Old and new, renowned and little-known, the Cape offers a diverse bouquet of wineland destinations to visit and enjoy.
l Altydgedacht: Not far from the city, nearly engulfed by suburbia, this Durbanville estate continues to produce exciting and well-priced wines in one of the oldest working cellars in the winelands.
Fifth-generation custodians the Parker family are modest, down-to-earth hosts who offer less common wines such as gewürztraminer, barbera and a great white blend along with good pinotage and more.
[email protected] is a suitably rustic restaurant, open for breakfast and lunch six days a week. Enjoy informal al fresco fare that includes Med platters, pot pies, burgers and wraps.
The farm is open for tastings and sales until 5pm on weekdays, 3pm on Saturdays. Call 021 976 1295 or visit www.altydgedacht.co.za
l Oldenburg’s tasting centre opened in November, offering wine-lovers a new destination in the secluded Banhoek valley. Take the long and winding Zevenrivieren road off the R310 and park outside the impressive building, almost Alpine in feel, with double-volume windows rising to meet the thatch against a background of towering Groot Drakenstein and Franschhoek mountains.
Adrian Vanderspuy, an SA expatriate based in Switzerland, has released his first commercial vintages, which are made at the large cellar at Glenelly.
There’s an oaked chenin, a classic chardonnay and a trio of reds, all of which have been well received here and overseas.
Toby, the Jack Russell, will welcome you as enthusiastically as the two-legged staff.
Open for tastings from Monday to Friday, and by appointment on Saturdays and public holidays. Tasting fee is R25 for five wines. Call 021 885 1618 for more info or visit www.oldenburgvineyards.com
l If you haven’t discovered Creation’s charming cellar you are in for a treat. Perched on the Hemel-en-Aarde ridge, looking out to its vines cloaking the Babylon Toren mountains, the modern cellar is fringed with fynbos, and the interior is as inviting as the views.
Here winemaking partners JC Martin and Christoph Kaser, with marketing whizz Carolyn Martin, perform their magic, producing wines that are attracting just deserts in the form of awards and accolades, locally and in Europe.
Their chardonnay, pinot and viognier cannot be missed, and there’s a second tier, Whale Pod, that is excellent value. The tapas and snacks are carefully matched to each label.
They are open seven days a week. Call 028 212 1107 for more info, or visit www.creationwines.com
l The spring flowers may be a faded memory, but there are numerous other attractions awaiting visitors at the West Coast complex of Groote Post in the Darling Hills.
There are three ranges of wines to try in the old fort, and fine fare awaits in the gabled farmstead that is home to Hilda’s Kitchen. Here chef Debbie McLaughlin presents a small but varied menu of consistently good fare. The restaurant is closed on Monday and Tuesday but the cellar is open every day.
There’s a game drive for sightings of a variety of antelope, plus quagga and black wildebeest, which includes a tour through the vineyards to a high point with views to Table Mountain.
Call 022492 2825 or visit www.grootepost.com.
l Nederburg is, without a doubt, one of SA’s best-known names in the wine world. If you haven’t visited or tasted the ranges for some time, you are in for a pleasant surprise – the hardest part is deciding which to sample.
There are also food and wine-pairing options and the staff are friendly and knowledgeable. They tempt visitors with a generous picnic selection – Flavours of the Cape, vegetarian and children’s – with mineral water and bubbly thrown in, priced from R65 to R155 and available seven days a week until March. Order your basket two days in advance on 021 862 3104 or visit www.nederburg.co.za
l Allée Bleue: The historic estate outside Franschhoek has a Gallic name, is owned by Germans and the enthusiastic, talented winemaker is homegrown Afrikaans.
It has made huge strides in the past few years and now offers dining options, functions, accommodation and two ranges of wines.
The latest option is a wine pairing and tapas platter in the Gatehouse. This is in addition to the stylish “picnics” (R145) where diners are seated at tables and children are well catered for.
Book picnics on 021 874 1021 or see www.alleebleue.com. - Saturday Star