Our South African adventure has begun with a cracking evening at the famous 96, Winery Road restaurant just outside of Stellenbosch. This is the first leg of our two weeks in the winelands and there was no better place to start than the legendary Ken Forresters eaterie. Our dinner was hosted by winemaker Richard Hilton who I first met back in 2008 and can only be described as a boutique winemaker. Focussing only on Viognier and Syrah he makes just two cuvees of each variety sourcing fruit from selected growers to produce some seriously high quality wines. He uses a private wine making facility in Stellenbosch University and thus avoids the costly outlays in land and equipment. Richard’s wines are made in very small quantities and sold on allocation to top South African restaurants and private clients.
With his two Viogniers we kicked off with some perfectly crisp pork belly before moving on to beautifully slow cooked ribs to accompany his Syrahs. Having scared off the other diners we rounded off the evening with Richard’s viognier based grappa which was surprisingly good!
A great start to the tour.