Wine farms in Mcgregor, South Africa

One very fine, warm, winter’s week-end, not so long ago we were invited to visit the lovely but often forgotten part of SA’s fantastic wine route, the magical town of McGregor on a Media Trip organised by McGregor Country Getaways.
I had not spent much time on that side of the mountain and was very much looking forward to some small town exploring.
Without further adieu, I shall give you all the right reasons why you should “Discover McGregor” !

“I just had to Insta-Twit-Book every moment of our journey! “

DSCN1318

Seeing the sun rise over the mountains in the blissful knowledge that we would be leaving the hustle & bustle of city life behind for 3 whole glorious days…just couldn’t get any better than this!

DSCN1321
Strictly Coffee
In a little under 2 hours drive we were the first to arrive at our first stop the homey Strictly Coffee in Robertson. We were welcomed warmly by owners Ina & Henno and graciously seated close to the nearest plug point…the day’s adventures had not yet begun and already my phone desperately needed juice. #bloggerproblems
Soon we were joined by several other bloggers, writers and travel aficionados and our hostess the Merry Mira, from McGregor Country Getaways herself.
You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d just stepped into Oppiekoffie from 7de laan, with it’s warm, delicious, wallet-friendly, home-baked goods just like Tannie Hilda used to make!

DSCN1324This former Railway House was converted into a coffee shop a mere 7 years ago with the food being added to the menu from just last year. The bread baked fresh on the premises, the coffee freshly ground and in addition owner Henno has his own charcuterie; conjuring up some tasty cured meats which are not only on the menu but for sale to take home with you with you.

DSCN1328

We sampled a few spicy chorizo slices before grabbing a quick bite. Whilst I had a tasty croissant and cheese, the BF had a full on rustic farmers breakfast with the works!.There’s a little something for everyone on the menu even for the banters with their freshly baked carb free bread!DSCN1323

DSCN1329 It’s not hard to see why the locals love this spot!
Well lined tummies filled and ready to roll (quite literally in my case 😉 on to the wine tasting tour!

Van Loveren Wines

DSCN1334Walking up the very californian-like entrance, through the modern glass doors it’s hard to believe that this wine estate owned by the Retief Family was bought as far back as 1937.
Originally the property was part of a larger farm known as ‘Goudmyn’, the Afrikaans term meaning “Gold Mine” .  In 1939, Hennie’s wife, Tannie Jean (neé Van Zyl) persuaded her husband to rename the farm after Christina van Loveren (one of her ancestors) who was married to the first Van Zyl to arrive in South Africa in 1692. Today it’s more affectionately known as home of the beloved Four Cousins and tasty Tangled Tree wines and is South Africa’s biggest family-owned winery.

DSCN1330#DidYouKnow?
The tangled up Rhus lancea and Karee trees growing in the wine estate’s courtyard became a symbol of  Hennie & Jean’s enduring love and was the inspiration for the new Tangled Tree Wine collection.
Greeted by the lovely Marketing Manager Bonita, we were treated to wine taste pairing of our choice. I opted for the Four Cousins Fan, this included a lovely rosé granita paired with fenugreek spice (sounds odd but tastes divine!!), amarula cream and nougat, red wine, chocolate & biltong!

DSCN1332 There are 8 different wine taste pairings, including a non-alcoholic option with sweeties and crayons for the kids all priced at a very reasonable R50 each. Excl. the kiddies pairing which is R30.
Much more than your average wine estate, Van Loveren caters for the entire family with their wide range of activities. These include:
Mountain Biking  – Hire a bike for R100 per day and check out the great views
Hiking Trails – Enjoy the peace and quiet with a scenic 3 hour hike
Cellar Tour – Learn more about the journey of wine
Garden Tour – Learn some history behind the wine estate
Christina’s Bistro – Savour a juicy burger or thin crust pizza with a lovely glass of  Van Loveren wine. open 7 days a week with FREE WIFI!
Van Loveren make an array of wines, which you can find on their website, another newbie to the fold is the Four Cousins Skinny.

DSCN1331

This wine is lower in kiloujoules than the other wines, which makes it banting friendly and approved by Weigh-Less!
I didn’t purchase any wine here, but I know I can find my favourite Tangled Tree Butterscotch Chardonnay at my local supermarket. Otherwise, it’s as easy as ordering online from their website and having them driver it right to my door! Easy!
Warmed up and ready to go, it was on to our next stop for a bit of a ‘booze cruise’ and lunch at,
Viljoensdrift Fine Wines
I just fell in love with the decidedly Afrikaans sjiek decor; warm, welcoming and unpretentious just like their fine wines.

DSCN1336DSCN1354DSCN1360

 

 

 

With the welcome drink bubbly in hand we boarded the Uncle Ben II for a lovely, lazy afternoon cruise on the Breede River.

DSCN1343

Ashley, the Marketing Manager, spoiled us with a wine tasting of a dozen of their finest wines paired with a deliciously packed deli basket of fresh breads, cheeses, meats and preserves from their deli.

DSCN1344

What makes Viljoensdrift unique is their location, right on the banks of the river where they cater for many functions and events.
Sadly they do not stock many supermarkets with their wine, but luckily one can order from their website where they will deliver directly to your door!

Discover Mcgregor Wine farms in Mcgregor, South Africa
Next on our whirlwind winelands adventure was an afternoon stop and underground cellar tour at

Esona (meaning “The Very One” in Xhosa) boutique winery in Bonnievale
Warmly welcomed by owner Rowan and wife Caryl, with a glass of ‘Frankly my dear’ (named after the famous words uttered by Scarlett O’Hara in the classic ‘Gone with the Wind’) we were given an introduction to single vineyard wines.

DSCN1372
#DidYouKnow?
In most bottles of wine are grapes that come from more than one vineyard. Esona specialises in using only grapes from their vineyard; thus the single vineyard wine.
Then we were treated to a unique “Wine & Music” pairing exclusive to Esona, called “taste the difference” in their 95 year old building’s underground cellar.

DSCN1374

I must admit this is the first time I’ve ever tasted wine from the prestigious Riedel crystal glass and let me tell you, it tastes a whole lot better than sipping from your average wine glass.
The sounds of classical music in the background, made me feel a tad more refined than usual or perhaps it was the wine from the Riedel glass? who knows. I walked away with a certaintanty that those Riedel glasses would definitely be on my wedding registry one day!DSCN1365

Apart from the cellar experience, there is Caryl’s Deli upstairs with the most magnificent view of the vineyards.

DSCN1369If you’re a foodie like I am be sure to sign up for their monthly newsletter, where Caryl shares one of her recipes and a little more about herself.

From Esona it was time to head back to Mcgregor and check into our accommodation for the night before heading off to dinner.

We stayed at the lovely 91 on Long for the evening. A quick freshen up and the off to dinner!

Our last tasty treat for the day, was dinner at

Discover Mcgregor Wine farms in Mcgregor, South Africa

Tebaldi’s Restaurant
Greeted with my favourite, a glass MCC (method Cap Classique) otherwise known as bubbly!
A fantastic feast for the senses awaited us, a divine 3 course meal exquisitely paired with wines from Rooiberg Wine Estate.
Thank you to the owners Michael and Billy for the lavish meal served and our host Zaine from Rooiberg Wines who very knowledgeably talked us through each wine pairing.

Discover Mcgregor Wine farms in Mcgregor, South Africa

Delicious Salmon Steak on a bed of roasted veggies

Tebaldi’s restaurant is open for breakfast lunch and dinner and forms part of the Temenos Retreat. (more about this later)
Rooiberg Wines
Established in 1964 and now has 34 members contributing from individually owned farms around the cellar.  Mostly export but also stock locally and can be found at Woolworths.
To top it all off, we all walked away with a very generous gift from Rooiberg a bottle of delicious Muscadel.
#DidYouKnow?
Rooiberg Winery near Robertson has made history by becoming the first co-operative winery in South Africa to achieve membership status with the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI). They have achieved this by conserving valuable natural habitats on their member’s farms within an important succulent karoo region, and by embracing the principles of sustainable production. Eight out of the 18 farms belonging to Rooiberg were selected as having the most conservation-worthy land and a letter of commitment was signed by each of the respective property owners and Rooiberg’s CEO, agreeing to not develop new vineyards on the pristine areas identified. {credit: WWF } 

that’s all for day one…

#wishyouwerehere

…to be continued…

Van Loveren Tasting Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato