Robertson is known for its sweeping mountains, incredible wines, and hospitable people. Here are our top picks of what to do when you next head that way
Bottle your own blend at Excelsior
Time needed: at least an hour to blend and taste wine – groups need to book in advance
Have you ever made your own blend? Head to the Excelsior Wine Estate tasting room, which is a wooden cabin set on a lake. Besides wine tasting, you can make your own red wine blend, which is quite a novel idea. Decide on the percentage of Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and once you’re settled you get to blend, bottle, name and label it. I went for a predominantly Shiraz blend which came out just as I had hoped.
Highlight: staying at the farm and going on a farm tour – the view over the vineyards is majestic.
Bubbly breakfast at Bon Courage
Time needed: two hours
If you are a bubbly fan then Robertson is home to some excellent MCCs. One of my favourites is the Jacques Bruére Cap Classique from Bon Courage. Keeping it on the lees for a minimum of 36 – 48 months before disgorgement results in a mature, biscuity delight. The Blanc de Blanc is my favourite. Have breakfast at the eclectic Cafe Maude where the food is superb and owners Francois Malherbe and Johan Geldenhuys will keep you entertained for hours on end with their antics.
Highlight: the rare collection of preserved insects (tarantulas, scorpions, butterflies, beetles, locusts) framed on the wall.
Garden Tour at Van Loveren
Time needed: half an hour including a glass of bubbly
Did you know that founders Hennie and Jean Retief have planted trees with purpose over the years around the estate since 1939? The trees commemorate special moments defined by the family – like the Leopard tree planted in honour of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. You can go on a tour to hear all about the stories behind the beautiful shady spaces. Choose a guided tour or make your own way.
Highlight: the pizza at the bistro Christina’s is a delicious must!
Stay over at Galloway Guest House
Time needed: two nights’ stay
It’s no wonder that this gem is set on Happy Days Farm in Klaasvoogds just outside Robertson. Galloway Guest House is exactly that, a cheerful place to be. This luxury retreat has rooms that are designed with minimal and stunning finishes. Set against a mountainous backdrop it’s quite easy to simply pull up a chair and gaze. Jana Wentzel Roodt and Johan Roodt make you feel so welcome that it’s hard to leave when you have to.
Highlight: an intimate supper in the home of the owners paired with their family wines from the boutique estate Exdiem.
Robertson Wine Valley
023 626 3167
Words: Claire Barnardo | Images: Supplied