The western and southern coastal stretches of South Africa experience the Mediterranean climate. The ideal climate, combined with the fertile soil, fascinated the European settlers who set foot in Western Cape. So, they initiated agricultural activities, amongst other things. One of the benefits was the mass production of wine on the massive lands the governors purchased. Most of these wine farms still operate to this day, offering high-quality wines for much more affordable prices compared to countries in Europe. While almost all of the wine farms offer an above-average experience, we would like to give you our top recommendations.
La Motte, Franschhoek
Franschhoek has wine farms like fish in the sea, but very few of them are as elegant as La Motte. La Motte is an establishment by Anton Rupert, a global industrialist, businessman, and one of the wealthiest people in South Africa at the time. Today, the farm’s ownership moved on to his daughter Hanelli Koegelenberg-Rupert, who is also one of the leading meso-sopranos of the country. Judging from above, it’s not surprising that the wine farm has an exquisite decor full of art pieces. For instance, it has an exhibition called Ink on Paper that focuses on printmaking techniques, including the works of the first printmaking artist of South Africa, JH Pierneef. If you want to stimulate your intellect while tasting internationally acclaimed wines, this is the place to go.
Spice Route, Paarl
More than just a wine farm, Spice Route is a place that can make your tummy happier than your mom can. Situated on the outskirts of Paarl Mountains, this scenic venue offers not only wine tasting, but also includes wine-chocolate pairings, chocolate tasting, craft beer tasting, a fine dining restaurant, a pizzeria, and a cozy coffee shop. After reaching the peak of joy, you can lie on the grass under the shade of a tree and watch the stunning views as a perfect way to end your day. The place even offers discount pass-tickets that include all of the above for reasonable prices all year round.
Van Loveren, Robertson
The quaint town of Robertson is part of the famous Wine Route of South Africa. At the heart of Robertson Valley lies a family farm with great historical value. The ancestors of the Van Loveren family came to South Africa from Holland in the 16th century and settled in the area. Today, Van Loveren is one of the most reputable wine brands in South Africa. If you are a true wine-lover, you should visit where it all started. The place has an extensive collection of wine tasting opportunities, including wine-chocolate, wine-meat, and wine-cheese pairings. Nestled in a mountainous area, the farm boasts various outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain biking if you want to burn the calories afterward.
Lutzville Wines, Lutzville
The Matzikama region in the north of Western Cape has the highest amount of vineyards in South Africa, although they are lesser-known. The soil is quite fertile, while the water supply from nearby rivers and dams is more than enough for the growth. Four hours from Cape Town is the small town of Lutzville, which has a brand of the same name. The locally produced wines of Lutzville are available at Lutzville Wines, with the side benefit of a massive cheese platter. If you thought the wines of Cape Town are cheap, wait until you taste five different wines for only 1.5 USD.
Fryer’s Cove, Doringbaii
It is often not imaginable to come across a wine farm right by the coastline, but nothing is impossible in South Africa. With the motto Forged on the earth, tempered by the sea, Fryer’s Cove Vineyard is only 50 meters from the ocean- the nearest any vineyard can get. The place got its name after Richard Fryer, who was the first British settler in the area and a commercial farmer. The vineyard offers not only wines that have a distinct maritime flavor from the ocean but also freshly caught seafood. So, we strongly recommend that you visit with an empty stomach.
Doolhof Wine Estate, Wellington
Doolhof Wine Estate has one of the optimum geographic conditions in the Western Cape. Lying between Witte River and the Groenberg Mountain Range, it offers a microclimate, where both the summers and the winters are slightly colder than the typical Western Cape climate. Also, the nutrient content of the soil is more abundant than the surrounding areas. With so much clay in its texture, the soil content enables the roots to grow more than four meters into the earth. Finally, the mountains shorten the time of sunlight exposure in the area, which means a longer ripening time for the grapes. The result is an award-winning wine estate, producing seven types of red and two types of white. That’s not all; the wine farm is also open to glampers, with luxurious chalets featuring everything from queen-sized beds to the outdoor jacuzzi.
A list of South Africa’s best wine farms cannot be complete without the mention of Babylonstoren. As one of the oldest wine farms in the country, it has planted the foundations of winery techniques, from enriching the soil content to processing the wines. There is more; the grape is not the only fruit that grows in Babylonstoren. On the contrary, you will find various types of fruits growing depending on the season. The best part is, you can pick these fruits with an additional 1 USD. The massive gardens of Babylonstoren have a great potential to be the modern Alice’s Wonderland, with magical herb gardens, picnic areas, and even prehistoric plants.