Elgin Wine Region

Elgin Wine Region

Note that this valley is just over the mountain from Somerset West – as such it is not far from Cape Town.  When planning your trip, note that Elgin is en route to Hermanus – as such it makes perfect sense to pop in and explore the beautiful Elgin region if you are planning to go to Hermanus to spend the night.  Visit www.elginwine.co.za and click on map to get the wine route area map. The Elgin region has launched its first official wine route – click here to get the map (Oct 2012)

  • Paul Cluver – it was not long ago that this valley was only famous for apples! With the losing of the growing restrictions on areas for wine production in South Africa, the Cluvers were among the first to “experiment” with growing grapes for wine production in the region.  The results were excellent and as such many others are currently establishing themselves in the region.  This is going to be an exciting area to watch develop.  The Cluvers are very environmentally aware and have set aside half of their estate for conservation of the Fynbos plants found on the farm.  In addition they are the initiator and founders of Thandi wines – this is a Fair trade initiative where land has been set-aside for the workers to grow and make their own wines.  They have won many awards for their green initiatives.  Note that the wine is good too!   Check their website to see when the summer concerts are on – they are held in an open amphitheatre and attract a really good line up of shows.  In addition a new farm restaurant has opened called FRESH on the estate.  This is a lovely relaxed country kitchen owned by Joan.  Joan loves to come up with new recipes and delicious combinations.  This is well worth a stop if you are in the region.  They have lovely long rustic wooden outside tables and it is just the perfect spot to spend a relaxed afternoon.  www.cluver.com PS if visiting the restaurant – ask Joan to show you her fresh vegetable and herb garden – no doubt whatever is fresh on the menu will have come from her amazing garden.  (Note Paul Cluver has been awarded champion status for the BWI (Biodiversity Wine Initiative))
  • Oak Valley – is a gorgeous huge estate that in addition to wines, does fresh cut flowers, apples, pears, free range beef, acorn fed free range pigs, has a mountain biking trail through the vines and has walking paths.  Once again this is a cool wine region – as such their sauvignon blanc is fantastic and I would highly recommend trying their pinot noir.  The Oak Valley Chardonnay is also really delicious.  (Note Oak Valley has been awarded champion status for the BWI (Biodiversity Wine Initiative)) www.oakvalley.co.za
  • Iona – ok, so even if you do not make it here – you need to make a point of looking for the Iona Sauvignon Blanc on wine menus.  It is my favourite sauvignon blanc in South Africa.   There is good reason for this too.  Iona is home to the coolest vineyards in the country.  Due to this they harvest up to two months later then the other farms in the Cape.   Also try the chardonnay – which is produced in small quantities – 50% is barrel matured in French oak and of this, only 20% is new wood.  This results in a wonderfully balanced chardonnay where the fruit is not swamped by the oaking.  Delicious!  www.iona.co.za
  • South Hill – gorgeous estate with a lovely restaurant on it called Gordon Manuel @ The Venue.  Worth popping into for an upmarket country restaurant experience.  Beautiful restaurant and really lovely people who make you feel very welcome.  www.southhill.co.za

BOTRIVER

This is literally next door to the Elgin region – so should be combined if you have time

  • Luddite (appointment needed) – this is a gem! Neils makes only Shiraz and it is excellent.  Half the fun is doing the tasting with him or his wife Penny.  Be sure to include this spot if you are in the area.  A Luddite is someone who does not like technology – so it will give you a clue to his winemaking style.  They are now making really interesting sausages – so be sure to make sure they allow you to sample them!  www.luddite.co.za
  • Beaumont – this is a lovely family concern with an interesting range of reds – well worth popping into – you pass it on the way to Luddite.  www.beaumont.co.za