Visit the magnificent Elgin Valley that’s just an hour’s drive from Cape Town and you’ll be delighted to find not only excellent wines to please every palette, but also activities that will enchant everyone from thrill seekers to city slickers seeking something off the beaten track.
We recently spent time on Elgin’s wine route and here are some of the gems we discovered that we know you are going to love. Pack the kids (and/or fur babies) and an overnight bag and head to Elgin for an unforgettable experience.
Be chauffeured between wine tastings by a 4×4
The company 4Venture takes you off-road to see a completely different side of the valley as you drive to different wine farms in the region by 4×4. Martin Van Niekerk and his daughter started this business out of pure love and passion for wine and their region. Their unique tour takes you on roads you’d never even know were there. They have two routes to choose from, each covering four different wine farms. They also offer a luxurious mountain top dining experience where you can taste wine and enjoy a gourmet meal prepared by Salt restaurant at Paul Cluver.
For more info and to book visit www.4venturesouthafrica.com
Wine Tasting at Almenkerk
At Almenkerk one of their friendly sommeliers will pour you a glass of wine that tastes like it’s straight from heaven, while pointing out to you precisely where on the beautiful landscape the grapes are growing. This family-owned and run estate is rated by TripAdvisor as one of the top three activities in the area and their Shiraz is out of this world. Visit the estate to see why their premises is describes as an “architectural masterpiece” and taste why the same could be said of their wines.
For more information and to book a tasting visit www.almenkerk.co.za
Taste wine in luxury at Lothian Wine
You’d be hard pressed to find a more luxurious and opulent setting for a wine-tasting than the epic Lothian Vineyards and Lothian House. The best part is that you can rent out this grand eight-roomed estate on the banks of the Palmiet River, infinity pool and all. You’ll feel like you’ve walked straight into the pages of a décor magazine when you enter Lothian House. The house is an architectural marvel with a carefully designed interior where you can sit and taste their Burgundian-style Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Rosé and sweet Late Harvest.
Find our more and book a tasting or weekend away: www.lothianvineyards.com
Enjoy views, water sports and wine at Elgin River Lodge
Elgin River Lodge is the perfect getaway destination for families and adventure seekers, with cosy cabins and tons of activities. Best of all is their wonderful restaurant on site, so you can taste wine, craft spirits and delicious meals with minimal effort and cleaning required. They use the locally-made craft gin, with the ingenious name L-Gin, to make refreshing gin cocktails and their woodfired pizzas are exceptional. The zipline into the water will keep the kids and young at heart adults busy for hours. Try their river barge cruise for a fun and relaxing water experience that will give you a new perspective on this unique valley.
For more information visit www.elginriverlodge.co.za
Farm style luxury and a chocolate and wine pairing at Paul Wallace Wines
At Paul Wallace’s you’re spoilt with cool-climate Elgin wines on the same premise as self-catering farm cottage accommodation. You’ll definitely want to try their wine and chocolate pairing, with interesting chocolate flavours made specially for their wines. Their surrounds are tranquil and offer the perfect escape from the city. Paul and Nicky Wallace are also fantastic hosts that will make you feel right at home.
Book your tasting and accommodation www.paulwallacewines.co.za
Explore a vineyard maze, eat and drink at South Hill Vineyards
South Hill Vineyards has everything you could ask for. Good food, exceptional wines, activities, a beautiful location, art and did we mention the wine? They offer great accommodation for the whole family and we can personally vouch for their breakfast and coffee. They’ve recently opened a maze in one of their vineyard blocks that allows you to explore the farm from a different angle and learn about their wine in the process.
For more info visit www.southhill.co.za
Cycle to a wine tasting with Elgin Adventure Centre and Oak Valley Estate
The Elgin Valley offers a ton of adventurous activities and one of our favourites had to be cycling to a wine tasting with Elgin Adventure Centre. Don’t worry, they offer electric bikes too for those who don’t wish to pedal too much. Cycle from their base at the Elgin Railway Market to the picturesque Oak Valley Estate next door. They have cycling courses for beginners and experts and your guide will ensure you get to your wine tasting in one piece. Once you’ve arrived at the tasting room you can taste their Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir while overlooking the verdant oak trees and swimming pool in peace.
Book your experience with Elgin Adventure Centre: www.elginadventurecentre.co.za