• Journey’s End

    2016 Judges Best White: Journey’s End Destination Chardonnay 2014 The seeds of Journey’s End were sown in the mid-1990s when Roger Gabb established Western Wines which went on to become the largest importer of South African wines in Britain. Initially only 20 ha when purchased in 1995, it’s now grown to 120 with additional land purchases by his son, Rollo, now MD of Journey’s End. The biggest upgrade has been in the vineyards where sustainable farming methods have seen quality steadily improved. Winemaker Leon Esterhuizen and vineyard manager Lodewyk Retief agree that two things set Journey’s End apart: its location on the south-facing slopes of the Schapenberg facing False Bay with the Hottentots-Holland mountain at its rear and the cool southerly breezes which blow off the cold water, keeping pests and bugs at bay, restricting vegetative growth as well as cooling the vines during the heat of summer. Visits can include jaw-dropping displays of the power of their medieval trebuchet. The Gabbs have been known to fling barrels and even small cars with their 12m tall siege engine on Trebuchet Day held in January every year.

  • Jordan Wines

    2016 Best Value Winner: Jordan Chameleon Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay 2015 Stellenbosch Kloof Rd, Stellenbosch Located at the head of the Stellenbosch Kloof, along what was once the main thoroughfare between Cape Town and the second Cape Dutch settlement of Stellenbosch, is Jordan – a wine estate that could easily lay claim to the title of one of SA’s foremost wine tourist attractions. Husband-and-wife duo Gary and Kathy Jordan have, over the course of 23 vintages since the 1990s, refined the offering at Jordan to the point where it has luxurious guest suites, two restaurants covering fine dining (Eat Out top chef laureate George Jardine is behind pots) as well as more casual bistro and bakery fare, mountain-bike trails, trout fishing (strictly catch and release) and tours of the old prospector shafts on the highest slopes of the farm. And wine, of course. The walls of the tasting room are festooned with a host of top international awards alongside local medals and certificates galore. It’s hard to miss the sign, just past the entrance gate, which prominently displays a chameleon. Chameleons abound in the indigenous bushes and shrubs around the cellar. ‘In African folklore, chameleons are believed to have magical powers,’ Read more [...]

  • Longridge Wine Estate

    2016 Judges Best White: Longridge Chardonnay Longridge leverages its elevated location on the slopes of the Helderberg, with the airy tasting room and restaurant maximising the views of Stellenbosch and a distant Table Mountain, while the craggy mountain peaks tower behind the winery. 2015 was the first year the winery was officially certified organic so cellarmaster and viticulturist Jasper Raats who patiently oversaw the three-year conversion process will be particularly pleased that the maiden organic Chardonnay performed so well for the judges. In front of the winery there are raised beds of vegetables, all organically grown, mulched with compost from a heap that’s not 20m away. Even the Nguni cattle which are allowed to graze on the cover crop between the vines in winter make a contribution to soil vitality, fertilisation and recycling here! Weekdays and weekends sees cyclists pounding the pedals and testing their mettle on the trails through the Helderberg vineyards. Strawberry picking is popular in season at Mooiberge farmstall. Just across the road the Root 44 market is held on Saturdays and Sundays between 10h00 and 16h00. A popular addition to the market is the Saturday morning 5km trail run attracting hundreds of runners and walkers every Read more [...]

  • Vondeling Wines

    2016 Bloggers Overall Winner: Vondeling Babiana 2015 Vondeling is a Champion Conservation wine estate, home to some of the Cape Floral Kingdom’s rarest and most unique plant species. These owners play a key role in driving landowner collaboration to minimise the threats to this unique region known as the Paardeberg. Two of Vondeling`s premium white and red wines have been named for two of these red data listed plants that are endemic to the Paardeberg mountain, namely Babiana noctiflora and Erica hippurus. They are committed to an innovative waste-water management system, a social upliftment job-creating project in alien vegetation removal, a recycling programme and wildfire prevention. The farm offers state of art wine tasting facilities, a country chapel, and wedding or function venue, as well as self-catering accommodation. Visitors can pre-book a generous farm style Vintner’s Platter, which they can enjoy at the tasting room. Booking for Vintner’s Platter or set menu meal options is essential.

  • La Motte

    2016 Leader in Community Development La Motte is an enchanting destination. Activities include wine tasting, world class Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant, a museum, plus historic, sculpture and sustainability walks. Environmental management is a high priority at La Motte. The sustainable walk offers visitors the opportunity for a guided walk through the sustainably farmed and biologically grown vineyards where various cultivars are planted, through La Motte’s indigenous landscaped gardens, past the Protea gardens where various “fynbos” species are cultivated, ending with a visit to the estate’s special vegetable and herb garden that supply the restaurant and farm shop with farm fresh produce. A well-informed guide will share the details of biologic and sustainable farming, its challenges and benefits to the environment, and the result of biologic practices on the quality of fresh produce. Guests will also learn more about the natural fauna and flora of the area.  La Motte and Pierneef à La Motte are wheelchair-friendly. Why not try their Sauvignon Blanc, Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay or Méthode Cap Classique Reservations for groups are essential – maximum of 16. Restaurant: Bookings essential Sat & Sun for breakfast   Tue – Sun for lunch   Thurs – Sat for dinner Restaurant: pierneef@la-motte.co.za Classical Read more [...]