The energy of harvest time in the Winelands is infectious and La Motte wine estate in the Franschhoek Valley invites guests to join in the excitement with a special Harvest Tour and Tasting, presented for the duration of the 2017 harvest.
Starting from 31 January, guests can book for a guided vineyard tour presented by one of the estate’s Wine Ambassadors, introducing the various varietals and explaining the harvest practices and biologic farming methods.
After a stroll through the vineyards, see the harvesting process – the hand-sorting of grapes, crush, pump-overs and other activities that take place in the cellar – concluded with a tasting of grape must (fermenting grape juice) from a fermentation tank.
The elegant La Motte Tasting Room is the last stop. Here guests are treated to a tasting of La Motte’s award-winning collection of wines as well as harvest-inspired bites created by Pierneef à La Motte’s Chef Michelle Theron.The tasting includes:
- Five wines from the La Motte Collection
- Two wines from the Pierneef Collection
- Mosbolletjies – the traditional South African sweet bun made from the yeast of partially fermented grape juice. Must as a rising agent ensures a very light bake and characteristic aniseed is traditionally added. According to Laurens van der Post: “It was mosbeskuit which introduced us to the French fashion of breaking our fast with a Cape form of petit-dejeuner: a cup of hot coffee and milk and a small plate of mosbeskuit usually brought to the bedside at daybreak.”
- Must syrup – probably the first form of jam made by men and claimed to be found in the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh, Tutankhamun, 1400 years B.C.! In essence it is a reduction of sweet grape must or partially fermented grape juice.
- Something Smokey – Karoo lamb & herb karmonaadjie with a smokey barbeque must glaze. A clever use of the products of the harvest for one of our favourite tastes: barbequed lamb! Also acknowledging a tradition of sharing, a karmonaadjie or gift of meat used to be given to neighbours, friends or family when one had plenty of meat but little form of refrigeration.
- Something Savoury – A roast chicken and goats cheese tartlet with pickled harvest grapes represents the Winelands tradition of using seasonal ingredients – fresh and pickled – and adding fruit to savoury dishes. The comforting flavour of roast chicken combines beautifully with the sharpness of goat’s cheese and the sweetness of the grapes.
- Something Sweet – Mini harvest grape and must verrines – a harvest festival in a glass with grapes in all its forms, even as a pretty purple macaroon!
The Harvest Tour and Tasting cost R120, takes about 90 minutes and will be available hourly from Tuesdays to Fridays, between 10:00 and 15:00 for the duration of the harvest – starting on Tuesday, 31 January 2017. (Please note that the Harvest Tour and Tasting has now stopped as the 2017 Harvest has ended.)
Reservations are essential and can be made with the La Motte Tasting Room at T +27 (0)21 876 8820 or E email@example.com
Pierneef à La Motte restaurant also participates in the celebration of harvest with harvest-inspired menu items while the La Motte Farm Shop offers an array of decadent confectionery and breads baked with grapes or must.