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The Devon Valley Detour | Article by Claire Barnardo

Wine-pairings have become so popularised these days that it’s almost par for the course. But what about a tour that takes you on a combined experience of such tastings?

Sipping on a varietal that’s more suited to what you’re eating is no longer posh. In fact it’s more the done thing than ever before, and if you think about it, actually quite logical to have food and wine that complements each other. But in an industry where standing out is vital, what is necessary to take that up a notch?  The short answer is ‘unity’ and the Devon Valley is where it’s all happening.

Set in one of the lush corners of the Stellenbosch winelands, Devon Valley is a little off the main track. As you travel down the narrower countryside roads, it does feel like you’ve taken a bit of an alternative route. It’s here that neighbouring wine farms decided to join forces and came up with the idea to offer visitors the chance to do wine pairings as a group.

First stop is at the Devon Valley Hotel, built in 1947 the hotel has its own working vineyard SylvanVale. Sit under the ghost tree on the terrace and you’ll be spoilt with vineyard and mountain views. The hotel offers wine tasting accompanied by a platter of tasty canapés. Like the prawn in raspberry vinaigrette, or the poached pear and camembert. The atmosphere is peaceful and setting relaxed. It’s the ideal way to start the experience. And just as relaxation sets in, it’s time to head to Clos Malverne where chef Nadia Louw Smith has come up with something new when it comes to pairings. Besides being swept away with the spectacular view, Clos Malverne has sought to change things up a bit by going sweet. Each ice-cream is carefully made to suit the wine’s it goes with, and what’s more is that the menu is seasonal so the flavours are always changing. The passion fruit and white chocolate suited the Sauvignon Blanc exceptionally well. Not to mention the heavenly combination of pairing toffee, almond and vanilla ice-cream with the wooded Chardonnay.

Opening up a whole new dimension to wine-tasting is what you can expect. If your tooth is naturally sweeter then the final stop at The House of J.C. le Roux is as much fun. The bubbly, marshmallow and meringue experience consists of two sparkling wines and three Méthode Cap Classiques. Like the Pinot Noir Rosé accompanying the Turkish Delight Meringue which has the lingering aftertaste of berries. Learning more about local MCC is so interesting too.

Having experienced the Devon Valley at its best certainly shines a new light on pairing. Combined with such incredible hospitality at each farm, it was so neighbourly that it felt as if we spent the day with friends.

The detour

    • Wine and canapés-pairing at Devon Valley Hotel
    • Wine tasting at Middelvlei
    • Wine and ice-cream-pairing at Clos Malverne
    • Bubbly, meringue and marshmallow-tasting at The House of J.C. le Roux

Experience it for yourself:
Devon Valley Hotel
Devon Valley Road
021 865 2012

Claire Barnardo, editor of Property Junction

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