Knysna is famous for its Oyster Festival, held every July to celebrate the bounty of nature and just have fun. The entire town pulls together to make this a memorable event and one of the best activities Knysna has to offer, with food stalls, wine tasting, plenty of entertainment, sporting challenges and kids’ activities.
The festival weekend is enormously popular, so be sure to book your room well in advance. The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa is the perfect base, just a short stroll across a bridge from the mainland, yet far enough away to offer a quiet haven from the crowds.
If you think South Africa’s vineyards are all in the rolling hills behind Cape Town, think again. As wine-loving hoteliers, we’re delighted that almost 30 vineyards along the Garden Route are producing lots of lovely creations and many are open for tastings.
The annual Knysna Wine Festival in July is part of the famous Oyster Festival, when many fine wine estates offer tastings, bargain buys and chance to learn about their luscious labels. Or indulge in delicious wines without even leaving the Turbine, since our carefully curated walk-in wine cellar offers a selection to rival any wine fair!
The Garden Route has cultivated a reputation for excellent cool climate wines, so organise a trip through our activity desk, and leave the driving to somebody else! Here are some local highlights:
Bramon Wine Estate was a pioneering vineyard in the area, set on The Crags, where the cool sea breezes are ideal for Sauvignon Blanc and its award-winning Methode Cap Classique bubbly. Vukani Wines is its empowerment vehicle, with profits from Vukani wines used to train local farmers in viniculture.
Packwood Wine & Country Estate is an award-winning vineyard between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Enjoy matching its wines and bubbly with cheese platters from the estate’s dairy.
Plettenvale Wines had its first harvest in 2011, and produces a memorable Brut Rosé Methode Cap Classique from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Visitors can watch the magic happening in its cellar.
Herod Wines is 68km from Knysna in the Outeniqua Mountains, where its vines grow at altitudes of up to 700m. Mists, frosts, occasional snow, rain and cool summer winds create a long ripening season for Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.
If you enjoy golf as much as wine, drop in on The Goose Wine Estate, owned by former US Open Champion Retief ‘The Goose’ Goosen. This high-altitude vineyard in the Outeniqua Mountains produces sophisticated Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Sauvignon Blancs.