On 18th June, I had the pleasure of attending an intimate wine-tasting at Sankara Nairobi. I always love attending wine tastings at Artisan Sankara because it has this amazing ambiance and view that just make my evenings. Read about my other wine review at Sankara Nairobi here.

I also love wine tastings where the wine-maker is present because you can get the information from the horses mouth. We were tasting the Rietvallei wines.  Rietvallei Wine Estate is one of the oldest producing wine farms in the Robertson area and has been in the Burger family since 1864. It was an honour to be graced by Kobus Burger who is a wine-maker. He briefed us about the winery and stated that 130 ha of the land has vineyards. Some of the cultivars from this farm are Chardonnay , Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chenin Blanc, White Blends, Rosé, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Red Blends, Red Muscadel.

Also in attendance was Rose Ali who is the Marketing director of Wines Routes Limited.


1. Rietvallei Sauvignon Blanc 2015

I have not tasted a 2015 wine this year. Kobus mentioned that it was harvested a few months ago and it was great to taste the freshness. This wine had a firm acidity and freshness of green apples. It paired well with salmon bitings that were present. I also assumed that it would pair well with seafood or chicken.

2. JMB 2014 Chardonnay

I love chardonnay and this one did not disappoint. Kobus told us that this wine was special to him because he named it after his father.



3. Shiraz Petit Verdot Viognier 2013

I loved this blend so much. I heard people saying that it was too smoky but over the last few months I have become fond of reds that are smoky and have coffee-like flavours. This wine was very deceptive because it was sweet when it hit the tongue but it progressed to bolder and more potent flavours as you swallowed. This wine begged for a steak dish. I am yet to try that pairing at home. I have realised that I always get that wine that impresses me at the end of a tasting. Surprisingly, the wine always happens to be a Merlot or Pinot Noir. I loved that a blend could still give me so much excitement.

4. Cabernet Franc

This seemed to be the favorite for most people. It had the refreshing smokiness and coffee flavors that the other wine had but I was already sold on the blend. I feel as if, if I try this wine later, it might impress me. Another peculiar thing about this Cabernet Franc is the fact that it changed flavours the more we sat and talked. The more the wine breathed, the more different it tasted.


5. Muscadel 2010

This was one sweet and ‘nectary’ wine. I am not too fond of sweet dessert wines because I do not have a sweet tooth. However, Kobus made an impressive cocktail on a martini glass that rocked everyone’s socks off.

He put crushed ice over a martini glass and added a mixture of lemon, crushed mint, chopped strawberry and Muscadel.

You can get all the wines at Chandarana from 1,000-2,000 ksh. Since the wines are just landing in Kenya, the prices are so affordable.

Special thanks to SHK Consulting for making this happen.