Founded in 1685, Boschendal is one of the oldest wineries in The Cape. Located in The Groot Drakenstein Valley in Franschhoek – an hour’s drive from Cape Town – the grapes are grown on the foothills of the Simonsberg and Groot Drakenstein Mountains. Boschendal’s size and position allow for the successful growth of a number of grape varieties. A significant portion of the estate is planted with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. There are extensive new plantings of the red varietals, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz. The range of altitudes and slopes combined with the pattern of the plantings give Boschendal the ability to control the varying degrees of sugar and acidity that develop in the grapes and enable the wine-makers to blend well-balanced wines. We tried two of the Boschendal wines recently and were impressed with each of them.

Boschendal Chenin Blanc 2010 has a greenish hue in the glass and as you breathe in its bouquet you get grassy notes and fresh sharp green fruits. On the palate, the wine has a good acidity, as you wash it around your mouth you get melon flavours initially then yellow soft fruits come through, most notably apricot and some tropical fruits. This is a wine that has some body to it, you feel it on your tongue. It has a long finish leaving your mouth with a lovely fresh fruitiness. We drank the wine on its own and it has to be said it’s a very good wine for sipping at parties and gatherings. However, it would undoubtedly go well with richer white meat and fish dishes as well as with spicy Asian cuisine.

You can find Boschendal Chenin Blanc 2010 at branches of Majestic Wines – – priced at £7.49

Boschendal 1685 Shiraz 2008 has a great deep red colour. On the nose you get good blackberry and blackcurrant aromas, forest fruits and a hint of liquorice also comes through. On the palate those fresh berry fruit aromas don’t disappoint, developing well as you allow it to caress your taste buds. There is some acidity to the wine and a slight pepperiness. This is a light to medium bodied wine that is soft and has low tannins in its finish. It has good length on the palate, and a hint of vanilla develops in the mouth after you’ve swallowed. Having tried the wine on its own, we had a second glass with some medium rare rib eye and somehow the wine became softer and more voluptuous in the mouth. It would also undoubtedly complement meats in rich sauces, roast lamb and other grilled meats.

The Boschendal 1685 Shiraz 2008 can be found at branches of Sainsbury’s – – priced at £8.16.

These two South African wines were each very good and we thought were well priced. In our view they represent good value for money, perhaps wines to consider for your festive tables.

For more information about Boschendal wines go to