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19/01/2013 Wellington, where wines are born

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Wellington is home to one of the most beautiful wine routes along the Route 62. The unique location of the ‘Valley of the Wagonmakers’ (between Groenberg, the majestic Hawequa mountain range and the banks of Kromme Rivier) and the well-known hospitality of the ‘Boland’ region have added to this status. But above all it’s the presence of 30 active wineries and the famous vine nurseries, providing about 90% of all vine stokkies in South Africa, that have permanently put Wellington as a prominent wine region on the world map. The Wellington Wine Route is compact, all wineries are in close proximity to each other which makes it easy to combine visits. Most of the wine estates can be visited all day, others only by appointment, but it will be our pleasure to guide you through the most important must-see’s and must-taste’s of our fabulous village.

 

Wellington_Wine_Harvest_Festival.pngImportant wine events in Wellington are Diemersfontein’s Pinotage on Tap, when thousands of wine lovers from all over the world get together on the beautiful Diemersfontein estate to taste their best wines at very democratic prices, and of course the Wellington Wine Harvest Festival, a 2-day wine feast that also has a gastronomical, cultural and musical side to it.
During our Wine Harvest Festival some 20 wine- and brandy estates invite the public to taste and enjoy .. and to excite their taste buds. There’s the well-known seafoodbraai at Nabijgelegen estate, the oysters & bubbles at Bovlei or the spitbraai at Bontebok Ridge, or the kid’s delight with ice cream at Diemersfontein. Lots of the participating wineries organize concerts and parties during these 2 days. Other splendid wine events in the heart of Wellington are “Fork & Cork” at Kleinevallei and “Groenberg Talmfees” hosted on Schalk Burger’s wine farm Welbedacht.


 

Doolhof_front2.jpgIn any case, wineries not to be missed are our neighbors and favorites: Bosman Family Vineyards, Doolhof, Val Du Charron, Nabygelegen and Andreas. These wine makers invite you in their fabulous Old-Cape estates on vast premises with breathtaking views on the Valley of the Wagonmakers. All 5 feature a beautiful tasting terrace and top-end restaurant.. Why not combine a wine tasting with a delicate lunch at the wine farm?
On your bikes, you’re only 10 minutes away from Sauvignon Country Lodge!

 

Pictures

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11/10/2012 Discover the top-end wines of Stellenbosch

If you’re in for something more than the average… Visit Stark Condé!

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The oak tree–lined lane from the Stellenbosch Mountains to the Jonkershoek Valley is home to a unique wine estate that’s well worth your visit, not only because of its top-end wine selection but only for its highly unusual setting. Beneath weeping willow trees, a Balinese pagoda-style wooden lodge is located in the middle of a pretty dam, with a winding wooden walkway that leads from the mainland to the ‘tasting-room-island’. The wooden deck filled with attractively decorated degustation tables against a background of the Jonkershoek Twin Peaks and the Stellenbosch Mountains and surrounded by water lilies create a storybook setting.

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Stark-Condé opened this tasting room about a year ago and presents 3 wine ranges in it ; Pepin Condé from grapes sourced outside Jonckershoek (great everyday drinking), Stark-Condé from Stellenbosch grapes (medium price range) and Three Pines, the estate’s special premium range made from one single vineyard in Jonckershoek. The wines are excellent and differ from the regular Stellenbosch-taste as the vineyard elevations range from 150 tot 600m, so the grapes enjoy colder temperatures and get more rain.

The Three Pines range is fully handcrafted in small volumes and using the traditional methods (hand-sorting, open-top fermentation, basket-pressing by hand and bottling without filtration). Apart from wine tasting, you can also have lunch in this winery. The ‘Postcard Café’ is open from 10:00 to 16:00 and presents a delightful lunch menu.

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On the same road as Stark-Condé you’ll find Le Riche Estate (renowned for its Cabernet, the typical Jonckershoek grape) and the historic estate of Lanzerac, famous for their Sunday lunch al fresco.

Stark Condé: Polkadraai Road, Jonckershoek Valley, Stellenbosch. GPS:  S33°57’13.104’’-E18°54’38.232’’

 

Pictures

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08/08/2012 The Wellington R62 Brandy Route

South Africa’s history of Brandy is almost as old as the first Dutch settlement in the Cape. The word ‘Brandy’ is derived from the Dutch ‘Brandewijn’, literally meaning ‘burnt’ or distilled wine. Today brandy connoisseurs throughout the world agree that some of the finest brandies emanate from South-Africa. Many major international awards prove the same. Brandy can quite rightly be regarded as South Africa’s favorite spirit. By law South African brandy must be matured for a minimum of 3 years, during which the clear spirit obtains its characteristic amber color from the French oak casks. A number of flavour compounds are extracted from this wood, which gives the brandy its complexity and spicy character.

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The Western Cape (Route 62) Brandy Route aims to introduce you to the exciting world of brandy. We are very fortunate to have 4 leading ‘potstill brandy’ estates in Wellington, namely Upland, De Compagnie, Oude Wellington and Versailles (Jorgensen), each of them producing one of the finest brandies in South-Africa, and in the world. A brief outline on Upland to set the tone of this interesting journey.

Upland_Brandy.pngTucked away in a corner, at the end of a dirt road leading out of Wellington in the Boland, you will find the rustic, unassuming organic estate Upland. You could be forgiven for thinking you were in Tuscany, as apart from the Hawekwa mountain range which cradles the estate, there is a similar wonderfully rustic and timeless feel to this part of the world. Upland (the name comes from the English translation for Boland) is a small fruit and wine farm that has been producing world class organic Brandy, Grappa, Port and Cabernet Sauvignon for over a decade. Upland's organic Grappa won the 'World's Best Grappa' at the Guldkorken International Competition in Stockholm and its Brandy became second.

The character of Upland brandy is unmistakable: Wafts of dried peaches and apricots, citrus and pineapple are topped by generous vanillas - a depth and complexity of flavour that lingers on the palate, with a dry finish reminiscent of a great Cognac. This brandy emphasizes the difference between perfume and eau de toilette: this is the perfume. Nothing has been added to this world class product, no colour, flavourants, sugar, not even water. 65% Alcohol - Pure Brandy. The brandy is made in very limited quantities, hand selected from the finest of each year's produce.

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De_Compagnie2.jpgContinue your personal brandy route with a visit at De Compagnie Wine & Brandy Estate in the historic Val du Charron, the Valley of the Wagonmakers. The Estate of 27 hectares lies snugly hidden in the narrow valley between the cliffs of the Hawekwa Mountains and Groenberg, just 5 kilometers outside the center of Wellington. De Compagnie produces a natural 100% double distilled potstill brandy, harvested from well-seasoned 1976 Chenin Blanc-vines, meticulously distilled in an antique copper alembic potstill first used on the farm in 1849 and matured for seven years in French oak. It boasts rich aromas of fresh fig, lemon & herbs with hints of spicy cinnamon. Soft and very, very seductive…

Savignac1.jpgSavignac de Versailles” Potstill Brandy from Jorgensen’s Distillery and “Dr. Schumacher” Potstill Brandy (3, 5 or 10 years old) from Oude Wellington are the 2 other must-see’s and must-taste’s in Wellington.

NB: Don’t forget to taste the triple distilled and very smooth Grappa from Cabernet grapes at the Oude Wellington, it has a limited release and became a collector’s item!

Pictures

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There is no better place to stay if you want to discover the Winelands and the Capetown area. Wellington is only a 10 minutes’ drive from Paarl, 25 minutes from Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, 40 minutes from Capetown International Airport and 55 minutes from the city center of Capetown. Further, we are just around the corner from the famous Swartland with Riebeeck Castle at 20 minutes, Darling at 40 and the West Coast beaches of Yzerfontein and Langebaan at about an hours’ drive. (4  ‌, South Africa)

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