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Wildeberg - a slice of heaven in the foothills of the Franschhoek mountains

WILDEBERG has a crystal-clear lake some eight metres deep, fed by a natural spring from the ancient mountains. | Lance Witten

WILDEBERG has a crystal-clear lake some eight metres deep, fed by a natural spring from the ancient mountains. | Lance Witten

Published May 26, 2022

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Cape Town - Nestled deep in the foothills of the Franschhoek Mountains, at the base of an ancient elephant trail, lies an exquisite wine farm that is actively conserving heritage vines through the Old Vines Project.

Wildeberg is a revelation.

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The quaint farm boasts a gorgeous manor house, its elevation giving you a spectacular vista over the Franschhoek Valley, where wines have been produced for more than 350 years.

Hidden slightly above the cellars, up a winding, cobbled path, a placid lake lies crystal clear with waters bubbling up from an ancient spring, filtered through the prehistoric valleys surrounding the farm.

One cannot help but contemplate at the lake side, drinking in the serenity. Picture: Lisa Witten

At the lakehouse - which doubles as a private tasting room - you discover the meaning of the word “tranquil”.

Lance and Lisa Witten share a moment while tasting Wildeberg’s Tea Leaf white. Picture: Lance Witten

Wildeberg is a slice of heaven. And the wines aren’t bad either.

Working with surrounding farms and vineyards in other wine-growing regions of the Western Cape, winemaker JD Rossouw has developed a unique nose and palate for creating liquid masterpieces. The wines he creates using a blend of heritage and younger vines are absolutely delightful, distinctly South African and quickly winning awards the world over.

Winemaker JD Rossouw. Picture: Lisa Witten

Rossouw has a long history with wines - some of his earliest memories are of the “floral aromas” in his family’s winery in Paarl, where he helped his dad produce wines. So naturally, when he was of age, it was off to study winemaking at Stellenbosch University.

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Wildeberg doesn’t produce wine for mass sales and consumption - the relatively small cellar is not much bigger than a standard barn - but this gives the wines a boutique feel and character. Almost bespoke.

Chicken roulade served with parmesan crisp, topped with onion marmalade and black sesame seeds. Picture: Lance Witten

THE Wildeberg Wild House Chenin Blanc is a treat on warm, early autumn days, served with this rich, smoked salmon salad. | Lance Witten
Spicy prawn skewers served with rich, sweet mango salsa. Picture: Lance Witten

You’d do well to book a tasting and will very quickly fall in love with the farm itself, its panoramic vista of the Franschhoek Valley, and its charming lake.

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There are wines to suit every occasion, season and palate.

Wildeberg, a little slice of heaven. Picture: Lance Witten

In the deepest corner of the “French Corner“, lies a little slice of heaven.

And Wildeberg is its name.

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