If you're a resident or even an annual visitor to Gansbaai, you’ve probably noticed a tortoise or two crossing the road...
Stanford’s varied soils and unpredictable weather prove to be both a challenge and a blessing to winemakers. Somehow the viticulturists and viniculturists from the area have wielded their expert touch and taken advantage of the cool maritime breeze and incessant winds to create unique and exceptional wine. Each wine farm offers something completely different and is well worth a visit! Let the molten decadence wash over you with bewitching views and mouth-watering dishes to tempt.
Here is a list of the wine farms (and a micro-brewery) that will ensure an unforgettable wine route:
Birkenhead Brewery and Walker Bay Winery
The Walker Bay Estate, which is home to the Birkenhead Brewery and Walker Bay Winery, was the first wine and brewing estate in the Southern hemisphere. On the beautiful estate you can find a vineyard, winery, micro-brewery and water bottling plant. In the shadow of the Klein River Mountains this estate is producing exquisite wine alongside tasty beer and delicious food.
Those venturing on a taste sensation can find many types of beer – ranging from Premium Lager, Honey Blonde Ale, Chocolate Malt Stout, the infamous Black Snake and many more. From sweet to potent the beer is perfect for a tasting. The wine ranges from crisp Sauvignon Blanc, wooded Shiraz, Amesteca to some more traditional Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tasting Hours: Mon – Fri 10:30 – 17:00
Sat 10:30 – 20:00
Sun 11:00 – 16:00
Raka Wines has been so aptly named after the fishing boat of Piet Dreyer (the proprietor of Raka) with which he sailed with relentless passion along the southernmost coastline of Africa. The Dreyer family manages the wine estate with similar passion and ardour that is demonstrated in their winemaking. Discover the family-owned wine farm situated at the base of the Klein River Mountains that have won countless accolades for their wine. There is a large selection of wine that includes Sauvignon Blanc, Shannonea, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and many other wines that will sweep you off your feet.
Tasting Hours: Mon - Fri 9:00 – 17:00
Sat 10:00 – 14:30
Closed Sundays, Christmas and Good Friday
For centuries the De Villiers family has been farming on the Estate. It was only in 1998 however that the first vines were planted, which marked the beginning of an award-winning enterprise. Since 2003 Boschrivier has won awards for their Shiraz, which was the only type of wine produced on the farm. The farm is now growing as they make Cabernet, Rose and Sauvignon Blanc.
Brunia not only offers sensational wine but also an incredible experience. Visitors can enjoy scenic tractor-trailer trips and picnics or lunch served in the manor house. The Cold Mountain Vineyards, which is home to Brunia wines, is situated 20km from Stanford on the Elim/Sandies Glen gravel road. The owners, Willie and Annetia du Preez bought the farm in 2004 and now they have established vineyards that produce Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Semillon. The farm benefits from the cool maritime climate and granite eroded soils that give the wines their unique flavour.
Tasting Hours: Fri – Sun & public holidays 10:00 – 16:00
School holidays Tues – Sun 10:00 – 16:00
Sir Robert Stanford
The Sir Robert Stanford Estate has been producing wine since the 1890s. For some reason unbeknownst to any wine lover, the son of the original Huguenot farmer Isak du Toit decided to bring an end the legendary wine by removing all 10 000 vines. The owners of the farm, Jan and Madre Malan, decided to return the decadent wine sprees by putting back the rows of vines in 2000. They are now back to producing the white and red varietals that have made the farm popular from the 1800s to this day. Sir Robert Stanford is steeped in tradition, which makes it ideal spot for families or anyone who appreciates farm hospitality. On the premises the estate boasts the farm, wine tasting, country shop, deli, meals and Grappa tasting.
Tasting hours: Thurs – Sun 8:00 – 16:00
Springfontein is so named because of the natural spring that feeds into a vlei and is used to irrigate the 25 hectares of vineyards. The ecological conditions are similar to regions of Champagne and a particular area of Burgundy (so you’re in for a treat!). The soil is 100% limestone and produces exquisite wine with the Jil’s Dune Chenin Blanc and Jonathan’s Ridge Pinotage being the flagship wine in South Africa. The farm is larger than 500 hectares and is the perfect spot for lovers of both nature and wine. There are indigenous plants, migratory birds and beautiful views while visitors can explore the terrain on mountain bike. There is also a swimming pool and tennis court on the premises.
Tasting hours: By appointment
Jackson Pinotage is the award winning wine that Stanford Hills Estate is renowned for. You will find 4 stars have been awarded by the John Platter guide to the last three vintages. The gradual ripening of the grapes encourages a smooth and full-bodied flavour of wine. The grapes are hand-picked and selected to ensure the finest quality. They also produce a Jacksons Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
The Terblanche family have put a lot of their energy into creating the Vaalvlei tasting room where guests can sip away to their heart’s content. Guests can enjoy the flavours of the Shiraz Reserve which is prepared in the Vaalvlei cellars as well as the Vaalvlei Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz made at Raka Wines. The two spring-fed lakes on the farm provide excellent trout and bass fishing for those interested in casting a line. While there is also bird watching and mountain biking for the outdoor enthusiasts.
Tasting Hours: By appointment
Now that you’ve been tempted, grab a map and take a tour through the wine country around Stanford. You won’t regret it!