Overlooking the Franschhoek valley, nestled on the rocky slopes is the picturesque Topiary Estate. The name “stemmed” from the previous owner’s specialized love of Topiary (meaning the art or practice of clipping shrubs or trees into ornamental shape.) Three life sized perfectly pruned trees stand tall as you enter the parking area as if to guard the humble establishment.
Making your way up the path to the tasting room, it is hard to ignore the tranquility of the birds chirping in the large pine tree and the sound of the river running into the pond. Surrounded by peace and complete serenity.
A very friendly sales manager Lawrence White welcomed me to the estate. Entering the tasting room the walls are adorned with awards and industry acknowledgments and after hearing about the estates history it was no surprise, they are wine making veterans.
The estate was bought over by two French men who are lucky enough to cultivate in France as well as our beautiful Franschhoek. Topiary is 20 hectares, most of which is occupied by the red grape variety making this farm a big Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz producer however it does produce a small amount of Chardonnay. The Chardonnay variety that is produced at Topiary is also one of the main components in their highly rated Blanc de Blanc MCC. With the wine makers priding themselves on a select few labels, it leaves room for very interesting and uniquely mastered flavours.
If you are interested in a wine tasting, Topiary is definitely a must. I visited the estate on a gorgeously crisp autumn afternoon and I couldn’t ignore the opportunity to enjoy a wine tasting outside with this view…
For a wine tasting with a difference, you are not over whelmed by a huge selection that begins to taste the same after a while. Rather each wine brings something different to the table, making this wine experience fully rounded. Here are a few of my tasting notes:
Wine Tasting Notes:
Blanc de Blanc MCC 2012
An absolutely crisp citrus fine bubbly MCC. Very bright and easily paired with most canapes.
This wine spent 1 year in 450L French Oak barrels and it really does add to the complexity of the wine. Incredibly fresh citrus notes makes for the perfect well balanced chilled glass of this well loved classic variety.
Probably one of the most incredibly complex Shiraz wines I have ever tasted. The distinct white pepper flavour is remarkably smooth and exceptionally smooth on the palate.
Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Often drunk before its time, Cabernet Sauvignon is best left to mature. This label from 2011 is best enjoyed now and you can taste it in the roundness of this wine. Prominent berry and wooden notes like cedar and tobacco makes this the perfect wine for even the non red lover.
Tasting: R20 for 3 wines (Shiraz 2011 & 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon 2011)
The best thing to do after the wine tasting is definitely a cellar tour to see what goes on behind the scenes. Cellar Tours are by appointment and it would be best to contact Topiary directly.
Tasting some of the wines while at the initial stages is a wonderful way to show wine snobs or wine apprentices alike the full process of what goes into making each wine. It is a wonderfully interesting experience to taste the wine at each stage and understand adding acidity, sweetness or the process of bottling.
With a vast knowledge of wine making, this is the perfect tour for you if you are wanting to brush up on the process or learn why things are done.
With incredibly raving reviews posted all over Trip Advisor, it is easy to see why this well beloved winery is a home away from home for so many. Enjoy the winery by staying in one of the self catering guest houses. You are transported to complete serenity and feel as if you are one with nature. No food is served at Topiary but you are very welcome to enjoy the views with your own picnic basket brought from home while sipping on Topiary wines that you may purchase at the Tasting room.
Business Hours: Opening times are Tuesday to Saturday 09:00 to 17:00, by Appointment Sunday Monday and Public Holidays
To inquire about wine tastings or book a cellar tour contact Lawrence White at firstname.lastname@example.org