The Wine Routes Less Travelled
Here are a selection of the lesser trailed wine routes. As we said before, there’s a lot of fabulous wine farms around Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Durbanville, but it’s sometimes nicer to go off the beaten track to the less sophisticated places, so here are some routes to try.
Constantia Wine Route
Despite being found in Cape Town itself, it seems to be a much less frequented wine route.
The Constantia Valley is beautiful and this small route includes such gems as Eagles’ Nest; Klein & Groot Constantia; Steenberg and Buitenverwachting.
In fact all the wine farms on this route are worth a visit!
Swartland Wine Route
The wine farms along this route are varied – well known and garagista, with some being open to the public daily and the smaller, private cellars by appointment only (with 48 hours notice required). It’s worth the effort to explore and discover new wine makers in the Swartland as it’s acquiring a reputation for producing some great wines.
Especially of interest on this route are Mullineux & Leeu (who make award winning wine after award winning wine); Badenhorst Family Wines and The Sadie Family Wines – all of which are by appointment only. Allesverloren (famous for its port) and Kloovenburg are also worth a visit and open daily.
If you don’t feel inclined (or have the time) to make a few bookings, their wines can be tasted at The Wine Kollective in Riebeek Kasteel, where Anton sells everything at cellar prices.
Darling Wine Route
This is a popular and small wine route that runs off the R27 on the West Coast. Being so close to the sea the climate is cooler than inland and according to the wine makers produces superlative fruit!
Groote Post is a must visit, not only for the wines, but for the beautiful old buildings as well; Darling Cellars and Cloof Wine Estate also produce some very decent wines and are worth stopping at.
All the farms are within easy travelling distance of each other which means more time for tasting!
Hermanus Wine Route
This route along the south coast has some great wineries to visit with the added benefit of being close to the sea! From June to September there’s the additional thrill of being able to watch whales.
The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley is gorgeous and includes some great wine farms such as Hermanuspietersfontein; Bouchard Finlayson; Newton Johnson and Creation to name a few. A much quieter route with spectacular scenery.
Stanford Wine Route
This recently established wine route takes you through breathtaking scenery and to some of the much less visited wine farms. Raka is of particular note and the Birkenhead Brewery, for those hop heads amongst us (which includes us too), was one of the first craft breweries in the country.
Elgin Wine Route
In the beautiful Elgin Valley that’s full of oak trees and is a tapestry of browns, golds and reds in Autumn. This area is especially noted for its Pinot Noir and some of the best can be found at Oak Valley and Paul Cluver Estates. Other wine farms to look out for are Catherine Marshall and Iona.
Bot River Wine Route
This is a real wine route for those lovers of the road less travelled. The Bot River Winegrowers Association describe themselves as unspoilt, down-to-earth, sociable characters who make handcrafted wines and are committed to bio-diversity farming. All the farms can be visited within a 10km radius and one of our favourites, Luddite, can be found on this route.