How we tend to forget about the Whale Coast when it comes to wine tasting, eludes me.
After experiencing Walker Bay’s Benguela Cove Wine Estates’ award-winning wines and decadent pairings, my sentiments have been escalated to a vehement bid to promote this part of the Western Cape, in particular, the breathtakingly beautiful Benguela bay.
The boutique wine farm has recently acquired a Double Platinum International Award and was voted in as one of South Africa’s top ten wine tasting spots, among other accolades – unsurprising to me having sampled all their wines.
The estate, positioned at the start of the Hermanus Wine Route, was jointly acquired by OBE holder Penny Streeter, and husband Nick Rea, who bought the land in 2010 with a view to living there full-time in the future. The couple later turned their attention to the vineyards when they realised the potential of the terroir, later appointing former KWV cellar master Johann Fourie as their head winemaker.
We recently spent a day of happiness there, becoming acquainted with all the splendour, and their novel wine tasting experiences.
Aside from the unequalled service we received from our skipper and wine aficionado who evidently speaks English, Congolese-French and Chinese; the views and the wine took our breath away. The wind-free lagoon was so clear you could see the sand, flaming pink flamingos flew passed us as though directing us to a backdrop of beauty that makes up the Palmiet Mountain Range, Indian Ocean and Kogelberg Nature Reserve – a UNESCO World Heritage site. We moored along the powdery white private beach, Matilda’s Secret Rosé in hand, and soaked up the views while our kiddies descended down the dunes like a duo of dassies.
With our taste buds on tenterhooks, we made our way to the Tasting Room where we were served a four-tiered tasting of wine pairing perfections: a cheese and charcuterie board, an indulgent cheese board, an artisan chocolate board, and a Millionaire’s shortbread board with liquid gold dessert wines.
The proximity of their vineyards to the sea, the unique slightly windy conditions, and their clay and calcium rich soil – which is rare in South Africa – increases the quality of the grapes produced.
We started off with their easy-drinking wines and worked our way to the spicy more complex Shiraz.
To end off the indulgences, we went on a wine safari amidst the vines, olive groves and lavender fields to their fine dining restaurant at the glorious Manor House, where we felt cheated that we couldn’t stay for dinner, but sadly, we had to make our way back to suburbia.
How to experience Benguela
Their two signature wine tastings are both extremely unique and experiential. The first being their Lady Bonnie Lagoon Trip, which takes up to 12 passengers for a one hour cruise and complimentary tasting at R150pp. The second being their Vineyard to glass tour, where guests taste the varietals in parallel with the respective vines in a safari vehicle, which takes up to 9 people at R250pp. For guests that wish to fine dine, they have a restaurant at their Manor House which is open on selected evenings.
Alternatively, guests can opt for a standard wine tasting with a total of 14 exquisite wines on offer (including red, white, rosé and two sweet wine options). There is seating both indoors and outdoors, and a jungle gym for little ones to play safely while you watch them.
R43 | Botrivier Lagoon | Hermanus | +27 (0)83 645 6198 | email@example.com