A Quando-ary: When to Drink …?
Experience 3.5 Festivals & Events Robertson Wine 3.5

A Quando-ary: When to Drink …?

2 June 2017

Experience: 3.5/5
Wines: 3.5/5

Quando Vineyards & Winery was very close to Arendsig Wines. The wine farm had been recommended by fellow Wacky Wine Weekend wine aficionados as a place to taste. Palm trees lined one side of the driveway that led to the Tasting Room in a small farm cottage located on flat ground close to the Breede River. Visiting tasters mostly sat outside in the intimate, shaded garden beside the house and full of clivia. They must put on quite a show when flowering.

The Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Mourvèdre vines are planted on the best 80 hectares of the 190 hectare farm. Fanus Bruwer, winemaker and owner, is aided by his brother Martin on the farm. Fanus told me that much of the harvest is sent to co-operatives but he keeps the best grapes for himself. Sauvignon Blanc was first made in 2001, having been nagged for years by family and friends to do so. Herein lies the origin of the quirky vineyard name. ‘Quando’ is Latin for ‘when’. “When, when, when are you going to make wine?” Fanus was repeatedly asked.

I tasted the Sauvignon Blanc first. It is made from vines of 2 clones (one New World and one French in flavour) grown in adjacent vineyards using the same viniculture. The vines are grown on rich alluvial soils on the lowest part of the farm. So much so that frost can be a problem during the early Spring. Fanus’ ginger cat, who was in his element amid the olive and snoek tasting canapé, is a natural ‘frost alarm’ as he sleeps on Fanus’ bed when temperatures are very low at night.

The Sauvignon Blanc was the best wine I sampled. It is made from up to 5 hand-picked batches of grapes blended together. Each batch brings a different flavour profile: first pick for sour fig freshness and acidity; middle pick for ripe fig, tropical peach and grassiness; and final pick for sugar. I detected fruity and herbaceous aromas on the nose – greengage, gooseberry, lime – that reduced to leave a lively crisp palate.

The Chenin Blanc Viognier, from the highest vineyard on shale soils, is not a combination I commonly taste (Bellingham Pear Tree being the only other I can recall). Fanus told me that the wine profile (pH, acidity, alcohol) was similar to that of the Sauvignon Blanc but contained more sugar. The wine was a very pale watery straw colour. The nose was a complex and interesting mix of fruity and floral: white peach, light apricot, pear and honeysuckle. The follow through to the palate jarred though, with little fruitiness and too much crispness and acidity.

The next 2 wines were both Mourvèdre, one a Rosé and the other a single variety red. The cultivar used to be sent to co-operatives but, after going to a French festival, Fanus decided to make his own Rosé. The wine was a very pale blush in colour (just 15 to 30 minute skin contact) and a shy strawberry on the nose. There was none of the warm honeyed nougat notes that mark out the Mourvèdre Rosé made by Babylonstoren. Like the Chenin Blanc Viognier, it was too fresh and eager on the palate and with not enough fruitiness.

The second Mourvèdre, a red expression of the Rosé, had more pronounced fruitiness on both nose and palate. Mulberry, cassis and blackberry aromas emerged from the full-bodied medium ruby purple wine in the glass. In the mouth, the tannins were dry and coarse.

The final wine I tasted was a Pinot Noir, made from grapes picked on another farm in Ashton. It was too sour cherry for my liking, mingled with liquorice spiciness, and unbalanced on the palate. Tart tannin overpowered any fruit expression in the mouth to leave a bitter aftertaste.

Quando, to be honest, disappointed. Rarely, do I not buy at least 1 bottle when tasting. It was not just because I had just visited 2 outstanding wine estates during the day, De Wetshof and Arendsig, that any vineyard would have been hard to follow. I struggled to discern why. It could simply be that I did not enjoy Fanus’ winemaking style. That happens and there is nothing wrong in that. I consider it important to be upfront and honest about, albeit I offer personal opinion. I think a more likely explanation is that many of the wines were offered far too young, whites included. The 2017 Chenin Blanc Viognier had been bottled for 2 days only – to produce sufficient stock for the Wacky Wine Weekend – and was obviously suffering from ‘bottle-shock’. The Sauvignon Blanc was another 2017 vintage but I detected a brash, raw eagerness of youth in many of the other wines too. They left a bitter aftertaste that I did not expect. It left me wondering how they might have tasted with longer to mature and settle in the bottle.

But, when … ?

Wines tasted (* bought):


2017 Sauvignon Blanc – R70
2017 Chenin Blanc Viognier (71% Chenin Blanc, 29% Viognier) – R70 FAVOURITE WINE


2017 Mourvèdre Rosé – R60


2016 Mourvèdre – R110
2015 Pinot Noir – R110

You Might Also Like

River Grandeur at Viljoensdrift

Horsepower in the Vineyard

Only One JC Le Roux Wine Sparkled and Scintilla-ted

Hope Lies High in the Valley

Dis-gorgeous at Weltevrede

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

Woody Wildekrans

Intimate, Tranquil and Refined

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

Decent Wines Rock from the Pulpit

Wines from the Orchards at Le Pommier

The Italian Collection at the Vineyard

More Still at Tanagra

View from the E-Skaap-ment

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

Champagne and Brandies left Me Disappointed

Busy, Bubbly, Noisy Wonderfontein

Le Lude Left Me Feeling Flat

Sylvan Vale Wines Good for a Meeting or an Eating

Family Fun in Pairs at Four Cousins

Late at Lateganskop

Morgenhof in the Morning

Kept Alone at Kaapzicht

Idiom Puts on a Festival Master Class

Superb Whites in the Near Dark at Mont Blois

Try as I Could I Did not Find Waterkloof Wines Dynamic

Bushmanspad Gave Me the Weirdest Tasting Ever

One Day, Three Tastings, Five Wines and Seven Sisters

Laibach Shows its Spots

A Lekker Jol at Wandsbeck

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

Proudly Keeping it in the Family at Paul Cluver – or Not?

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

My Best Blend at Zandvliet

Where’s the Grande in Provence?

There’s No Gun Smoke Without Wine

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

Superb Views of Guardian Peak

Com-fort-able Wines at Fort Simon

Allez les Boks – Pas les Bleues!

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

Hand at Work Handiwork at Boschrivier Wines

2018 Wacky Wine Ends at Le Roux & Fourie

Bartinney Clings to the Mountain

Robertson – Town by Name, Wine by Name

Haven Rather than Heaven at La Bri

Old Oaks at La Bourgogne

Libby Would not have been Proud of Linton Park

An Early Start at Rietvallei

Summer Whites …… and Rosés

Masses of Fun and a little Chaos at the Ambeloui Harvest Festival

House Wine from the Wine Tram

Mixed Spice at the Pinotage Festival

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!

Value for Money at Van Zylshof

Simple Spier

Grape Fun – Stomping Well Worth the Journey!

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

Wheels Turn Full ‘Cycle’ at Meerendal

A Kleine Experience at Zalze

Yanky Doodle Dave Didn’t Bring all the Wines

iWine rather than IMAX at the Cape Gate Mall

Honest, Affordable Family Wines at Landskroon

Eq-wine – Fine Wines and Fast Horses!

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

Sublime Sauvignon Blanc Makes up for Variable Bloemendal

Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

Hope Brought to the Vineyard

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

Langverwacht Introduced Me to Ruby Cabernet

Scary Jan Harmsgat Delivers Elegant Wines

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

More Plaisir at de Merle Please!

Slave to the Rhythm at Solms-Delta

Pick n Taste Time at Stellenbosch

Pinotage Hits a Purple Patch in Paarl

Where Eagles Care

Judge and be Judged!

Noble Wines without the Rot

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

Vrede en Lust Struggled to Reveal it’s Delight

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

Surprisingly Good – and Not Only for the Red Bus Tourists

The Terroir is Honoured in the Bottle at Springfield

Graham Beck MCCs Fizzled Out

Red Chair in the Morning

Windfall Offered Unexpected Delights

The Early Bird Catches the Wine

Waterf-ord More Ord-inary Than Extra-ord-inary

Wagons to the Cellar at Waboomsrivier

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Style or Substance? Nitida left Me Wondering

Magnifico – Grazie Mille Idiom!

Relaxing Rosendal

Joy at Really Tasting the Difference at Esona

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

Peter Falke Didn’t Knock my Socks Off

Heaven and Earth Create a Costly Pairing

The Cut ‘n’ Paste Stellenbosch Wine Festival Comes to Cape Town

Mutual Attraction

The Vineyard Hotel a Classic Vehicle to Showcase L’Ormarins Wines

All Green at Villiera

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Purring at the Wines in Tyger Valley

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

Becoming Ship-Shape at La Couronne

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte


  1. Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson – Cape Wine Lovers Society

    […] Quando                               http://www.quando.co.za/ Robertson […]

  2. Dis-gorgeous at Weltevrede – Cape Wine Lovers Society

    […] Weekend vineyards closed for tasting at 5pm and so it was a rush to get to Weltevrede Estate from Quando Vineyards & Winery. The journey was less than 10 kilometres back across the Breede Rive via Bonnievale and should not […]

  3. Slave to the Rhythm at Solms-Delta – Cape Wine Lovers Society

    […] Solms-Delta was one of those occasions. Visits to Constantia Uitsig, Meerendal, Creation, Quando and Ataraxia also come to mind. Solms-Delta is picked out from the hundreds of Western Cape […]

Leave a Reply

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