Theescombe Estate Wine is Port Elizabeth's only wine farm, and the only place one can enjoy hearty burgers that is paired with wine. Sandra Futter's story into the wine industry is honest and a delight to hear. Sandra is eccentric when we first meet, but her passion for wine making makes her likable. She doesn't stop talking, but often you don't want her too.
I arrive at the wine farm just before sunset. The vineyard stretches throughout the Futter’s property. Sandra lets us taste some grapes during the tour, providing insight into how the family got started. She recollects her and her husband’s crazy idea to harvest wine in Port Elizabeth, despite there being many challenges along the way. They planted their first seeds in 2006, but it was only a few years later when they successfully mastered the art of wine making and bottling. Big wine farms tours never tell you about the challenges and the hard work that goes into starting a wine farm, but Sandra’s approach is quite the opposite. Without giving too much away, Sandra is practical in the tour and shares some industry wine techniques with us, although she herself is “still learning”. We had 7 pairings, including pinotage and Sauvignon blanc.
Each pairing was better than the next. She gives each of us a cheese platter that was so good not to refuse. In it was peppered cheese, cheese with garlic, olives and biltong. I pushed my biltong to Paul, a Frenchman, who Sandra adored. Naturally, it was all fun and Sandra later let us in on her secret weakness for French men.
For dinner I had a ginormous fish, chips and her homemade tartar sauce. The rest of the guests had burgers. It's usual but it pairs so well with a glass of wine, I was told by guests. By the end of the night, after having a new found appreciation for white wine, I decided to test my wine connoisseur skills and paired white and red wine together to create a smooth blend. Sandra and the other guests loved it. Maybe I will help her brand it sometime in the future. If you visiting PE or live in the city, make a trip to this wine estate and support local. Ps: Her prices are dirt cheap and value for money.