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The Silo Hotel Dining

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23 April2018

by Greg Cooke

Experiencing the very best of South Africa's voguish varietals and epicurean enticements at La Residence.

It’s no secret that Franschhoek is South Africa’s culinary capital. Franschhoek houses a concentration of award-winning restaurants unlike anywhere else in the world. Situated in the Cape Winelands surrounded by towering mountain ranges, Franschhoek’s Huguenot heritage is vividly apparent in the food, wine, and beautiful wine estates scattered across the countryside.

Surrounded by vineyards, olive groves and plum orchards, La Residence delivers the ultimate gourmet experience in the most breath-taking of settings. Guests can sample La Residence’s own varietals as well as numerous award-winning wines from the region.

We recently spent the day with the team during their early morning harvest to find out more about the wines La Residence produces, as well as the many wine tasting experiences offered.

La Residence grows Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz grapes over 12 acres of the 30 acre estate. In January 2010 La Residence bottled it’s maiden vintages. Since then, La Residence has produced three of its own wines, each named after members of the Biden family, namely the Nicole Charlotte Cabernet Sauvignon, the Alexandra Frances Shiraz, and the Rosemary Jane Rosé. The rosé is made using the shiraz grapes.

The wines have been extremely popular and have been served exclusively to guests staying at The Royal Portfolio properties, but Liz and Phil Biden decided that it was time for a new addition to the family. Future production will introduce a red blend, the Nicole Alexandra, as well as a very special Owner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon alongside the existing rosé. Our design team are enjoying experimenting with some beautiful new labels for the new wines which we’ll release later this year.

With the crickets still chirping, the team starts work early to avoid the midday heat, meticulously picking the vineyards and piling grapes into the harvest crates. Soon the sun creeps over the distant mountains, adding a magnificent, golden hue to the tranquil sounds of the early morning orchards. A few hours later and the first batch of grapes is whisked off to the neighbouring Glenwood Vineyards where winemaker DP Burger has been producing La Residence’s wine for the past 8 years.

Spending time in the vineyards, be it a few hours witnessing the harvest, or even a short stroll up and down the vineyards, gives one the opportunity to learn about the intricate vine to wine process, offering a renewed appreciation for the end product. And what better way to conclude a walk through the vineyards than to taste a variety of voguish varietals from the estate and greater Franschhoek region.

Tastings can either be guided by the expert team at La Residence, or guests can compile their own tasting from the comprehensive wine list. For those wishing to take their dining experience a step further, the chef’s table at La Residence offers an interactive dining experience perfectly curated to your gourmet preferences. Ricardo, La Residence’s wine aficionado, can then tailor a bespoke wine tasting to complete this incredible dining experience.

There are several top wine estates and tasting rooms in close proximity to La Residence including Chamonix, La Motte, Grande Provence, Rupert & Rothschild, and Mullineux & Leeu. Many of these have fantastic restaurants worth visiting, something you can read about in our top 10 Cape Winelands dining experiences.

Every glass of wine has a story. A story of its origin, the people who harness its vineyards and their unique production process and, most importantly, the story the drinker creates as they sip. Wine both creates and evokes memories. So why not experience it in a memorable manner? There are a number of enchanting ways to taste wine at La Residence – eight of them in fact, including by horseback, on a Harley Davidson or on the local wine tram.

La Residence has even crafted three unique helicopter wine tours, a spectacular way to taste and compare wines from two different regions while soaring over the dramatic landscapes of South Africa.

The expert concierge team at La Residence has wonderful relationships with various winemakers in the region, and can arrange intimate, bespoke and private experiences to suit every palate. You can find out more about some of these amazing tasting experiences here.

For those searching for the ultimate culinary experience, Franschhoek really is the perfect destination. The natural beauty of the valley, combined with the award winning restaurants, generous hospitality and vast array of wine estates make Franschhoek a must for any visitors to South Africa.

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