68 of 800 – Journey’s End, Stellenbosch

Wine farm 68 of 800 is Journey’s End – right at the end of the Stellenbosch Wine Route. Their tasting room is nestled up in the vineyards with panoramic views overlooking Gordon’s Bay and the Indian ocean.

The farm was purchased by the Gabb family (originally from the UK) in 1995 and over the years grew the farm from 20ha to 120ha by 2011. Today, they produce over 35,000 dozen bottles of estate wine in a vintage from their 350-ton, modern cellar.

The winemakers, Leon Esterhuizen and Mike Dawson believe in minimum intervention, hand-crafted wines plus the farm recently became Fairtrade in 2016.

Winemaker – Mike Dawson

BOOKINGS: This farm is booking by appointment only. E-mail them on winemaker@journeysend.co.za 
WINE TASTING: They have quite an extensive range of wines to choose from and if you are a Chardonnay lover, you are in for a treat.
WHEN TO GO:  Summer or Winter but I would really recommend the warmer, summer months from November – March.
SERVICE: relaxed and informative.
RESTAURANT: No restaurant however there are places to eat right down the road.
ACCOMMODATION: No accommodation.
CHILD/PET FRIENDLY? Not recommended for children or pets. The dogs on the estate roam freely and are friendly though.
LARGER OR SMALL GROUPS? Best for 2 – 8 people.
LOCATION: About a 45 minute drive from Cape Town in the Somerset West region. Google Map  
OTHER RATINGS: CLICK HERE to view what others have rated on Trip Advisor.

Here is my experience:

The road to Journey’s end definitely requires a 4×4 because there is a lot of uneven muddy roads. But once you get to the top of the hill, you will really appreciate the amazing views from the tasting room. All the trees that you can see in the photo below were strategically positioned to help shelter the vines from the strong winds that blow through this area from the ocean. That’s why with some of the vines, you can smell sea breeze and eucalyptus.

 

The tasting room has just one massive table with windows overlooking the vineyards and even into the cellar.

I met up with Mike, Wine maker, who took us through the extensive range of red and white wines. The wines range from as little at R85 a bottle to the more premium versions at R250 a pop.

What I really love about this winery, is the name of some of their wines… The Cape Doctor, The Weather Station, The Huntsman, The Griffin and Destination. You should definitely ask about the stories behind each label.

Mike is passionate about Chardonnay and took us through the cellar to have a sneak peak of the latest vintage to be released. It was especially interesting to taste the difference a Winemaker’s influence can have on each barrel of wine from the same grape. Mike treats each barrel slightly differently and then blends the wine to make a perfect Chardonnay.

 

The Cellar is massive! A 350-ton, newly built facility because Journey’s End exports most of their wines overseas.

Now here is something new – Journey’s End has a really fun, 42 foot Trebuchet (slingshot). They use this as entertainment on the farm to raise funds for the surrounding community .

 

 

Imagine watching this in action! Perhaps there are a few people you would like squooshed on the other end of the barrel haha. Treat yourself to a one-on-one tasting at Journey’s End, followed by a lunch at Waterkloof next door. I absolutely loved sitting in the winter sunshine and you will love it too!

So which farm will be next?

x

P.s. – wine is always best enjoyed with friends 😉

Cheers!

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