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Touring the Wine Estates of Somerset West

December 31, 2010

Somerset West provides a great base from which to explore some of the best wine estates in the Western Cape.  The vineyards here have fantastic views, stunning surroundings and make top class wines.

Over the next few posts I’ll be taking you on three different tours of some of the best vineyards within easy reach of Somerset West.

We start with the Schapenberg route which is to the east of Somerset West.  This is the most southerly of the tours which takes you up into the hills overlooking False Bay.

From Main Road in Somerset West take the Lourensford Road on your left before you get to the town centre which climbs north-east and leads to Vergelegen Wines.  Set in fabulous grounds, this long-established estate offers wine tasting and cellar tours.  There are restaurants and a picnic area beneath the canopy of a camphor forest.  Many of the buildings on this historic estate are open to the public.

Taking the right hand fork in the road leading to Vergelegen brings you to the Morgenster Wine and Olive Estate.  As the name suggests, this is both a winery and olive farm and tastings of both are available.  There are a range of olive-based products for sale.

Next to Vergelegen Estate and the Erinvale Golf Club lies Lourensford Wines.  In addition to wine tastings and winery tours, there is a delicatessen and eatery, and high class jewellery, chocolates and freshly ground coffee and coffee beans available from retail outlets on the estate.  Fly-fishing is also on offer and there is a very popular family farmers’ market held here on the first weekend of every month.

Retrace your route back to Main Road, then follow this through the town and take Sir Lowry’s Pass Road (turning left at the Vergelegen Medi-Clinic).  On the way to Sir Lowry’s Pass, where the N2 crosses the Hottentots Holland Mountain range, is Waterkloof Wine Estate.. The vineyard has a rustic traditional feel, whilst the Waterkloof restaurant is ultra-modern.  Views over False Bay are stunning from here and it is possible to see the whole mountain range from Table Mountain to Cape Point rising out of the sea.

Continuing up towards to Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, you will see the sign for Mount Rozier on the left.  Leisure activities such as horse-back riding and wine walks are offered on this estate, located high up on the south easterly and south westerly slopes of the Schapenberg mountain.


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