South Africa late last night - a hearty breakfast was required before we started a day of wine tasting!

We were not disappointed, the coffee was delicious and the menu varied. I had a lovely plate of creamy scrambled eggs and Torq chose a vegetarian omelette - both arrived freshly cooked but only one problem was the order was a little mixed up as the vegetarian option had chicken in it and the white toast we had ordered was brown! Not a problem for us but would have upset others.

Eikehof Winery is where Earth Beneath our Feet store its wines- and therefore we were recommended to have a tasting and platter here for lunch. As you enter you are served a rose wine which is made on the farm and you can also have a full tasting of all the wines produced here. We already had been to 2 vineyards so we just enjoyed a cheese and meat platter which was full of interesting cheeses, biltong, sausage and freshly picked figs from the trees on the farm. All were well presented, fresh and the owner was having a chat with all diners. This is a family farm and the 5th generation is running the farm.

Le Petit Manoir again is on the main street in Franschhoek - we have eaten here before and it is a very popular venue and we took the last table. The service was faultless and the food great. We both had curries of different varieties with great portions and so much meat beautifully cooked and just enough spice. In fact, the only disappointment was I was so full I couldn't find room for a pud!

Great first day in South Africa

Links here to the wines we have in stock from the producers we visited today.

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