Wine, Diamonds and Horses: The Bar Gets Even Higher After Today

Just when we think it can’t get any better than what we’ve experienced, it does! Today was amazing; we were dazzled by diamonds and horses, and wine.

Our return visit to Kanonkop was just as outstanding as last week’s visit. This is the winery that made pinotage famous and I bought the vertical pinotage ’06 and ’13 and the Black Label Old Block Pinotage ’13 with very limited production. The older the vintage, the more the wine develops its aroma profiles; it’s amazing how the fruit profile actually increases as it ages.

Our next stop was Delaire Graff of the Graff Diamonds. Owner Laurence Graff has spared no expense in creating an oasis of luxury: high end stores, dazzling landscaping with

View from Delaire Graff

View from Delaire Graff

dozens of  prize statues, state of the art winery, a Relais and Chateau Lodge and Spa, starting at $1100/ night, 2 exquisite restaurants and a tasting room reminiscent of the Four Seasons in New York.

Our personal guide was Catherine Harris, a native of Connecticut who married a South African. She led us on a tasting of the sauvignon blanc ’14; chardonnay ’13 which was very burgundian; chenin blanc ’13; Botmaskop ’13 bordeaux blend; cabernet sauvignon Reserve ’12; the winery only produces 250,000 bottles and all the wines were excellent examples of each variety and prove that South African wines are in the upper tier of wine production. Our lunch was alfresco under sunny skies accompanied by the chardonnay and cabernet: we had a choice of yellowtail or lamb for starters; braised beef or sea bass for main; and desserts to die for.

We ended the day at Cavalli Estate, owned by a former pharmaceutical tycoon: more opulence and luxury, including one of the most famous stud farms in the world. They opened the winery just for us and we had a tasting of 6 wines: White Knight ’13 chenin blanc; Pink Pony ’13 grenache based; Black Beauty ’12 shiraz; Cremello ’13 blend of chenin, chardonnay and verdelho; Warlord ’08  and ’09 blend of cab and shiraz; we visited the private art gallery and the gardens and left to a deep pink setting sun in the horizon: a beautiful finish to a beautiful day. So much to be thankful!

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