Although Stellenbosch is seen as the wine capital of South Africa, we do have many other areas where world class wines are produced. The estates in these areas are as good as any in Stellenbosch but because some of them are so remote and removed from larger tourist attractions, they have not been able to get the same attention as that of the top wine estates in Stellenbosch. We promised you a list of top wine estates outside of “ground zero” Stellenbosch, here it is.
Image Jamie Goode (www.wineanorak.com)
Creation is situated just off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean a few minutes’ drive from Hermanus, the town known as one of the best whale watching spots in the world. The farm is situated in the Hemel en Aarde Valley which provides perfect conditions for the growing of various varieties of grape cultivars. The warm Overberg region together with the cool breeze from the Atlantic Ocean seems to work perfectly for the creation winemakers. The young winemakers at Creation experiment with different cultivars and blends producing surprising and exiting wines.
The motto of La Motte is “a culture of excellence” and they certainly have taken this to heart. The farm is situated just outside of Franschhoek in the valley with the same name. The farm is home to some of South Africa’s best wines especially their Shiraz cultivar. Together with a world class restaurant in Pierneef à La Motte, exceptional wine and an art gallery displaying artwork from famous landscape artist Jacobus Pierneef, La Motte has been able to turn themselves into not just a world class wine estate but into a wine destination. La Motte won the Best of Wine Tourism award in South Africa for 2014.
The Estate boasts 4 national monuments in the Manor House, Jonkershuis, Water Mill and the historic Cellar which have all been fully restored. Dennegeur is a small village on La Motte that was built for the residents of the farm and other farmworkers of Rupert Family farms. The village has a nursery school, sports facilities, library and they offer free personal financial management assistance to all their employees. This is all part of La Motte’s process of giving back to and empowering the community.
Under the Drakenstein Mountain lies L’Ormarins the home of Rupert Wines. Here grapes from four farms across the Western Cape are brought together to cultivate some of South Africa’s finest wines. The estate is steeped with a rich history which stretches back to 1714, the year in which the first title deed for L’Ormarins was granted.
The flagship attraction of this farm however is arguably not the wine but the Franschhoek Motor Museum. This museum hosts one of the finest private collections of motor vehicles in the world. Approximately 300 cars are held here but only 80 are on display at any given time, the cars are rotated monthly. The monetary value of this collection cannot be measured with cars ranging from a 1903 Ford Model A to a one of a kind 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Nembo Spider, to a McLaren F1 which is exhibited between numerous F1 racing cars that date back as far as the 1950’s.
On the Southern end of the Paarl Mountain just off the shadow of the Afrikaans Taal Monument lies a farm with a difference. Despite producing wine that is year in and year out ranked among the top 100 wines of South Africa, Fairview is popularly known for its cheese and its experimenting with goat’s cheese.
At Fairview you can combine a wine, olive oil and cheese tasting with artisan cheeses made on the farm. Families with kids can attend cheese-making workshops and afterwards enjoy a nice lunch or dinner at the Mediterranean style restaurant. Fairview is for those who like something different, the goat on its tower on the front lawn confirms that.
With a history of over 300 years Groot Constantia is the oldest wine estate in South Africa. This historical South African institution has for many years held the South African name high in the international wine industry. In 1685 Simon Van Der Stel received the first title deed for this farm and he named the farm Constantia, he was later to become the governor of the Cape Colony. The wines of Groot Constantia have been named under the top 100 wines of South Africa numerous times.
Many of the buildings on the estate are national monuments and the farm even hosts a museum. The orientation centre of the museum has many different artefacts on display that are a part of the history of the farm. The homestead is also part of the museum and here one can view the original homestead of Simon Van Der Stel that is thought to have been built during the Dutch Renaissance era of 1666-1727. The estate has two restaurant Jonkershuis, which is a bistro style restaurant and Simon’s, a fine dining restaurant, both are world class.
Babylonstoren is among the oldest wine estates in South Africa with a history stretching back to 1692. Since 2007 it has undergone a total revamp and facelift under its current owners and they have built it into one of South African leading wine estates. The focus of the estate “is to have guests feel more comfortable, more alive among warm smiles and the simple daily rhythm of the farm”. The estate can almost be seen as a resort with a Farm Hotel, Restaurant, Spa, beautiful gardens and great wine, there is no reason why you should ever leave the farm. The hotel suites were built in Cape Dutch style buildings dating back as far as the 17th and 18th century. This estate gives visitors a truly unique experience by providing them with luxury world class accommodation while also making them feel at one with nature and giving them a true farm experience.
On the slopes of the Helderberg Mountains lies Vergelegen one of South Africa’s most iconic wine estates. The estate dates back to 1700 with the title deed changing hands numerous times. Since the current owners, Anglo American took over the estate in 1987 it has gone from strength to strength gaining over 200 awards for their wines since 1999.
One of Vergelegen’s most popular activities that are on offer is the trip up the Helderberg mountain to the winery plant and a walk under the vast Camphor laurels. These laurels were planted by Willem van der Stel, the first owner of Vergelegen and previous governor of the Cape, in around 1705, they have been declared a protected provincial heritage site. The estate exudes quality and perfection like no other estate in the area.
The name Weltevrede means Well at Peace and when visiting this estate one can understand why it was given that name. The farm is run by Philip Jonker, a fourth generation Jonker family winemaker following in his forefathers footsteps. The farm is situated in the Robertson valley just outside of the town of Bonnievale. The friendly and inviting atmosphere at Weltevrede is par for the course in the unpretentious Robertson valley.
The estate provides self-catering accommodation for visitors who would like to experience the tranquillity of the Robertson valley. Many wine farms these days are run by corporate companies as a investment but the Jonker family has kept the charm of the farm intact despite many other farms turning into resort like establishments around them. The award-winning Chardonnay could have put Weltevrede on this list on its own merit!
2004 is the year in which it all turned around for Waterkloof. Paul Boutinot took over the farm in that year with a vision to produce exceptional quality wines year in and year out. At Waterkloof they aspire to produce what they call honest wines with a sense of location, which means they are aspiring to produce good quality unique wines that will put the area on the map as a fine wine producing area. The restaurant focuses on seasonal fresh food from local farms and they produce some of the best dishes in the area.
What gives Waterkloof an edge and what put them on this list is the absolutely breath-taking views from the restaurant and the tasting room. Waterkloof offers an unrestricted panoramic view over False Bay and the Helderberg Mountains from Cape Point in the west to Gordon’s Bay in the east. The views are truly spectacular and one can say with confidence that nowhere else can you experience such a beautiful view of False Bay while enjoying exceptional wine and delicious food as one can at Waterkloof.
This farm is one of the last wine farms at the very end of the Franschhoek Valley. The farm itself is small but the winery collects grapes from all over the Western Cape to produce a wide variety of wines under a number of labels. Boekenhoutskloof, the Wolf Trap, Porcupine Ridge and the Chocolate Block are the different labels bottled at Boekenhoutskloof. Some of the vines that the grapes come from are over 100 years old giving the Boekenhoutskloof wines their distinctive taste.
The tasting room and the estate itself is very inconspicuous considering the variety of top class wines that they produce at the estate. The Chocolate Block is without a doubt their flagship wine, it is a blend of various red wine cultivars mixed together to form a very popular wine that has won numerous awards. This estate is a must for true wine lovers and those who enjoy visiting places that are off the beaten track.
Let us at FlightSite help you to get on the next flight to Cape Town so that you can enjoy these world class wine estates in South Africa.