August 14, 2013
Winelands with a twist
After a brief stint as a science student, Erik Brits decided to focus passionately on bits the of the world that he could actually understand, and now he travels all over the country sourcing interesting stories for Nightjar Travel. However far and wide he travels, though, Cape Town will always be home.
Editor's Note: This article was first published on our content partner Nightjar Travel on 27 June ,2013.
I have an obsession with doing things differently, which normally makes me really annoying to travel with, but occasionally I find something really cool, like my recent long weekend in the Robertson Winelands with my girlfriend.
The Winelands area is famous for its pretty mountains, exquisite food, and of course, wine tasting. This is all nice enough, certainly, but instead we decided to explore some of the deeply crevassed stretches of Route 62, which are both a photographer’s delight and nightmare (wide angle lens… wide!)
On our second day we poked around Igadi Olive Oil and learnt how their oil is made - it's a more complicated process than I'd anticipated, with pipes and conveyor belts and all sorts of mechanics, but my favorite part was the pleasantly olive-y smell of the machines. We then had lunch at the olive tasting station in McGregor, followed by a grappa tasting at Tanagra (which was sublime, I am still cherishing my bottle).
Eventually we gave in and decided to taste a little bit of wine as well, so we went to Excelsior Wine Estate where we blended our own wine (like I said, different!). Of course, getting the blend 'just right' involved a lot of tasting, which led to me eventually jamming one of the taps open and screaming like a child as wine sprayed out the top of my bottle. Fortunately, the lady behind the counter is used to clumsy tourists and helped me out efficiently - but so much for the perfect 20:20:60 ratio of my cab sav - merlot - shiraz blend. I’ll have to go back once I’ve stopped blushing at the memory.
For our last night we splashed out on a night at Angala Boutique Hotel where we sat, in absolute luxury, and simply watched the mountain – different is great but how could you not enjoy the obvious beauty in front of you! Here we also checked ‘eat exquisite food’ off the itnerary. There were a myriad other opportunities for fun that we had to drive past - there's only so much time in the day - but point being, there's definitely more to the Winelands than just the wine.
For more information, please visit www.nightjartravel.com/activities/route-62 .
Fancy a day trip? Visit our Beyond Cape Town guide for the best routes.