Consumed with work but desperate to come up for air?
The Elgin Grabouw Valley is only an hour’s drive from Cape Town. Once you’ve dipped over Sir Lowry’s Pass, you will fell that you have escaped into a different world. With orchards and vineyards flashing past the window, you can expect an authentic countryside and soul-quenching experience. We can assure you that you won’t be disappointed.
option 1 – EARLY RISERS 08:00 – 09:30
Early risers can take advantage of the “non-parkruns” that are slowly retaking shape, albeit still being an unofficial gathering of health and nature enthusiasts. These depart from Trail’s End Bike Hotel at 8am on Saturday mornings.
There is nothing like a healthy start to appreciate a hearty Peregrine breakfast. What started as a humble farmstall has grown into an institution poised at the Elgin Grabouw Valley gateway. It lures you in with the smell of freshly baked goods and, if you are not careful, this will become a more extended stop than planned. Peregrine Farmstall’s ability to consistently reinvent themselves is what kept them on the map since the 1960’s. It has grown to become so much more than just another farmstall. Visitors come from far and wide to buy their pies and quiches. Take time to browse the deli for some “padkos”, take home their venison biltong or home-made artisanal breads, stock up on Christmas gifts, and pet the local cat.
Peregrine also stocks a comprehensive range of Elgin’s fabulous cool-climate wine.
SIP OR CYCLE 10:00 – 12:00
Please note that the heading doesn’t imply that you should practice these activities simultaneously!
Oak Valley Wine Estate is quite an organisation, farming with flowers, fruit, wine grapes, Wagyu beef and free-range acorn-fed pork. While their meat is for sale (see their website for order forms), the main reason for this stop will be to taste their different range of wines. Their wine ambassador will take you through their site-specific wines which capture the essence of their unique terroir at the foot of the Groenlandberg mountain range. The Discovery Range offers excellent value, so make sure there is plenty of space in your boot. These wines are named after some of the mountain bike trails on the estate. Those who are looking for their adrenalin rush may want to skip the wine tasting to explore their mountain bike trails, which are open 365 days a year, weather dependant. Good news is that there are shower and bike washing facilities if you would like to clean up for your onward journey.
LUNCHTIME 12:30 – 13:30
The restaurant at Oak Valley is still closed until further notice, but you can take advantage of their picnic season that starts on the 1st of November. Spend a lazy hour in their tree-shaded garden and enjoy a private picnic washed down with an Oak Valley wine. Kevin, the majestic male peacock may just dazzle you with a courtly display of manly tailfeathers.
Be sure to book it at least 24 hours in advance. Choose between their meaty or vegetarian picnic. Little customers are especially catered for.
DISTILLED AND CHILLED 14:00 – 16:00
Just down the road, the Oude Molen Distillery is a must, particularly if you have not visited it before. Brandy is part of our South African heritage and on par with the best in the world. If you opt for the two-hour interactive experience, including a chocolate tasting, the team will tell you a colourful story of how it all started. The Distillery houses two of the largest copper pot stills in the Southern Hemisphere, and the maturation cellars forms an intriguing part of the process.
OPTION 2 – FOR THE NOT-SO-EARLY-RISERS (10:00 – 16:00)
Here is a choice for those seeking a last-minute, straightforward wine experience: all located on one road so no detours or getting lost! Feel free to enquire about our local transport services if you don’t have a designated driver.
The Highlands Road Wine Trip
You can visit the following three farms from the bottom up of start at the top and work your way down.
10.30 – 12:00: Wine and chocolate pairing at Paul Wallace Wines. You cannot miss the sign on your left-hand side. Paul and Nicky Wallace are renowned for their hospitality and will regale you with many a many a tale of life in the valley and the stories behind the names of their wines. They are open on Saturdays or any other day by prior arrangement.
12:00 – 13.00: Next up is Highlands Road Estate, where more award-winning wines await while you are seated casually at the counter or lazing on the couches with gorgeous views into their quaint barrel cellar. Their Sauvignon Blanc and Sine Cera wines are much lauded.
13:15: – 14:30: Oneiric Wine Estate awaits at the end of a short gravel road. A delightful range of wines await, bedecked in colourful labels resonating the Pascal family’s roots in the mining industry. If you get the opportunity, please enjoy the landscaped gardens meandering alongside a series of dams and ponds.
15:00 – 14:30: At the top of Highlands Road awaits yet another award-winning gem. Iona is open for tastings on weekdays and by appointment on Saturdays. Here the simply stupendous view of the Elgin Valley will match their iconic, terroir-driven wines.