To celebrate mid-winter, a group of hungry media-types were shipped off to Franschhoek for a night, to explore the fiery delights of the valley.
Ironically, we set out on a crystal clear morning, with not a cloud or raindrop in sight. However, that didn’t stop us from indulging in all the red wine we could, and symbolically rubbing our hands in front of roaring fireplaces.
Our first stop for the day was Noble Hill, an estate I’ve driven past, but never visited. Having heard of their Mexican-inspired restaurant, Cosecha (co-say-cha) and its famous guacamole, I was particularly excited to start the day with MCC and nachos. We started with their Blanc de Blancs, served in traditional coups, before moving on to their Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Estate Blend. Their Syrah was a personal favourite, sadly before finding out that egg whites are used in the fining process (a ratio of roughly two egg whites per 300L barrel), making it not vegan. Each wine is fined differently, so if this is a concern for you, I’d recommend chatting to the team first. You can read more about fining agents here.
While the non-vegan wine did make me a little sad, the ample amount of food more than made up for it. As Latin cuisine is one of the more easily-adaptable when it comes to dietary requirements, the team certainly made me feel welcome. I was quite happy feasting on their famous guacamole – made table side, with chillies grown on the estate – so the fact that there were more dishes for me to try made me pretty darn happy.
My favourite was the zucchini and red pepper enchiladas, with grilled vegetables and pepita and gooseberry salsas – but, looking at their menu, there are a number of dishes that could be easily customised for vegans. Their homemade corn tortillas also takes care of a wheat or gluten allergy.
While we drank and snacked in the tasting room portion of the estate, Cosecha itself is an al fresco restaurant, with tables scattered under trees and a large veranda. The open vista of the restaurant means you have fantastic views with your meal, but doesn’t offer too much protection against the elements – so keep this in mind if you are booking for a particularly wintry Cape day.
It was fantastic meeting Kris – the proprietor of Noble Hill Wines – and not only gaining insight into the wines and estate, but what brought him and his family to the valley ten years ago. We couldn’t have hoped for a better start to our day – overwhelmed by warmth from all sides, if this is winter in the valley, sign me up.
Keen to explore more of the town? You can view my favourite things to do, eat and see in Franschhoek here.
Note: We enjoyed our visit as guests of Franschhoek Wine Valley and Noble Hill Wines. All views and images are my own.