Wine Worth Travelling For: 5 Cape Winelands Estates perfect for a summery day-trip

2018-01-25 21:00 -
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Cape Town - The Cape Winelands is one of SA's most sought-after tourism destinations and it comes with the added bonus that these rolling valleys of vine provide some of the world's most exquisite wine to boot.  

Just over an hour-and-a-half from the busy streets of Cape Town, the Cape Winelands is where splendid mountains form a dramatic backdrop to lush vineyards and gabled Cape Dutch homesteads steeped in SA's rich wine history. 

Not only do these mountains create an incredible scenic backdrop, but they are also one of the reasons why wines does so well here. Their geological compositions provide unique soil conditions that directly affect the character of the wines produced.

While Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Tulbagh, and Wellington form the backbone of the Cape Winelands, the Cape Winelands district includes Drakenstein, Somerset West, Witzenberg and Breede River Valley, and Langeberg Winelands.

In honour of wine worth travelling for this year, Traveller24 has compiled a thirst-quenching array of places you should check out. Expect many more throughout the year. 

Raise your glass and have a drink to that!

Longridge Wine Estate, Stellenbosch

Want a wine that’s good for the environment and the soul? Longridge Wine Estate has been living their organic philosophy for a while now, and for them, it’s only brought good things. 

Cultivated wine 

They use natural methods to cultivate their wine, and instead of pesticides, they use geese to get rid of unnecessary pests. 

Their organic mantra follows them straight into their kitchen as well, where the menu is seasonal and is entirely dependent on what’s currently growing in their organic vegetable garden.

Crafted by Executive Chef Maritz Jacobs, it’s the finest fine dining in the Winelands, and well worth the fancy price.

WATCH: What you should know about organic wine farms  

Crispy chardonnay 

Longridge prefers to work with its environment, and through this philosophy have cultivated a stunning white wine range that will make even the hardiest red wine drinkers take notice. 

Their chardonnay is crisp and smooth, and if you’re looking for something a little different The Emily is a pleasant detour from the ordinary. It honours the lifelong work of Emily Hobhouse, and is a chardonnay with a tinge of pinot noir, giving it a lovely pink hue and fresh taste.

Their red wine range is a little less exciting, but still good drinking wine, and their MCC Rosé is a great addition to any brunch festivities. 

Glen Carlou, Paarl 

With the increasing association between art and fine wine in recent times, Glen Carlou Wine Estate has made a name for itself in both industries. 

Established in 1985, the picturesque estate is nothing short of a summer vibe description, and it embodies a friendly feel, perfect for a summer holiday escape, even if you are a stranger to Paarl. 

Wine not?

After 30 years later of creating its bespoke wine, their perfected chardonnay, that is oh-so-smooth, has gained attention from not just the local, but international too.

While chardonnay may be what its well-known for, the farm also produces a diverse range of varietals, including the brand new easy-drinking pinot noir rosé and the Gravel Quarry cabernet sauvignon.

Eat your heart out

While the wine balances the food, quenching the thirst in between chews, Restaurant @ Glen Carlou's menu see an exciting menu update every three months.

As if that isn't enough, the menus are updated according to change of seasons and each and every meal prepared by Chef Johan Stander complements at least one of Glen Carlou’s award-winning wines.

Art-effect

In this context, Glen Carlou has also established itself as a go-to destination for art lovers, both in and around South Africa.

Curated by local painter, Alex Hamilton, the gallery is home to a variety of vibrant collection, such as contemporary, pop and modern art in mediums as diverse as installation, photography, contemporary embroidery and ceramics contrast more traditional painting and sculpture.

On Sunday,  03 December, Hamilton will be opening a brand new exhibition titled ‘Cruel, cruel summer’.

The gallery is open Monday – Sunday from 10:00 – 16:00. Check out the Glen Carlou website for any updates.

La Motte, Franschhoek

If ever there was a place to experience the finer things in life, this boutique wine estate owned by the Rupert Family would be it. 

La Motte was acquired in 1970 by the late Dr Anton Rupert, it certainly sets the benchmark for combing good wine with food, art and music. 

Now owned by Rupert’s daughter, Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg, former leading mezzo-sopranos in SA, she is also the inspiration behind the Classical Music Concerts programme enjoyed in the Historic Cellar on the estate.

La Motte’s Historic Buildings

In fact, La Motte boasts four buildings of historical significance – all dating back to the 1700s, including the only working water mill of its kind in the Franschhoek Valley. All the structures have been fully restored and preserved by the Rupert family.    

But a visit to this Franchhoek gem means you need to coincide your diary and plan accordingly – not only for the music events mentioned above but for their exceptionally curated art exhibitions. 

 

Fleurs de La Motte Experience

The La Motte Museum – currently closed until 31 January – is set to reopen to the public on 1 February 2018 for the Fleurs de La Motte Experience. This will see the museum, alternating on a weekly basis, between a sculpting demonstration by Toby Megaw or a walk-about with artist Paula van Coller-Louw or Museum Curator, Eliz-Marié Schoonbee. Reservations are essential. The experience concludes with tea in the Pierneef à La Motte gardens.

La Motte experiences for any day of the week

The estate’s elegant Tasting Room is where you can enjoy the pairing of five La Motte wines with five tastings of Pierneef à La Motte’s cuisine created by Chef Michelle Theron. Or otherwise plan around their special Thursday mornings Sculpture Walk – a guided tour along all the female sculptures on the estate.

It encapsulates a fine appreciation for the balance between artistic creation and the important role played by women in society. Their Historic Walk on Wednesday mornings offers a brief résumé of the history and heritage of the estate, after which the tour proceeds through La Motte’s rose garden and dwells at four national monuments gracing the Franschhoek Valley landscape. 

For the wine-loving, eco-traveller within 

The La Motte Hiking Trail will certain appeal to the wine-loving, eco-traveller within. The circular route, which starts at the La Motte Tasting Room, stretches over five kilometres, can take anywhere between two to three hours depending on your pace.  

Coupled with information from a well-informed and passionate guide about the Valley’s history, flora and fauna, hikers receive a hiking trail map, bottle of water and will be treated to light refreshments when stopping for a breather at the Lapa.  


Bosjes farm, Breede Valley

Sometimes they say the most beautiful things don't come in size and Bosjes Chapel affirms this as it is the first attraction one see when walking into the BOSJES farm. 

Situated in the Breede River Valley, the farm boasts the striking chapel, inspired by Psalm 36:7 "How precious, O God, is Your constant love! We find protection under the shadow of Your wings" with inspiration, clearly, reflected in the building as it spreads its "wings".

Bosjes means ‘small bushes’ in Dutch and is the name that was given to the Bosjeman’s Valley Farm, which produces wine grapes, olives, peaches, and proteas. 

The farm has been in the Botha and Stofberg family since 1831 and has been open to the public. 

Not only do tourists and locals flock to the farm to experience its impressive landscapes, historical architecture, and exquisite new additions, which have been beneficial to the local community, but BOSJES has now turned into a must-visit attraction.

Unlimited showers are the order of the day

The farm is open to day visitors as well as overnight guests, who can stay in Die Skuur Guesthouse and guests desperate for a bath during #CapeWaterRestrictions, here unlimited showers are the order of the day as the farm has its own water supply.

This, together with the incredible avant-garde chapel, makes BOSJES the perfect out-of-town escape. 

Irresistible food

After working up an appetite from soaking in the breath-taking landscaped chapel garden views filled with plants referenced in the Bible, visitors have the option of visiting the BOSJES TeeTuin for a cup of coffee or BOSJES Kombuis for lunch where executive chef Kim Cox's silky smooth ice creams, in flavours like chocolate brownie and vanilla, are so irresistible that guests may find themselves driving back out to the farm just for a second taste. 

Other tempting desserts include almond pannacotta with poached pear and shortbread and old-fashioned malva pudding with vanilla ice cream.

The restaurant, just like the chapel, was designed by Coetzee Steyn from Steyn Studio and is the perfect contrast to the old manor house next to it.  

The restaurant boasts high ceilings, glass walls, a wooden terrace, mountain views and a historical-and-nature inspired blue and white tiled mural of the Bosjes Tree of Life created by Lucie de Moyencourt and Michael Chandler. 


Kunjani Wines, Stelenbosch

As a new kid on the block, Kunjani Wines was conceptualised in 2011 when a chance encounter between a German Entrepreneur, Paul Barth and a South African Businesswoman, Pia Watermeyer birthed a vision for a cross-continental wine.

The Kunjani hands represent a greeting between friends. “Kunjani” means “Hi, how are you?” and that is exactly how great relationships start. A simple greeting and a great glass of wine between new friends.

Officially opening in November, Kunjani’s delicious wines and its breathtaking beautiful interior is best paired with their carefully curated menu - designed to be a FUN dining experience.

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