I chatted to Jana from Rainbow’s End at the Cape Wines 2020 show and she was so passionate about their exquisite tasting room with a view over the mountains, I promised I’d make them the destination of my next wine explore. She thought, ja, sure, I’ll never actually see you there but whatever, taste some wine, dude. So on Thursday, Cliff and I went in search of the end of the rainbow, and Jana was surprised to see that I mean what I say when we actually showed up.
The mountains in that part of the world are breathtaking. You drive through the rolling hills of #Hellshoogte and everywhere you looks is beautiful. Every time we turned a corner I found myself saying wow again and again. My photo roll from the day’s trip featured more pics of the incredibly beautiful surroundings than of the food and wine.
Rainbow’s End is in the Banghoek Conservancy, and lies at the end of a dirt road that climbs a little into the foothills and leads you to the the estate and it’s spectacular views (I think I said that already). You walk along a pathway between the vines to get to the tasting room which looks out into the Hottentots-Holland mountains. When you get your breath back, you can digest what’s on offer from the wine tasting menu. It’s worth a trip out there just for the view.
We tasted 5 of their Estate range wines at the recommendation of Anton Malan, the winemaker and part of the family that owns the vineyard.
Starting off with the Cab Franc Rosé – 100% Cab Franc, which is unusual in a #Rosé, but it worked for me, I liked it as a light wine with a lot of character. It’s not your average rich, sweet rosé, it’s a little more dry than my other Rosé favs from Groote Post and Hidden Valley.
The Grenache Noir was a nice respite between the white and the reds but I’m not a huge fan of light reds.
The Cab Sav was ok, but I’m not going into that one in this article. I loved the Shiraz, but my favorites of the reds were the Merlot and the Cab Franc.
A little aside about Merlot’s. Jeez, I can ramble, it’s surprising you’re still reading, but pour yourself a glass of wine for staying with me. I find merlots can have that bitter after taste that sits around the edges of your mouth if it’s not made well. It’s m not a huge fan of #Merlot and it shows in my collection – there’s probably only about three or four in my cellar. So when I find a good merlot, it has to be really good to accompany me home. This one was. To me it stands out as a remarkable Merlot. It is refined and balanced and shows the winemaker’s love for his craft.
The Cab Franc was also exceptional. It’s typical of a wine of that variety, but like the Merlot, complex and refined. Definitely one of the better #cabfranc’s out there.
Rainbow’s End offers two wine tasting options – one covering wines from their Estate range for R100, and the other offering the two premium wines at R30 each. Both fees are waived if you order over R300pp, which is a no brainer. You can order a snack platter of cheeses, charcuterie, olives and dips to go with your wine tasting. Order the sourdough bread and the Sundried tomato pesto, trust me.
Rainbow’s End is a boutique, family owned wine estate in the Banhoek Conservancy, a breathtakingly beautiful part of the winelands. The tasting room is quaint with spectacular views. They offer light snacks to accompany your tasting and Jana is a great host. If Anton is around you’ll get a glimpse of the passion and love he has for his craft. They’re best known for their Cab Franc and their Merlot, and both are exceptional.