Idiom brings a taste of Italy to the Cape Winelands


You don’t have to catch a plane to Rome to get a taste of Italy this summer. Situated near Sir Lowry’s Pass, a mere hours drive from Cape Town, the Idiom Restaurant & Tasting Centre has fast become a must-visit destination for those seeking a vineyard setting with 180 degree panoramic views of both sea and mountain with spectacular cuisine and a wide range of top wines to match.

The Idiom project is run by the Bottega Family. Family patriarch Alberto was born in Italy and immigrated to the Cape in the 1950s. After a successful career upcountry in computer programming, banking and finance, he returned to Cape Town to retire to the Cape Winelands. In 1999 the first vines were planted from scratch on his Da Capo Vineyards farm and the first commercial vintage of Idiom was made in 2004.

idiom owners Idiom brings a taste of Italy to the Cape Winelands

Roberto & Alberto Bottega

Alberto’ son Roberto joined Idiom after 12 years of trading financial markets in London and Johannesburg. He has spearheaded the development of the Tasting Centre and manages global sales for Bottega Family Wines. He has developed a passion for Italian wines and is also the co-founder of a specialist wine import and distribution project called Vinotria, which he manages together with Pedro Estrada Belli. Vinotria’s portfolio includes wines from internationally acclaimed wineries such as Donnafugata in Sicily, Ornellaia in Tuscany, and Livio Felluga in Friuli, to name a few.

This Italian family certainly knows a thing or two about living la dolce vita and below we’ve rounded up a few of offerings at the estate.

Arrive in a helicopter

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Idiom is currently the VIP Winelands Lunch Choice of local operator Cape Town Helicopters. The 4-hour VIP aerial adventure and Winelands Culinary experience departs from the Waterfront and takes in parts of the Cape Peninsula before arriving at Idiom.

Italian-inspired cuisine

The restaurant at Idiom offers a ‘Contemporary Dining’ experience, bringing to life a fusion of the family’s Italian heritage as well as modern flavours and textures of the­ Cape. This season’s 2-course menu is priced at R315 per person and the 3-course is R390. Wine pairings range from R30 – R90 per course depending on the wine.

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Besides the contemporary dining offering at Idiom, there are other simpler Italian-inspired options to enjoy. Antipasto platters, with a selection of freshly sliced Italian cold meats such as prosciutto and salami, as well as cheese boards, with Italian and local soft and hard cheeses, are popular choices. The regional Italian pizza menu combines light thin crust bases with carefully chosen toppings using ingredients that transmit the tastes of the different regions of Italy.

Italian wines

Idiom is one of the leading producers of Italian varietal wines in South Africa. Visitors can taste Idiom’s locally produced Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Barbera, Nebbiolo and Primitivo (Zinfandel) wines at the winebar or in the restaurant.

italian selection Idiom brings a taste of Italy to the Cape Winelands

The Vinotria showroom at Idiom, which is used for tutored and comparative wine tastings, boasts 250 wines from more than 40 benchmark Italian wineries, including many wines made from obscure, regional varieties. All the imported wines are available for sale by the bottle or by the case at Idiom.

Wine Pairing Experiences

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There are a variety of wine pairing options available at Idiom. Tasting experiences include:

Idiom Single Varietal Wine & Canapé Experience

Taste Idiom Semillon, Viognier, Sangiovese and Zinfandel with canapés that complement the aromatic profiles of these wines. Canapés change frequently but the current batch features components such as white anchovy, verjuice paste, goats cheese truffle, vanilla pear purée, BBQ pork, polenta cornbread, and lamb and tzatziki to bring these varieties to life making for an exotic and explosive taste experience.

Cost: R200 per person

Idiom Expressions of Regional Blends

Taste Idiom’s Rhone, Bordeaux, and flagship Cape blends with canapés that bring the complexity of these wines to life. This pairing is definitely one for meat lovers. Seared ostrich, mini beef fillet kebabs and a lamb roulade all accompanied by matching red, blue and black berry spectrum fruit hints. Opulently elegant or elegantly opulent – you decide!

Cost: R200 per person

Summer Sensation Macaroon & Wine Pairings

Explore the rare expressions of Idiom through the prism of macaroons. Macaroons have been produced in the Venetian monasteries since the 8th century A.D. During the Renaissance, French queen Catherine de’ Medici’s Italian pastry chefs made them when she brought them with her to France in 1533 upon marrying Henry II of France. Try for example one of Idiom’s rarest wines, the Idiom Black Gold Hailstorm Merlot, with a Blueberry macaroon with Violet Custard and Blackcurrant Sauce.

Cost: R120 per person
Only available November 2018 – February 2019

Prosecco Weekend

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The first Prosecco Weekend at Idiom will take place on the 24th and 25th November 2018.

Prosecco brunch will be served both days from 10-12 in the restaurant, followed by a tutored tasting of different Proseccos presented by producers from the Veneto and Friuli regions, who will explain how prosecco is made and share stories about the amazing success it is enjoying worldwide. Try top expressions from the cru towns of Valdobbiadene and Asolo.

The 2-6 pm afternoon aperitivo session will feature a walk around tasting of all the proseccos on offer which will be served with a variety of specially made canapes. Producers include Bellenda, Giusti, Pasqua’s Romeo & Juliet range, Astoria, La Delizia and others.

Tickets for the different sessions are available directly from Idiom or via Webtickets.

The Italian Festival

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The annual Italian Festival at Idiom, which attracted 3000 people in 2018, will take place on the 2nd and 3rd March 2019. Tickets will be made available through Webtickets from 1 Nov 2018.