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.)
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.