The Darling Wine Shop is an amazing Darling gem with so many varietals of wine available for sale, both local and international spoils. Owned by Charles Withington, Charles has over forty years of experience in the South African wine industry, twenty five of which were spent with two large wine estates, and more recently, developing his own brand as négociant, sourcing wines for his own label.
We were invited by Charles to come and visit his wine shop in Darling for a tasting with a side of history and basic wine education for the everyday wine-lover. We started off with a blind wine tasting, one unidentified white and one red. I too eagerly identified the white as a crisp Riesling, the red was a tad tricky to name. The white was a 2018 Groote Post Riesling with refreshingly crisp notes of grapefruit, pineapple and peach with hints of ginger and spice on the palate. The red was to my surprise, one of Charles’ very own, named Roan Ranger, a play on the French region Rhône. A sophisticated blend of Cinsault (65 %), Grenache and Mourvèdre. Although A french inspired blend, the grapes originate from Darling. It is an easy drinking blend and is best served slightly chilled. The Groote Post Riesling I found I grew an instant liking to. It certainly is such a delicious summer treat, best served chilled. I couldn’t leave without going on a little shopping spree in the store. We were also lucky enough to be gifted a bottle of Charles’ Roan Ranger!
Gin was our next tasting, also another Withington speciality. Darlington is a new dry London inspired gin with of course a local touch to truly make it one of Darling’s own. Making use of an indigenous plant Gethyllis aka ‘Koekemakranka’ to blend into their very own Gin. The gin is a straight up, no-nonsense good old traditional kind of gin. I love that you can taste the distinct floral undertones of the Koekemakranka which in the words of Charles “really gives it the true spirit of Darling” We experimented with different flavoured tonics, herbs, fruit and garnishes, which was so much fun getting to taste which paired better with the juniper balanced gin.
I particularly enjoyed picking Charles’ brain regarding local wine knowledge, being a wine geek I feel I could chat about wine, regions and different types of soil and the effects climate has on wine, with him all day, if it were not for the fact that we had to beat traffic on a Friday afternoon!
The wine bottle chandelier, which is one of the first things in the store you notice, is an absolute show stopper. Made by the locally famous artisan, Edmund Tango, who has made quite a reputation for himself in Darling and surrounds. Most of the wood work and welding seen in Darling Brew, Edmund has done, He will also be doing a lot of the work in terms of furniture etc in the new Woodstock brewery too! He has a knack for turning any material into a beautiful work of art.
The store feels like a friendly place I would surely pop in frequently, if I lived nearby. I actually asked Charles to open a store up in Durbanville. The experience of shopping at the Darling Wine Shop is something that I loved more than the actual tastings, which were pretty good might I add! If you’re looking for a personalized wine experience, The Darling Wine Shop is certainly worth the drive and time. Don’t have the time right now? Simply visit their website to order online and have your wines delivered straight to your doorstep – Order online now
Find Darling on the Culture/Tractor Route on West Coast Way
Take a road trip to Darling this weekend to experience The Darling Wine Shop.
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