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Words: Richard Holmes | Images: Supplied

With one of South Africa’s leading winemakers at the helm, Benguela Cove wine estate delivers fine wine and a fun family day out.

The wine industry was all a-Twitter in late-2016 when Johann Fourie, then the respected cellar master of KWV, hung up his keys to the sprawling Paarl facility and took the winemaking reins at boutique Overberg property Benguela Cove. And in just two short years, he’s made remarkable progress.

Situated on the shores of the Bot River lagoon, Benguela Cove wholeheartedly embraces the world of cool-climate winemaking, with sea breezes from Walker Bay wafting in across the estate’s 70ha of vines.

There’s enormous variety in those vineyards too, with everything from Sauvignon Blanc to Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir in the ground. The Chardonnay is a particularly good example of this cool-climate approach, striking just the right balance of zesty citrus notes and nuanced oak infl uence. Hour-long tutored tastings and cellar tours are available daily, but perhaps the best way to get a sense of the diversity of wines being produced is on one of the regular vineyard tours.

Converted Land Cruisers take guests on an hour-long “safari” through the vineyards, with guides explaining the terroir and farming techniques, with plenty of stops along the way to taste wines from specific vineyards.

A more relaxed way to discover the Benguela Cove wines is to choose your favourite bottle from the tasting room and hop aboard the estate’s pontoon-boat, Lady Bonnie, for an hour-long cruise on the beautiful Bot River lagoon.

This tidal estuary is home to dozens of bird species, and if you’re lucky you may even spot the herd of wild horses that graze on the lagoon’s grassy banks. There’s grazing of a different kind to be had back on dry land, with two restaurants on the estate.

Moody Lagoon is the smarter of the two, with a range of menus offering all-day dining. The lunch selection is particularly good, with a menu of light meals – pulled brisket on ciabatta, for instance – and an à la carte menu, while dinner is a more formal affair. For a more relaxed option, head straight for Blackbeard’s Diner, where you’ll find a well-priced menu of affordable kid-friendly fare: think hot dogs, burgers and slush puppies. It’s right alongside the entertaining Pirate Golf “putt-putt” course that is sure to be a hit with all ages.

From wine to water and that winning shot at adventure golf, Benguela Cove makes for a fabulous family day out in the Overberg this winter.

For more information on Benguela Cove, phone 083 645 6198 or visit their website

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