In the 12 years that I lived in Cape Town before moving to Nairobi, I felt absolutely spoiled for choice when it came to selecting wine. In fact, it’s the rich wine history and culture of the Cape that got me interested in wine in the first place. Having grown up in Johannesburg, I didn’t come from a “wine drinking family”, but once I moved to the Cape, it was impossible not to want to learn and taste and fall ever more in love with everything wine.
I’ve been lucky enough to visit some of the most beautiful wine farms in the country, whether for wintry weekends, summer getaways, or long lunches with friends. And one of my all-time favourite farms to visit time and again is Haute Cabrière in the Franschhoek valley. This winery has not only produced some of my favourite wines but has also been the backdrop to some of my most cherished memories. Actually, it’s the backdrop that makes it so special – possibly the best view in all of Franschhoek!
From late-summer sunset picnics on the beach, to late-night cheers at our wedding after party, Haute Cabrière has a wine for every moment, and has been there for so many of mine. You probably know their much-loved Tranquille, an every day “happy drinker” that is as commonplace in the centre of a dinner table as it is at a braai. Everyone loves Tranquille. Their Chardonnay Pinot Noir, which is a celebration of my two favourite grapes, is another wine that you can always rely on to be just right. And of course their Pierre Jourdan MCC is the definition of value for money, offering sensational quality for a remarkable price.
I even have Haute Cabrière to thank for my party trick. It’s where I learned to sabrage, which is the art of opening a bottle of Champagne with a sabre (but with enough practice I can actually do it with just about anything now, from a spatula to a butter knife). The winery offers a sabrage experience where guests can learn this impressive technique, which I highly recommend when you visit! And did I mention the food?! Consistently delicious, beautiful and generous.
Even today, Haute Cabrière is still the wine that I sneak into my suitcase to take home to Nairobi after every visit to the Cape. It’s the place I visit on every trip. And it’s the wine I enjoy at every opportunity.