Head south on a two-day wine exploration of the nether reaches of the Overberg – the wild, beautiful southern tip of Africa.
Day 1: Stanford
Start your Deep South journey in the quaint village of Stanford with its organic-food markets, good restaurants and microbrewery. There are a number of good wine farms and cellars in the area, such as Boschrivier, Welgesind, Stanford Hills, Walker Bay Estate and Maanschijn.
We chose to do our first tasting at Springfontein, set on a picturesque stretch of the Kleinrivier. Adhering to a strict organic ethos, Springfontein has a unique limestone geo- and biotope as well as a cool microclimate, allowing its winemakers to avoid chemical sprays and to keep sulphur levels low. The focus here is on Pinotage and Chenel varietals.
Lunch and tastings at Lomond
Situated eight kilometres from Gansbaai, near the southernmost tip of Africa, Lomond’s vineyards enjoy a maritime climate with cooling sea breezes which result in intense, late-ripening fruit. The vines are planted on 18 different soil types, which occur naturally in small pockets and produce intriguingly complex wines.
Sample Lomond’s famed wines at the TastingRoom@Lomond, which overlooks a dam and has great views of the farm and surrounding countryside. Food platters feature local cheeses from Stone House, cold meats from Richard Bosman and trout caught in the dam. For events and special occasions, there’s Milkwoods@Lomond, a lovely arboreal venue in a grove of ancient milkwood trees.
Overnight at Black Oystercatcher Wines
Spend the night in one of the well-appointed cottages adjacent to the deli and winery at Black Oystercatcher Wines on Modderfontein, a farm that’s been in the Human family for generations. Enjoy a wine tasting, visit the dam at sunset and return for a self-catered supper from the farm’s deli (try their delicious wood-fried pizzas). Then drift off to sleep in your cottage serenaded by fiery-necked nightjars.
Day 2: Africa’s Southern Tip
Explore some of the wine farms of the Overberg’s far south, including the likes of Ghost Corner, Land’s End and Trizanne Signature Wines. We chose The Giant Periwinkel near Baardskeerdersbos and Strandveld Vineyards in the Elim district.
Set on the slopes of Perdekop lies a winery quirkily known as The Giant Periwinkle. Winemaker Pierre Rabie established this boutique operation from small, garagiste beginnings in rented spaces and built it into a respected player in the Overberg wine scene with its own cellar, vineyards and brand-new label. Experimenting with no filtration, whole-bunch fermentation and storage in alternative vessels such as clay amphorae, this is a small winery making a giant splash.
Visit Strandveld to sample their wines in a rustic tasting room housed in the farm’s old stable block. This picturesque winery is located nine kilometres from the coast between Elim and Cape Agulhas and is the southernmost cellar in Africa. Having to contend with constant, cooling winds off the ocean, the winemakers craft two award-winning ranges: First Sighting and Strandveld. Each varietal is grown in appropriate soil, such as Sauvignon Blanc in yellow ferricrete and Syrah in white quartzite. If you’d like to spend the night, there are two quaint cottages for self-catering.
Visit Cape Agulhas
Your visit to the Deep South wouldn’t be complete without a detour to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of the continent, with its iconic lighthouse. While passing through the adjacent village of L’Agulhas, why not make a pit stop at Wine on Main, a boutique shop (offering free tastings) that specialises in local wines? Collect a picnic basket for an afternoon on a nearby beach or, if you just want a snack, try one of their tasty cheese or charcuterie platters … with a glass of wine, of course.