Robertson: the Cape’s ultimate wine destination

Posted on 8 October 2019

Robertson is the underdog of wine country. This slice of heaven is an idillic destination for those looking to venture further than the usual suspects of the Cape Winelands.

Exploring the local wine farms was a treat, as the people of Robertson are so warm and welcoming. The first stop was at Rietvallei Wine Estate. The grounds are the epitome of picturesque: rolling vineyards, a bold bougainvillea, neat lawns and an outside seating area overlooking it all.

The entrance to Rietvallei

The tasting room manager, Anke Basson, was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. She ran us through a red wine tasting that consisted of 2014 Cabernet Franc, a 2017 Dark Cin Cinsaut, a Muscadel and Shiraz.

A delectable 2014 Cabernet Franc

To go with the delicious reds, we were treated to a feast of a cheese board, with all the trimmings and fixings one craves at a wine farm.

The next stop was Esona Boutique Wine Estate, where we had an underground wine and dessert pairing in a century-old kuip. The kuip was a saviour from the 34-degree heat and an incredibly interesting experience. The way wine can react with different flavours is something one can never know enough of.

The pairing was extremely insightful and provided us tips on flavours that best suit specific fermented grapes. Afterwards, we spent time overlooking the luscious green vineyards. Taking in the view, I imagined that this must be as close to Burgundy or Bordeaux one can get in South Africa.

Entrance to Esona

Our ride to and from the farms was the Wine Valley Safari vehicle, which kept us elevated and cool on the hot summer-like day. There should be a rule that one should only travel by wine safari, as you really get to appreciate the beauty of Robertson without the responsibility of driving.

The charismatic Wine Valley Safari

On Sunday on our way out, we popped in at the Four Cousins Restaurant for a wine and craft gin tasting and pairing. The high ceilings, exquisite decor and the delectable pairings were a real highlight for the trip. The Almost Zero range, consisting of the Wonderful White, Radiant Red and Ravishing Rosé sparked my interest. Each bottle contains less than 05% alcohol and could trick you into believing they were not dealcoholized. The hand crafted gins are all fabulous, with the winner being the Victoria’s Stag.

The Almost Zero range

If you’re looking for an excuse to visit Robertson, there is no time like the present. This weekend from the 11-13 October the annual Wine on The River festival is taking place. Having been once, I am so excited to go back and mingle along the riverside, under the shade of the Willow trees. The festival showcases Robertson on a microcosmic level, with the opportunity to experience this exquisite town all in one place.


Images: Imogen Searra


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