Escape the Winelands crowds

The Winelands beyond Cape Town attract plenty of tourists, but what if you’d rather avoid the crowds and the tour busses in favour of something more authentic? Winelands tour guide Stephen Flesch has just the place for you…

One of the estates I love visiting and taking my clients to is a small family-run winery in the Helderberg region, called Grangehurst.

The cellar is run by winemaker Jeremy Walker and his wife Mandy; a lovely couple who really do make beautiful wines. They have a small vineyard, but the main focus of their production is buying in grapes that they turn into wonderful wines.

They are primarily a red wine producer although they do also have a rosé made from five different grape varieties.

The key thing about Grangehurst is that they make wines in a classic way; these are wines that are meant to age. When you go to the cellar you’ll taste wines from 2006 and 2007. They are ready to drink now, but they will also age happily for another 10 or 15 years.

They are wonderful people with lovely wines, plus it’s an intimate tasting room with no crowds.

New wave of Cape winemakers strike out on their own

Not all of Cape Town’s great wines come from splendid old estates with elegant manor houses; a new breed of young winemakers are doing it on their own. Mike Bampfield-Duggan, owner of Wine Concepts, a boutique store which sells many of these wines to the public, introduces some of his favourites.

“I hate singling out just a few winemakers from the 600 labels that we have on our shelves, but there are quite a few exciting young producers who don’t physically own their own vineyards or cellar space.

Trizanne Barnard produces brilliant Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon/Semillon blends. Duncan Savage is the winemaker at Cape Point Vineyards and makes wonderful wines there too.

One of my favourites at the moment are the wines from Carsten Migliarina. He was the sommelier at Grande Roche Hotel, and when they started to plant vines there it inspired him to carry on and become a winemaker. His wines are very limited, but quite superb. He’s very selective about where he gets his grapes from, but offers very reasonably priced handcrafted wines.

Another is Saltare from winemaker Carla Pauw. She makes Syrah and Chenin Blanc, but we also encourage a lot of people to enjoy her Methode Cap Classique sparkling wines, which are just superb. She’s the most down-to-earth winemaker you could possibly meet, and her Blanc de Blanc Cap Classique is just wonderful!”