A tour, a tasting and lunch with Laborie Wines

by Karisa

This past Saturday I got to spend my day at Laborie Wines over in Paarl.  My friend D came along as my partner in crime and luckily the weather played along so we could fully enjoy the gorgeous setting they have there.  Upon arrival we were given a little tour of the grounds:

As you enter, you’ll spot the Harvest restaurant on your left … (but more about that later)

Then you walk out into the center grounds where the Manor House awaits you at the top end…

The Manor House overlooks a big, lush lawn where they normally do wedding ceremonies…

Inside the Manor House it is absolutely gorgeous… from the elegant dining room where breakfast is served to the luxurious communal lounge and library, it’s old world beauty all the way…

Then this is where I’d choose to stay, the Kings Room baby…

Then heading out back beyond the Manor House you’ll find that summer essential:

Aaah yes, the pool…  especially cause we know how hot it can get out there in Paarl…

And to the left you have their self catering house called Jonkershuis (sorry my photo came out blurry I’m afraid)  as well as their row of standard & luxury suites:

All the rooms have little verandah out front and then the luxury suit (top right) comes with an extra lounge area whereas the standard suite (bottom left) does not. But they’re all beautifully decorated and comfy as you can see…

You can read more about their accommodation & prices over here.

Next stop?  Die Proelokaal! (That’s tasting room for you English folks 😉 ):

If the weather permits, I highly recommend you do your tasting outside on the balcony. The view over the vineyards is something not to be missed…

A wine tasting costs only R25 per person for 5 wines of your choice (of course if you end up buying wine, standard practice is that they waive the tasting fee):

All for me? Oh yeah…

These were the wines we tasted – from left to right you have their: Blanc de Blancs ’10 MCC (winner of a gold Michelangelo Awards in 2013 & priced at R100), Sauvignon Blanc ’13 (R45), Jean Taillefert ’11 (their flagship wine & winner of way too many awards for me to list here, R199), Pineau de Laborie (a port & also a big award winner, R70), and then Laborie also makes a brandy, in fact they make the best brandy in the world according to a 2010 international award.  Their Alambic Brandy comes in the most beautiful bottle and will cost you R165.

I have to say, I really loved all their wines.  We also asked to try their Chardonnay ’13 (R45) and their Chardonnay ’13 Limited Collection (R70) and both of those were beautiful as well.  I’m not even a port or brandy drinker and I was truly impressed by those two.  I think the fact that D & I left with this loot pretty much speaks for itself:

And trust me, if I had more money to spend, I would have walked away with a lot more…

They also do a few cool wine pairing options:

  • Divine chocolate & wine: R35 pp (3 wines & 3 lighter chocolates)
  • Chocolate & Wine Obsession:  R35 pp (3 wines & 3 darker chocolates)
  • Wine & Olive Pairing:  R30 pp (3 wines & 3 different types of olives)

We still had lunch ahead of us, so we’ll have to go back to give one of those a try…  But yeah, on the topic of lunch, we got to dine at their beautiful Harvest Restaurant which has won an Award for Great Food & Wine 2013, Top 10 Child-friendly restaurant 2012, and also holds a certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor.  (pretty impressive pedigree I’d say)

A bit more about this restaurant:

Our restaurant, Harvest at Laborie, is the canvas upon which internationally acclaimed chef Matthew Gordon renders his culinary art. The menu is contemporary South African with ingredients sourced locally. Free range and organic Karoo lamb, beef and fresh line fish are regular features on the menu, while herbs and vegetables are harvested from the restaurant’s own garden. All of these components are cleverly combined to deliver a supreme dining experience hallmarked by depth of flavour and superb presentation.

The restaurant has a beautiful deck outside, but inside is equally inviting if the weather’s a bit too chilly:

They currently have a special winter menu running until end Sep (Mon – Sat lunch & Wed – Sat dinner) where you can do 2 courses for R140 or 3 courses for R170.  I decided I liked the look of the options on that menu and then D went for their normal a la carte menu.  This is what our dishes looked like:

Top left was D’s starter of duck done 3 ways. Bottom right was my starter a beef curry soup. Then bottom left was D’s gnocchi main.

Top dish was my fish cakes main, bottom left was D’s milktart panna cotta dessert and bottom rights was my malva pudding dessert.

I really couldn’t fault any of the dishes.  D and I pretty much hoovered our dishes down with complete joy on our faces throughout.  I just kept thinking to myself  “why has it taken me so long to discover this place!?”.  With starters ranging from R58 to R90, mains from R90 to R135 and desserts around the R40/R45 mark I thought it was good value for the beautifully prepared dishes that you’re getting.

For the beautiful setting, the lovely team they have there, the amazing wines and the equally amazing food, I give the Laborie Wines experience an overall score of  kiss4_smudgeon the Miss K Kiss-o-Meter scale.

Wanna buy some of their wines?  You can order them online here.  But of course a visit to the winery is a must.  You’ll find them in Taillefer St, Main Rd, Paarl, and here’s all the contact details you’ll need:

The Wine Farm & The Cellar Door
Tel: 021 807 3390

Harvest Restaurant
Tel: 021 807 3095

Bookings & Accomodation
Tel: 021 807 3093
Fax: 021 863 1955

Farm Hours
Mon – Sat: 09:00 – 17:00
Sun: 11:00 – 17:00

I have to say a BIG thank you to the Laborie team for looking after us so well on the day.  I’ll definitely be back, with lots of friends in tow.


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