Cape Town – Wine tasting is a favourite Capetonian pastime! Come Sunday and you will see many wine connoisseurs making their way to Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Constantia – but wine tasting is not limited to these better-known spots.
Next time you head to the Overberg for adventure escapes or whale spotting, bear in mind that the Overberg boasts six distinct wine 'pockets'. Theewaterskloof, Elgin, Botrivier, Hermanus, Stanford and Elim/L'Agulhas are six areas just waiting for Overberg wine lovers to explore.
During your tranquil wine escape you will get to know the terroir, lifestyle and people. An Overberg wine escape is so authentic and personal that you might even have to book appointments at some smaller-scale wineries. If possible, plan your stops ahead of your trip to avoid disappointment.
Click here to view the entire Overberg Wine offering.
(Map: Overberg Wine)
The Theewaterskloof wine pocket comprises of Greyton and Villiersdorp.
Greyton attracts weekenders from Cape Town and the locals passionately welcome them week after week with delicious food, local wines and warm hospitality. The fertile Villiersdorp hills secretly host around 40 wine producers providing their grapes to Villiersdorp Cellar - previously known as the Viliersdorp Co-op.
Our pick: Villiersdorp Cellars/Kelkiewyn
Villiersdorp is often visited when passing over Franschhoek towards Hermanus, but many might cease to stop at Villiersdorp Cellars to experience the wines of the area. Called ‘the valley of splendour’ Villiersdorp was found to be a suitable area to produce fine quality table grapes and thereafter wines. The Theewaterskloof Dam gave Villiersdorp Cellar the boost it needed to create its ‘Dam Good’ Whites, Reds and Rose.
Kelkiewyn Café invites visitors to the wine centre and farm stall where warm hospitality meets hearty home cooked meals. Get your hands on Villierdorp Cellars wines and sit back for your first taste of Overberg friendliness and charm.
Other wines in the area: Andy Mitchell, Greyton
Just an hour outside Cape Town you will find this cool climate wine pocket - Elegantly Elgin. Conveniently situated just off the N2, this wine route is an easy escape "off the beaten track."
Our pick: Paul Cluver
Paul Cluver Wines is a family owned winery, with a gorgeous restaurant and beautiful mountain bike trails. Some of the route is quite technical, with single track, hectic climbs and bridges built on a massive tree trunks and from wine barrel slats… but there is also plenty of time to enjoy the picturesque scenery and catch your breath.
For the adrenaline junkies: Another alternative is to take a guided mountain biking excursion from Elgin to Hermanus, via Botriver. “There is a bit of technical riding here too, so some experience and a decent level of fitness is certainly recommended; however, there are a few sneaky shortcuts if you’re more interested in the views than the cycling!” says Deborah Smook from Elgin Adventures.
For the music lovers: Paul Cluver might have already caught the attention with their amphitheatre shows. Come summer, Paul Cluver draws crowds from all over the Overberg and even Cape Town for a relaxed day of wine and music. The perfect combo! Keep an eye on the programme and plan your visit. You might even catch the occasional movie screening!
Other wines in Elgin: Elgin Vinners, Charles Fox, Almenkerk Wine Estate, Oak Valley, Arumdale, Highlands Road, South Hill, Winter’s Drift.
The proud home of delicious Shiraz, Chenin Blanc and Pinotage! This wine pocket provides an authentic experience as winemakers provide a welcoming and informative experience - true to the Overberg atmosphere we have come to love!
Our pick: Gabrielskloof
Surrounded by fields of golden canola flowers, Gabriëlskloof is a well kept secret in the Overberg region.
Gabriëlskloof is a family-owned wine and olive estate, operated by a prominent family in the industry. The estate is fairly easy to locate, just off the N2.
Gabriëlskloof recently launched a new collection of wines that commemorates the origin of the estate and the remarkable hills and valleys of the majestic Overberg. The new collection has therefore been titled, The Landscape Series which is so fitting as it reflects the essence at the heart of every wine made at Gabriëlskloof as well as the backdrops that surround the estate.
Other wines in Botrivier: Wildekrans, Duddite, Benguela Cove, Beaumont Family Wines, Paardenloof, Rivendell Estate and Vineyard.
If you haven't explored the picturesque Hemel-en-Aarde Valley on the R320 between Hermanus and Caledon, you have been missing out on some of the Overberg's best wines! The cool maritime Hemel-en-Aarde appellation and close proximity to the sea creates a unique terroir. Just one sip and you'll know why this wine route is decorated with awards and accolades.
ALSO SEE: Hermanus launches new Hop-on-hop-off wine route
Our pick: Creation Wines
Creation pride themselves in wines with rare balance, elegance, distinction and finesse. Terroir and craftmanship are combined to create the range of award-winning wines you will get to taste at Creation.
What sets Creation's tasting room apart, is their unique range of wine tasting experiences. If you have a sweet tooth, indulge in a chocolate and wine pairing. Savoury more your thing? Indulge in the tapas pairing, secret wine & food pairing, 10:00 brunch pairing or the three-course pairing menu.
Even the kids are invited for a surprise pairing. Click here to find out more about Creation's unique pairing experiences.
ALSO SEE: A Whale-spotting wine escape in Hermanus
Other wines in Hermanus: Ataraxia, Ashbourne, Bouchard Finlayson, Bosman’s, Domaine des Dieux, Hamilton Russell Vineyards, Hermanuspietersfontein, Jakob’s Vineyards, La Vierge, Mount Babylon, Newton Johnson, Restless River, Southern Right, Spookfontein, Sumaridge, Whalehaven, Wine Village.
Stanford is the perfect destination for travellers yearning for an true and tranquil country escape - Overberg hospitality at its best. Loved for lazy walks in the village exploring antique, craft and book shops, Stanford also boasts its very own wine route adding another dimension to your Stanford stay.
Our pick: Walker Bay Vineyards
The perfect Overberg stop for lovers of wine AND beer! Walker Bay Estate is the first wine and brewing estate in the Southern hemisphere.
Settle down for a meal at the restaurant overlooking mountains as far as the eye can see, do a wine and beer tasting in the restaurant or take a Birkenhead brewery tour. If you're not as hooked on beer, Birkenhead Honey Blonde will surely change your mind.
Other wines in Stanford: The Drift Farm, Stanford Hills Estate, Walker Bay Vineyards, Sir Robert Stanford Estate, Boschrivier Wines, Lomond Wines.
6. Elim/ L'Agulhas
Cool ocean winds blow from three different sides, making this a unique cool climate wine region. Low temperatures and four different soil types aid in creating fruity wines.
If you have not paid a visit to the Elim wine region, plan your trip for November when The Black Oystercatcher hosts the Elim Wine Festival.
The fifth Elim Festival will showcase the unique terroir, cool climate wines, tutored tasting by the winemakers of the region, the most southerly craft beer, fresh produce and county goods.
Our pick: Black Oystercatcher
On the R43 between Elim and Bredasdorp, visit the Black Oystercatcher for a food and wine fusion. The restaurant takes a seasonal approach - serving whatever fresh produce is best in their garden. The dishes compliment the wines to create a delicious synergy between food, wine and surroundings.
Stay over: Apart from its wines, restaurant and function venue, visitors can extend their stay in one of four self-catering cottages. The Agulhas Plain is a nearby attraction for bird lovers and birders can also spot a number of species on the farm.
Other wines in Elim/L'Agulhas/Malgas: Strandveld Vineyards, Sjinn.
What to read next on Traveller24:
- New 195-year-old attraction arrives in Groot Constantia, Africa’s oldest wine farm
- Whale season is here: Where to get the best action
- INFOGRAPHIC: Basic photo-editing tricks to enhance your travel photos