Sunday, August 9, 2009

This could be Heaven.

My usual Saturday sojourn to the Winelands took me to Durbanville boutique winery Kronendal Farm, the home of Westerdale Wines. What I love about the Durbanville valley is its close proximity to the Northern suburbs, yet you still feel like you are far from the maddening civilization and commercial trappings of places like Tyger Valley. Kronendal Farm can be found at the end of Westerdale road , the well used gravel road passes numerous idyllic properties, the scene is made complete with postcard like paddocks and views of distant mountains.

Kronendal Farm is a tiny farm of 2 hectares, just .6 hectares under vine, and is a member of the Durbanville Boutique Wine Association. This is an association of 13 passionate winemakers who have bandied together to promote their tiny brands. By prior arrangement these wines can be tasted and purchased at Kronendal Farm were we were warmly welcomed by the lively and energetic winemaker Magdaleen Kroon, that's her pouring the wines. She is the antithesis of your typical farmer: burly, towering, colossal she is not, rather athletic, energetic, and dynamic. She and her husband Piet bought the farm some 10 years ago with the intention of establishing a nursery come landscaping business, only to discover that a lack of water made their dream impossible. The horticultural industries loss is the wine industries gain. Magdaleen decided to go the Rhone Blend route and planted her small vineyard with Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Tempranillo and Viognier. As I sat on her beautiful wooden deck and looked across the valley while sampling her fine wine I wondered if life could get any better...Mirari, Latin for to wonder at, is an elegant and well balanced wine, no baked fruit or over ripe flavours, but rather very subtle and restrained. Minute quantities are made of this very limited wine, with each bottle personally hand numbered her love, passion and hard work are clearly evident. Garagiste wines can often be called rustic, but not this wine. With Magdaleen peronally doing all wine tastings, you get that personal touch that bigger farms just cant match, it's a rare pleasure to meet the personality behind a wine, to ask questions and understand what the winemaker was hoping to achieve. A wine tasting at Kronendal Farm is more than just a tasting, it is truly a memorable experience and one that I encourage you to make.

Magdaleen: 0824990198
garagiste: small scale winemaker

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