Wine Diary: La Motte Venison & Vintage Wines Evening

At the moment life is so busy, yes, mostly because we make it busy, but also because it’s just demanding. Whether its work functions or kids sport or meetings about sport or a meeting about how unsporting the sport is, its just busy. I hate being too busy! I need downtime. Downtime in the form of a wine farm, with good wine. I say good wine because some wine farms have terrible wine. Believe me. So imagine my delight when we were picked up and chauffeured to Franschhoek to attend an Evening of Vintage Wine and Venison at Pierneef à La Motte. After a demanding week, this was right up my alley. A renowned wine farm, with excellent wine, and an opportunity to pair said wines with some good food.

What a place. No traffic, very few people, no noise… was bliss.

We arrived in the Franschhoek valley at the best time of day while it was still balmy and splashes of golden light hit the surrounding mountains. With a glass of bubbles at hand, we allowed the cares of the week to dissolve as we enjoyed the gardens and caught up for the first time in a while!

The La Motte team is all about seasonality, and in winter, they celebrate the duality of well-matured red wine and venison.

We sat down to enjoy a five-course dinner of venison dishes by Chef Eric Bulpitt, beautifully paired with exclusive older vintages from the Rupert Vinoteque on the estate and presented by Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche and served up by their very welcoming staff.

The setting is moody and intimate, with soft decor and a peaceful ambience. Soft music calmed the chattering of the guests as they sipped on their bubbles and wine, while waitrons busied from table to table filling glasses.


After a speech about the wine and the food the first course of gemsbok venison pastrami paired with a 2013 La Motte Chardonnay was served. A voluptuous Chardonnay with that soft, subtle buttery mouth feel, splashes of vanilla and stewed apple opened up the memory banks (that my wife swears I don’t have) to a time where I had my first sip of Chardonnay.

As the empty plates were whisked away, we were presented with a dish of pigeon. Now, I would not usually request pigeon, but I suppose that’s the point. Step out a little and try something different!

Although this dish, accompanied by spinach and truffles, was interesting, it had nothing on the 2001 La Motte Millennium. A consummate blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc, which was velvety with sublime dark berry and leather notes and a lingering soft tannin. 24 months on french oak, this was mesmerising!


With two down and three to go, a loin of Springbok was sprung upon me, accompanied by a cabbage and game jus and deliciously paired with the 2004 La Motte Cabernet Sauvignon. Loads more structure and a meaty tannin, this full bodied beauty had legs! Lovely dark berry notes, firm tannin and a good deal of clove and spice at the end, it was a signature South African cabernet sauvignon.

With three in the bag, it was time for the Hugenot fondue, a decadent, rich cheesy dish paired with the 2007 Pierneef Shiraz Grenache. Some aniseed and liquorice notes, was very enjoyable, but the bar had been set by the Millennium two courses back.

Lastly, desert.

At this stage I had a deeper understanding of ‘eating small portions slowly makes you full’! Not sure whether it was the food or the wine begging my belt for an extra notch, I was only too happy to be chauffeured home and allowed myself a little more indulgence.

Desert was chocolate and spices paired with an unlabelled 1989 Noble late harvest. Decadent in every way. Who doesn’t love a sweet wine to finish off an evening? Well, me, I went back to the Millennium, it was just that good!

Such a great experience and a real opportunity discover the treasures of carefully aged wines while dining on a selection of perfectly prepared venison in a cozy setting.

If you love Franschhoek, venison and red wine THIS is a must for your Winter Calendar. Be sure to look out for this annual event hosted at La Motte when winter rolls around!


Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for over 9 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!

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