South Africa’s Garden Route is known for many things: picturesque scenery, lush wilderness, incredible coastal vistas, modern golf courses, and the country’s most pleasant climate. What few know, however, is that the region is also home to a large number of reputable wine estates.
And lucky for us, many of these scenic Garden Route wine farms are situated near or in Knysna! So why not release your inner wino and explore one or all of the estates listed below?
Packwood Wine Estate
An award-winning wine estate boasting a small vineyard and a working dairy, Packwood is situated in Harkerville, between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna. While the dairy was established in 1998 by owners Peter and Vicky Gent, the vineyard was born in just 2006. Nestled on a gentle slope 330 metres above sea level, the climate here is suitable for growing cool, cultivar wine grapes.
As such, wine varietals produced at Packwood Wine Estate include Sauvingnon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Rose. Vintages, dating back to 2010, can be sampled at the estate from Monday to Friday. While you’re around, make sure to try out their homemade cheese platters using produce from the estate dairy and gardens. Because not much pairs better with wine than cheese.
Wine Sales & Tasting: Monday – Friday (10am – 4pm)
Bramon Wine Estate
One of the most well-known Garden Route wine farms, Bramon Wine Estate is a pioneer of the Plettenberg Bay Wine of Origin region. Established in 2000 by current owners Peter and Caroline Thorpe, and named after their two children, Bram and Manon, it is situated 20km east of Plettenberg Bay in The Crags.
Sample their award-winning Methode Cap Classique (MCC) sparkling wine, their Sauvignon Blanc, a traditional Chardonnay Blanc de Blanc MCC, and a Sauvignon Blanc MCC, from the mind and hands of cellar master Anton Smal.
The tasting centre is open daily from 9am to 5pm, and the estate also features a widely-popular restaurant overlooking the breath-taking Tsitsikamma Mountains.
Luka Wine Farm
A boutique wine farm situated near Plettenberg Bay, Luka Wine Farm is almost exclusively known for its award-winning Sauvingnon Blanc. Of the 7 hectare estate, Sauvingnon Blanc grape occupies 1.5 hectares, from which approximately 6000 bottles are produced annually.
The current owners, Mark and Anneke Barnard, have been running the farm since October 2014, aiming to cultivate a sense of curiosity, nurturance and discipline towards the wine-making journey.
Wine tasting at Luka Wine Farm is available by appointment, so make sure to book your visit beforehand by phoning +27 83 767 6218, or emailing email@example.com.
Newstead Wine Farm
One of the youngest wine farms in the Plettenberg Bay Wine of Origin region, the boutique Newstead Wine Farm was established in 2006 and launched its first vintage in 2012.
Owned by Doug and Sue Lund, this family-run estate covers 11.5 hectares of land in The Crags, at the foot of the Tsitsikamma Mountains. Five hectares are planted to Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir – varietals which are used to produce an impressive selection of award-winning wines and bubblies.
The Newstead Wine Farm tasting room is open from 10am to 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday, aside from high season (mid-December to early-January) when they stay open until 7pm, from Monday to Saturday. While tasting don’t need to be booked, if you would like to enjoy lunch at the onsite restaurant, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call +27 44 534 8331.
Plettenvale Wine Estate
Plettenvale Wine Estate, also found within the Plettenberg Bay Wine of Origin region, boasts a small vineyard occupying an area of just 2.3 hectares. Here, 3000 Pinot Noir, 3000 Chardonnay and 330 Syrah vines are planted on north slopes, taking full advantage of the cool sea breeze that blow directly from the bay.
Varietals available at the boutique estate include a Dry Rose, Chardonnary, a Pinot Noir and Syrah blench, Syrah and a Brut Rose. Wine tasting and sales are open every Saturday from 10am to 1pm; all other times are by appointment only. To find out more, or to book a private tasting, email email@example.com, or call +27 44 533 9146.
To find out more about activities in and around Knysna, keep an eye on our regularly-updated blog, or simply get in touch with a friendly member of the Turbine Hotel & Spa reservations team on firstname.lastname@example.org or +27 44 302 5746.
Image Credits: Jochem Koole, Packwood Country Estate, Packwood Country Estate, Booking.com, Plett Wine Tours, Plett Tourism, Newstead Wine Farm, Plettenvale Wine Estate