10 Reasons Why We Love Wellington
1. Gourmet-style food served at honest prices
In Wellington, you don’t need to break the bank to enjoy exceptional food. Pop into Johan van Schalkwyk’s Twist Some More restaurant and you’ll see exactly what we’re talking about. Dishes (and the menu) are created according to what’s available fresh locally, so you’re always guaranteed the highest quality. The staple favourite is the wild boar burger, definitely worth a try. Everything on the menu begs to be tasted, so return trips are encouraged. A deli, extensive local wine list and catering are also part of their offerings.
Contact: (021) 864-1467 Email [email protected]
Open Wed-Fri 12pm-9pm, Sat 8:30am-9pm, Sun 8:30am-3pm.
2. Experience the ultimate luxury accommodation
Looking to treat yourself to a luxury weekend getaway in the countryside? Grande Dédale on Doolhof Wine Estate ticks all the boxes, and then makes you realise there were boxes you didn’t even know existed. From the minute you step out your car you can expect to have your every whim and desire catered for. These guys know how to make you feel like royalty. Doolhof’s tasting room is literally next-door, so getting carried away while tasting isn’t a problem.
Contact: (021) 873-4089 Email [email protected]
3. Drink the Queen’s favourite wine
James McKenzie, winemaker of Nabygelegen Private Cellar, is famous across the valley for a number of reasons. He’s just added to this list, in a big way. On the 6th June, Nabygelegen had both their Nabygelegen Chenin Blanc 2008 (R55p/b) and their Snow Mountain Pinot Noir 2009 (R110p/b) served at the Queen’s Jubilee Lunch – two of only three wines served! On behalf of South Africa, congrats to James for flying the flag high. Make sure you book ahead so you get to do the tasting with James, he’s a character you don’t want to miss.
Contact: (021) 873-7534 Email [email protected]
4. Soak up a sunset fiery enough to warm the soul
If you’re looking for a spectacular sunset that explodes against the mountains with glowing rays of pink and orange, we know the perfect spot. Val Du Charron Wine Estate and Guesthouse is perfectly situated on the slopes overlooking the Hawaqua Mountains, set amidst vines and palm trees. Not only does this estate have one of the most spectacular views, they have the facilities for you to enjoy it. In summer soak up the sunshine next to the pool which is directly outside their glass-fronted tasting room. In winter relax next to the fireplaces – you really can’t go wrong. Don’t want to leave? Stay over. The accommodation is affordable and very comfortable.
Contact: (021) 873-1256 Email [email protected]
5. Families are always welcome
Dunstone is a family-owned and run business (as with most things in Wellington) and it will feel like home away from home. Don’t miss this opportunity to taste the valley’s first 5-star Platter’s wine, the Dunstone Shiraz 2008, while enjoying some fresh grub from The Stone Kitchen. Dunstone is also home to the Bovlei Valley Retreat – renovated stables and a huge farm house set amidst vines. Its peaceful and is true to its retreat offering. Plus you’ve got all the wine and food you need a ‘dun’stone’s throw away.
Contact: (021) 873-6770 Email [email protected]
6. Wellington is the unofficial home of all South African vines
Did you know that approximately 85% of South Africa’s vines come from Wellington? It’s known as “the cradle of the South African Wine Industry”, where vines are grafted and nursed before being distributed to the rest of the country. The best place to experience this wonder is at Bosman Family Vineyards. Book ahead for a tour of the farm and then a wine tasting. With 8 generations in the vine/wine industry, the wine on this farm is made with extreme love at the hands of winemaker Corlia Fourie, and it shows.
Contact: (021) 873-3170 Email [email protected]
7. Exclusive mountain biking trails
Stop in at The Bovlei region of Wellington is a mountain biker’s paradise! Welvanpas, situated next to the well-known Bainskloof Pass. Welvanpas is steeped in history: it’s been in the Retief family for more than 305 years, and was the birthplace of Piet Retief. Visit today and you’ll meet current owners Dan and Retha, who make a mean cuppa coffee and some fantastic value-for-money wines. The mountain bike trail is described as “challenging but rewarding”. Stop in at Die Ou Meul after your ride for some coffee and cake, or wine tasting. Trail permits cost R30 for the day and shower facilities are available.
Contact: (021) 864-1239 Email [email protected]
Open Tues - Fri 8am-5pm (closed between 1-2pm),
Sat - Sun 8am-3pm, closed on Mondays.
8. Visit the producer who makes one wine only
There’s defiantly something to doing one thing, and doing it well. That’s exactly what Andreas Wines has done in creating their Andreas Shiraz, the only wine they produce. Farming with biodynamic principles, Andreas has just 4, 5 ha under Shiraz vines. Long, hot summer days cooled by late afternoon breezes, chilly, wet winters, and a combination of sandy and loamy soils provide the perfect terroir. The 2004 maiden vintage received a Silver Veritas and Double-Gold Michelangelo Award. Now that’s impressive. And they continue to impress.
Contact: (021) 873-2286 Email [email protected] Open By appointment only.
9. It’s the home of the original coffee chocolate Pinotage
Diemersfontein is one of the most popular spots in Wellington, and rightly so. Their original coffee chocolate Pinotage certainly put South African Pinotage on the map and their famous Pinotage on Tap festival draws crowds months in advance. You’ll be happy to know it’s around the corner again, happening on 12 October. If you haven’t been yet, don’t miss out.
Contact: (021) 864-5050
10. It’s home away from home
The number one reason to visit Wellington? The people. You don’t realise the ‘clinicalness’ of wineries and wine routes nowadays, but you’ll know the difference when you visit Wellington. You’ll be welcomed by the winemakers, chefs or owners personally and given 5-star treatment, no matter who you are. Because, in the end, what is great food and wine without the quality company to match? Enjoy!