It’s not every day you get to wine and dine with a wine maker … and then taste and talk your way through ten tastings of Spier wines.
We met winemaker Frans K Smit, whose passion for good wine flowed as he spoke about ethical farming, the health of the soil and the importance of staff, as well as the absolute care that goes into the craft and why it matters.
Just a stone’s throw away from the coast, around 15km from the Atlantic ocean, Seaward grapes are picked making for great harvesting every year. For us, the Seaward easy-to-drink wine range was the most impressive set of tastings for the afternoon.
What a breath of fresh air trying the Seaward Sauvignon Blanc 2022, also one of winemakers Frans K Smits favourites. As you pour a glass, you can smell the rich aromas of ripe tropical fruit. It is a breeze to drink and you can pick up on the freshness of taste and fruity flavours throughout. Easy sipping with seafood and salads and is light on the pocket.
The second set of wines we tasted was the Spier 21 Gables that come from dryland vines. The Spier farm has 21 architecturally significant gables – the most on any wine farm in South Africa and all meticulously restored. If we had to compare the Seaward Sauvignon Blanc 2022 to the 21 Gables Sauvignon Blanc 2023, you will smell more of green tropics aroma and the finish is richer and creamier. Our top pick for the Spier 21 Gables was the Chenin Blanc 2021, a youthful but wonderfully luscious and refreshing wine. Upfront ripe and fruity aromas balanced with a lick of oak spice. Seems that the white wines won us over this time around.
One of the last wines we tasted was Frans K Smit’s very own white blend 2018 (77 per cent Sauvignon Blanc, 23 per cent Sémillon) and what a treat. A wine that represents, he says, the pinnacle of his passion, craft and commitment to terroir. Again, we got aromas of tropics and citrus and on the palate, bright, integrated acidity with a rounded, creamy and super-concentrated finish. This one will make for a really lovely gift to a fellow connoisseur or a great add on to your personal collection.
To top off an already palatable tasting, Solo Restaurant Sandton sent out of their kitchen a few courses designed to pair perfectly with the wine. The starter of seared tuna with ponzu dressing, picked ginger aioli, cucumber and tempura nori was a flavorous teaser and ever course after that was equally as pleasing.
This Summer, crack open a few bottle of Spier wines, pair it with plates of great food and appreciate an expressive experience of good wine, from good people. The Seaward range costs from R135 a bottle, while the 21 Gables costs from R230 a bottle. Frans K Smit’s white and red blend costs from R620 a bottle.