Penhill Manor House

Next week Saturday, 19th May, sees not just Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding, but also the Nuy Valley Feast, a celebration of the wines, craft beer and olive farms within the stunning landscape of Nuy.

90 mins from Cape Town, 13km outside Worcester on the superb R62, I've been returning year-on-year to the area, and over that time, have come to really savour its quiet, understated treasure. 

If you're a runner, there's plenty of trail, and for MTB fanatics, endless jeep and technical single track, for me there is dam swimming, and for the rest there is wine, craft beer, olives, farm produce and happy, engaged kids - outdoors!

The Feast is an annual daylong wine and olive festival hosted by 4 estates;

  1. Conradie Penhill Wines
  2. Willow Creek Olive Estate
  3. Nuy Valley Winery
  4. Leipzig Country House & Winery

Laying on a smorgasbord of award-winning wines, olives, hearty farm food, family activities, tastings, and live music such as Kaleidoskoop, Coffee Snobs, and Francois Louw. 

Oh, yes, and "wine yoga" - I didn't ask, and the writer accepts no responsibility for injury, or embarrassment.

My personal picks come via a fifth generation winemaker, C.P. Conradie, who has partnered with The Penny Family, and produced two ranges of wines under the Conradie Penhill Artisanal Wines label, most of which have won either gold or double gold awards in both South Africa’s and international top wine award competitions. 

Start there at the least - the Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc stand out, a reason why C.P. Conradie won winemaker of the year in this competitive region. And perhaps move next to Nuy Winery's fabulous Mastery Cabernet Sauvignon 2015.

Thinking ahead, with all this sampling, the Nuy Valley Express will shuttle you safely by tractor between the vineyards. 

Penhill Farm, consisting of four well appointed family cottages and a magnificent manor house dating back to 1840, served as our base for a long weekend. With 12 adults and 19 children, a dam, hiking and MTB trails, jacuzzis and pools, a tennis court, braai and a separate dining-bar building, we had everything we could hope for. 

Not just because it is cleverly designed with stylish interiors and rolling lawns, or convenient access to its own range of four blended varietal wines, because its separateness and proximity to others is perfectly balanced and its indoor and outdoor living spaces force you to unwind. 

The kids are so active away from smart devices it buys weary parents a break and has the kids exhausted by end of day. That's a holiday for sure. Friends, family, time apart, time together, laughter, the great outdoors, and South Africa's finest in all shapes and forms. What a feast it is.

Olives have been associated with prosperity and vitality, while the olive tree itself is a revered symbol in religion in many cultures, providing shade, shelter, sustenance, serenity and beauty. 

If that's not good enough reason, there's always Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding.

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