Wine Routes

Lovers of good food and wine visiting the Western Cape often make straight for Stellenbosch and Franschhoek which are perceived as the main wine and gourmet areas. And indeed, many of the wines which are household names and available in supermarkets all over Europe are there waiting for visitors to taste (after paying your tasting fee and waiting in a queue of tour bus tourists) When they arrive in Swellendam, they say “Oh, we’ve done the wine route”

How wrong they are – and how much they are missing!  The wines of Bonnievale and Robertson, and the wine and brandy on the other side of the mountain on R62 are stunning – and the range is huge – everything from boutique to easy drinking, and so easy to visit – the most Dave and Amanda have managed in one day is seven, but theoretically and geographically you could visit far more in a day. You will often have a personalised  wine tasting session with one of the family members, and each vineyard has something different, beautiful  and special to mark it in your memory  – not just the wine! 

Here are some of Dave and Amanda’s recommendations for a superb day out tasting the wines of the area. There is a small wildebeeste who insists on accompanying them on their wine adventures, you may well spot him in some of the photographs.

Wildebeeste likes sparking wine

Enjoying sparkling wine at Weltevrede

Start at Weltevrede  Here there are some beautiful sparkling wines, with a romantic story behind their names.  In the tasting room here, there is a very interesting demonstration of how the different terroir affects the taste and quality of the wine.

Next vineyards along the road, next door to each other, but producing radically different wines, are Goedverwacht and Wolvendrift.  Both these farms offer  really interesting choice of wine – at Wolvendrift you can organise a picnic and sit by the river enjoying the birdlife as you sip your wine.

Continue to enjoy the Bonnievale road,

Wildebeeste tasting wines at Van Loveren

Enoy the food at Van Loveren. Can you see D the W?

which winds through the valley and is spectacular at all times of year, lined with brilliant bougainvillea and cannas, and the next stop recommended by Dave, Amanda and the small Wildebeeste, is Van Loveren. Wine tasting at Van Loveren takes place in a beautiful garden, where every tree has a story to tell. Enjoy the wine so generously poured, while you sit next to the gentle stream and enjoy the birdsong from the lush greenery. On Sundays you can chill to live music, enjoying the delicious pizzas or gourmet burgers.


If you love messing about on a river, then Viljoensdrift is a great choice.  Fill your picnic basket to the brim with sumptuous fare from their deli, add a bottle or two of Viljoensdrift’s fine wines and enjoy your picnic during your trip down the river. The river trips take place from Monday – Saturday (first one at 12 noon) and the first Sunday in the month.

My own creation wine blending in Excelsior wine farm

Blend your 'Own Creation' at Excelsior

A great favourite to visit next is Excelsior. Here the tasting area is on a deck overlooking a dam which has some incredible bird life.  You can create your own blend, cork it, label it and then it is boxed “My Own Creation” – what a fabulous and unique gift or memory to take home with you.  (Excelsior has alpacas too!)


 

wine tasting at springfield

Dave admiring the view at Springfield WInes

Off now to visit a wine farm which must bear some of the responsibility for Amanda and Dave-Not-Wildebeeste relocating to this area.  The Cabernet Sauvignon (Wholeberry) at Springfield Estate is one of the most delicious wines  – if you visit this wine estate, it is actually compulsory to return to Impangele with a bottle (or two) 

 

Wine awards

Arabella has won many awards

If you can still stand up after all of this, there is still Arabella Wines – horse lovers will be in their element here – the name Arabella was chosen as a word play on the many beautiful Arabian horses which grace their verdant pastures. Arabella’s Wines have won many awards and are amongst some of the favourites in Impangele’s cellar. 

Did I mention lunch?  Both Weltevrede and Van Loveren do delicious bistro style lunches, and there is also another wine farm that does a great lunch menu.  Very popular, and therefore often very busy, requiring some waiting – but worth it! Do some tasting while you wait - Bon Courage has an interesting selection;  for a lovely cool summer time sparkle – you cannot do better than “Blush”, pink and bubbly, a real party wine.

If you don’t want to drink and drive we can heartily recommend Fynbus Tours

Below is a map of our suggested wine route:


View Impangele’s Suggested Wine Route through Bonnievale in a larger map