Located at the foot of the Cederberg Mountains, most people come to Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat to experience the wonderful isolation of an expansive wilderness. The views here are, of course, remarkable – punctuated with rough and rocky outcrops and ancient sandstone formations – but there is another reason to stop by.
A haven for wine aficionados, Bushmans Kloof also happens to be within spitting distance (no pun intended) of some spectacular wineries. With its very own award-winning wine cellar it’s perfectly possible to sample some of the best wines in South Africa without stepping foot outside the hotel, but in the spirit of exploration – and to get a real feel for this beautiful corner of the country – we’ve selected the finest vineyards to visit on a Cederberg wine tour. Here are the three best wine routes to follow on your next trip…
The Darling Route
With a name that sweet, it’s hard not be taken in by the Darling Route. Named after the picturesque village in the Western Cape, foodies and wine lovers alike will not want to miss this one.
- Cloof is a young wine estate that offers not only bold flavours but also many food events in their restaurant, The Cloof Kitchen. Serving a range of light lunch options in the comfort of their tasting room (many ingredients are plucked fresh from the estate garden), this is a great place to sample some local Darling produce.
- Dating back to 1808, Groote Post is one of the oldest farms in the Cederberg wine region. Despite only achieving official status as a wine cellar less than two decades ago, the Groote Post has quickly become a destination for wine lovers visiting Darling. Their restaurant, Hilda’s Kitchen, offers country cooking with a fresh, modern feel.
- Life’s a little more laid-back at Darling Cellars, which came to life in 1996. The focus here is on making wines that stay true to the region and varietals grown here. Join a tasting of their award-winning wines, made with decidedly modern winemaking equipment.
The West Coast Route
A region characterised by the Olifants River Valley, some of South Africa’s largest vineyards are to be found on the West Coast. An unspoilt area of natural beauty, we can’t think of a better place to sit back and enjoy the scenery with a large glass of local wine.
- Producing around 35 million litres of wine a year, Namaqua Wines has been in business since 1947 and remains one of the largest vineyards in the area. Refreshingly unpretentious in their approach, Namaqua provides the perfect introduction to wine for novice tasters.
- Visiting the West Coast means stopping in at Cederberg Private Cellar, one of South Africa’s most charismatic wineries. The highest altitude vineyard in the region, this fynbos-covered farm sits at the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom and has been making superb wines since 1978.
The Swartland Route
Is there a better pairing in the world than wine and olives? The Swartland Route, which stretches from the rolling hills of the Paaderberg in the south to the Berg River up in the north, lavishes just as much love on its olives as it does on its wines. In fact, it’s officially referred to as the Santam Swartland Wine & Olive Route.
- The Olive Boutique offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy wine and olive pairing sessions with vintages from one of the top vineyards in the Cederberg wine region, Swartland Winery. Launched in 1948, Swartland Winery provides the perfect contrast to more modern boutique wineries.
- Another Swartland area vineyard, Riebeek Cellars opened in 1941. Sourcing grapes from the Riebeek Valley, the emphasis here is decided local. Visit their wine shop in the centre of town for a great selection of vintages sold at cellar door prices.
Header Image © Swartland Winery