Tucked away in the remote town of Ashton, lies the newly renovated winery, Zandvliet wines, my 88th farm. Many South African’s may associate this farm with the popular Shiraz and Chardonnay available from this estate. Despite being newly renovated, the winery has been around since 1838 and today, is not only producing great wine but Citrus and Gin too – Clemengold.
It’s perfect for groups of friends during a relaxing stay for the weekend in Ashton, Robertson / surrounds. P.s. Zandvliet wines have accommodation too!
I almost got completely lost getting to Zandvliet wines – bearing in mind that at this stage, I have already been driving for over 2 hours with breathtaking scenery and completely got distracted from the turn off. When I finally arrived, I was warmly welcomed and could park my car under the shade of the trees.
The tasting room is called the Kalkveld lounge – they have the most amazing cheese platters and a rather unique wine pairing that incorporates their Clemengold products. Inside, the winetasting room feels warm, modern yet rustic at the same time. This venue would be perfect for really hot summer days or cooler winter days. I quite like that there are large communal tables for groups to mingle and also smaller areas where couples can relax. The fireplace area is a winner! If sitting outside is more your thing, fear not, there are outside areas too.
Wine Tasting & food
The wine pairing costs just R75 for 5 pairings which I thought was exceptional value for money. A Chardonnay paired with Clemengold jam, a Shiraz paired with dark orange chocolate, a Muscat paired with biscotti and finally a rare vintage liqueur Shiraz paired with panforte. It’s a bit on the sweet side so if you don’t have a sweet tooth like I do, simply just go for the wine tasting and platter. Note that there is not a restaurant on the estate – only amazing platters, wine and gin to choose from. All in the capable hands of the friendly tasting room staff.
Speaking of platters, they have the most divine options for R165 per couple sharing. I must rave about their Chardonnay at this stage – now the region as a whole is known to produce really great Chardonnay due to the soil types. Although being slightly oaked, this chardonnay is not something that you would typically “eat” so they say. Not too buttery but just the right smooth balance of grapefruit, minerality, oak, peaches and marmalade for excellent length. This is why it paired so well with the platters.
As a little activity and big time photo op, you can view their underground wine museum – you will walk through the old concrete wine vats and it’s totally free of charge. Find your birth year on the wine wall and perhaps you could have a Zandvliet wine that they do not have yet.
Vintage vertical tasting
Speaking of history… I was fortunate enough to taste some vintage wines older than me! 1984 Shiraz! A wine from each decade! What a spoil! It just goes to show how the Zandvliet Shiraz can mature in bottle over time.
What’s super cool about wineries in these more “remote” regions, is that they allow you to get your hands on some wine blending. Yup! You can literally make your own wine – for just R100 I might add. And yes, you get to sign and keep the bottle 🙂 I blended Cab Sauv, Mouvedre & Shiraz which you get to taste separately first and then experiment with blending. This is super great for groups of friends because you can have fun comparing your different blends. It’s also a good keep sake for enjoyment later on.
After all this wine blending, exploring and tasting, you will feel absolutely exhausted. Fear not, accommodation is just down the road at the Zandvliet guest house. A super homely B&B with braai facilities and pool area overlooking the magnificent vineyards and blushing, towering mountains.
Wine harvest experience
During my visit, I was able to be part of a unique Harvesting experience with winemaker, Jacques Cilliers. This experience is going to be open to everyone from January next year – start booking now. This experience will include everything that I have experienced above (wine tasting, blending, food and accommodation) plus making your own 400 bottles of wine to keep! My bottles are sitting in an oak barrel at the moment so I will be sure to keep you updated on the progress in an upcoming blog post.
Pay them a visit
Phone: 023 615 1146
Directions: Zandvliet Wine Estate is found in the scenic Robertson Valley,
not far from Ashton, off the R60.
I had an excellent experience with the friendly staff at Zandvliet. It’s definitely a must do experience when in the Ashton area.
So which farm will be next? 🙂