Weltevrede Wine Estate is a place of sweeping history, colourful characters, beautiful vistas, thriving birdlife, great food, and a truly exceptional résumé of award-winning wines.
Located in the quaint farming town of Bonnievale along the Robertson Wine Valley route, an approximate 2.5 hours drive to the east of Cape Town, lies the wine farm of Weltevrede, meaning peace of mind and well satisfied. Since 1912, the Jonker family (five generations thereof) have been the keepers, managers, winemakers, and unquenchable source of passion behind Weltevrede. And the very same vineyards that were planted more than a century ago and in the decades since have remained the progenitors of the beautiful repertoire of wines produced here.
“My vision for the wines of Weltevrede is to be a pure expression of the terroir in which it is rooted. Our wines should have personality dictated by the soil. It should have a sense of place.” ~ Philip Jonker, owner and winemaker
Today, the 160-hectare Weltevrede Wine Estate boasts enchanting wine-tasting experiences, gorgeous food, and comfortable accommodation, all in a prime location alongside the Breerivier.
At Weltevrede Wine Estate, a collection of self-catering cottages with gorgeous vistas over the vineyards offer guests all the amenities they need to enjoy a comfortable night or weekend stay, while arrangements for food platters and, of course, the estate’s stunning collection of wine can be made prior to arrival.
Morning on the farm is a special time of day, as the sun’s first light spills over the lush vineyards and the cacophony of the weaver, hoopoe, canary, and whydah birdcalls start up. After a coffee overlooking the magnificent view, and perhaps a brisk walk around the periphery of the vineyards, along the banks of the Breerivier, there’s only one place guests should consider going next and that’s to Weltevrede’s restaurant for breakfast.
A delightful establishment centred on a courtyard, complete with cherub and fountain, the restaurant at Weltevrede serves up a delectable selection of breakfast and lunch options, but if the plan is to indulge in a wine tasting afterwards – and so it should be – guests cannot go wrong with a hearty farm breakfast with all the trimmings, which includes a crisp and fruity flute of Philip Jonker “The Ring” brut.
Wine tastings and cellar stories
Perhaps Weltevrede’s most enchanting offering is a candlelit cellar tour and wine tasting. In the spooky darkness of the estate’s underground cellar, where candles are your only source of light and you share the cool with brooding wine bottles and rotund barrels, superstitions and fantasies are aroused, making for a thrilling experience.
Sitting around a central table decked with flickering candles, guests are welcomed to taste their way through Weltevrede’s award-winning repertoire of wines, many of which are named after the soils in which they have been grown, such as the elegant “Place of Rocks” Chardonnay and the intense and sultry “Bedrock Black Syrah”. Then there’s the Vanilla Chardonnay from Weltevrede’s Simplicity Collection, the Philip Jonker “Entheos” Chardonnay Pinot Noir MCC, the smoky and peppery 1912 Cabernet Sauvignon (2016), and the decadently fruity and creamy 2016 Chardonnay of the same name.
In between sips of wine, guests are treated to stories of Weltevrede’s quirky fourth-generation owner and cellar master, Philip Jonker, whose idiosyncratic approach to philanthropy and entrepreneurship makes for the most delightful anecdotes. For those who aren’t too fond of dark or close spaces, Weltevrede offers wine tastings in a beautiful tasting room bordering on the restaurant courtyard, where you can also sample the farm’s Heritage wines, “Oupa Se Wyn” and “Ouma Se Wyn”. These two sweet dessert wines bear the countenances of the estate’s founding father, Klaas Jonker, and Philip’s grandmother, Lisbeth Jonker respectively.
“My great-grandfather was the first to plant vineyards in this area. Today, these vines are still anchored deeply in the heart of Weltevrede Estate. One of his vineyards is more than 80 years old and five generations of Jonker’s have already tasted the fruit from these same vines.” ~ Philip Jonker
Sweeping history, quirky anecdotes, a unique and enchanting candlelit cellar tasting experience, gorgeous wines, accommodation with spectacular views, and delicious fare: Weltevrede Estate truly offers it all, making this an idyllic destination for anyone, local or foreign, looking to experience the Cape winelands at its very best.