Val du Charron – A must visit when in Wellington
When last did you find yourself in Wellington? I haven’t been there in years! So when an invitation landed in my inbox to come and visit Val du Charron; a bespoke wine and leisure Estate in Wellington, how could I say no?
Upon arrival, the weather cleared up after a nasty Cape Town storm the day before and the clouds hang above the mountain tops; showing off immaculate views of Bovlei Valley and Bainskloof Pass. To our surprise, there was an MTB race taking place and Val du Charron was the pit-stop. Good choice!
Walking up to reception, it’s hard not to fall in love with the view. Owners Stuart and Catherine Entwistle probably pinch themselves every day waking up to such a landscape on the daily.
The 42-hectare size farm is a mere hour’s drive from Cape Town. They produce a number of hand-crafted wines; mainly white and reds for export, most of which is sent to France. Elzaan gave us a site inspection – explaining in detail how the wines at Val du Charron is harvested, produced and then labeled while we stood in the Cellar which smelt like all the varietals mixed together. Then again, Val du Charron is known for blending due to their continental climate.
So far, they have about 16 different varietals namely; Val du Charron Reserve Collection consisting of the Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Shiraz (Syrah) and Cabernet Sauvignon and then their Theatre of Wine: Four White Legs, Erasmus, Black Countess, Aphaea and Aphaea Rose.
We got to try three from the Theatre of Wine range: Four White Legs, Erasmus and Black Countess. I’m no wine expert but with both Courtney and I having a fair amount of wines over the years, our palettes know a thing or two when it comes to notes. Or, I think we do.
Four White Legs
A light honey colour, the Four White Legs 2018 Chardonnay/Chenin Blanc/Pinot Gris is a medium-bodied dry white wine that’s smooth and versatile. Versatile in the sense that we tasted different notes than the hints of granny smith apples. We tasted hints of lime and baked apples and with it not being too acidity, it pairs well with cream cheese, chicken and even a cauliflower dish.
Alcohol Vol % 13% | Residual sugar 2.7 g/L | Total acid 5.8 g/L | pH 3.43
Price: R92.00 per bottle
Erasmus – Den Deen
In a lovely red rich colour, the Erasmus 2015; a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage with savory tastes of pepper and cloves for that full, earthy aroma. I’ll pair this wine with a mushroom pizza, a marinated steak, and even a charred burger.
Alcohol Vol % 13.84% | Residual sugar 3.0g/L | Total acid 5.5 g/L | pH 3.58
Presented in a dark ruby red shade, this Black Countess 2015 Shiraz is a complex wine. It’s complex because of the many flavours your palette endures like blackberry, cherries, cranberry, and even cinnamon. It’s not as heavy as I would’ve expected from a Shiraz so it definitely was my favourite out of them all. I would certainly pair this with grilled lamb, a beef stew and pork.
Alcohol: 14,11% | Residual Sugar: 2,4g/L | Total Acidity: 5,5g/L | pH: 3,45
Price: R132 per bottle
Lunch at The Grillroom
The understated Grillroom is elegant and classy; the perfect restaurant to take anyone special. We had lunch with both Catherine and Stuart who were totally down to earth people. With its leather chairs, exquisitely decorated tables and a view to die for, make sure to enjoy a glass of their wines while you browse the sumptuous menu.
For starters, we were served with homemade bread which we dipped in olive and balsamic oil. It’s an unusual combination but tasted really good.
Lunch consisted of having a 200g wet-aged fillet that was grass fed with a side of hot vegetables while Courtney tackled the 300g wet-aged Sirloin grass fed with fries. It was both tender, filling and soft to the cut.
Once we had some space left after such a hearty lunch, we decided it was time for dessert. Because we were so stuffed, Courtney and I opted to share so it was recommended to try the Grillroom “bitesize” dessert favourites that consisted of a milk tart, Malva, Amarula affogato and ice cream – full-on African style and all my favourites! Catherine went for the pecan nut pie served with ice cream and, it looked really good too.
As much as we were invited to the property, the service, staff, and accommodations are wonderful and one can definitely see the passion in all the staff we encountered. Definitely book a table or come for a wine tasting and, spend the afternoon in the valley of Wellington.
Until the next adventure.
DISCLAIMER: I was invited to Val du Charron. However, it was Stephanie Marthinus Blog decision whether to write an article. The post received no remuneration for publishing it. It’s written in good faith based on the experience we had.