Disadvantages I would have preferred to choose my own wine
The Seidelberg Winery in Paarl, near Stellenbosch has a long history. As a group we were given a tour of the winery to learn how it was made, and the lady who worked here told us that this was originally the site of De Leuwen Jagt (The Lion's Hunt) vineyards from 1692. They still use the label but the name changed to Seidelberg in 1997 when taken over by some German owners. This year (2011) it has been taken over by Fairview, one of the other main wineries in Paarl.
Unlike in other wineries, we didn't always get to choose which wines we tasted, at Seidelberg we were brought a selection of red and whites by the hostess. As the weather was nice, we sat outside with views of Table Mountain in the distance, but you can sit in the cellar inside. I believe they do provide a light menu if you wished to have something to eat.Prices quoted are in South African Rand and at the time of visiting one there were R11.50 to one British pound and R7.5 to the US dollar.
As I don't particularly like red and someone else didn't like white we were able to try six wines of our preferred colour (as selected by our hostess) who explained a little bit about each wine. The first wine I tried was a Six Hats Sauvignon Blanc which is a Fair Trade wine which was of the bargainous price of R90 for 6 bottles. I found it very light and smooth. Next I tried a Seidelberg 2010 Chardonnay (R68 per bottle). I'm not a huge Chardonnay fan, and I found this quite typical. It was fairly oaky and not a favourite. Next I tried a De Leuwen Jagt Rosé (R90 for 6 bottles) which was nice; it was sweet, but not overly so and quite drinkable. My fourth tasting was a Six Hats Viognier (R90 for six bottles) which was described in the sheet they gave us as "bold...with peach and apricot flavours". I expected it to be sweeter than it was, but it was a pleasant, fairly dry wine. The fifth wine was a De Leuwen Jagt Nuance which was a blended wine of white Muscadel and Cape Riesling. I find blended wines a bit hit and miss and assumed this would be too sweet for me going on the grapes used. I was pleasantly surprised - it was sweeter than I usually drink but not overly so, with a little spiciness and I ended up purchasing a bottle for R37.50. Next we tried a Brut chardonnay 2007 which was a sparking wine (much like prosecco). Having just said I wasn't a huge fan of chardonnay I have to now retract that statement - this sparking chardonnay was rather nice.
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