Rickety Bridge Estate, located in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley, is famous for its delicious food and superb wines. They also offer fantastic pairings, and if you’re visiting for the first time, I highly recommend the Rickety Bridge Panna Cotta and Wine pairing!
Rickety Bridge Winery: A Storied Legacy Since 1797
The Estate has a rich heritage dating back to 1797 when it became the property of Paulina De Villiers, one of the first female landowners in South Africa. Initially part of the La Provence farm granted to French Huguenot farmers in 1694, Rickety Bridge holds a long-standing tradition that is now carried by the Crosbie family.
Bridging Past and Present: The Origin of Rickety Bridge Estate’s Name
In the late 1980s, the estate earned the name Rickety Bridge because of an old railway sleeper bridge that used to cross the Franschhoek River, serving as the entrance. Although the original bridge is no longer present, the name “Rickety Bridge” has stuck, likely as a nod to the historical and nostalgic significance of the structure that once characterized the property.
Rickety Bridge’s exceptional wines
Rickety Bridge is dedicated to crafting top-notch wines, including the Paulina’s Reserve, honoring Paulina De Villiers’ pioneering spirit. The winery has earned acclaim for its distinct wines like the classic Rickety Bridge range and the Foundation Stone range. Additionally, the estate also produces limited quantities of iconic wines such as The Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Crossover Pinotage, Sleeper Shiraz, Pilgrimage Old Vine Semillon, and Gateway Straw Wine.
Even with new technology, the Estate sticks to old ways of making wine. This ensures that the handcrafted wines they produce keep their exceptional quality. If you want to learn more about the wine-making process at Rickety, you can join a Cellar Tour to see the whole grape-to-barrel process.
The Tasting room at Rickety Bridge
It was a short walk from the entrance to their tasting room. The elevated tasting room features large glass windows all around, providing great views of the outdoor surroundings. On warm, sunny days, the room extends to a gorgeous patio with pretty views of the vineyards and the Franschhoek mountains
The art of Panna Cotta
Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert that translates to “cooked cream.” It is a creamy and silky dessert made by simmering together cream, milk, and sugar, and then mixing this with gelatin. The mixture is poured into molds and chilled until it sets. The result is a smooth and slightly wobbly dessert with a delicate sweetness.
Rickety Bridge Panna Cotta Pairing: Pick your wines!
The Estate classifies the wines into four ranges: Rickety Bridge, Foundation Stone, Paulina’s Reserve, and The Bridge. For our pairing, we got to choose 4 wines, from either the Rickety Fridge Range or the foundation stone range. I selected 2 white and 2 red wines to pair with my panna cotta.
I don’t remember which panna cotta went with which wine, but all I can tell you is that it was a delicious sensory overload. You get to pair 4 different panna cotta flavors – passion fruit, vanilla, blackberry and five spices. The creaminess of the panna cotta matched perfectly with the excellence of each wine!
Note: Advance booking is essential for the Rickety Bridge Panna Cotta pairing. To make a reservation, click here.
Looking for more things to do at Rickety Bridge?
Beyond just wine tasting, Rickety has some really fun and interesting experiences, too.
- Estate (or premium) Wine Blending Experience. Make your own bottle of wine, along with a personalized wine label.
- Sabrage Experience. At Rickety you can give a host at Sabrage, the ceremonial act of opening a bottle of bubbly using a sabre (sword). The experience includes the sabrage of a bottle of Cap Classique and a glass of Brut Rosé to celebrate.
- Potjie Kos Experience. Have a fun time by making your own potjie with friends and family. The Rickety Bridge team will give you everything you need, including ingredients like meat, chicken, fish, veggies, spices, and sauces. They’ll also provide the equipment. Plus, enjoy a wine tasting led by one of Rickety Bridge’s wine experts.
There’s also a really good restaurant on the Estate, Paulina’s restaurant. The restaurant is known for its commitment to using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. If you want to stay longer, they have luxurious rooms overlooking the Franschhoek mountains.
Hop abroad the Franschhoek wine tram
Rickety Bridge is on the blue, pink and red line of the Franschhoek Wine tram, making it even more convenient to get to!
Looking for more things to do in the Cape Winelands? Discover some more awesome nearby wine Estates by clicking on the image below.