WINE ALONG THE COAST
In recent years the Cape West Coast became known for its collection of activities and interesting destinations like the endless flowers carpets in the spring, game reserves, foodie spots that drew their inspiration for their menu from the ocean and the surrounding vegetation and charming, small towns with friendly residents that operate small hotels and B&B’s right of the shore.
Knowing Capetonians are adding a visit to a few wine estates and wineries in the area to try and enjoy the somewhat different tastes and aromas of the wines produced in this region, to their West Coast trip.
Different to other wine regions of the Western Cape, the West Coast is a little warmer in climate, the vineyard slopes are gentler, and soils are different. That has led to a pallet of new undertones to your known wine verities.
Whether it’s a self-drive road trip with friends or family, or an organised West Coast wine tour, a northbound trip on the R27, with Cape Town at your back, will bring you to the gateway of the West Coast Wine Route, at the small town of Darling, from where you can head east to Malmesbury on the N7. Further east is Riebeek Kasteel, where stunning wine and olive tastings are available.
Head back to the N7 through the Berg River biodiversity into the Swartland for an organic wine tasting. Continue over the Piekenierskloof Pass and into the Cederberg to experience South Africa’s highest altitude vineyards with superb wine tastings.
Namaqua West Coast
Namaqualand is a biodiverse region, showcasing a vast array of endemic species. From June to October, Namaqualand is resplendent with a carpet of beautifully coloured wildflowers, guaranteed to wow visitors from near and far. With its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and cool afternoon breezes, the region produces some excellent and award-winning wines.
The Olifants River region is home to three of the biggest wine cellars in the country. The terroir of the Olifants River can be described as diverse in a climatic sense. The biggest climate driver in the area is the Atlantic Ocean and proximity to the sea determines the climatic conditions. The red and yellow/brown sandy loam soils are well suited for a range of cultivars for quality wine production.
Sip and savour the region’s offerings at Namaqua Wines, Klawer Cellar and Lutzville Vineyard.
Visit www.westcoastwineroutes.co.za for detailed information on the estates mentioned above.
Tucked away in the Cedarberg Mountains, you’ll find the Cederberg Private Cellar. This historical wine estate, found at the foot of the Sneeuberg Mountain, not only holds more than five generations worth of winemaking history, but also boasts the title of having its vineyards at the highest altitude in South Africa.
Cederberg offers wine tasting at the private cellar and Cederberg Brewery’s craft beers are on sale at the farm shop.
For estate, brewery and accommodation information, visit www.cederbergwine.com .
Home to annual Riebeek Valley Olive Festival, the valley offers an abundance of wine and olive producing estates.
Meerhof Wines – Boasting a stunning panoramic view over the valley, Meerhof Private Cellar produces world class wines and offers daily wine tastings. The estate also has an onsite restaurant and is the perfect family venue with sprawling lush lawns and wide, open spaces for children to play while the adults unwind. Booking details can be found at www.meerhofwines.co.za.
Kloovenburg Wine & Olive Estate – Book a visit to the farm and experience first-hand the magical atmosphere of the estate. Set in the barrel-filled wine cellar, the tasting room is as beautiful as the olives and wines are delicious. Taste your way through award-winning wines, olive oils, cured olives, tapenade, jams and spices. Visit www.kloovenburg.com for booking details.
Allesverloren – A family style restaurant at the estate as well as wine tastings and purchases. We advise that you call ahead to book or visit their website to view what’s on offer. For detailed information, visit www.allesverloren.co.za .
Nestled between vast yellow canola fields and sprawling vineyards, with its landmark grain silos, Malmesbury is the grain hub of the Western Cape.
Dragonridge is situated deep in the Paardeberg near Malmesbury. The farm produces between 20 and 40 tonnes of organic grapes each year which are used to produce small quantities of handcrafted natural organic wines. For an organic vegan wine tasting, make sure you include this on your list.
To find out more visit www.fynbosestate.co.za .
The Swartland, an established wheat growing region, is known as the breadbasket of the Western Cape. Plan ahead to accommodate a visit to the wine farms in the area. For an organic vegan wine tasting experience in the Swartland, pop in at Org de Rac next to the N7 at Piketberg.
Org de Rac is open Monday to Friday 09:00 – 17:00, Saturdays and public holidays 09:30 – 14:00. For more information, visit www.orgderac.co.za .
Darling is home to Pieter Dirk-Uys, the man behind “South Africa’s most famous white woman”, Evita Bezuidenhout and the founder of the famous Evita Se Perron. Enjoy a traditional South African sweet treat or a 3-course meal at Tannie Evita’s Kossie Sikelela restaurant.
Visit www.evita.co.za to book and for additional information.
The Darling wine making region includes five estates – Groote Post, Cloof Wine Estate, Darling Cellars, Ormonde and Contreberg. Each estate’s wine range is representative of the vineyards that are forged by molten rock and granite soil and the unique climatic conditions that are contributed to by the mist from the Atlantic Ocean.
For more information on these estates, or to plan your self-drive stopover, visit www.darlingroutes.co.za.
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