Baseline Coffee
,

Cafe – The Baseline Story

&Bikes Café and Cycle Boutique works with Baseline Coffee, a progressive coffee roastery settled in Woodstock. We spoke with Deon Kleinhans,  MD and founder of Baseline Coffee, and asked him about the coffee culture in Cape Town and the story of Baseline Coffee Deon and Freddy First of all, can you tell me a brief history about how Baseline Coffee came about? ‘Baseline Coffee was founded in 2008, but under a different name, Kupa Coffee. Kupa is a Swahili word meaning “to give”, and our brand was developed to not only make coffee, but also to give back to the community and support great local initiatives. Unfortunately, we found out there was another international brand with the same name, so rebranded as Baseline Coffee in 2013.’ We love that you try and give back, what are the initiatives that you support? “At the moment we donate to the Common Good Foundation, a Non Profit Organisation serving the greater City of Cape Town. We are also in talks with various other foundations as we continue to look at how we can give back to our immediate & wider community.” Where is Baseline based? ‘In the beginning of this year, we moved our coffee roastery from Paardeneiland to Woodstock, and opened an espresso bar. We roast our signature brands here and experiment with new flavours that we try out on the public, but our main focus still lies on the wholesale of our coffee and supplying local businesses like you guys. Baseline Coffee Front Shot Tell us about your signature brands? ‘We primarily sell our Signature Series Espresso Beans, 100% Arabica Filter and our Single Origin Organic & Decaf Beans. These beans all have distinct flavours, ranging from full-bodied chocolate & nuts, to fruity, to hints of caramel and citrus. We’re also always experimenting with other smaller-batch beans and roasts, and these limited edition roasts are typically sold in-store in smaller quantities. There are so many good coffee brands in Cape Town, in what way does Baseline Coffee stand out from the crowd? ‘We try not to compare ourselves with other brands in Cape Town, as coffee is more about personal taste than anything else. One of the things we love about what we do is the interactive side – getting to know the people we partner with (our wholesale clients) and our customers who spend time with us in our Woodstock Espresso Bar every day. We strive to keep a direct hand in all that goes on in the business, and to keep learning from the more developed markets such as Australia & Europe – they have so much to teach us about coffee.’ What do you think, is the biggest thing that Capetonians need to learn about their coffee culture? ‘Trends will come and go, so be open to trying new ways of brewing & drinking your coffee, but remember that it really comes down to personal preference. Don’t be afraid to play with your food coffee.’ Lastly, how do you like your coffee in the morning? ‘My day starts really early, with our Espresso Bar opening at 7am, so I have my first cup of coffee at work. I need two 3-4 flat whites in my system before I am able to talk in full sentences.’
Inspired by this great coffee story? Try out Baseline Coffee at &Bikes Café and Cycle Boutique and tell us what you think.

Because bad coffee shouldn’t happen to good people

Salt and Wine pairing
,

Salt and Wine Pairing at the “Cellar in the Mountain”

Die Bergkelder or Cellar under the mountain is the home of Fleur De Cap wines. They have a unique tasting that is served on a salt plate – you can lick it, but apparently that would be weird. These plates are mainly used as a hot plate and heated until they are white (normally pink at room temperature) and then food is cooked on them. The food leaches the salt from the plate and seasons itself, how unique 🙂 Moving on to the actual tasting, we are given melba toast with a variety of pate’s/toppings that are chosen to bring out the flavour of the wines that you will taste. Now as we all know, I am no foodie or sommelier I just enjoy both food and wine so here is my go at what the tasting was all about:

Tasting 1 – Unfilterd Savignon Blanc and Sulfuric Volcano Salt

Bikes 'n Wines Blog Post - Salt and Wine Pairing

The 2014 unfiltered Sav Blanc is a very young vintage, the colour is slightly green because of this and it has a slightly high acidity. This vintage is paired with a salty Dolmada that has been soaked in the “fart salt”. This sulphuric volcanic salt from Pakistan has the characterististic sulphuric smell of egg that I don’t think is that bad but apparently I am in the minority with this. The salt is very pungent when tasted but our taster assured us that on popcorn it is delicious. The briney taste of the dolmads works very well to reduce the acidity in the young vintage and when the acidity is reduced the fruitiness of the wine is brought out which for me softened the first taste. My fellow Bikies ‘n Wines colleagues tasted some asparagus notes as well, but I got stuck on the fruity side of things.

Tasting 2 – Unfilteres Charddonnay 2013 and Hawaian black Lava Salt

Bikes 'n Wines Blog Post - Salt and Wine Pairing

The Chardonnay is wooded for 8 months in new French oak barrels, the colour is a lot lighter than the sauvingnon blanc with a much more robust buttery feel to it. Our pairing was with a green olive tapendade made with almond paste (I kept calling it pesto as it seemed like a mix between tampenade and pesto – I’m not a foodie so don’t sue me). The black salt used in this is very interesting to look at and taste as we are so not used to seeing black salt, this extreme colour is caused by the last process of the salt production where it is infused in activated coconut shell charcoal which gives it a more intense flavour. The almonds in the tampenade bring out the wooded quality in the wine and the olives (technically a fruit) highlites certain citrus notes come to the surface at the same time. I couldn’t get enough of this pairing and had to restrain myself so that I could mix and match the wines after the tastings.

Tasting 3 – Unfiltered 2011 merlot and Murray Ruver Pink Salt

Bikes 'n Wines Blog Post - Salt and Wine Pairing

This vintage is barrelled in french oak for 18 months producing a very tannin rich (that bitter dry mouth taste) wine but the tannins are not as aggressive as say the Cabernet which we will taste next (always start with the lighter wines and make your way to the heavier ones or you will destroy your pallat for that tasting). When a wine has a high amount of tannins it generally means that it has a good ageing ability and will “soften” over time.  The chicken liver pate with the sweet caremalized onion made with the Murray River Pink Salt it a very rich pairing that works quite well to soften the acidity in the wine wich then gives the sweeter onions a chance to bring out some of the fruityness in the wine. I always love how all wine is classified as fruity and then realised that it is made of grapes so this really shouldn’t be to surprising. This pairing is had the entire group using their fingers to try and get the utmost out of our little jars of pate – scrumptiouliscious

Tasting 4 – Unfiltered 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon

Bikes 'n Wines Blog Post - Salt and Wine Pairing

The Cabernet sauvignon is a heavier more substantial wine that is matured in French oak barrels for 16 months, you would expect to have this with a large steak, but Bergkelder has chosen to pair it with a Sundried Tomato and Mature gouda combination that is seasoned with the Red Alea Salt. The sweetness of the tomato is not something that I would readily pair with a red wine but with the sharpness of the gouda bringing down the tannins, the fruity tomato seem so  accentuate the plumy flavours that are hiding really well in the wine.

Tasting 5 – Noble late harvest and Khoisan Salt Flakes

Bikes 'n Wines Blog Post - Salt and Wine Pairing

Fluer de Cap’s late harvest is a noble late harvest, this means that the vineyards have been infected with the botrytis mould, this sounds pretty bad but a wine cannot be called a “noble” harvest if this infection hasn’t happened. The mould leaches most of the water out of the wine leaving the sugar and fruit acid and minerals in a higher concentrate than usual. The noble late harvest from fluer de cap has 186g of sugar in it per litre, this is SUPER sweet, but isn’t as syrupy as you would expect (a dry wine generally has under 5 grams of sugar in it). The first thing you are supposed to know when pairing a dessert wine is that the wine should always be as sweet or sweeter than the dessert in question. The pairing of this decadent sweetness is complimented very well with the bergkelder salted fudge infused with West Coast Khoisan salt flakes. The salt acts as a great way to bring down the sweetness so you can taste the peache and honey flavours hidden in the wine. This is the perfect way to end off a great dinner or just a simple tasting and I may have had to ask for another piece of fudge or two because it is just so more-ish. The overall experience is a decadent one that leaves you ready to sink into a puffy armchair and smile wistfully out the window for the rest of the day.

Join us on tour and mention that you want to go on a Bergkelder Salt tasting and we will happily oblige

Post by: Tarryn Povey – General Manager

Pinotage
,

Pinotage, a history.

Wine loving South African’s covet their Pinotage as much as the French cover their Cognac and Champagne. We love it so much in fact, that it has become the 2nd most planted grape varietal in South Africa. Although we have not gone as far as prohibiting the name if the wine is made in another country (I do think this has been requested though).

So where did it all start?

The whole story goes back almost 100 years to 1925 when Abraham Izak Perold crossed the Pinot Noir, the prince of Red grape varietals in France, and the local hermitage grape (also known as Cinsaut). Hermitage has never been characterised as a good grape varietal but it seemed to love the Cape climate and did very well under her harsh conditions. The hypothesis behind this was more than likely to get the taste and characteristics from the Pinot and the hardiness and survival capability of the Hermitage. The man behind the pinotage grape - Abraham Perold Perold cross produced only 4 seeds and instead of growing them on University land, kept them under close watch at his own home on Welgevallen farm. This move almost lead to the annihilation of the young varietal when Perold left Stellenbosch to work in Paarl and left the garden unattended for almost 2 years. When the university came in to clean up the now overgrown gardens, it was only by chance that a young lecturer cycled past the clean-up crew and remembered the seedlings.  They were taken back and kept under the watchful eyes of Professor Theron at a nearby Agricultural College. After some cultivation at the College, an excited Prof Theron showed his work to Perold and after much study of the plants, one varietal was chosen to become the “mother “of Pinotage and the vines were planted. By this time, 16 years had passed from the first seedlings to a vineyard capable of producing wine grapes. So when it came down to deciding who should make this historic batch as both Theron and Perold were not wine-makers, they turned to a colleague Mr CT De Waal, who became the first wine maker to produce a Pinotage wine. The result of the vineyard created very dark grapes that were bold and high in tannins, this tempted farmers to stretch out the wine as much as they could (which was quite a bit due to the darker colour) and the Pinotage name became a little soured as the wine produced were of lower standard. This luckily enough has changed and in the last 30-40 years the art of Pinotage has created some of the best drinking wines around. Know what to smell in your glass of pinotage The first commercial vines were planted 2 years later and although these are not still around, we have tracked down the oldest Pinotage vineyards in the country (it wasn’t that hard, we just went straight to the source). The 65 year old vineyards planted on CT De Waal’s family farm in a spot called “Top of the Hill” are the oldest, and they still produce wine, De Waal Wines creates a single vineyard vintage each year. The Oldest Pinotage Vineyards are found at De Waal Wines These vineyards however, will not last forever and will sadly be removed eventually as the vineyard starts to produce less and less and production costs to produce wine become too high to be viable for sales but until then, lets taste as much of this beauty as possible

Treat yourself to a De Waal Pinotage

&Bikes
,

Bikes ‘n Wines opens &Bikes Café and Cycle Boutique

Cycling and coffee is the best combination

Cycling and coffee is the best combination

Bikes ‘n Wines recently opened the chic &Bikes Café and Cycle Boutique in Cape Town!

This is the new meeting point for tours starting from Cape Town, but also a great place to get amazing coffee, the best cycle gifts, cool t-shirts and custom city bicycles. Besides booking your cycle adventure in the winelands, you can also hire one of our brand new cruisers to explore the ‘Mother City’, join us for ‘bike nights’ or just hang out! Want to know more? Follow us on Facebook,  Twitter or Instagram. See you at &Bikes Café and Cycle Boutique, 32 Loop Street, in Cape Town!

New pairing
,

New pairing during the Franschhoek cycle Experience

Do you have a sweet tooth and are you looking for a daring new wine pairing? Cycle with Bikes ‘n Wines in Franschhoek and try the new Turkish Delight and wine pairing at La Bri Wine Estate.

This unique pairing is inspired by the winter weather and the sweet taste of the Turkisch Delight compliments the wine perfectly. Plums paired with roasted nuts, mulberries with mint and apricot with ginger … combinations to excite your palate. In the mood for something savoury? La Bri also offers a mouth-watering biltong and red wine pairing, where you sample three different red wines and pair these with the traditional South African delicacy. These and many more wine pairings are part of Bikes ‘n Wines luxurious Franschhoek Experience. Cycle through the ‘French corner’ of the Winelands, visit boutique wineries and enjoy exquisite pairings along the way! Click here to read more about this unique cycling tour and book your experience now! Follow our blog and stay up to date with the latest experiences and reviews of the Cape Winelands and more!

Daring pairing of biltong and wine

Spoil yourself with this exquisite red wine and biltong pairing

button (2)

Adventure Ride
,

2 for 1 Winelands Cycling Special

Looking for a BUDGET FRIENDLY outing this month?

Bikes ‘n Wines has the perfect offer for you! Book your Adventure Ride, Platinum Package or Vineyard Meander any time between now and 12 July 2015 and get the second one FREE!* That means 50% discount on these selected tours and a great way to spend an active day in the Winelands! Quote 2FOR1SPECIAL in your booking to make use of this awesome deal!

Winelands cycling tours

Students cycling in the Wineland

*Offer valid until on selected tours until 12 July 2015, standard Terms and Conditions apply.

 

Mountain Biking in Elgin
,

Bikes & Balance Weekend

Beat the winter blues and join Bikes ‘n Wines for an active weekend of yoga and cycling in the beautiful Elgin Valley! Let Bikes ‘n Wines help you forget about winter stress with this two day getaway on the 25th and 26th of July, offering revitalizing yoga sessions, exciting mountain biking and an exclusive tastings of the best the Wineland’s have to offer. Indulge in exquisite vintages and Method Cap Classique tastings from private cellars in the area and enjoy gourmet lunches each day. This luxuriously active weekend is the perfect oppertunity to escape the city and experience the finer things in life with none of the guilt!

From R2750.00 per person

Join us for a great weekend of cycling & yoga

Join us for a great weekend of cycling & yoga

button (5)

Cycling in Winter
,

Winter Wonder Winelands Special

Looking for a romantic outing or just an excuse for a weekend getaway? This Winter Wonder Winelands Special gives you the opportunity to truly experience the magical winter season in the winelands by bicycle. Snuggle up in front of a crackling wood fire with a good glass of red wine after an active day of cycling and indulge in the most decadent and daring pairings South Africa has to offer. Explore the Franschhoek Valley and Stellenbosch Hills on this two day adventure, cycling through the most beautiful winelands of South Africa with this unique package.

winterwinelandscycle

A rewarding glass of wine

Cost per person? R2600.00 per person sharing R3200.00 single person *Special runs from 01 June – 31 August* Above package includes:

  • Bikes and helmet rental
  • Wine and pizza pairing
  • Chocolate and wine pairing
  • Fully guided and chaperoned cycling tour
  • Local delicacies and wine pairing
  • Biltong and wine pairing
  • Exclusive brandy, coffee and chocolate pairing
  • Daily snack pack and bottled water
  • Gourmet lunch on both days
  • 1 night’s accommodation at Val D’or Guesthouse (4*)
  • Full English Breakfast
  • Transfer by vehicle to and from the Winelands from Cape Town and pick up from your accommodation

This price excludes:

  • Gratuities
  • Any additional wine purchases made on the day

    Franschhoek bicycle friendly accommodation

    Val D’or Guesthouse in Franschhoek

button (5)

Family Tour
,

The Fun in Family Bicycle Tours

Are you looking for a fun day full of activity in the Winelands for the whole family? Why don’t you join us for a Family Ride? Here are 10 reasons why a Bikes ‘n Wines Family Ride is a must-do when visiting the Winelands! 1. The whole family can join Grandpa, grandma, mom, dad, uncles, aunties, kids and grandkids. Everyone can cycle with Bikes ‘n Wines. Over the years, we have welcomed guests from 18 months to 85 years old. The little ones can sit in specially designed carriages behind the bikes and the older kids get their own kiddie bikes and helmets – so there is no reason not to take your whole family on tour.
2. The kids are always looked after Our guides are amazing with children and will look after them every step of the way. They play with them on the lawns of the wine farms, show them the great flora and fauna and educate them about mother nature and her inhabitants!

Fun with the whole family

Fun with the whole family

3. The parents enjoy wine tastings Cycling with Bikes ‘n Wines is about the activity, but also about the wine! Whilst the parents indulge in the best wines of South Africa, the kids are safely playing outside or exploring the cellars with one of the guides. 4. The kids hunt for ‘wild’ animals Who says that there are only grapevines on a wine farm? There is so much to explore for children on a Bikes ‘n Wines tour. They will hunt for chameleons, play with the farm dogs and explore all the hidden treasures that can be found on the farm. Off course, our guides will be with them at all times!

Hunting for chameleons during the Family Tour

Hunting for chameleons during the Family Tour

5. It is completely safe Do you think cycling in South Africa is unsafe? Not if you go on tour with Bikes ‘n Wines. We have private access to the farm roads, which means that we do not (or barely) use the public roads. During our tours, we meander through beautiful vineyards without being bothered by motorized vehicles, a unique experience in South Africa.
6. There is no fitness level required When was the last time you cycled? Three months or twenty years ago? It does not matter, as our Family Rides cater for all ages and fitness levels. We adapt the route and length of the tour on the fitness level of the guests, so everyone can have a great time!
7. You use all your senses! Smell the grapes, taste the wine, feel the wind in your hair whilst cycling, touch the fertile soil of the Winelands and see the beautiful mountains surrounding Stellenbosch! When going a Family Tour, you will use all your senses!

Family Picture

Making great Family Pictures

8. It is a great family bonding activity Bikes ‘n Wines will make sure that during a Family Ride, everyone enjoys a day out in the Winelands and gets the chance to spend some quality time together. The kids are taken care of by the guides, the parents are tasting great wines and everyone joins in for a family lunch on a picturesque wine farm! What more is there to love?
9. It is a once in a life time experience Be honest, we live a hectic life where it is difficult to make time for the family! But once in a while, it is a must to go out together and explore something new, such as cycling through the Winelands with your family! Do it once and we promise that you will come back for more!
10. It’s Fun! Why? Because you are never too young or too old to cycle! Not convinced? Read reason 1 to 9 again and book your Family Tour today

Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence
,

Bikes ‘n Wines receives Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence

Tripadvisor CoEBikes ‘n Wines is proud announce that we have received a Certificate of Excellence 2015 from Tripadvisor. We earned this certificate because we have great reviews on TripAdvisor! We would like to thank all our partners, clients and staff for their enthusiasm and effort, we truly appreciate all the feedback we get from you. Read here all the great reviews our clients wrote about our tours! Inspired? Book your tour below and enjoy an unforgettable experience in the Winelands with Bikes ‘n Wines!