Never too Early in the Morning for Wine Tasting!
Experience 3.0 Walker Bay & Bot River Wine 3.0 Wine Tour

Never too Early in the Morning for Wine Tasting!

Sunday 1 October 2017

Experience: 3/5
Wines: 3/5

It was early on a Sunday morning – before breakfast even – when I arrived at the Walker Bay Estate. I was en route from overnight accommodation at the Hermanuspietersfontein farm cottages in Sondagskloof to visit Stanford. It was a random decision to stop by whilst passing. It was early too, so early that the staff had not yet set up the Tasting Room for guests.

Walker Bay

Walker Bay

The Walker Bay Estate is home to the Birkenhead Brewery and Walker Bay Vineyards. The so-called ‘vinotourism’ in recent years has led to an expansion of non-wine tasting activities at wine farms. Gin or brandy production, craft beers and many more offerings are commonplace. The Walker Bay Estate was a pioneer in the Southern Hemisphere. The Birkenhead Brewery was established in 1997. Walker Bay Vineyards was set up a decade later.

Walker Bay

Walker Bay

Walker Bay

It was a beautiful sunny morning and easy to see how popular the estate must be for families with the restaurant, pub and plenty of outdoor seating, complete with outside bar. Tasting was R30 for 5 wines (the Merlot was unavailable). I did not mind the wait for tasting. It gave me the chance to explore the wine quotes and many wine and beer infographic posters – some of the best I have seen – in the pub-style dining area.

Walker Bay

The wines were served on a tray, already poured, with mini descriptors for each one. This was no tutored wine tasting but it did not matter. It was too early for a wine lesson and I was more than happy just to sample the wines alone.

Walker Bay

Walker Bay

The Sauvignon Blanc was nothing special with simple notes of lemon and lime citrus with grassy greengage. It was light on the palate too showing moderate to high acidity. The Chardonnay was similar in character, showing wooded maturation by nutty, vanilla aromas that layered with baked apple and citrus. It too was light on the palate and needed better balance between flavour, alcohol and acidity.

Walker Bay

The Rosé was my least favourite wine. Medium salmon in colour, ripe strawberry, sherbet and candy aromas promised much on the palate. It was refreshingly off-dry on the palate but the flavours fell away all too soon.

Walker Bay

The red wines fared much better. The Bordeaux-style blend Amestica – ‘Amestica’ is an appropriate Romanian word meaning ‘amalgamate’, though I never discovered the Romanian connection, if any – showed a decent intensity of aromas. Dark cherry, black plum and loganberry flavours supported prominent tannins on the palate.

Walker Bay

Walker Bay

My favourite wine was the last, the Shiraz. This was the best balanced wine. Tannins were overt but not so much that they masked flavours of blackberry, blackcurrant and white peppercorn spiciness.

Walker Bay

Walker Bay

Breakfast was beckoning and so this was a brief but no less enjoyable tasting. I have tasted better wine elsewhere, and at the same price range, but that did not matter. Walker Bay Vineyards offers the ‘Big 6’ of wines but seeks not to be among the top Award winners. I am sure that in just a few hours time the rolling lawns, with their open views over the mountains, will be packed with families enjoying a glass of beer or wine and some food. That is at it should be and worth a return visit to experience on another occasion.

Wines tasted (bought *):


2016 Sauvignon Blanc – R80
2015 Chardonnay – R105


2016 Rosé – R65


2015 Amestica (57% Petit Verdot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot) – R130
2015 Shiraz – R145 FAVOURITE WINE

Walker Bay

You Might Also Like

House Wine from the Wine Tram

Bizarre in Swazi

Slave to the Rhythm at Solms-Delta

Wines to Love on Love Street

Peter Puts into Hermanus

Lothian Left Me Breathless – and Not Only the Wines!

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Elgin Valley is the Cool Wine Tour

Wonderful Grapes at the Vineyard Hotel

Mixed Spice at the Pinotage Festival

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

Where’s the Grande in Provence?

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Peter Has a Whale of a Time in Hermanus

Next Time to Taste at Hannay

Wagons to the Cellar at Waboomsrivier

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Robertson – Town by Name, Wine by Name

A Warm Welcome in the Cool Climate at South Hill

Surprisingly Good – and Not Only for the Red Bus Tourists

Good Things Come in Twos – at Southern Right too!

Dis-gorgeous at Weltevrede

Log Cabin-et Sauvignon in the Hot Tub!

Heaven and Earth Create a Costly Pairing

Intriguing and Confusing – An Enigmatic Experience

More than Just a Destination

Late at Lateganskop

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

A Kleine Experience at Zalze

Quantity over Quality at Durbanville Hills

www: W-arm W-olseley W-elcome

1 Night, 7 Oaks, 3 Wine Tastings for Visit 2!

Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal

Lemberg Punches Above its Weight

Tram-Way to Heaven in Franschhoek

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Libby Would not have been Proud of Linton Park

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth


“Swimming Pool” Wines for Now – or Leave until Later

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

Rickety Tram Passengers at Rickety Bridge

View from the E-Skaap-ment

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *