One of the most iconic activities one can participate in, in the Western Cape is a visit to a wine farm for some wine tasting. The Mother City is universally known for the high quality wines she produces, and tasting this product of the vine is an experience and education in itself. Normally, however, these tastings are associated with the Constantia, Stellenbosch, or Franschhoek Wine Route.etc but today we ventured into the Elgin Valley .
Thus it was a surprise to go wine tasting in Elgin, the home of apple and pear farming. The Elgin Valley, close to Grabouw and Tulbagh, is renowned for its production of apples and pears and is the home of Appetizer. It is also the home of Karen Kortje, perhaps the most talented Idols winner of all!
A half-day tour of the Elgin Wine Route
What you get:
A half day wine tour to three boutique wineries in the picturesque Elgin Valley region.
A vehicle is provided, as are snacks and water.
Groups are limited to 10 individuals per vehicles.
Lunch comes at an additional cost and can be pre-arranged with Old Mac Daddy.
Your tour is led by an informative wine guide – feel free to ask as many wine-related questions as you like.
Your tour group departs from Old Mac Daddy, which is set on a working farm in Elgin Valley.
Duration: 3 hours 30 min.
Lunch comes at an additional cost and needs to be pre-arranged.
But what a surprise! A pleasant hour and a bit drive out of Cape Town we met our guide Tyrone, at South Hill Farm as Old Mac Daddy had a private function booked, we were welcomed with a delicious cup of java, which is always welcome.
South Hill the Vineyard , named as all the hills face south!
A perfect setting for a lazy afternoon or an intimate wedding, the farm, restaurant and art collection would make your day just perfect.
Here we were met by none other than Kevin King the owner of the farm, who, very proudly and passionately, invited us to taste a selection of three of his wines produced on the farm. The farm offer 2 ranges namely:
South Hill MCC Blanc de Blanc – Bottle fermented sparkling wine with a rich, soft palate and gentle fine mousse. The decadent, creamy mouth feel is the product of 60 months extended lees contact, 100% Chardonnay
South Hill Sauvignon Blanc – Crisp, cool climate mineral backbone with generous, tropical fruit aromas of passion fruit & litchi and a soft well-integrated natural acidity
South Hill Dry Rose – Shiraz Rose with refreshingly dry aromas of strawberry & tropical fruit which follow through to a soft, juicy palate & enticingly clean finish
South Hill Cabernet Sauvignon – Soft tannins and juicy fruit with typical Cabernet aromas of black cherries & cassis together with a judicious oaking regime using minimal new wood allow for a deliciously supple, medium bodied wine
Kevin King Bassey – A special blended wine with a wonderfully complex palate & enough natural acidity to make it a versatile food partner with excellent aging potential, 53% Semillon 47% Sauvignon Blanc
Kevin King Bazza – Beautiful clean fruit layered with earthy notes typical of Pinot Noir. Subtle, understated yet cerebral wine, 100% Pinot Noir
Kevin King BBK – Juicy and fruity with notes of apricot and plum – a great partner to red meat dishes, 100% Malbec
Kevin King Micah – Juicy, spicy cool climate Syrah with a refreshing leanness imparted from Mouvedre and Barbera, 50% Syrah, 25% Barbera, 25% Mouverdre
Waiters fussed around serving the twelve guests as we listened to King regale us with stories of how the wines were named. It was wonderful that the owner himself took time out to meet with us and share his stories.
The on the estate is also a stunning guesthouse, is a five bedroom, en suite luxury villa with full guest amenities, or for a romantic getaway the aptly named honeymoon cottage called The Pumphouse.
FULL ALBUM SET CLICK HERE
|South Hill The Vineyard
Here we were met by Paul and Nicky Wallace, proud owner and passionate wine maker. Friendly and very knowledgeable, he also shared his passion for wines and wine making. He shared how he came to own the farm and the journey he and his family went through to make the farm the success it is today.
Real salt of the earth people, the not only opened up their farm to us but also their hearts. Their love for their farm, wines and what they trying to build, certainly was felt by all. No-one wanted to leave; we were made to feel so welcome. Wonderful stories, wonderful wines paired with artisan chocolate.
We loved the wines so much we left with a good couple of their beauties:
Paul Wallace “Black Dog” Malbec – Named after their beautiful dog Jake. Wine is dark in colour, well-muscled intense and full of character. The entry onto the palate is a satisfying savoury mouthful of dark fruits and spice, with silky tannins. (from the website)
Paul Wallace “Brave Heart” Pinot Noir – The name is a tribute to William Wallace, a man of great principle and heart, who they would like to believe, is one of their ancestors. It is also a play on the Pinot Noir cultivars nickname � the Heart Break grape. Fresh primary fruits, wafts of red cherries, strawberries and mulberries on the nose. . (from the website)
Paul Wallace “Little Flirt” Sauvignon Blanc – As the name suggests she is little charmer and somewhat flirtatious. Bright and appealing with prominent pear, litchi and kiwifruit on the nose. An explosion of fruit on the palate reveals grapefruit, tropical fruits and even a hint of golden delicious apples. (from the website)
Paul Wallace “Crackerjack” – The first clue that this is an absolutely outstanding wine is the rich impenetrable purple colour. The nose excites with wafts of luxurious black fruits – blackberries, blackcurrants, dark chocolate and a hint of clove. (from the website)
Paul Wallace “THE NIX” SAUVIGNON BLANC NOBLE LATE HARVEST – Named after Pauls wife, who is partial to a noble to round of a fine meal, this wine possesses both charm and backbone � two of Nix’s personal traits. It flaunts layers of dense apricot and tangerine fruits, with a hint of almond and star anise and a drizzle of honey. An invigorating fruity acid adds backbone and structure to this maiden release of the Paul Wallace “The Nix� Noble Late Harvest. (from the website)
We had to take home of each and also some of their delicious olive oil. The farm offers 2 self-catering cottages. Each cottage consists of one room with a queen sized bed and one room with a king sized bed that can be changed into two single beds. There is a shared bathroom with shower, toilet and hand basin, lounge, open plan kitchenette with seating and built-in outside braai.
The kitchen is equipped with a 4-plate hob and microwave, fridge with small freezer compartment. There is full package DSTV in the living area, free Wi-Fi (to be used with discretion).
FULL ALBUM SET CLICK HERE
Be sure to contact them :
Again we were taken on a ride – this time to Almenkerk. Here one was struck by the beauty and majesty of the Elgin Valley as we gazed across rolling green hills and valleys on a warm summer’s day.
Owned by the Belgian/Dutch van Almenkerk family and run by Natalie and Joris van Almenkerk.
The Estate was originally an apple farm. Of the 32 hectares of apple trees, they only kept 4 hectares. They offer both relaxed wine tastings and more technical tastings, depending on your preference. As part of the experience, and also give cellar tours.
Almenkerk (Flagship) Range
2016 Sauvignon Blanc – A true terroir wine, it offsets the typical green aromas of Sauvignon Blanc with the tropical tones of fully ripened fruit. (from the website)
2015 Chardonnay – This classic cool-climate Chardonnay is packed with citrus fruit and balanced by gentle wooding. (from the website)
2013 Syrah – Elegantly structured, full-bodied palate. Supple texture with fruit concentration. (from the website)
Merlot 2013 – This elegant Merlot aims to showcase the best our cool climate Elgin Valley can offer; blackcurrant and dark cherry fruit purity supported by a fine, graphite tannin structure showing great depth and length. (from the website)
Lace by Almenkerk
2015 Sauvignon Blanc – The wine is upfront fruity and floral, yet possesses the hallmark features of Elgin’s cool-climate Sauvignon blancs: an elegant structure with zesty and bell pepper notes, supported by a core of minerality. (from the website)
2016 Dry Rosé – Aromas of ripe raspberry and watermelon are complemented on the palate by a savoury character. (from the website)
2013 Vineyard Selection – Natural acidity and purity of fruit – typical of Elgin’s cool terroir – make for an elegant wine with a lingering finish. (from the website)
FULL ALBUM SET CLICK HERE
The group we were with consisted of a bunch of very lively and intelligent young people. Their passion for life and fun, and the depth of their conversation left one very excited about the future of our country. Some more wines were enjoyed; with the conversation becoming more and more animated (perhaps the fruit of the vine had something to do with this!).
What a fantastic experience tasting wonderful wines in apple country. In a completely relaxed atmosphere, we learnt so much about various types of wines, how the vines are prepared and grown, how climate impacts the type of wine eventually produced, how wines are paired, and so much more.
We ended back at South Hill where a light lunch was enjoyed.
Ever wondered about going wine tasting? Go off the beaten track to the stunning wine farms in the Elgin Valley. Good people, good wine, beautiful surroundings, awesome experience. Perfect.
Contact the folks at Daddy’s Adventures they’ll be sure to hook you up.
L: +27 21 844 0241
Thank you to Mr and Mrs Anthony Adams for joining us and contributing.