Since it’s Friday, and I’m sure nobody feels like reading long winded stories and explanations, I’m going to keep it short and sweet.
Should you ever be so lucky to visit South Africa, please keep the ‘road less traveled’ in mind. That is where you find the treasures. In any country, actually. Yes, Cape Town is a gem and a must see, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are both gorgeous with lots of wineries and restaurants. But…
Robertson Wine Valley is one of the most underrated areas when it comes to tourism. Do yourself a favour, put it on your list of places to see when you come this way, you will not be sorry. The Langeberg District is beautiful, with more than 30 wineries most of which are producing world class wines. (I have mentioned some of them in earlier posts.) From here (Robertson) you can visit so many other places in the area – Swellendam (the third oldest town in the country), Montagu, the Overberg District (wheat, sheep and canola), Barrydale, etc.
Remember us! 🙂
(The pictures are of the general area, and a few vineyards.)
I may be wrong, but it seems you guys are not really into the Wine Wednesdays? Do you want to know more about the wine specifically? Please let me know…
Nevertheless, today we are visiting Springfield Estate, just outside of the town Robertson in the Robertson Wine Valley, about 160 km from Cape Town.
I tasted their Miss Lucy wine about 4 year ago when visiting a friend in Pretoria, and loved every sip. Then I bought a house in Robertson, and discovered that Springfield is right on my doorstep! Happy days! 🙂
Springfield wines are really quality, delightful wines. Each and every one brings something to please the palate. The setting of the farm and tasting deck is peaceful and beautiful, and the ideal place to unwind and chill for a while. And best of all, the tasting and cellar tours are free!
Visit them virtually, and see what they are about. From the very first paragraph of their website, you will know that you are onto something good – ” – our need for perfection is driven by our honour – it is our honour that ensures that we will only ever release a vintage that has greatness, and nothing less.”
Amazingly, the farm has been in the hands of the same family since 1898, now flourishing under the vision of the 9th generation of French Huguenot descendants, who arrived in South Africa from the Loire valley in France in 1688.
Their philosophy is to make wine as naturally as possible, and quality is more important than quantity. Six delicious whites to choose from, and five amazing reds. As you browse their website, click on each of the wines to read more about their wine philosophy, and the wines themselves. If you ever come across Springfield wine, treat yourself to a bottle or two, you will be so glad you did! And visit them if you are ever in South Africa – worth a detour.
Wine lovers, I hope you are starting to realize that the Robertson Wine Valley is worth a visit. You can spend a week here, easily, to visit all the estates and enjoy the beauty of the area, and the hospitality of our people.
Please note, I am not getting paid for this post – it is my own attempt to promote the area I live in because I think it is worthy to be ‘on the map’.
Until next time, keep calm and sip a glass of wine. 🙂
The estate I have chosen for today, unfortunately does not sell to international buyers on line. That nearly caused me to not add them to my WW team, but I am also promoting the Robertson Wine Valley and not only the wines.
Viljoensdrift Estate, has its roots in the 1800’s, when the first of the Viljoen family (Villion was the surname of the French Huguenots that landed in the Cape) started planting grapes for wine and brandy making. From 1968- 1998, the farm grew and delivered grapes to the co-op, but when dad Ben stepped down, brothers Fred and Manie decided to start producing their own wines from the excellent grapes they were growing on the farm. The rest, like they say, is history!
Alongside grapes, they also grow deciduous fruits, and they take conservation very seriously by trying to keep as much as possible of the unique natural environment intact as possible. They are committed to the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative, which aims to minimize the loss of threatened natural habitat and to contribute to sustainable wine production, which gives them five stars, in my opinion.
Aside from the fact that the farm is situated on the Breede River in beautiful natural surroundings, Viljoensdrift is well-known for the fact that they are the only farm in the area that does a ferry trip on the river, and it is well worth taking the time to enjoy drifting down the river. You can buy some ‘provisions’ 😉 from their deli on the premises – wine, cold drinks, cheeses, charcuterie, freshly baked sourdough bread, olives, pickles, and much more!
With your nibbles and drinks you can then get onto the ferry, and enjoy an hour or so of peace and quiet, listening and watching the abundance of birds cavorting in and around the water.
If you are planning a trip this way, please have a look at the Viljoensdrift website, to know more about their wines and what they offer you as tourist.
I hope you can begin to understand that should you ever be so lucky to visit South Africa, and you love wine, you cannot miss out on a visit to the Robertson Wine Valley!!!
PS. This is NOT a paid ad, nor am I in any way compensated for this or any of my other wine posts, I am merely trying to promote the area I live in and love!
I skipped a couple of weeks, but I decided that I’m not going to break my head about that, as long as I do a Wine Wed. every two or three weeks, and it is on a Wednesday, at least.
So, I think today I’ll do a place that I’ve been to the most. That in itself should tell you something. Today we are visiting Van Loveren Wines.
Van Loveren is very well known in South Africa, as they have a very wide range of wines, and they have been going for three generations – the one stronger than the previous, every time. It all started in 1937 when Hennie Retief’s father bought him the land, later his two sons, Nico and Wynand took over from him, and now it is their four sons (the Four Cousins), that are running the show. Their success has much to do with their courage to take risks, and innovative thinking.
They have amongst many others, the Van Loveren Wines, their Heritage Range, the Christina wines, the Single Vineyard Heritage Range, the Rhino Run wines, their Premium Conservation Range, the Five’s Range, their Empowerment Range, Tangled Tree wines, their Eco Range, and Four Cousins, their Lifestyle Range. To see all their ranges and wines, and their history, please click on the link above.
I love visiting the winery, because it is in such a beautiful setting, and they have a gorgeous area under the trees where you can do your wine tasting and relax with friends and fmily. Their wines are delicious, and my personal favourites are the Van Loveren Colombar, and the Van Loveren African Java Pinotage. I always have a bottle or two (or more, but who’s counting?) of Van Loveren at home in my little wine rack.
There is a lovely place to have lunch – Christina’s Bistro, where you can also sit and eat under the trees (weather permitting) and enjoy your food, your wine, and the stunning garden. They offer wine tasting, cellar tours and garden tours, and there are hiking and mountain bike trails.
All in all, I would recommend a visit to Van Loveren Wines should you ever be in the Robertson (Breede River Valley) area of South Africa, it is definitely well worth a visit.
Until next time, blog friends, enjoy your wine, but please don’t drink and drive. 🙂
PS. This is NOT a paid advertisement, or sponsored in any way, this is me promoting the area I live in, and the excellent wines that are produced here.
I just want to clarify – I am not going to go into detail about the wines – the notes and flavours etc. I will only feature vineyards and/or wine tasting venues that I feel have really good wines, or wines that are good value for money. I am going to tell you about the experience, the people, the surroundings, so if ever you come to South Africa, and you like wine, then you know where to go!
Today I am featuring a place called Esona Boutique Wine Estate. It is still a ‘young’ estate (compared to some in the Western Cape!) – the current owners, Rowan and Caryl, have made a lot of changes to the farm since they bought it in 2003, and has been producing wines for the last 10 years. It is set in beautiful surroundings, again, like the previous one I featured, in the gorgeous Breede River Valley, near my town Robertson, just over a 150km from Cape Town.
They currently produce Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Frankly My Dear (Rosé), Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir, Grenache, and Colombar, and are planning to add another 4 wines to the repertoire soon.
The tasting takes place in a beautiful old cellar underground. The wines are absolutely delightful, and is presented and tasted in such a way that you really appreciate the nuances of the wine – you also get to pair the wines with fruit and chocolate, which opens up your palate to a whole new world. The young lady that does the tasting, is very knowledgeable and friendly. An interesting fact that comes across clearly, is that the shape and size of the wine glass makes a huge difference in the taste of the wine!
Esona also has a Bistro where you can eat something while enjoying the views and the wine – I think one can easily spend hours there with family or friends.
Rowan and Caryl take teaching and development very seriously, and they sponsor young people in the area so they can learn how to become chefs and wine makers. Please take the time to browse their web site, who knows, you might just see something you would like to order… 😉