For as long as he can remember, René Reiser wanted to make his own wine. While traveling the world for his job, he stumbled on a little wine farm called Jacaranda in Wellington. René and his wife, Birgit Schmiederer-Reis, fell in love with the farm, bought it in 2009 and started making very interesting wines.
With just four hectares of land Jacaranda is one of the smallest wine farms in the Western Cape. Named for the Jacaranda trees that are scattered all over the property, the pretty little farm is the perfect place for René to unleash his creativity. And unleash it he has.
Because the farm is so small, the wine is made is from grapes from all over Wellington, including the farm. That allows René to make both red and white wines. You can taste both varieties at a small intimate wine tastings on the porch of his lovely home, complete with yummy nibbles. We started things off with Jacaranda’s MC Brut. After spending a the whole day exploring Wellington, doing a game drive at Bartholomeus Klip and hiking the Welvanpas’ trails, the bubbly was quite refreshing and delicious.
Then we got down to business. René took us through each of the wines, telling us where the grapes came from, what flavour notes are apparent and how the wines were made. One of the coolest things about the wines is that the bottles that have corks are sealed with wax. This is partly because of the small size of the farm and partly beacuse of novelty. While wines were very delicious, two wines stood out above the rest. Thier Rebel and Incognito wines is without a doubt the most curious wines I have ever had. Everything about these wines are different, they even have unique labels distinguishing them from the rest of the Jacaranda stock.
What makes them so interesting is the disconnect of the nose and the pallet. What you smell is not what you taste. The rebel in particular had a light fruity fragrance (which was divine) , but the taste was rich and dry. At first your brain is taken aback, but after the initial shock, the wine is actually really incredible. René told us that Rebel and Incognito almost did not make it onto the shelves, as they did not fit into the regular wine varieties or styles, they initially were not approved. But René and Bridget fought for their wine and eventually it was approved. I for one are very glad it did. Drinking those wines was truly a unique experience.
After the tasting René and Bridget took us to their tiny cellar where their ‘babies’ are made and matured. You can see their love and passion for winemaking in every part of the visit. If one day is not enough for you to experience the beauty of Jacaranda and Wellington, there are lovely guest cottages you can stay in on the farm and take everything in. It’s worth it.
When Wine tastings Monday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm, by appointement
Where Jacaranda Wine-and Guestfarm, Wellington (directions)
Contact +27 21 864 1235, +27 72 432 6716, [email protected], www.jacarandawines.co.za