Tastes of Nuy worth turning off for
In our haste to get to a destination, we so often look at signboards pointing down side roads to interesting-sounding places and think that some other day, when we have more time, we’ll take that turn-off.
If, for instance, on your way home from Cape Town, you find yourself on the R60 heading from Worcester to Robertson, you could take the time to take the turn-off to the curiously named Nuy.
The hidden gem of the prettily pastoral Nuy Valley unfolds around you with lush farmlands and the majestic Langeberg Mountains.
You’ll likely also have noticed the striking signs for Conradie Penhill Artisanal Wines, and about 5km along the road, you will find the partnership of fifth-generation winemaker CP Conradie and newcomers Gareth and Kate Penny.
The two families formed a partnership in 2015 when the Penny’s, who had bought and restored the nearby Penhill Manor and wanted to make something of their small vineyard, joined forces with CP Conradie and his 300ha of vineyards running up the slopes of the Langeberg.Conradie, whose family have been making wine there since 1871, had an award-winning track record with a focus on personal input from the vineyards through to the cellar, making hand-crafted wines.The partnership produces two ranges – the Conradie Family Vineyards focused on a traditional, heritage approach and mostly single varietal wines, and the Penhill range takes on a more contemporary style in blended wines.In the 2018 Conradie Sauvignon Blanc, CP aims to produce a “best of the Western Cape” white wine, using his own grapes along with harvests from cool-climate Elim and Darling, the result an intriguing blend of tropical, mineral and “green”. The wine is fresh and crisp, with some lees contact adding layers and complexity for an enjoyable wine (R75).By contrast, Penhill Two Palms 2016 is a “more austere, European-style white blend”, according to marketing director Paul Grinstead.A dash of semillon adds structure to the sauvignon blanc, with extended lees contact adding a creamy touch to the pear and citrus fruit (R100).Penhill Saw Edge Peak 2015 is a classic Bordeaux-style blend, led by cabernet sauvignon and merlot, and rounded out with petit verdot, cabernet franc and malbec (R200). The tannins are soft and the wine is a lovely combination of power and elegance, drinking well now but ageing well too.Conradie’s reds include the “easy everyday” pinotage/cabernet sauvignon blend that they just can’t make enough of, says Grinstead. It’s no surprise because it offers great value at R75, with easy-drinking complexity.A single vineyard pinotage and a cabernet sauvignon (each R130) round out the Conradie reds – the pinotage plummy, ripe and juicy, and the cabernet with all the classic aromas and flavours of mint, eucalyptus, blackberries, liquorice and gentle cedar and spice.This is definitely one of those roads worth turning off the highway for.The wines are stocked locally mainly in guesthouses and restaurants, but can be bought online (conradiepenhill.co.za) or direct from the farm.