OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
For wine lovers looking for a special tasting experience on small working wine farms with one-on-one winemaker and / or owner sessions look no further.
AYAMA WINES – SLENT FARM
In sharp contrast with the traditional wine farm set-up, Ayama Wines, situated on the Slent Farm, is home to a healthy population of small game; grey duiker, grysbok, steenbok, porcupine, bat-eared and Cape foxes, caracal and scrub hares. “The soul of South Africa lies there”, wrote Sailor Malan, famous WW2 Battle of Britain RAF fighter “ace”, who lived on Slent for 9 years as a child. Visit this unique farm that is part of the Natural Heritage programme, updated to Conservancy status in 1999, where one still needs to phone and ask the winemakers if there’s a chance of popping in and sampling the wines in the cellar, perhaps buying a bottle or two.
BLACK PEARL WINES
Black Pearl Wines is a winery owned and operated by the Nash family, who relocated from New Hampshire in 1995. With an ardent belief that wine is made in the vineyard, this family has concentrated on producing limited quantities of high quality grapes. From berry to bottle is a complete hands-on family experience. Wine is handcrafted in the cellar with minimal interference; barrel matured and bottled unrefined and unfiltered. The name “Black Pearl” was inspired by the fact that the vineyard is situated on the slopes of Paarl Mountain, and Paarl Rock resembles a black pearl after it has rained. Black pearls also have rarity value – a connotation well suited to this boutique winery.
Druk my Niet wines is a small 24ha boutique winery, with all wines being made in an environmentally friendly way. The winery is situated in a biosphere reserve and sustainable farming methods are the order of the day, with the boutique wines being allowed to ripen at their own pace. Cultivars on the farm include an old Chenin Blanc block planted in 1968, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Frnak, Merlot, Malbec, Tannat, Tempranillo and Tina Amarelle. Winemaking is more than a profession for winemaker, Lukas van Loggerenberg – it’s his passion and a way of life – something that becomes evident when engaging in conversation with him.
FREEDOM HILL WINES
Situated on the slopes of the Wemmershoek Mountain, the winery dates back to 1699, when it was part of the farm La Paris, which had been obtained by the French Huguenot Francois Retief. In 1997 Francois Klomp, and his wife, Adila, fell in love with the beautiful 82 hectare farm. The prestigious boutique range derives its name from the fact that the vineyards overlook the legendary Victor Verster prison (now the Drakenstein correctional services facility), where the late, former President Nelson Mandela took his first steps to freedom.
Hawksmoor occupies a stunning location amidst vineyards with an expansive view from the veranda towards our beloved Table Mountain. Our sundowner veranda offers spectacular sunset views, while you savour a glass of our own range of Hawksmoor wines. The quiet and serene estate is a 25 minute drive away from the buzzing Cape Town centre. If you love dirt roads, sunsets, wine by candlelight, an owl outside your window, and don’t mind sharing the pool with the occasional disoriented frog, or hearing the contented sighs of a Pointer drowsing on the cool floor nearby, Hawksmoor House and the wine farm is the place for you!
THE MASON’S WINERY
Mason’s wines are produced from grapes harvested from small terraced vineyards on De Hoop farm, which lies on the upper slopes of Paarl Mountain. The wines of this boutique winery are blended and crafted from four Shiraz clones, each selected to explore the best the soil and terroir have to offer. Winemaker Derek Clift, a descendant of the Clift family who owns Clift Granite since 1906, believes Mason’s wines are for the discerning drinker who is able to appreciate the distinctive way in which climate and season lend each vintage to its own character, and who values wine as a unique expression of the winemaker’s personality and the vineyard’s viticulture potential.
Where heaven and earth meet, a unique family owned boutique winery marks the confluence of inspiration and dedication. Bernard and Lola Nicholls believe in the “one-on-one” experience, the building up of relationships and friends. Family life is shared with their dedicated team, their community and the beautiful surroundings – all complimented by the farms dogs, chickens, ducks and their resident pot belly pig.
Mellasat Wines is a wine company which has a unique connection with both hemispheres. Stephen Richardson, a Norfolk farmer born and bred and owner of Mellasat Wines is also the wine maker. He has a real passion for the wine industry and started making wines at his vineyard out in South Africa in 1999. The wines have seen great success since then and continue to do so. The “Cemetery of Forgotten Wines”, an interesting and bizarre collection of museum wines that consumers can interact with, can be found in the underground cellar at Mellasat.
OLSENS PRIVATE VINEYARD
Family owned and run, this picturesque farm is owned by Dr Greg Olsen – an American entrepreneur, engineer and scientist who, in October 2005, became the third private citizen to make a self-funded trip to the International Space Station – along with his daughters Kimberly and Krista. Excellent winemaking occurs on a historical piece of land which was once home to hundreds of Italian POW’s who were instrumental in the construction of the Du Toitskloof pass. Only handpicked grapes find their way into the boutique cellar where attention to viticulture, time-honoured winemaking techniques and a true passion for wine is the driving force. In true artisan style, the wine is handcrafted in a small cellar and matured in oak barrels.
PAINTED WOLF WINES
Founded in 2007 by wine maker and conservationist Jeremy Borg. Painted Wolf Wines realises a long held ambition of Jeremy and wife Emma to use their skills to make a meaningful contribution to conservation. They chose to focus on Africa’s rarest and most endangered large carnivore, the African Wild Dog. A donation from each bottle of Painted Wolf goes towards conservation. They recently began to cycle in the African bush to raise money for conservation and to support the education of poor rural school, Pedals 4 Paws. They produce wines with a distinctive South African feel and grapes are sourced from vineyards which are low yielding, mostly un-irrigated and farmed organically or with minimal non organic inputs.
Ridgeback, a 62 hectare boutique farm situated on the northern slopes of the Paarl Mountains, with panoramic views of the magnificent Paarl Limietberg Mountains and surrounded by granite hills, boasts a terrain abundant with natural fynbos. The perfect combination to yield the ideal soil and drainage required for the growth of vines. Distinctive wines reflecting the character and individuality of the Rhodesian Ridgeback is the hallmark of this brand. Native to Southern Africa, where legends and stories abound of their exploits, bravery and lion hunting in the African bushveld, their tenacity and ruggedness are symbolic of the pioneering spirit of Africa, their strength embodied in the quality of the farms’ red wines.
Under Oaks Wine Farm is a hands-on family business and one of the oldest farms in South Africa. Nestled between vineyards and with views of the Boland Mountains, sprawling lawns lead down to the farm dam with many secluded spots to relax and just enjoy the tranquillity. Take a stroll through the arboretum or meander through the vineyards towards our tasting room for a personalized wine tasting. The thriving pizzeria on the property boasts true Italian hospitality, housed in the authentic old wine cellar and under majestic oak trees with the farm animals wandering around.
Vendôme is the name of the Le Roux family farm in Paarl, South Africa, where grapes destined for quality wines have been produced since 1692. It is named after the Mêr, Vendôme, Blois area, in France, the original home of the Le Roux’s. The first two Le Roux brothers, Jean and Gabriel, came to South Africa in 1688 as French Huguenots. This delightful farm, with its leafy old-Cape ambience and characterful tasting room, features two Jannie Le Roux’s: Jannie Senior, the owner, and Jannie Junior, the 10th generation, who produces quality wines in the boutique cellar.
From a mere five-tons-per-hectare yield of optimally ripe Bordeaux varieties, to the loving care lavished over nearly two years in the barrel cellar, this is winemaking with a tender touch, as well as a passion for perfection.The grapes are all hand-picked and transported to the cellar in small 10 kg crates, where they are fed into the crusher. Because of the relatively small tonnage, a small crusher is used, which allows thorough inspection of each bunch prior to crushing, thus ensuring that only the best grapes pass muster.
Wines are made in the classic style, the emphasis being on elegance and a fine balance between fruit and alcohol. The majority of the wines produced are made for aging and start to drink well after five years. The Estate made an important contribution to the history of the South African wine industry; being the first cellar to produce a Bordeaux blend in South Africa in 1979. Welgemeend only produces red wine and the soil and climate are perfectly suited to growing red grapes.
Zandwijk Wines, proud home of Kleine Draken is the premium vineyard and winery in South Africa dedicated exclusively to Kosher wines and juices. With a proud history dating back to the seventeenth century, Zandwijk Wines has been diligently restored to recapture its 300 year old history. Nestled on the South Eastern slopes of Paarl mountain, the vineyard enjoys a superior terroir, which contributes towards captivating the delicacy and complexity of both red and white grape cultivars alike. Once certified by the ultra strict Cape Beth Din all of the wines and juices are Kosher and Kosher for Passover. Whilst religiously adhering to the strict parameters of the Cape Beth Din, an ultra modern and technologically advanced wine cellar is utilised to capture the essence of top quality South African wine.