Did you know that there’s a corner in Animal Kingdom’s Mombasa Marketplace that houses a small display of South African wines? No, neither did I! But there is.
The other day, I had a few hours before my flight back home, so Deb Wills and I decided to pay a visit to Animal Kingdom. As we entered the park, we noticed an intriguing sign.
Wine tasting? In Animal Kingdom? While I wouldn’t bat an eye if you told me this was over at Animal Kingdom Lodge, or even in Epcot, for some reason it never occurred to me that Animal Kingdom could host such an activity.
We wandered over to Mombasa Marketplace, which is located in Africa, directly across from the Tusker House restaurant, and found this attractive little set-up, immediately to our left as we entered.
Not being much of a shopper, I can’t tell you the last time I was in the Marketplace, so I’m not sure how long the wine nook has been there. But I have to say that finding it was a most pleasant surprise.
Most of the South African wines available are from Fairview, the family-owned wine and cheese business that produces its eponymous Fairview label, as well as the labels Goats Do Roam and La Capra. Sauvignon blanc, viognier, and chardonnay are among the varietals represented, along with several blends (both red and white) and a Goats Do Roam rose. Also on offer are several selections from Spice Route Wines, including a chenin blanc and red blend pinotage. Luckily for us, they also were serving a favorite we discovered at Kidani Village’s Sanaa restaurant several months ago, the red blend Chakalaka.
According to Jim Killam, North Florida Sales Manager for Vineyard Brands, the shop features many of the wines you’ll find offered over at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s restaurants in a spot that sees a little more traffic. Killam says the tasting event is something they host in that location only a few times a year, as it’s a bit expensive to fly the winemakers up from South Africa.
On this particular Sunday, however, Fairview’s winemaker Anthony de Jager (pictured below) was on hand to sign bottles and oversee the tasting. The two or three-oz. samples being poured ranged from $2.75 to $5.25 (for the full-bodied Chakalaka). Based on Killam’s recommendation, Deb tried the Spice Route pinotage, and found it to have a fruity aroma, somewhat tannic but not overly so. I had the Chakalaka, which didn’t disappoint — dark cherry and fruit flavors with an oh-so-slight oakiness, just as I remembered it.
Even though they don’t hold these tastings that frequently, the opportunity to try these wines in such a novel setting made for a nice change of pace. And now that I know they are there, I just might be tempted to duck into the Mombasa Marketplace to pick up a bottle every now and then.
UPDATE 3/28/12: Just obtained the pricing for the wines for sale in the shop. The following are the retail prices:
— Goats do Roam Red, White & Rose’ $11.95
— La Capra Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet, Shiraz & Pinotage $14.95
— Fairview Sauvignon Blanc $16.95
— Fairview Pinotage $15.95
— Fairview Viognier $21.95
— Spice Route Chenin Blanc $18.95
— Spice Route Pinotage $21.95
— Spice Route ‘Chakalaka’ $25.95
6 Replies to “Mombasa Marketplace Wine Stop at Animal Kingdom”
Between this and all the new food items that seem to be popping up at Animal Kingdom the last couple weeks, I’m suddenly much more excited about spending a day or two there during our summer trip. Nothing like a crisp Chenin Blanc in the searing Florida sun.
Oh thank you so very much!!! I had no idea either this existed. Going in May with my sister, we will definitely make this stop!!
Fantastic find!!! Thanks for sharing!!
Could they send a purchased bottle of wine home to an USA address ?
We could not bring a bottle of wine on the plane or in our luggage.
DebK replies: No, I don’t think they can ship wine for you — they’ve never been able to when I’ve asked during the Food & Wine Festival. You can always ask to double-check. You should be able to take a bottle of wine home in your checked luggage, though — just not in your carry-on bags.
Thanks so much for this post! I had NO idea they sold these wines in AK! I will definitely have to stop by sometime and check it out.
Will this make in onto the menu list?
I understand it is more of a shop rather then place to stop and eat, so maybe not.
What are the price ranges for his varietals?
DebK replies: Mike, I just got all the price info, so I’ll be updating the post those details. We wouldn’t post something like this in the menus section, though. Thanks for asking!
Very cool! I love Goats do Roam. This is what I love about Disney – little surprises everywhere.