South Africa: special/ best wineries?
We visited some wineries in South Africa in January. I spend months compiling a list of wineries and searching for a private guide. Unfortunately the guide we got didn't know much about wine or the wineries and some of the wineries were closed because of a holiday. That said....
We had a great time.
Do not sign up for an organized tour. Many of the best wineries are small and cannot accommodate a tour bus.
Best winery by far was Ernie Els. In fact it was the best winery I have ever seen.
Rust en Verde is right down the way from Ernie Els. The wines are excellent.
Goats du Roam winery is also a must. They also make goat cheese.
For lunch I highly recommend La Fromagerie in Franchook. Wonderful food, reasonably priced and in a lovely setting. Make reservations. See my more detailed review in an earlier post. http://chowhound.com/boards/intl/mess...
I know this post is a year old, but just in case any one is planning a trip soon, I would highly recommend Tokara Estates in Stellenbosch- this was the only winery where I loved everything (whites and reds) that we tried. I still think about the wine we had and lament that it's not available in Canada. I would also recommend Muratie Estates in Stellenbosch for their ports, especially the amber port.
I agree with the other poster to avoid organized bus tours. It's not too expensive to get a private driver.
Beware, pack any purchases in your checked lugagge as the duty free (at least in Jo'burg) does not provide sealed bags and your bottles will be confiscated if you have to connect in Europre or N.America because of the liquids ban.
I am adding to this post as well (maybe Gooseberry will be happy to have more action!!) since I am just back from 2 weeks in South Africa and spent a week traveling through Stellenbosch and Cape Town.
The wineries that we visited were all wonderful and I can reccommend them all:
Moreson (in Franschooek)
We loved the food as well, and had a wonderful lunch at Le Petite Ferme. I can say that the food was delicious, service was just okay. But the ambience is amazing--beautiful view, cozy fireplace, just lovely.
We also tried the wines at Zorgvliet Estate and they were truly fabulous!
MDuges, Thanks for your timely report. My hubby and I just sat down today to finalize our choices for our four day trip to the Winelands. We added Tokara and Zorgvliet to our list- too long already. Question- Can you take cellar tours if you write ahead to these wineries. We have done that in the past when visiting other wine regions.
Always nice to see familiar "faces" on far-out Boards!
We hit a few wineries in Stellenbosch during a February trip...try these:
Remhoogte - also has a game preserve on the premises, not hokie by any stretch.
Louisenhof - had a 10-bottle tasting for about 10 Rands + 10 for the bonus round of brandy and port.
Beyerskloof - great lunch patio and wines of all shapes and sizes.
The Company of Wine People (Kumkani) had a fantastic red called "Triple J".
Sample the various pinotages on your road trip thru the hills.
I hope you caught the Saturday "farmers market" in Stellenbosch - out of this world and samples of everything offered...similar to Old Biscuit Mill in Cape Town.
re: Mike R.
If Jozi is the NYC of Africa, Cape Town surely must be its Brooklyn. (I'll ignore what I've heard about Braamfontein.)
Thanks for the recommendations - I just read about Neighbourgoods Market in the latest issue of Monocle and that's a must visit for me; sadly, it would be either/or. Would you say that the Stellenbosch market is better than the Old Biscuit Mill?