The Pioneer of Pinotage at 52/800 – Lanzerac, Stellenbosch

What a treat it was to finally visit number 52 of 800 – Lanzerac Wine Estate, in Stellenbosch.

In 1959, Lanzerac harvested the world’s first Pinotage harvest and released the bottle in 1962!

 

They actually still have a bottle in their cellar – perhaps the only bottle left in the world! Today, they produce plenty of Pinotage. A premium range 2014 for R140 a bottle and a Heritage, Pionier Pinotage 2014 for R700 a bottle. The Premier range is more on the spicy side. Smoky yet soft, with notes of black plums and cherries.

The Heritage range was exceptional! Think Christmas spice of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, plums, prunes and dark berries. It was incredibly smooth and full bodied with a lingering finish.

 

Some History:

Lanzerac was established way back in 1692 and was originally called Schoongezicht. For all those romantics out there, the farm was renamed Lanzerac in 1914 by an old widow, Mrs. English who bought the farm after her husband died. The story goes that Mrs. English named the farm after her true love, French General Charles Lanzerac, who fought during World War I. Mrs. English was the first person to bottle a Lanzerac wine.

Today Lanzerac pays tribute to this heritage with Mrs. English Chardonnay and Le Général Red blend.

ACTIVITIES and OTHER AMENITIES: 

BOOKINGS: Bookings are a must. Please inquire online here:  http://www.lanzerac.co.za/
WHEN TO GO:  Summer or Winter. You will be sheltered anywhere you go. I noticed umbrellas on standby too.
SERVICE: The service is super professional – everything that you would expect from a 5-star establishment.
CHILD/PET FRIENDLY? No, this is definitely a more sophisticated crowd
LARGER OR SMALL GROUPS? Smaller groups of around 4-6 people are perfect.
LOCATION: About a 45 minute drive from Cape Town in, Stellenbosch. Google Map
OTHER RATINGS:  Check out what others say about this farm on Trip Advisor by CLICKING HERE. 

TripAdvisor

Here is my experience:

Autumn is almost upon us despite the hot weather. Just look at these trees! At the end of this driveway is the old manor house.

There is plenty of room for parking and on the left of the establishment, is the wine tasting and deli building.

This is the stoep of the Deli.

The Deli is quite nice because you can have breakfast and coffees here.

I met up with Zelda who took me through a professional and informed tasting.

The tasting room feels like old school charm. It is quite inviting and the chairs are super comfy.

This is why it is important to book, so that a table can be arranged for you.

If you do happen to just stroll in without a booking, there is a wine bar too 🙂

There are a total of 12 wines to taste. All ranging from R75 for a Rosé to R700 for their premium Pinotage per bottle. Ask the waitron for the wine list so you can decide on the type of tasting you would like to try.

If I were you, I would definitely try to taste all 12. They do have spittoons so that you can manage your wine intake.  It was so incredible to taste these Chardonnays side by side but they are on different tasting option menus.

On the one hand, the 2015 Chardonnay has notes of ginger biscuits, soft cooked apples and toffee cream. R115 a bottle.

Then on the other, the Mrs. English 2014 has a darker colour and only the finest Chardonnay grapes are used. 8 months on the lees and 11 months in French oak barrels. It was so smooth with notes of marmalade and vanilla 😋 Plus just look at all those awards! R450 a bottle. 

 

They also have a new, limited release Rosé and a pretty good MCC. It is a Blanc de Blancs Brut for R195 a bottle. It is made from Chardonnay grapes and spent 12 months on the lees in the bottle before traditional disgorgement. It has great light flavours of biscuits and green apples but also quite creamy with vibrant bubbles.

On the red wine side, they have a Syrah, Cab Sauv and Merlot too. The Cab Sauv 2014 has won a double gold Michelangelo award 2016 as well as a Platters 4 star. It is just bursting with berry flavours and a subtle hint of dark chocolate. Soft tannins that linger on the palate. It will definitely mature for a better taste in time. R150 a bottle.

The Merlot 2014 has won even more awards. A Michelangelo Gold, A Platters 4 star and a Terroir Award. It is everything you would like in a Merlot wine, very berry with a punch of savoury tannins and a hint of vanilla. Perfect to pair with a juicy steak. R140 a bottle.

Finally, the Lanzerac Le General 2013 is everything you would dream of for a red wine blend. It is quite unique too and limited at R550 a bottle. 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 7% Pinotage, 13% Shiraz, 7% Malbec and 7% Petit Verdot. It was matured in a combination of new and 2nd fill 300 litre French oak barrels for a period of 20 months.
It had the most smooth taste! Imagine vanilla and nutmeg spice, cooked plums and even a hint of smokiness. How wonderful to pair with strong hard cheese or venison.

 

 

Everyday at 11h00, the cellar is open for a tour (free with your wine tasting experience).

 

Afterwards, why not enjoy a lunch at the hotel. The menu is pretty pricey for us locals but believe me, it is so worth it. Spoil yourself. CLICK HERE to view the menu.

I had the Fynbos honey glazed pork belly with creamy mash, grilled corn salad, tomatos, coriander, rind crisp and apple gel for R185.

Followed by a deconstructed Lemon Meringue, with Balsamic Marinated Strawberries, Mint Yoghurt Spheres & Butter Biscuit Crumble for R70.

 

 

And more wine of course! 😉

 

Cheers!

I absolutely loved my visit and will be back for sure.

P.s. This post was becoming a bit long because there is so much to do and see here,  so I will review more about the Lanzerac hotel and Spa in a separate blog post – coming soon.

 

So which wine farm will be next? 😉

x

 

 

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