Cape Town in South Africa is any wine-lovers dream destination. Cape Town is famed for its magnificent and spellbound wine farms set against dramatic valleys of colourful tapestries. Wine farms are a dime a dozen and us as Capetonians are spoilt for choice as each wine region brings their own character and personality. The question you will ask is: “So, what is your favourite wine region?”
About an hour’s drive from Cape Town on the N2 you are greeted with a remarkable Sir Lowry’s Pass that is often shrouded in mist and rain. As you snake over the Hottentots-Holland Mountains, it provides one of the most awe-inspiring backdrops and the vistas over False Bay are simply breath-taking. On the other side of the mountain, one descends into a beautiful valley that is sometimes covered in a blanket of morning mist that often hugs this magnificent landscape. This landscape is home to forests, orchards, flowers, mountains and vineyards. This is Elgin Valley. It feels like you are escaping into a different world. In Spring this valley is showered with a medley of blossoming orchards, and it brings about the sweet perfume of apple blossoms and honey to mind. Autumn is dressed in rustic shades of orange and red with a morning mist that caresses everything from orchards to vineyards in its rejuvenation embrace.
What makes this valley so spectacular is its astounding views of the majestic Hottentots-Holland, Kogelberg and Groenberg Mountain ranges that forms a plateau around the valley, creating a bowl-shaped amphitheatre with altitudes ranging from about 300 m to 600 m above sea level creating meso-climates. The prevailing south easterly wind brings cool, pockets of air that gets trapped in the bowl under a blanket of mist and cloud that keeps the average temperatures cooler than the rest of the wine growing regions. The lower temperatures result in the grapes taking longer to ripen and it means that all the phenolic elements have time to ripen simultaneously along with sugar ripeness. Elgin Valley is one of the coolest wine producing areas in South Africa with a result of slow, even optimum ripeness with perfect acidity and flavour. The wines are awarded with elegance, poise, complexity and a burst of fruit.
“Grapes love Elgin. A huge plus is the landscape’s undulation, soft hills creating meso-climates. The macro-climate is like that of Bordeaux, but some pockets echo the character of Burgundy, Rhone and Loire. That is why you can find good Sauvignon Blanc, elegant Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and bigger reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec.”
– Paul Wallace (Viticultural Consultant and Owner of Paul Wallace Wines).
The Elgin Valley is renowned for its apple and pear orchards and plays an important part in South-Africa’s fruit-growing industry. If you think Elgin’s fruit burst with purity and flavour, wait until you taste the wines! It produces high quality, cool-climate wines and has gained local and international accolades for its thriving wine industry and world-class vineyards. The cool climate is ideally suited for growing a fruity Sauvignon Blanc, juicy Pinot Noir and summer in a glass Chardonnay. Wines of Elgin are defined by their beautiful pure, fruit flavours supported by an underlying minerality. The taste in the glass is a true expression of their terroir. Elgin Valley encompasses about 15 family-owned wine farms, and you get to enjoy an intimate wine tasting often conducted by the winemakers or the owners themselves, which will leave you with a warm-hearted experience.
What’s not to love about Elgin Valley? Amazing wines to please every palate in a countryside lifestyle ready to enchant everyone where you can “Be Seriously Cool” and enjoy the “Expression of Terroir” in every glass of Elgin wine.