Created in partnership with Babylonstoren
Babylonstoren is one of the most scenic places in the Western Cape of South Africa. With the Simonsberg, Du Toitskloof and Franschhoek mountains as its backdrop, the restored Cape Dutch farm dates back to 1692 and is renowned for its magnificent eight-acre garden with pergolas, gravel pathways and water canals – something that’s helped the site become the only Royal Horticultural Society partner garden in Africa. The vineyard’s first vintage was celebrated in 2011. Today, the farm produces a range of varietals including mourvèdre – the basis of its summer-ready 2022 rosé. Ideal for social occasions from rosé-tinted picnics to BBQs, it truly is summer in a glass.
Babylonstoren is so much more than a vineyard and hotel. The formal garden is at the heart of the experience with more than 300 varieties of edible plants: picture vegetable patches, orchards of fruit and nuts, ducks and chickens and a prickly pear maze to wander through. There’s also a healing garden, an extensive succulent collection and spice house, while rose towers covered with fragrant varieties and an aromatic chamomile lawn bloom in early summer – an ideal backdrop for anyone wanting to enjoy a bottle of summer-fresh rosé. Guests are also invited to enjoy a meal at one of the destination’s farm-to-fork restaurants, visit the spa or stay over in the chic hotel or family cottages, which are decorated with thick, whitewashed walls, elegant gables and fireplaces for an authentic yet elevated farmhouse experience.
The quintessential summer drink, Babylonstoren’s rosé is harvested by hand in the Cape Winelands in February, at the end of the South African summer. The result is a fuller and rounder taste with a lovely, floral character, reminiscent of fresh spring blooms. Following a late harvest after a cool South African summer, the brand’s newest vintage has been whisked to the UK straight after bottling to mark the launch of next week’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
The 2022 Mourvèdre Rosé has subtle notes of rose petals and ripe berries, thanks to Babylonstoren’s location on the slopes of Simonsberg Mountain. Although mourvèdre is typically known as a robust red variety, Babylonstoren treats its mourvèdre blocks as winemakers would a white wine, harvesting it alongside white varieties and handling the berries to obtain a neat and fresh wine. The result captures all the sophisticated qualities of the mourvèdre grape in a light drink.
An ode to Mourvèdre’s origins in France, Babylonstoren’s 2022 vintage is made in the classic Provençal style with pale orange and pink-tinted hues. Its blush colour belies an assertively complex and dry palate, with subtle hints of berries, watermelon and crushed pomegranates.
What To Serve It With
The wine’s notes of watermelon and berries makes it a versatile drink that pairs well with fish such as tuna, trout, salmon, scallops, crab, prawns and sushi. It’s also excellent with charcuterie, parma ham or a crisp summer salad – making it the perfect choice for long summer suppers.
Where To Try It
The 2022 vintage is available to order direct via Babylonstoren’s sister estate, The Newt in Somerset, with free delivery. Elsewhere, guests at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show will be among the first to try this new vintage, as Babylonstoren is the official rosé of the event for a second year running.
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