Lockdown cabin fever getting to you yet? Dreaming of big blue skies, soaring mountains, long roads and tall forests, crisp clean air, lush green orchards, and vineyards – anything but the view of your own backyard?
Now is the perfect time to plot a post-lockdown escape, to plan for some getting out there and exploring places you have seen signposted off the main roads and wanted to visit, but never experienced.
Detour off the N2 between Grabouw and Bot River, and you’ll enter the best-kept secret that is the Elgin valley – a natural amphitheatre encircled by mountains, the Palmiet River running through it; ripe with flower and fruit orchards, vineyards and the unique fynbos of the Cape floral kingdom, in the heart of the World Heritage Site of the Kogelberg Biosphere and South Africa’s coolest-climate winemaking region.
There’s plenty to do in the area – for foodies and wine lovers, for the adrenalin-junkies and the adventurous, for the eco-conscious, the nature-lovers and the history buffs – and Elgin Vintners is a great place to start (and you might not want to leave).
Stay for a few days or pop in for a tasting or a meal, here are our top 10 ideas for making the most of your visit to our historic farm:
1. Taste, wine of course.
Drink in the mountain views from the stoep of our Elgin Vintners Manor House or cosy up to the fireplace in the tasting room, while sampling a selection of our award-winning wines that express the unique cool-climate Elgin terroir. Our knowledgeable wine ambassadors will guide you through a selection from the Elgin Vintners range of Sauvignon Blanc (we love it so much that we make three different styles, plus our Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blend The Century), Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Merlot – not forgetting our beautiful Merlot Rosé, Belle Amie.
Elgin Vintners is open for tastings 7 days a week, from 10h00 to 16h00.
Kick off your shoes and grab our special basket of locally-produced goodies, farm-fresh fruit and a bottle of wine – and a friend – and spread a blanket out on the lawn to enjoy a relaxed afternoon amidst our lush gardens and spectacular mountain and vineyard views. You could even take a dip in the pool if the weather’s good.
Bookings are advised to ensure the freshest local produce for your picnic.
3. Pair. What is wine without food?
Experience our wines in a different way, with a wine and quiche pairing in our elegant farmhouse tasting room. Four wines are paired with dainty and delicious homemade quiches with ingredients specially selected to highlight and enhance the wine flavours – taking wine tasting to the next level.
Bookings are advised for groups of four or more.
4. Stop. And smell the roses.
And the lavender.The English country gardens of the Elgin Vintners Manor House are the perfect place to experience the view of wide-open Elgin skies and the encircling Hottentots Holland and Kogelberg mountains. Take a stroll across the expansive lawns to discover the secret fairy garden, explore ancient trees and hidden places, and enjoy the sensory explosion of the abundant flower beds in the terraced garden first planted in the 1920s.
5. Meet our winemaker
Join Marinda Kruger-Claassen for a cellar tour and barrel tasting to learn how our approach of “maximum care, minimum intervention” from vineyard to cellar produces wines of elegance and finesse, renowned for their fruit purity, balance and complexity. Taste wines direct from the barrels where they are maturing and learn the secret of the winemaker about when they are ready for bottling and release.
Cellar tours and barrel tastings take place at 11.00 on Saturdays by appointment only for a minimum of four people.
Escape into country living and feel like the Lord and Lady of the Manor House when you check in to our 4-star boutique guesthouse for a luxurious getaway. Built in 1927 to a Sir Herbert Baker design, our Manor House has been restored to its Victorian glory, with all the modern comforts. Accommodating up to 10 guests in luxury suites, the Manor House is child-friendly and gives guests the run of the property, including the swimming pool, tennis court and braai area.
Wake up to a hearty breakfast served daily, and there is even a fully equipped kitchen for those who want to self-cater. Spend a lazy afternoon on the lawn with a picnic and cricket or boules, or bring your running shoes, hiking boots and mountain bikes to explore the orchards and vineyards along the river.
7. Plan your wedding or special event.
The Manor House and sprawling lawns are an idyllic venue for summer weddings, garden parties and functions for large and small groups. Against the backdrop of mountains and lush country gardens, create a magical setting with lanterns and fairy lights in the ancient oak trees, tented coverings, plenty of space for a dance floor, and an overnight stay after the festivities.
Consult our team of professionals to tailor make your perfect event.
Enjoy a wood-fired pizza, gourmet roosterkoek, hearty soups and more relaxed comfort food at the new Elgin Vintners Eatery and Tasting Room. A fireplace for cooler days and a deck overlooking the vineyards and mountains make this a perfect spot for a meal or a snack with your wine tasting.
Our apple and pear orchards, vineyards, and hiking and mountain biking trails around the farm and along the river are an explorer’s dream. Have a game of tennis or a swim in the pool. Make yourself at home at Elgin Vintners and enjoy our wonderful natural surroundings. Breathe in the crisp mountain air, enjoy the view, and do not forget to smell the apples!
Elgin Vintners is open to the public from 10h00 to 16h00 every day, including public holidays.
10. Share experiences.
Share a platter of delicious local cheeses and nibbles, and an Elgin Vintners wine or two of course, with friends. The cosy Manor House lounge and fireplace welcomes you in winter, and in summer guests are welcome to enjoy the view from the verandah or the gardens or relax by the poolside.
We may be in the middle of national lockdown, but our team is still hard at work behind the scenes to ensure a memorable visit to our beautiful cool-climate wine valley once this crisis is over. For more information visit www.elginvintners.co.za or email us via [email protected].co.za