This was my favourite farm I visited in Dec. LOVE their red wines – especially the Hiervandaan and the Gemoedsrus! LOVE their Cape Jazz Shiraz! LOVED Steven our Host! He was a cracker! Had us in stitches, even the kids loved him! Sat under the biggest, most beautiful tree outside in which the kiddies climbed and played – was such an awesome experience and such an amazing day! Will definitely recommend this farm! And their wines! WOW!
Not impressed with this visit When we arrived we were rushed by staff thrusting their hands out wanting to shake my hand, while bellowing ‘welcome, welcome’. I am not a rah rah kind of person and I also do not want to be whisked off into the tasting room before I am ready for it. Preferred to view the museum displays, and then we left.
A friend of mine got married at Solms-Delta last year. She’s an Art Director and her husband’s an architect, both with a real passion for good food and wine. I wasn’t at the wedding, but I’ve been wanting to go, eager to see why they chose Solms-Delta as their spot. I went there with my boyfriend and some family on Sunday and we were all very impressed by the food, the wine, the venue and the overall ambiance. The attention to detail in everything -from the food to the frames- is very impressive and well worth the money we spent. There are so many wine farms and restaurants to pick from, and we all very happy we chose Solms-Delta. I can’t wait to go back!
Great welcome – Excellent tasting – Great display of the history of the farm – Great wines
terrible! i walked away with a heavy guilt-trip wine enhanced heavy feeling. this place is marinating in yesteryear – so much for lighthearted joy!
so we made a stop here as part of our “Day In Franschoek” trip and stopping here was great, welcomed by informed staff, taken to a nice airy tasting room surrounded by extensive history of the area!!
onto the wines…. well the first two we tried the “Vastrap” and “lekkervijn” both took me back to the childhood years of being a little kid when i used to love eating though’s ice cream sticks…what do you call them now, they frozen icicles in the plastic thingy and they had some nice sweet flavors!! the others were great wit hall having very interesting noses and palates. rather different wines should i say! then the “Cape Jazz” sparkling, low in alcohol and very refreshing so yes a jazzy wine to have!!!
The restaurant is really cool!! imagine sitting on thick glass and under you see the grounds, excavations etc! so this farm i give a thumbs up!! very enjoyable!
If you can visit only one winery in the area, make it this one! The involvement of the farm workers, social responsibility, the Museum van de Caab, the stunning setting, the picnics, tours and restaurant – it’s a recipe that works just beautifully. It’s a place where history and tradition are held up high and it creates a feeling of authenticity that gives you a big fat smile on your face and a good feeling in your heart – what more could you ask from a wine farm?
Hmm… maybe nice wines? Ok, let’s have a look. The terroir is excellent for Rhone style cultivars, and the winemakers have a lot of creativity to use this fact to make their wines a bit more ‘unusual’. They’re also the only SA winery to use the ancient method of desiccation, which leads to a concentration of flavours and colours. Does it work? Oh boy, you bet!
My favourite whites: Amalie, a beautifully balanced blend of Grenache blanc and Viognier. And the Koloni – who gets the idea of blending 2 kinds of Muscat and Riesling, put it in oak to make – NOT a sweet wine? It’s a wine in its own class, nothing like I’ve ever tasted. A revelation of possibilities…
And the reds? The Hiervandaan – Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvedre, Carignan and Viognier blend. Fruit, wood, tannins – all are there in complex layers that let you discover something new every time you taste. Perfect to sit at the fireplace on a cold winter evening, philosophizing about life. I’m not a big fan of their flagship Africana Shiraz, but then I’m not a big Shiraz fan in general. The sparkling Cape Jazz Shiraz, on the other hand, is a super nice summer party wine, somehow similar to a Lambrusco, and will appeal to almost everybody. Their recently launched Gemoedsrus, a port-style wine made from Shiraz, fermented with ‘grappa’ is definitely worth a try as well.
It’s my favourite wine farm, with an atmosphere that is emotionally appealing and wines that are intellectually engaging – for me the perfect mix. A must-visit, if you haven’t been there.
Sunday the 15th dawned in Protea Valley Western Cape a little bit suspect in the weather department . So,after a hearty early breakfast I made the call and off we set in the Ranger 3yr old son et al.. Risky , or so we thought, chancing early lunch at a beautiful Franschhoek Wine farm “If the weather didn’t get you the child would!”
I was extremely ‘WRONG’ ! So from the start ,entering the estate is only surpassed by the mind blowing drive through some of the finest scenery God provided. A smile and a pleasant jovial manner at the entrance always makes a good start.Directions to the Restaurant taken on board..Not even a hint of Irish humour reciprocated in fear of a ‘Red Card’
Pleasantly situated You can see the historical digs aka ‘Time Team’ I’ll not dwell on the history it’s well covered on the web-site! But I will be back very soon to explore the Museum without the obvious needs of a 3 year old! On arrival ,stepping out and walking up is well presented,A little ad hoc table catches your eye like a Painting with a few samples of the fine wine. Excellent ,informal and well though out. Simplicity works best !
I like the ‘Stoop’ or verandah if you like, The day was a little cool to start ,so the Pleasant Waiter closed a roll down section. I really think this works. You have a beautiful table looking out at the Groot Drakenstein while your child runs on the garden as free as a bird! Heaven and I could enjoy our complementary Jazz Shiraz with Super warmed fresh bread (A winner again ,I agree with Jeanri- Tine Van Zyl on this)
If I can just say that I will return and explore ALL the wines and food at length,Needs must ,a child with a short attention span..so I ordered a Bottle of Langarm and we cut to the main course. (totally no reflection on the food!)
I had the Braised springbok shank with turnip and sweet potato emulsion, sweet potato crisps and buttered farm vegetables, served with its own braising sauce. Completely divine. Tender and Succulent complimenting the Pinotage blend perfectly. ‘Irishman in heaven’
My partner in crime had the Snoek Fish cakes served with a Chutney and Rice (not a big eater, it’s the Papparazzi I blame) Very tasty and to ‘Die For’ was the comment.. I finished my wine while Callum played in the Garden . Concluding, I’ll be back to check out in more depth .I love the Gemoedsrus and Tanith loves the Jazz Shiraz !
Added bonus points (Have to score high for this 8+) The restaurant was pretty much fully booked with Classic Jaguar Car guys and a busy restaurant always means happy ,satisfied customers. I took some really lovely photos of the classic cars.. You could very well be a
‘Jaguar amongst the Drakensteins’
To be continued is the best compliment I can give. PS the Media and Web coverage is World Class.
My compliments to the pleasant staff
Such a special wine farm. They have a wonderful musuem full of Cape History and a wine tasting venue attached. The Fyndraai Restuarnt makes authentic Cape Cuisine and we had a superb meal there on a Food and Wine Pairing occasion.
The picnics are the highlight. The basket for 2 people is such value for money with more than enough food, water and a bottle of Lekkerwijn for R135 for 2 people. The riverside and forest setting is spectacular!!!!!
They have various fascinating tours that one can do ( archaeology, walking tour, social histort, food and wine pairing) well worth a look at.
The community spirit is one of the distinctive parts components of this farm – the staff and owner work together to make it prospur and the farm has such an authentic feel which many so lack.
I’ve only had the pleasure of a complimentary bottle of Solms_Delta Gemoedsrus so I reserve my opinion of the Estate until I visit soon. Based on this latest release they have been doing their homework well as it’s quite a revelation.
Totally unlike the normal Ports I’ve always had with Cheese as my “Dessert” course,I was pleasantly surprised by this Fortified Shiraz .”Desiccated on the vine” seems to impart an ability to hit your taste buds with a burst of concentrated fruits,herbs and spicy overtones which really do work well with a Fine cheese such as a Roydon Camembert or a French style brie.. I also found it worked really well with my Pan fried Duck and Peking sauce , the zesty nature cuts through any of the stronger flavours and is still complimentary to the dish without being over powering .
Certainly ,a refreshing and provoking wine and makes for a fabulous alternative to Port..
A very unique tasting experience. I love the fact that they empower the farm workers, and also their wines which prove to be a little more adventurous in nature.
Interesting to say the least – from the moment you get greeted virtually in the parking lot until you leave, information about the farm and the area’s history is imparted. The wines are good and not pretentious. The restaurant, museum and picnic area are a must visit.
Wines very different and what a nice room full of history.
For an all out experience – ie lots of information, knowledgeable staff, beautiful venue, decent wine, you cannot go wrong at Solms. Sure, the wine won’t age much, but you get what you pay for. I really enjoyed my visit.
A little over rated
I recommend the Amelie – a interesting flavour sensation.
Atmosphere outside under the trees is warm and relaxing.
Kudos to the staff and the owners – this is a great example of everyone pulling together for themselves and the good of the greater community. The museum is worth a couple of visits and the tasting room staff are super clued-up. Pop around the corner to the restaurant and look through the glass floor at the historical foundations/settlement. Finish the visit with a bottle of Amalie under the trees.
We stopped at Solms on Sunday last for a tasting. It is a real experience. Despite the rain, it’s plain to see it’s a beautiful farm. The tasting was done in the museum on the farm and it is a nice touch to mix the winemaking with the heritage of the area.
The wines themselves are quite unusual in that most are blends. We tasted six, including the “Kari” which is a mead.
The wines here are quite interesting. Almost all of them consisting of 3 to 6 blends. We were helped by Derek, a really nice character, a security guard turned tasting room staff. His knowledge on the wines and area is really good. The Afrikana 07 (shiraz) was the best for me. However the Cape Jazz, a carbonated red that tasted like the red sparletta, but isn’t for kids, was really disapointing.
I absolutely love Solms-Delta, the wine is amazing, I always have the cheese platter and the staff truly makes it a nice experience. I’m a big big fan of the Cape Jazz Shiraz. Our host Steven de Koker was fantastic, has a great sense of humour and always a funny story to share.
Whenever with friends and family I go there I always request him to do the tasting. I’ll definately will keep coming back. I still need to visit the restaurant.
unusual wines with unusual names
The entire Solms experience is something to behold.
It’s set in beautiful surroundings and the wines are distinctly different to all the other wines in the area.
After a winetasting we could not help ourselves but to buy a case of the “hiervandaan” red, “amelie” and “koloni” white, and of course we also just had to get the ‘Cape Jazz Shiraz’ too..yes, very nearly the entire list. Our host explained the history behind the names – all reference to either a person or a situation in the farm’s rich history.
The people on the estate are informative and friendly, the museum is something to behold and full of interactive panels. Who thought there would be such an active record of the history. Although I have not yet eaten at the restaurant, the floor does make for an interesting talking point!
The signposting was really bad at the first visit, as it was non-existent and we had to guess which house hosted which element, however on the second we were quite relieved to find signs pointing out the directions.
If you’re in the area, be sure to keep at least a few hours aside to visit this farm!
How cool is this? A restaurant with a see-through floor that exposes the underground of Solms Delta.
The Museum van de Caab forms part of the estate and tells the story of the Delta farm. The staff were very friendly and we even got some freshly baked bread to nibble on.
Our host Steven de Koker escorted us to a shady spot under the big trees overlooking the lushes vineyards.We started our tasting that consisted out of 7 different wines. We had a great time in the company of Steven. He made our tasting extremely interesting and enjoyable. He explained each wine individually. Every heard of “Langarm”, “Hiervandaan” and “Vastrap”. Well, that just some of the names of the wines that we tasted. Even the restaurant is named after the Afrikaans word “Fyndraai”….and no, it’s not a type of dance. According to the staff “Fyndraai” is something that 2 lovers experience in the privacy of their bedroom…LOL!
Well worth a visit!
My review of Solms-Delta is somewhat mixed. I really enjoyed my first visit as the staff were gregarious and helpful. My second stop was rather disappointing. I waited 10 minutes and during that period none of the staff assisted me despite my request for assistance.
That said I believe Mark Solms’ philosophy to sythesize wine, heritage, history and culture is truly visionary. Solms really does have a little something for everybody – provided someone serves you.
The Cape Jazz shiraz came as quite a shock to my South African palate, but its zest and fruit certainly grew on me.