Our favorite wines

Our favourite wine estates on the R62

Our team prides itself in his extensive knowledge and keen eye for South African wines. Therefore we have listed here (some of) our favourite wine estates on the R62, the South African wine route.

Bonnievale Wines

Bonnievale Wines were named after the town in which it is located. Bonnievale was named by its founder, Christopher Forest Rigg. He saw the amazing potential in the then semi-arid valley on the banks of the Breede river. It is here where anyone can enjoy the best selection of grapes from a large expansive vineyard. For more than half a century Bonnievale Wines have been producing wine from the fertile lands in the valley. You can bring along your whole family even your pets. Bonnievale wines also offer free Wi-Fi and is wheelchair friendly. More info on their website

Our favorite wine from this estate :  Sauvignon blanc

De Wetshof Estate

De Wetshof Estate has been producing fine wines in the Robertson valley since the 1970s. De Wetshof has been known as internationally as South Africa’s eminent Chardonnay house due to its pioneering role bringing this noble Burgundian grape to these lands.  The wines express the uniqueness of the soil in the region and are enhanced through superior expertise viticulture. The Estate has become a known landmark with its beautiful crisp white buildings, rose buses and Jacaranda trees. More info on their website

Our favorite wine from this estate : Thibault (Merlot)

Springfield Estate

Springfield Estate is situated just outside Robertson. It is a family-run wine farm owned by 9th-generation descendants of French Huguenots, who came to South Africa from the Loire in 1688 with bundles of vines with them. The farm has been in the Bruwer family since 1898. Today, using a combination of sometimes innovative winemaking techniques, traditional methods and modern technology, handcrafted wines are produce true to Srpingfield’s motto: Made on Honour. More info on their website

Our favorite wine from this estate :  Life from stone (Sauvignon blanc)

Sumsare Wines

Sumsare Wines is located in a valley in Robertson with lush vineyards cultivated by cool, rich lime soil which is in contrast to the desolate karoo and stunning surrounding mountains. This boutique cellar offers personalised involvement and attention to detail which goes into each bottle. The name Sumsare takes its name from Erasmus spelt backwards. The fist Erasmus ancestors settled on the land in the year 1810 and has been in production as a farm for two centuries. More info on their website

Our favorite wine from this estate :  Shiraz

De Krans

De Krans cellar is regarded as one of the best Porto style wines in South Africa. Situated along the beautiful Gamka River Valley in Calitzdorp in the Klein Karoo. The farm can date its heritage back to 1890 when the land was purchased by the Nel family. By a twist of fate, the first Portuguese grape variety were planted in Calitzdorp. The intention was to plant Shiraz grapes but upon harvesting they were found to be Tinta Barocca. De Krans has recently received an award for the Most Innovative Wine Award for their De Krans espresso and their De Krans MCC (Méthode Cape Classique). More info on their website

Our favorite wine from this estate : Cape Vintage (Porto-style)

How about joining us on a guided tour of the best wine estates in South Africa? Find out more here.


Discovering Pinotage, South Africa’s very own National Grape

If you must know only one wine from South Africa, this should be the one : Pinotage, the most famous South African wine! We tell you all about it.

An introduction to one of our favourite wines

Pinotage was created when a Viticulture Stellenbosch University professor crossed pinot noir with cinsaut (cinsaut is a red skinned grape which generally brings low tannin and perfume to its wines.)  Many people loved it, many were less enthusiastic, but it is now one of South Africa’s most popular wines.

The Birth of the National Grape!

In 1925, the very first viticulture professor at the University of Stellenbosch; Abraham Izak Perold was tasked to extend the range of grapes that were found in the Cape Region. He paired two varietals and had amazing results: the grapes ripened early and had a higher sugar level than the usual grapes found in this region. They were resilient to the climate and showed fantastic results.

How the world learnt about Pinotage

The world of wine did not take lightly to this new variant of grape. It had to fight for its recognition in the world of wine lovers. It however was resilient. When Kanonkop’s Pinotage won the Robert Mondavi Trophy for the Best Red Wine at the 1991 International Wine and Spirits Competition in London that the South African varietal was acknowledged by the global community and wine lovers began taking Pinotage more seriously. Since then, it formed its own path and was officially welcomed into the international world of wine.

All about Pinotage:

Due to the misconceptions and unpopularity of Pinotage. An organisation was created ‘The Pinotage Club’ This organisation has taken the misconception and unpopular opinion and decided to educated wine makers and connoisseurs on just how amazing this wine is.

Pinotage wine has its very own day to celebrate just how awesome it is.
International Pinotage Day takes place on the 2nd Saturday of October annually.

Pinotage, the wine that has its own event!
Pinotage on tap was named the best wine event in the world by the 2014 Drinks International Wine Tourism Awards. The wine festival at Diemersfontein Wine Estate is dedicated to proving just how yummy the varietal can be when paired with the right venue and atmosphere. Since 2004, the shindig has given Pinotage lovers a reason to have a good time. The event has also grown so large that there is now a Durban and Johannesburg Pinotage on Tap

In case you missed it, white and bubbly Pinotage exist!
Given its history, it comes as no surprise that the red grape has inspired winemakers to be daring and come up with interesting wine spin-off styles. Mellasat Vineyards, near Paarl, has created the world’s very first white Pinotage while KWV’s Café Culture has added a coffee Pinotage bubbly to its range.

It has gone global.
The rest of the world is hopping onto the band wagon and more countries are growing the grapes to produce their own. Zimbabwe and New Zealand are now the largest Pinotage producers after South Africa.

The adaptable wine, what to pair it with.

Pinotage’s adaptability has made it a popular choice of wine to pair, there are different categorisations of Pinotage, though. A “lifestyle” Pinotage is medium-bodied, and it pairs well with game fish or a hearty bean soup, or even try it with sushi and sashimi, it says. Full-bodied Pinotage works well with venison or rich meat dishes, while well-wooded Pino often has chocolate tones associated with it and so could work well with that sweet – do not be shy give it a try!

Now we introduce you to a few Great South African Pinotage’s and what it is best paired with:


The name pays tribute to the farm’s 300-year winemaking heritage and unique architectural legacy: an unrivalled 21 Cape Dutch Gables. One of the cornerstones of this range is the Pinotage, which is barrel-fermented and matured, and central to South Africa’s vinous history.

WINEMAKER Johan Jordaan
WO Stellenbosch

Flavours of caramelised black cherries, hints of dark spice and dark chocolate. The full palate’s smooth entry is followed by rich fruit and velvety tannins.

WE LOVE IT WITH Braaied Lamb Ribs (Soutribbetjies)


Offering an abundance of exquisite vines on the farm, Beyerskloof is renowned for its broad range of world-class wines. Backed by a wealth of experience, the farmers tend to the vineyards to harvest the best quality grapes with their richness in texture and colour.

WO Western Cape

A big, structured Pinotage with intense dark fruit flavours. A deep middle lead to a smooth finish with pleasant chocolate/cedar aromas from the French oak. Great balance between fruit and oak will allow superb ageing in the bottle for 10 years and more. The ideal match to spicy Indian dishes or a well-matured rump/sirloin steak.

WE LOVE IT WITH Fillet Steak with Café au Lait Mushroom Sauce


Located on the slopes of Simonsberg, Kanonkop Estate is home to many of South Africa’s premium wines. The Estate’s unique name “Kanonkop” is derived from the word kopje, meaning hillock. In the 17th Century, a cannon was commonly fired from here to warn farmers of foreign sailing ships arriving in Cape Town.

WINEMAKER Abrie Beeslaar
WO Stellenbosch
TASTING NOTES Deep intense ruby red colour. A bold intensity of plum, red berries and dark chocolate.
WE LOVE IT WITH Asian Pork Belly Kebabs with Sticky Plum Sauce


Simonsvlei is a wine estate has a wealth of tradition and experience viticulture. Named after the legendary Simon van der Stel, Simonsvlei has ingrained its mark since the 17th Century. Upon such a foundation, Simonsvlei continues to innovate and propel the wine industry forward.

WO Western Cape

Ja-Mocha expresses overtones of dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans. It is a well-balanced dry red that is not overly fruity.

WE LOVE IT WITH Vegan Poppadoms with Spicy Vegetables With Crumbed Chicken-Style Nuggets

Discover our wine route itinerary : https://www.africanhearttravel.com/tour/le-cap-gastronomique


Série “AHT a testé pour vous” : Les vendanges

Nous avons testé pour vous les vendanges 2015 au vignoble d’Eikendal (Stellenbosch).

Vins du vignoble d'Eikendal (Stellenbosch)

Vins du vignoble d’Eikendal (Stellenbosch)

Chaque année, entre février et avril, les vignobles organisent des journées portes-ouvertes à l’occasion des vendanges, offrant de nombreuses activités aux visiteurs. Nous avons choisi le vignoble d’Eikendal en ce 1er jour de Mars.

Situé sur la R44, entre Stellenbosch et Somerset West, ce vignoble de 76 hectares, est détenu par la famille Saager, originaire de Suisse. Situé dans le “triangle d’or” de la viticulture Sud-Africaines, le vignoble d’Eikendal s’épanouie dans une montagne avec un microclimat maritime idéal.

Arrivée sur place vers 10h, sous un soleil radieux, nous recevons le programme de la journée ainsi qu’un verre à dégustation (vide…pour le moment). Notre première activité consiste en une balade à travers le vignoble en tracteur (un peu rustique mais très sympa).

Nous nous arrêtons pour observer les 2 jeunes guépards de Cheetah Outreach (centre de protection des guépards situé à Somerset West) ; une occasion unique pour nos 2 stagiaires d’approcher le mammifère le plus rapide du monde.

A notre retour au domaine, nous dégustons, directement au tonneau, le délicieux Chardonnay cuvée 2015. Un groupe de Jazz assure l’ambiance de la journée. Le décor est posé, les tables et chaises sont installées et le vin coule à flot. Plus d’une centaine de personnes sont présente.

Une ambiance familiale s’empare de l’endroit alors que le moment tant attendu (par Aurélie surtout) est sur le point de se produire : le wine stomping (écrasement du raisin). Petits et grands se déchaussent et se précipitent dans les grands bacs où ont été déversé plusieurs dizaines de kilos de raisin. Une expérience unique qui restera marqué à jamais dans nos mémoires (et sur nos vêtements)…

"Wine stomping" à Eikendal. L'idée : écraser avec ses pieds des kilos de raisin pour en faire...du jus de raisin!

“Wine stomping” à Eikendal. L’idée : écraser avec ses pieds des kilos de raisin pour en faire…du jus de raisin!