Less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town, visitors find themselves at the start of the Western Cape’s most celebrated vineyards, and the estates of Somerset West, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Wellington and Paarl.
But wander a little further up the coast and you’ll discover the secrets of the Agulhas Wine Route, keep going and you’re into Garden Route territory, and some of the most charming, inviting and surprising wine farms in South Africa. Here are just a few of our favourites to enjoy once lockdown is well and truly over.
Boplaas’s cellar is located on the outskirts of Calitzdorp. This small Karoo town is known for its stunning mountain ranges, fertile soil, Portuguese varietals and fine wine – and Boplaas is no exception. Taste some exceptional wine with their knowledgeable team (and learn about their ‘Portugal connection’), buy local produce to support the surrounding community, or stop for a bite to eat.
Alternatively, head to their tasting room on Klipheuwel Farm, near the Klein Brak Rivier, between Mossel Bay and George. Sip on some of their wine under the trees or on their beloved stoep, just make sure to enjoy one of their legendary cheese platters.
Discover Boplaas: Did you know that Boplaas also produces some of the region’s finest gin? Don’t take our word for it, try Boplaas’s Eight Citrus Gin and uncover one of the best hand-crafted gins on the Garden Route. A favourite of Fancourt’s gin tasting events.
2. Herold Wines
Herold Wines lies on the slopes of Cradock Peak, the highest crest of the Outeniqua Mountain range between George and Oudtshoorn. This spectacular position is home to some spectacular vines, including sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, merlot, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon.
Enjoy an unforgettable wine tasting among the tanks and barrels in the farm’s working cellar, opt for a light lunch or picnic and fall in love with true Garden Route warmth and hospitality.
Discover Herold Wines: Set off with the kids to explore the estate’s walking trails, fynbos footpaths and river swimming pools. It is also a bird lover’s paradise with well over 100 bird species having been listed. Even better? It’s a just a hop, skip and a jump from Fancourt.
If breathtaking views, fresh air and family fun is your thing, you need to head to Bramon at The Crags just outside Plettenberg Bay.
A tour around their super-mod, upgraded cellar is a must, but so is lunch among the vines with a glass of their best bubbly! Kids of both the two-legged and four-legged variety are welcome, so take your dog and enjoy a fabulous day out – definitely bookmark for when things start getting back to normal.
Discover Bramon: If you’re a fan of both the hop and the grape you’ll be delighted to learn that Bramon is now serving local craft beer at their tasting centre. Unfiltered and unpasteurised, it’s made from GMO-free barley, yeast, hops and Outeniqua rainwater!
4. Kay & Monty Vineyards
Staying in Plett, Kay & Monty Vineyards is one of the region’s most beloved, magical estates.
Best known for their award-winning sauvignon blanc and Méthode cap Classique (called ‘Champu’), this boutique wine farms boasts an impressive ‘glassed’ tasting room with panoramic views over mountains and lake.
Discover Kay & Monty: Once a polo estate, you’ll love the vineyard’s horses, beautiful surroundings and the chance to settle in front of a roaring fire on wintery weekends.
Right at the start of the Garden Route, in the coastal town of Mossel Bay, you’ll find Jakkelsvlei Private Cellar. This 34-hectare vineyard is situated 40 km from the Indian Ocean at the foot of the Langeberg mountains.
You’ll love their versatile range of wines, including a fresh and zesty sauvignon blanc, a coffee-driven Pinotage, and a full-bodied cabernet sauvignon. There is something for everyone, right down to their famous red muscadel.
Discover Jakkelsvlei: It’s hard to beat the location of Jakkelsvlei’s state-of-the-art tasting venue. Enjoy sweeping views over the valley and vineyards before tucking into one of their picnic baskets on their lush green lawns.
6. Packwood Wine Estate
No list is complete without Packwood Wine Estate, a gorgeous farm between Knysna and Plettenberg, surrounded by indigenous forests and amazing views.
Enjoy a wine and cheese tasting of note, as you discover the farm’s three award-winning wines and their delicious home-made cheeses, using milk from their pasture-fed jersey cows. Happily, we know their cheeses first-hand, having graced many a cheese board at Fancourt!
Discover Packwood: You’ll love the spirit and ethos of the Packwood team as you learn more about their sustainable farming practices such as rain harvesting, natural fertiliser, bio dynamic management and use of hydroponics.
These are just six of the farms out of a host of different, eclectic and must-visit estates on the Garden Route. We’ll continue to celebrate and showcase Garden Route wine in all our restaurants – just ask our chefs or Food & Beverage Manager for their best recommendation. Or ask our leisure team to organise a wonderful day out on a favourite wine route.