Franschhoek valley is one of those places I always say “yes” to… whether it’s a romantic weekend away, a beautiful meal or just a drive to explore a few more wine farms I’ll never turn down an opportunity to visit this special spot and over the years I’ve created many beautiful memories of time spent in the valley.
Recently I was invited to celebrate the relaunch of a Franschhoek icon and it was my pleasure to head out to soak in the views of the valley from the vantage point of Haute Cabrière situated on the scenic Franschhoek Pass.
For almost 25 years the von Arnim family have create the Haute Cabrière wine range and recently the brand underwent an exciting packaging upgrade.
Specialising in wines produced from the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grape varietals since the brand’s inception in the early 1990s. Haute Cabrière’s Chardonnay Pinot Noir has since become one of South Africa’s most popular white wines, and the story behind its origins is a charming tale of providence and fate.
According to family matriarch Hildegard von Arnim, 1994 was an unusually dry and warm harvest, and the hand-picking of the grapes could not be done fast enough, which led to a harvest with a higher sugar content. This produced a wine with a higher than usual alcohol content, quite unsuitable to be used for the base wine of their Pierre Jourdan Méthode Cap Classique range, as it would normally have been done.
Founder and then Cellar Master Achim von Arnim, decided to bottle this Chardonnay Pinot Noir blend as a still wine, which was unheard of at the time and from that day onward, the wine experienced a cult following both locally and internationally.
‘We like to think of this wine as South Africa’s original Chardonnay Pinot Noir – African sunshine in a bottle’ – Hildegard von Arnim.
This “sunshine” was certainly celebrated in style as the wine loving creatures of the Cape came bedecked in their sunshine yellow best to mirror the beautifully bright new wine label of the range… The Chardonnay Pinot Noir signature yellow has now been adopted as the Haute Cabrière brand colour with a fresh logo and bright packaging paying tribute to the past while remaining timeless and elegant.
The newly-packaged range of wines is available now in retail and from the cellar door at R90.00 for the Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2018 and the Pinot Noir Unwooded 2018 and at R200.00 for the Pinot Noir Réserve 2015.
To mark the special occasion we were treated to a de-light-ful light lunch in the the restaurant at Haute Cabriere.
Canapès of fresh Saldanha Bay oysters, seared tuna and duck liver parfait on brioche with pear and saffron chutney were served. For mains I enjoyed grilled line fish served with a bulgur wheat, quinoa and barley salad with olives, rocket and a sundried tomato vinaigrette.
To round out the meal: Baked figs, puff pastry and liquorice ice cream which paired perfectly with the Lakrids liquorice balls which have just arrived in South Africa from the small Danish island of Bornholm! The world’s first handcrafted gourmet liquorice is produced in the world’s smallest liquorice factory using only the finest ingredients and avoiding the use of all artificial flavours, what results is a flavour experience guaranteed to delight. I’m a fan!
Address: Franschhoek Pass (Lambrechts Road)
Tel: 021 876 8500
Tasting Room: Mon – Sat and Public Holidays: 10:00 to 18:00 / Sunday: 10:00 to 16:00
Restaurant: Lunch 7 days a week and dinner Mon – Sat.
PLEASE NOTE: The Restaurant and Tasting Room will be closed from the 29th of April until the end of August 2019 for an exciting renovation project. During this time the Tasting Room will be running from a temporary location in Franschhoek.