Often forgotten in favour of the more well-known wine routes, or unheard of by tourists, the Robertson Wine Valley provides an off-the-beaten track experience where winemakers indulge visitors with long talks in cosy cellars and local chefs cook up a storm in quaint country kitchens
But every year, the Wacky Wine Weekend attracts wine lovers who flock to the region in search of a burst of bubbly, to savour a good glass of Sauvignon Blanc or to enjoy a lingering Pinotage on the palate.
And so it was that I joined those winemakers and headed through the tunnel and over and on past a windy Worcester to the town of Robertson for a weekend of wine tasting, hiking in the beautiful surrounding mountains and discovering some gorgeous places tucked away in the valley.
Pat Busch Mountain Reserve
The folded mountains of Pat Busch Mountain Reserve welcomed us to the valley, and as we sat watching the sun dip behind the tree-covered slopes from the wooden balcony of our Africamps tented accommodation, the sun-kissed mountains and vineyards beckoned for us to explore. And so we did.
Just up the road from our accommodation, Rosendal offered us two vintages of Sauvignon Blanc set against the backdrop of their charming hotel and shimmering lake, while a bit further on Rietvallei served up a braai-your-own experience where kebabs and sausages could be braaied to our preferences and were best served up with a bottle of John B Bubbly.
Later in the day Bon Courage and Wonderfontein joined the bubbly brigade and Springfield Wine Estate offered a lake-side setting with live music where we sipped on Thunderchild – a wine which supports the local orphanage and to which a portion of my Wacky Wine ticket went.
Onwards and outwards, Bon Cap served a delicious buffet breakfast which lined our wine-filled tummies. Just past the biggest chair in Africa at Rooiberg, the lesser-known farm of Le Roux & Fourie Vignerons offered a rustic setting just off the main road with few people and a delicious one-on-one wine tasting while an elderly Jack Russell ran around at our feet, begging to join our party.
Protea plantations and sugarbirds
After a hard day’s wine tasting our journey took us back to our tented accommodation at Africamps, where – after a walk up and over the mountains, through a colossal forest of Protea plants with Cape sugarbirds flitting around and down into a moss-covered river bed – we lit the braai fire and the indoor wood burner for a cosy, warm evening, tucked up under the stars.
After a delightful sleep in our canvas getaway in the middle of nowhere we awoke to a breakfast basket of delicious which we cooked ourselves and enjoyed as the sun set the reserve aglow and welcomed us to another day in the Robertson Wine Valley with a whole new host of farms just waiting to be explored!