One would think that there is not much you can do in the country side when it is winter. I mean it is cold, wet and just plain miserable. All you want to do is stay indoors, in front of a warm cozy fire, enjoying a lovely bowl of homemade soup and sipping some fine wine. Well friends, you can have all this and more in just one event. Welcome to Soetes & Sop! Wine cellars welcomes you at the door with a hearty cuppa soup, a crackling fire and of course a great deal of wine for you to enjoy.
So What is Soetes & Sop?
Soetes & Sop is a two day annual winter event (Friday and Saturday) taking place in the Breedekloof Wine Valley. The wineries on this route showcase their finest red, white and dessert wines, (which you can taste) welcoming you to their cellar with a steaming hot cup of family secret soup.
For R160 you received 2 x coupon booklets. (Wine tasting booklet: that holds 5 wine tasting coupons per venue per day. A Soup booklet: holds 1 soup coupon per venue per day. Just in case you were wondering – 19 venues x 1 cuppa soup and 5 tastings of wine per venue… ENOUGH SAID!! It is way more you can bargain for. If you out to enjoy the weekend this is ample to satisfy the soul.
There is one thing I have noticed about events being held in the Worcester region. It is family focused. Which is remarkable, it gives the event a friendly relaxed atmosphere. It is laid back, people getting together, just having a good time. I don’t have any kids, but noticed, most venues had a safe play area for the kiddies. What would any event be without live performing artists, keeping the parents entertained? Moms can just let their hair down a little, sipping on some wine, while the kids play and make new friends.
As always, there is always something for everyone, young, old the wine lover or the fitness fanatics.. I missed a memo about a hiking trail at Jason’s Hill or the Trail Run through the vines at Mountain Ridge wines. I only got more wine…
Soetes & Sop: A Culinary Experience For All The Senses
If you are a foodie, this is THE EVENT for you! You need to add Soetes & Sop to your bucket list. Like seriously, 19 venues, all providing you with their best wines, signature soups, and let us not even start to mention all the additional food they have on offering.
Soup was not all you could feast on at Soetes & Sop. Just for a moment think homemade roosterkoek, pasta, pesto, cheese platters, pastries, pancakes, sosaties, offal, pizza, coffee, gin, beer, Shiraz ice-cream, Hanepoort jelly shots, gluhwein apple crumble and so much more.
Short list of what each venue was offering at this years Soetes & Sop. Does this not make your mouth water?
~ Mushroom and Port Soup
~ Butternut or Hearty Vegetable Soup
~ Food and Wine Pairing
~ Chocolate Soup and Cape Vintage Pairing
~ Creamy Potato and Bacon Soup
~ 3 Soups paired with 3 Wines
- Botha Cellar:
~ Chicken Curry Soup
- uniWines (Daschbosch and Goudini Wines)
~ Beef and Red Onion Marmalade
~ Food Stalls by Kobus se Gat
~ Vegetable Soup
~ Hanepoort Jelly Shots
- De Eike Restaurant
~ Mushroom and Biltong Soup
- Du Kloof Lodge:
~ Potato and Sweet Corn Soup
- Du Toits Kloof
~ Beetroot, Apple and Fennel Soup
- Jason’s Hill
~ Curried Butternut Soup
* 6.6 Km Mountain Hike Trail
- Kirabo Private Cellar
~ Old Fashioned Beef and Vegetable Soup
~ Red Wine Fish Bowl
~ Broers Brew Craft Beer
~ Lemoncello Shots
~ Shiraz Ice-Cream
~ Wine and Cupcake Pairing
~ Waterblommetjie Soup
~ Mexican Meatball Soup
- Mountain Ridge
~Italian Chicken Soup
~Asian Chicken Noodle Soup
~ Biltong and Blue Cheese or
Sweet Potato and Coconut Curry Soup
- Slanghoek Mountain Resort
~ Mussel Soup
- Stofberg Family Vineyards
~ Karoo Lamb, Samp and Bean Soup or
Hearty Veg Soup
- Stofberg Wine Estate
~ Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Fennel Yogurt
~ Gluhwein Apple Crumble
“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” -Julia Child
The above list, just says it all, would you not agree? Biltong and Blue Cheese, Beetroot, apple and fennel, curried butternut, mushroom and port soup…. I mean, where do you begin? Well, the best is to start at the very beginning. So some wise words ran in my mind.
Sadly, I didn’t get to go the full two days, but Friday was absolute bliss. I ate.. I tasted… and my tummy was sore. It hadn’t felt like that since when Hubby and myself ate at Dassiesfontein. EINA!!! Thankfully we had a wonderful group leader who knew exactly were to go and where to begin.
My Boozy Kitchen’s Experience at Soetes & Sop
- Botha Cellar
…did we only do 5? Felt like we visited more? Oh well? This is what I experienced at each venue:
Our First Soetes & Sop Stop – Bergsig Estate:
Bergsig Cellar is on the R43 going towards Ceres. On arrival, I was first in complete awe of just how beautiful the farm is. Those mountains, makes you really appreciate nature. We were greeted by a lovely lady standing at the door and presented us with two options, a hearty vegetable soup or butternut. I opted for butternut. To be honest, I was slightly disappointed in the soup. It tasted like something was missing. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, perhaps a touch more salt, a pinch of chili or a hint of cumin or maybe a just a touch of Cape Malay curry powder?
None the less, everything else was perfect. We went upstairs to taste some wine. To my huge surprise, Bergsig makes the following wines:
…and of course other wine cultivars.
We were then absolutely treated to a stunning food and wine pairing that made me salivate… Compliments to the team for putting this together. It was a treat and a half…. The course consisted of the following:
Spinach and Feta quiche paired with a Bergsig Sauvignon Blanc 2018. The typical green notes of a Sauvignon Blanc dances lightly on the tongue, complimenting the rich creaminess of the quiche.
Bobotie which is aromatic, spicy, and slightly sweet paired with an invigorating Bergsig Gewurztraminer 2017, the perfect combination. The strong characters and aromas of this wine provides a perfect balance to the dish.
A Venison Pie:
What would venison be without a Pinotage wine? Bergsig 2016 Pinotage, has a nose that presents dark ripe berries, plums and prunes, all the classic combinations that will transform any venison dish into something magical.
This was my favourite wine of the day; the Bergsig Icarus Red 2012! It is a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Touriga Naçional blend! Just think of a wine with a beautiful lavish plum and black cherry notes, a hint of vanilla and a touch of smokiness. This wine is vibrant, no question… elegant, with a long lingering impression.
What would a meal be without dessert:
A “soup” that is chocolate, a hint of cinnamon and chili, served with a 2004 Cape Vintage. The soup on its own was delicious, the Cape Vintage on its own was superb. Combining the two, was a rare taste experience. It somehow brought something unique out in the Cape Vintage. It is almost like the soup made the wine stand out in its full glory, taking the “port” to another level.
Sad to say we had to move one, but Bergsig, you haven’t seen the last of me… I will be back (in an Arnie/Terminator Tone) … I need to stock up!
Next stop – Bosjes:
I had never heard of the place before. WOW! It seems is all I can say. The view, the garden, the smell of fresh air, the sounds of birds chirping, so tranquil – this is the pinnacle of peace and quiet. If you ever in the Worcester/Rawsonville area, ensure you make a stop at Bosjes.
It is an experience!
We were welcomed by the most friendliest staff ever. They were genuinely happy to see us. They took our soup mugs and replaced them with a clean one. Had a lovely creamy potato and bacon soup. This is definitely on my list of favourites. We then had Gluhwein. It was the best Gluhwein ever!! I hate Gluhwein, most of the people in our group also don’t enjoy Gluhwein. One, I feel it is sacrilege to wine and two, there is something that is always too over powering. I can’t figure what it is…If it is the orange or the cloves or the combination of both.
I don’t know what Bosjies did, but I was left with long lingering finish in my mouth of Beacon’s cherry fizz lollypops. I have contacted Bosjies to discover what is their secret.. So hopefully I will have an answer shortly. 🙂
We then had a lovely treat of a Soup Wine pairing. Just to clarify, Bosjes is not a wine farm, but rather a restaurant/tea garden, venue for weddings and conferences as well as a get away for the weekend. Bosjes was very proud in getting Allan Mullins to carefully select and blend their wines.
FOODIE MUST KNOW: Master Chef Judge Pete Goffe-Wood along with Chef Kim, created the menu for this Bistro Styled Restaurant.
They now have 3 vintages of wine, which they wanted to release with the Soetes end Sop.
Wine & Soup 1 – Sauvignon Blanc 2018.
This Sauvignon Blanc is not your average Sauvignon Blanc. It has aromas of passion fruit, gooseberry and hints of citrus. Chef Kim made a beautiful summer broth of roast chicken and garden vegetable that totally complimented this wine.
Wine & Soup 2 – Cabernet Sauvignon 2017.
This Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine that is elegant and charming. It has undertones of blackcurrants and black olives, a hint of chocolate and wood spice. The perfect wine to pair with any steak. Strangely one would think this wine would not pair with a meatless soup. Chef Kim paired this wine with a creamy cauliflower and blue cheese soup. It was amazing!
Wine & Soup 3 – Pinotage 2017.
An easy drinking Pinotage with the classic notes of raspberry, ripe plum, and black cherry on the nose. This wine goes so well with a rich meat dishes like oxtail or lamb. Chef Kim with her incredible cooking skills managed to match this wine perfectly with a spicy Moroccan lamb, lentil, chickpea and fresh coriander soup. Yes! She did the wine justice!
After this we had to go and walk off our meal a little and took a lovely stroll in the gardens.
Time to Move on to Botha’s Cellar:
Botha cellar was just across the road from Bosjes. We tasted some more wine. I enjoyed their Barrel fermented Chenin Blanc. I was feeling quite sated at the time, so I gave the chicken curry soup a skip. We relaxed a little under the tent listening to some music and enjoying a cuppa joe… then we were off again.
Brief stop at Opstal:
Opstal is set in the iconic Slanghoek area, and it is just breathtaking. They do make fantastic wines, which I have in my collection. (The Barber which is a barrel fermented 100% Semillon / The Opstal Chardonnay noble late harvest!!)
I couldn’t think of having anymore soup, so I gave that a skip, and as I have been to Opstal in the pass I skipped on tasting wine. I did mosey around the indoor craft market. We sat outside for a short while, soaking up the late afternoon sun and enjoying the stunning view. It was time to move on AGAIN.
Last stop for the day – Slanghoek
The only reason why I ended with another cup of soup is because I heard Slanghoek is famous for their Biltong and Blue Cheese soup. I was so glad I didn’t give that one a skip. I guess I am a blue cheese fan and having it in soup is just great! I have been to Slanghoek a few times, hence me skipping the wine tasting. I felt sufficient for the day. My tummy was happy and my senses had been spoiled rotten.
Even though I skipped tasting wine I do recommend the following wines if you ever do make a turn to Slanghoek Cellar:
- Barrel Fermented Chenin
- Private Selection Camerca (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc Blend)
- Private Selection Special Late Harvest
- Slanghoek Creme Chenin
- Slanghoek Noble Late Harvest
…and that is where my adventure ended, sadly. My first experience at Soetes & Sop! What a memorable one it was. I got to know a few farms and what stunning wines they offer. Now that I know, I will be back on my own time to go and explore some more. The Breedevalley is absolutely stunning and if you are looking to do something that has scenery and away from city life, this is the place to go.
Let us not get started on how fantastic the wines are. If you love a Chenin Blanc, be sure you come and taste some in this region. Yes, there is more to life than Stellenbosch. It is only an hours drive from Cape Town and this part of the world has so much to offer.
And that is it friend, “fluit fluit en my storie is uit…I hope to see you at Soetes & Sop 2019!