At the foot of the majestic Simonsberg Mountain lies a South African gem. Marianne Wine Estate may be French-owned, but the winemaking is a collaboration between South African winemaker Francois Haasbroek and the Bordeux team (they are not based in Bordeux but are referred to as such because of the principal blend of wine they make). Owner Christian Dauriac has been producing wines from three Bordeaux estates for 50 years, with the Marianne venture beginning in 2004, so expect excellence.
Marianne focuses on red wines, all of which are produced from estate grapes. In this vein, all winemaking, ageing, bottling and labelling is done by hand from their state of the art cellar.
All current releases are matured before release, so wines available for tasting date as far back as 2004, which is typically older than most South African wine farms.
The Full Marianne Experience
NAC has added to their specials and now offers a package deal in partnership with Marianne.This deal will include a one-way NAC helicopter transfer from the V&A Waterfront directly to Marianne Wine Estate, and a road transfer directly back to Cape Town when the tour is finished. The estate tour will run for approximately two hours, with arrival times ranging from 10h30 am to 5 pm, as the Tasting Room closes at 7 pm.
The tour is broken down into a vineyard introduction followed by a cellar tour and barrel tasting and then a picnic, where current Marianne releases can be sampled.
Vineyard Introduction: 15 minutes
From Marianne’s panoramic viewing deck, visitors are given a background to the estate’s winemaking philosophy and winemaking techniques.
Cellar Tour & Barrel Tasting: 30 minutes
Visitors are taken on a guided tour of Marianne’s state of the art tank room and ageing cellars to gain in-depth information of how the wines are produced. Try future Marianne releases in barrel and learn why maturation is key to their winemaking style and heritage.
A Tasting of current Marianne releases, served alongside a picnic basket: 1 hour
Marianne takes great pride in providing an informative and personable tasting. You will be introduced to a selection of five estate wines, learning how Pinotage came to be, why it is loved and why it is often criticised. The tasting will also include their flagship blends, Desirade (Bordeaux blend) and Floreal (a new world blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz). The latter was served alongside Gordon Ramsay’s menu at a dinner hosted by Queen Elizabeth in honour of former President Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday.
Trips to Marianne vary in price, depending on the number of people in your party. Get in touch with NAC for further enquiries.