Everyone thinks that Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are the best wine areas in Cape Town. Now don’t get me wrong, they are amazing!!! (#firstworldproblems) but if you happen to want for a new adventure, Robertson is the place for you.
I recently took a shot left and ventured out to the Robertson wine valley. Firstly, can we have a moment for the beautiful drive? If you haven’t done it before, you should. It really is a drive that is breathtaking. If you leave early, the morning light hits the mountains in a way that will make you see them with new eyes!
Once in Robertson there are so many activities and exciting places to stay, that I simply had to share them. The wonderful thing is that a few of them are children friendly and pet friendly so the whole family can join in on the fun!
One of my first experiences in Robertson was something a little different. You have all heard of a braai (a South African BBQ) and you have all heard of a fondue. Well, combine the two and you have one awesome lunch spot at Rietvallei Wines. A family run business filled with a passion for wines to the point that most of them are named after family members! I am all about being a proudly South African girl when it comes to a great braai. The meat was beautiful and the awesome thing is that it all came from local farmers. So one could say, a true farm to table experience. It definitely left me pondering about the point of rather than meat free Monday, we should eat less meat and actually support local free-range farmer. Food for thought. Bookings are essential.
With my stomach full and my thirst for wine not quiet satisfied (I am slightly wine obsessed) I ventured off to a magnificent estate, De Wetshof. I was treated to a walking tour of the estate and a site specific Chardonnay tasting in the vineyards. It was one of the most beautiful wine tastings I have ever had. The splendid cheese and charcuterie platters were delectable and the crisp wine was perfect to wash it all down. I really enjoyed watching the sunset while sitting between the vineyards that had produced the amazing wine I was drinking! It was something unique and I would definitely book the experience again!
My first night in the area I stayed at one of my favourite spots. I actually did a blog post on them specifically not too long ago that you can read here. The country lodge is called Jan Harms Gat and it is filled with history and charm. It is a five star establishment that offers not only their own amazing wine but also a food pairing that is scrumptious and homey. Waking up in the mist to a farm style breakfast and hot coffee is something I will never get tired of.
What would a trip into wine country be with out bubbles? No not champagne but MCC. A proudly South African Methode Cap Classique and my host, Graham Beck Wines. I was treated to an educational and fascinating side to the widely enjoyed MCC. To see the hours of labour and love that go into every bottle was amazing! It made me realize that next time you want to complain about the price of your wine, you should think about the months of labour and love that go into each bottle! It was mind blowing to see. The tasting session of still wines as well as their prized MCC left me wanting more. I was so impressed with their still wines that I walked away (proudly) with four bottles in hand and slightly tipsy because I wasn’t going to pour it out after each tasting!
I popped into Springfield Wines for a tasting and I was stunned with their beautiful grounds! A pet friendly spot (which I love) Springfield offers the option to pack your own picnic basket and spend the day basking on their lawn whilst sipping on their five star wines! Not a bad option if you want to get away from the humdrum of the city! The views are incredible and the ambiance is relaxing!
After having my lion’s share of wine I visited the vibey and rustic Olive farm Marbrin. They produce some of South Africa’s top olive oil and walked me through the process of making it. I loved tasting the variants that were earthy and bold but I must admit, it was terribly hard to not get distracted by their cute collie that kept asking for his stick to be thrown. I was brought back to reality when cheese tasting was mentioned. If you know me, I am ALL about the cheese. La Mont cheese had put together a mouth-watering cheese tasting that included fried Halloumi and cream cheese with focaccia. They supply some cheese to Woolworths including their Halloumi. With home made Limoncello (made on the farm) to end off the day it made for a memorable experience.
Mo & Rose was my lodging for my final nights stay in Robertson. I love this guesthouse and highly recommend it if you are passing by or looking for great four-star accommodation in Robertson. The décor is simplistic with a european flair and the bedrooms have fireplaces, a major plus when the sun goes down, as the area can get very cold in winter. It used to be a cactus nursery in the 1950’s and was bought over by Axil and Mo. She had a vision and transformed the magnificent garden into what it is today. Some of her cacti are 60 years and older! There are gardens tours for in house guest (booking in advance is essential.) The food menu is simple but it is done well and at the end of the day that is what it is all about. With friendly service and a peaceful atmosphere Mo & Rose ranks as one of my top experiences in Robertson. Even if you were passing by I would stop for a cup of coffee and a walk through the succulents!
If you haven’t done a wine and chocolate pairing before it is really something you have to try! Robertson Winery does a wonderful one! Bookings are essential, as you don’t want to miss out and be disappointed. I was treated to a tasting in their cellars that are 75 years old! It was a great experience. With locally sourced chocolate that has been perfectly matched to their wines, I really enjoyed the education I received on the nuances of the flavours I was experiencing! I mean chocolate and wine! What’s not to love?
A great lunch spot and my final destination in Robertson was the Van Loveren Wine estate. I opted for a garden tour, as I am a geek for history and nature! I loved learning about the towering trees and soaking up the energy that they give out as you walk the estate. With great wines to match the beauty of the property I settled down for lunch. The food was delicious, hearty and left me content. Not only with lunch and wine but also a wonderful weekend getaway.
So next time you want to experience Cape Town's wine culture at its finest, take a drive out to Robertson Wine Valley!