Winelands Exploring: Louisvale Wines, Stellenbosch

by Karisa

So I’ve embarrassingly had this post in my drafts for 10 months… not because this wasn’t an incredible experience (because it really was!), but because my visit to this absolute stunner of a wine farm took place only 2 days before President Ramaphosa announced the first COVID lockdown back in March 2020… It was a weird time, one we had hoped would only last for 3 weeks (remember those days?)… and therefore I thought I’d rather hold off until things went back to normal. Fast-forward several months later and we all of course now know that things never really went back to normal. And with SA now in the midst of yet another alcohol ban, our wineries need our help more than ever. So with that in mind, what better time to tell you about Louisvale Wines in Stellenbosch. 🙂

Situated in Devon valley, at the foot of the Stellenbosch mountains, Louisvale Wines offers award-winning wines, views for days, and an exceptionally beautiful setting where one can wine & dine at leisure.

Check out the incredible drone footage of the estate here. The first thing you’ll notice if the unusual design of the newly built function area which was inspired by the the 1st man-made structures of the area built by the Nomadic Khoekhoen. This creates an interesting contrast to the100 year old manor house right next door, with both buildings overlooking lush, sprawling lawns with undisturbed views of the valley.

Let me show you around:

First impressions…
A closer look at the outside of the venue space, inspired by the dome-shaped structures of the Khoekhoen.
The arches give it an Italian Cafe feeling, doesn’t it?
The Manor House.
Wine tasting settings really don’t get better than this…
And look at that view!
The inside of the venue & restaurant area is equally striking.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the wines… Louisvale was one of the pioneers of Chardonnay in SA and today they still solely plant Chardonnay, albeit different clones. They make two Chardonnay-based MCCs, a Brut and a Brut Rosé. Both really lovely & well-priced at R990 for a case of 6 (or R165 per bottle).

I’ve weirdly never been a huge bubbly person, but over the last year I’ve come to really appreciate it, and I would say that it very likely started with this tasting.
From their Chardonnays I really loved their Unwooded Chardonnay and their Chavant Lightly Oaked Chardonnay. Both lovely options for those who prefer slightly lighter Chardonnays. They also do beautiful buttery premium Chardonnay (their signature wine) as well as a Sauvignon Blanc.
They also produce a Merlot, a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Cab / Merlot / Cabernet Franc blend named Dominique and then two premium reds – “Five Barrels” Cabernet Sauvignon and this lovely blend of five classic French varietals – The Boris. I am a sucker for a bold label and was instantly drawn to this one, but I’m happy to report that the wine is equally striking.

TOP TIP: For those looking for more of an everyday drinking kind of vibe, they have a budget friendly range called Stone Road which sell for only R60 a bottle (or R360 per case). The range consists of a Cinsault Rose, a Sauvignon Blanc, a Cab Sav, a Merlot and a Shiraz. We ended up getting a case of the Stone Road Merlot, but they were all quite nice, especially at that price.

Oh and then there was food! Glorious food! Their menu changes every month, but when we visited we enjoyed the most delicious arancini & grilled prawns starters, followed by a creamy mussel pot & beautifully prepared fillet steak.

Could definitely have this again…
The mussels were served with fresh, homemade bread for dipping.
And the fillet came with a heavenly butternut mash.

Of course, one must always leave space for dessert. Especially when it looks this good:

A lovely slice of cheesecake with fresh fruits. You simply cannot go wrong with this one.

So as you can see Louisvale offers the full experience: gorgeous setting, lovely (and award-winning I must add) wines & top quality food. I would definitely recommend that you add them to your “must visit” list for 2021.

You can also show much needed support by purchasing their wines online over here. Of course they’ll only be able to deliver once the alcohol ban lifts, but every sale now is helping our wine industry to survive the storm.

To the Louisvale team, a huge thank you for this amazing experience. It was definitely a highlight of 2020 and I hope to return soon to come and do it all again.

I’m no longer doing my Miss K Kiss-o-Meter rating scale. Why? A mix of reasons really… 1) I feel like I’ve outgrown it, 2) I was only ever featuring establishments that I really loved, so scores always ended up being on the top end of the scale & therefore the whole scoring thing became a bit redundant, and 3) With the impacts of Covid 19 our restaurant & wine industries needs all the love & support they can get. If I have a bad experience, I’d rather raise it with the restaurant directly. This is something I was doing before Covid anyway and something I’ll continue to do. But ja, long story short, please trust that if I feature a restaurant/wine farm here on the blog it’s because I loved the experience & think it’s worth adding to your “must try” list. I will also always be upfront about review invites & gifted meals and will add this in the form of the hashtags you will see below.

#gifted #reviewinvite

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