Tag Archives: vineyards

Wine in progress at lovely Belfield

Wine in progress at lovely Belfield
A wine-loving friend and I hopped into the car early yesterday morning and traveled the 70km through Cape Town's mist, and over Sir Lowry's mountain pass to the Elgin Valley's Elgin Cool Wine and Country Festival. We picked up our festival passes at the well-known-well-loved Peregrine Farm Stall just outside of the town of Grabouw and headed off to visit as many of the participating wine estates as we could manage.

Our first stop was at Belfield, a lovely boutique wine estate just around the corner from the Peregrine Farm Stall. The main photo in this post shows the contents of one of about 6 large plastic tubs filled with cabernet sauvignon grapes; the makings of the estate's award winning wine. Since we were the first to arrive at his estate, Mike Kreft (owner and wine maker) spent a few minutes explaining the mechanics around the grapes in the tubs.

What's interesting (and not the obvious from just looking at the tubs) is that the pressed husks, floating on top of of a 100-200mm layer of wine-to-be, are constantly releasing carbon dioxide during the fermentation process. The carbon dioxide hovers in a layer just above the husks and (besides for keeping the wine free from oxygen) effectively serves to wards off insects and other contaminating creatures from indulging in the fruits of Mike's labour.

Click on the thumbnails above to see a few more photos that I took on the wine farm's grounds.

Win tickets to the Elgin Cool Wine and Country Festival

Elgin Cool Wine and Country Festival
The Elgin Valley, along the N2, in the Caledon area, is one of the most beautiful places in the Cape region. The valley is about 70KM from Cape Town and consists of trees, vineyards, apple orchards and beautifully-manicured gardens on huge estates.

On Saturday 3 May 2014, flocks of families will descend on the Elgin valley, and wine estates will welcome visitors to the full-day Elgin Cool Wine and Country Festival. I won't rehash the details, rather read about what the organisers have in store for you on the festival's website.

If you'd like to win three tickets to the festival, find my email address on my contact page and send me an email with your name and contact details. If you have an interesting reason why you think you should win the tickets, then mention it. I can't say that'll result in you winning the tickets, but you never know. ;)

Oh, and, if you are going to the festival, show me some comment-love below - I painstakingly put the Google Map below, showing each wine estate's location. Some of the estates were REALLY difficult to find on a Google Maps and some of them don't even have working websites.

Blue-sky vineyards

Blue-sky vineyards
I think it's the order (how the vineyards are designed in geometrical shapes with perfectly-aligned rows of vines) that appeals to me. That, the array of green-yellow-orange colours, and the promise of wine. :)

Golden-orange vineyards

Golden-orange vineyards
The Durbanville farmlands can be really pretty at this time of year. I don't really enjoy them during our hot and windy summer months - mostly because it gets really hot and really windy. :P

Seriously-speaking though, walking about on farmlands dirt roads in dry windy weather leaves one covered in an uncomfortable grimy-feeling layer of fine orange powder mixed with perspiration. Autumn's cool ~21°C weather is far, far, more desirable - and besides, the skies are bluer and filled with billowing clouds, and the farmlands are a beautiful mix of green and orange.

Groot Constantia’s vineyards

Groot Constantia's vineyards
To capture this one, I took ten paces the the left of where I shot the photo in my previous post. This really is a beautiful part of Cape Town's southern suburbs. Read more about Groot Constantia in my previous post.

Hiking in Durbanville

Hiking in Durbanville
Kerry-Anne and I have taken to doing short hikes on weekends. This particular one was at Hillcrest in Durbanville - along a mountain bike trail that leads though the vineyards.

Only after the hike did we learn that this area is well known for the Cape Cobra - an extremely venomous snake. While we never actually saw snakes, the sign "Snake Alley" (posted along one of the routes we walked) made a whole lot more sense, and we felt really grateful for not encountering any of the slippery, slithery slinkies.

Wet ‘n soggy vineyards

Wet 'n soggy vineyards
The vineyards of Meerendal were particularly soggy and wet on Sunday. I jumped out of my car, into the cold wind and drizzle to take this photo. Once done, thoroughly cold and damp, I returned to a locked car containing three giggling occupants. Apparently I'd been locked out. Apparently it was funny. :)

Chapel among the vines

Church among the vines
Isn't this scene, with the little church and green vines, just beautiful? The afternoon's soft autumn light, falling across the vineyard, was absolutely captivating.

We took a quick drive into Montpellier, and given what we saw (how beautiful the place is) I'm fairly certain that hiring this venue for a wedding would cost a pretty penny... however, it really is very pretty - and probably perfect if you'd love to get married out in the country.

Perhaps you know that the city of Montpellier is in southern france. Do distinguish this estate, its full name is "Montpellier De Tulbagh" (or "Montpellier Du Cap", as noted at their front gates).

Tractors and picnics at Solms-Delta

Tractors and picnics
We tagged along with a Irene and a small cluster of friends to Solms-Delta for a picnic along the river. At arrival we first took time to enjoy the wine tasting and then boarded this small tractor for a trip among the vines to the picnic spot on the banks of a little river.

The picnic cost R135 per person and came neatly packed in a cane basket with bottles of wine and water. The day was hot. The wind was cool. The food was good. In conclusion - we had an awesome time devouring the food, lying under the trees, dipping into the river, and playing a round or two of cricket.

The picnic at Solms-Delta comes well recommended!

A beautiful landscape

A beautiful landscape
I wrote about the Royal Hotel in Riebeek West yesterday, and before that I showed you a photo of a pastel-blue building from that same town. This photo of the little town is taken from just outside its borders. If you've visited Riebeek West before, you'd immediately recognise the large church building.

Colourful vineyards, green fields, blue mountains, and billowing clouds. The late afternoon sun makes this such a beautiful landscape. I wonder if people living here ever become jaded towards its beauty.