Stark-Conde – Day-tripping in the wine lands

May 25th, 2011 by karen

Autumn is  an amazing time of year to head out to the wine lands, thus, receiving a call from Cathryn, friend and editor of Wine Magazine, inviting me to join her for a public holiday day-trip into Stellenbosch was a “no-brainer”. Proudly yielding our black marked thumbs from voting of course:)

The drive to Stark-Conde, which is situated right at the very top end of Jonkershoek, was beautiful with the backdrop of autumnal red and orange hues.  In fact, they have the highest red wine vineyard in Stellenbosch, planted at 600m above sea level.

Stark-Conde Wines is a family-run winery making hand-crafted wines using tried-and-true traditional methods. The farm is owned by Jose Condй and his father-in-law, Hans Schroder, the owner of Neil Ellis Wines. Their total production is less than 5000 cases, making them one of South Africa’s few true boutique wineries.

As you can see from the photos the setting is ultimately relaxing with the tasting room set across a wooden bridge in the middle of the dam with 360 degree views of towering, majestic mountains.

They have a range of 9 wines for tasting across 3 “tiers” an “introductory Pepin Conde range where grapes are sourced outside of the farm, a main Stark Conde range of 2 wines and their Three Pines range consisting of a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Syrah from high-elevation slopes.  Both these wines were 2008 vintage offering lovely fruit, balance, mouth feel and well integrated tannins with length on the finish.  My favourite of the day was their Lingen 2009, with grapes sourced from their neighbour.  This is a red blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Syrah and 10% Petit Verdot.  I have become somewhat of a fan of Petit Verdot and believe it is what brings this wine to life!

We ended our tasting with a light lunch at the Post Card Cafe.  A small menu but everything was fresh, tasty and very reasonably priced.

Another estate that you really aught to put on your bucket list


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