Iona Red Blend
Ashbourne Pinotage 2018
Ashbourne Pinotage 2018

‘Tis the season to be bubbly

Riebeek Valley Wine CO is situated in the heart of the Swartland, and they invite you to drive out to this beautiful valley to taste their wines and, yes, stock up for Christmas! Established in 1941 – we raise a glass to this wine company that managed to stay relevant in innovative over all these decades. Their ranges include Kasteelberg, Raar, Klein Kasteelberg, and as we enter the festive season, we stop to indulge in their sparkling wines named after the founder of the valley: Pieter Cruythoff.

Passionate about its wine ranges, Riebeek Valley Wine Co is also a leading Boutique Wine Services Company.

Their sparkling wines are made in the Charmat style, where the wine undergoes a second fermentation in a stainless-steel pressure tank to create bubbles.

The Pieter Cruythoff sparkling wines are seriously recommended with brunch, lunch, dinner and all the moments in between when a friend pops in for a visit.

“Spoil yourself over the festive season and choose equally festive, fruit-forward, and fresh wines!– Samarie Smith – DipWSET


1. Dill is a magic ingredient when pairing fish and sparkling wines. It adds an aromatic lift and a savoury hem that marries beautifully with sweet, sour, and salty notes.

2. Remember to keep your dishes simple (the exact reason why oysters and fizz remain a classic) when pairing a sparkling wine so that creamy and fatty foods don’t water it down.

3. Avoid strong cheeses with fruit-driven sparkling wines and serve creamy or soft cheeses that will pair beautifully with the crisp character of the wine.

4. A sweetness in the wine (albeit still classified as dry/brut) marries well with warm spice, and the sweetness can temper chilli’s heat.

5. The best part is that these two wines can take you straight through from serving snacks to appetizers, mains, and desserts, and they will not suffer under the variety of foods you intend to do – especially on Christmas Day!

Our Experience

If you are planning a date night soon, try this:


One of the zillion privileges of living, drinking, and eating in South Africa is the plethora of choices we offer to feed our gourmet spirits. The quality of local wines is also indisputable. Whether you prefer easier-drinking wines, more structured and complex wines, or serious styles that will benefit with age, each category punches above its price weight.

The sparkling category alone offers a huge variety to satisfy the thirst of South Africa’s markedly different consumer preferences. First, at the top and more timeous end, sits Cap Classique made in the traditional method with a second fermentation in a bottle like French Champagne to carbonate a still wine.

The Cruythoff sparkling wines cannot be called Cap Classique as they are made using the Charmat or Tank Method. During this process, the base wine, sugar, and yeast are added into a large stainless-steel tank, and as the wine starts to ferment again, Co2 is released, creating the bubbles that cause the tank to pressurize. While Cap Classique ferments in a bottle, requiring lees ageing for at least a year to develop those biscuity aromas, the Charmat method allows the wine to be bottled without any ageing and released into the market straight away. Sparkling wines made using the Charmat method are therefore meant to be enjoyed for their lively, fresh, and primary character.

That brings us to the Pieter Cruythoff NV Brut Rosé. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is crushed together to create a beautiful rose gold hue, and the bubbles are fine enough to add vibrant limy notes to the wine. Before the CO2-induced method, the base wine was blended with Shiraz and left on the lees to create subtle nuances of spice and a broader palate to the wine. Crunchy fruit aromas leap from the glass with a burst of melon, cantaloupe, ripe citrus, and pink lady apples, a bouquet reminiscent of the festive season ahead. The wine has a flirty sweet edge with a tangy mouthfeel adding balance. One can imagine this wine being served with chicken parfait, a slice of the traditional fruitcake, or a fruit-layered pavlova.

We paired the wine with fresh yellowfin tuna and a citrus salad to enhance the salinity of the wine. Avocado is a perfect ingredient to add a creamy edge, the bitterness of the rocket balances the sweet fruit in the wine, and the radish adds to that summer crunch your palate craves on a balmy day. The rich and silky texture of seared tuna is enough to create a pedestal for a light-footed, fruit-driven Brut Rose, with the addition of dill adding a fresh edge. Angel fish is denser and chewier and pan-fried in duck fat calls for a glass of the Pieter Cruythoff Brut.

If your date night went well, you could add a twist to a bubbly breakfast! Shakshuka is a delicious one-pan breakfast for two that is easy to prepare and turned into an elegant occasion with a glass of bubbly. It is also a dish that can be enjoyed as a light lunch or dinner.

Keep in mind that you have a wholesome pan of food here with caramelized leeks, creamy spinach, peas adding sweetness, feta adding a creamy and salty flavour, and the silky egg yolk topping it off. All these elements are relatively mild in taste, and their impact lies in the texture of which the bubbles in your glass is a vital ingredient for success. The Brut is a little more textural than its rose counterpart, with an explosion of pear, quince, and caramelized lime. Cumin and paprika add this moreish flavour to a shakshuka, and the warm aromatics add to the wine experience. An absolute delight of aromas, textures, and flavour.

See it for yourself

Gallery of our experience.
All images copyright Samarie Smith and/or the featured estate.

To have your wine featured and reviewed, please contact us.


Samarie +27 82 072 5451

Georgio +27 83 326 3016