Cederberg Wine Estates & wine-tasting
One of the many exciting tasks of starting a new lodge is to compile an interesting, thoughtfully balanced wine list. As you may imagine, this was a project taken on with great dedication (and perseverance) by our team at Cederberg Ridge. We made an early decision to only include wine from our local region. Maybe our guests will get the chance to try something a little unusual? And we love to showcase all the merits of the Olifants River valley and Cederberg wine estates. Our list planning was the perfect kick-start to many happy away days of local wine farm visits. So below we share some of our favourite spots for Cederberg wine-tasting.
It is true that traveling up the N7 from Cape Town and looking at the landscape one’s first thought is not that of a wine region. You may know us for our beautiful, rugged, open scenery, not gentle green slopes of vineyards. But you would be surprised…
Cederberg Wine-tasting – Piekenierskloof
Hidden between the towering Cederberg Mountains and the stretched out west coast , following the path of the river and canal system is the Olifants Rivier wine region, a region all wine lovers should take time to discover. Coming over the Piekenierskloof pass the small town of Citrusdal comes into view, home to the Piekenierskloof Winery. The grapes used are grown on farms situated on the Paleis Heuwel Plateau in the Piekenierskloof to all the way down the Citrusdal valley.
Tasting: Pop in at De Tol Farm Deli on the N7 for a tasting en route to Cederberg Ridge. Two of my many favourites are the Piekenierskloof Grenache Rose and the Piekenierskloof Grenache. (They do tea and gin tastings as well)
Directions: Next to N7 about 8.5 km before Citrusdal travelling from Cape Town, 067 410 3315
Cederberg Wine-tasting – Tierhoek
Travel north on one of the most beautiful roads, to be surprised by Tierhoek Wineries, situated high in the peaks of the Piekenierskloof Mountains (760m). Tierhoek is one of original Sandveld farms (1886). The current owners, the Sandells, have lovingly restored the old buildings to their original Sandveld style.
Tasting: Tierhoek offers tasting by appointment only. Sitting in the old farmhouse kitchen tasting wine, you are reminded of a time when life was simpler. It is hard to pick a favourite here as they are all delicious. They made a very special Straw wine in the traditional way. Made from 100% Chenin Blanc grapes off old vines.
Contact Details: 078 613 7244, www.tierhoek.com
Directions: Travel on N7 north. Once on the Piekenierkloof Pass you will pass Kardoesie Padstal on your right. Turn left on the Paleisheuwel road and continue for about 23km until you reach Tierhoek Winery.
Cederberg Wine-tasting – Cederberg Wines
Note: Cederberg Ridge offers an excursion up into the High Cederberg and that includes a visit to Cederberg Wine Cellars.
But in case you miss that, you can also undertake this in your rental vehicle or own car. (However we recommend it mainly for SUV vehicles as it is gravel road all the way, and some parts are quite corrugated.) Head back to the N7 and turn east deep into the Central Cederberg by the Algeria turn-off. Known for its hiking trails and spectacular rock formations, a small cluster of wine producers are slowly making a name for themselves.
Cederberg Wines, owned by celebrated winemaker David Nieuwoudt, offers a wide variety of wines and it is worth visiting the winery for a tasting. It is the highest wine farm above sea level in the Western Cape, the vineyards are between 950 and 1100 m above sea level. One of the many incredible wines we have on our wine list is the 5 Generations Chenin Blanc (wooded). Time stood still when I first tasted it.
While in the area, make a point of visiting Driehoek wine farm too. David Niewoudt also makes the Driehoek wines and their Shiraz is world class. At nearby Kromrivier, the Chardonnay is heavenly.
Contact Details: 027 482 2827 or www.cederbergwine.com
Wine-tasting at Klawer, Vredendal, Ludzville and the coast
Cederberg Ridge sometimes offers a guided wine tour to this region, especially in the winter months.
But you can do it under your own steam as well.
Head back to the N7 and continue to travel north, passing fields of Rooibos bushes and orchards filled with citrus and mangoes. You may notice the vineyards of table grape vines change to those filled with wine grapes.
Klawer Wine Cellars, just outside Klawer, offers a selection of quality wines. One can choose from 4 different wine pairings and they offer a fun grape juice pairing for the kids. Make sure to taste the Villa Esposto Pinotage before travelling on, as that’s there better.
Turning off the N7, on the R363 and heading towards Vredendal, suddenly you encounter a new selection of Cederberg wine estates. Namaqua Wines & Teubes Family Wines both have restaurants and offer tastings. If stopping at Teubes, make sure to leave with a box of their MCC Karoobossie Brut. Adding this MCC will make any occasion into a celebration. Some more names to memorize are Cape Rock Wines, Kookfontein and Stellar Winery, the largest producer of organic, fair trade wines in South Africa.
Passing through Vredendal, towards Lutzville, take note of Bellpost Wines at Lutzville Vineyards founded in 1963. They offer tasting and also serve breakfast and lunch in their restaurant.
One of our highlights in the Vredendal area was doing a wine tasting with Joan Wiggins, wine maker at Seal Breeze. The wine is as unique and special as Joan. The wines are made with no modern equipment, truly hand-made wines. Nestled on the banks of the Olifants River near Lutzville, the grapes are organic and hand-picked. They produce only three tons per cultivar which are then matured in French and American oak barrels. Wine tasting is by appointment only and it’s wise to allow some time to truly enjoy the experience. Her 2017 Sauvignon Blanc proved, beyond any doubt, that the region’s white wines age very, very well.
Contact Details: Tel 027 217 1458 or 084 505 1991, Email: email@example.com
Wine-tasting on the West Coast
Driving down the coast, slowly heading back to the N7, make sure to stop in Doringbaai. Here you will find Fryers Cove. Situated in an old fresh fish processing factory, this unique winery celebrates all that makes the Olifants River Wine region so special; a deep understanding of history and respect for the land and the produce; celebrating the community they are based in; and keeping the character of the West Coast alive.
Unfortunately I don’t have enough time to mention all the amazing Cederberg wine-tasting and wine estates that this region has to offer. Luckily, I am based at Cederberg Ridge. So I can simply select a bottle from our wine list, savouring the view and the wine, one glass or bottle at a time.