Life is too short to drink bad wine ,food and not fill your life with experiences. During my #ExploreWC trip I did all sorts that filled my cupboard of happiness.
We were the guests of Hot Oven Marketing for 2 days. Mira planned an itinerary filled with several interesting experiences. We were given the option to arrive the night before as we had an early 9am start, due to prior obligations we left Cape Town at 5am that morning as the drive to McGregor is three hours.
1. Paul Rene MCC
Twitter : @PAULRENEMCC
We were welcomed into the beautiful home where our day would start with coffee and home made biscuits. Once introductions were over it was time to get creative. But wait wasn’t this meant to be a wine tasting experience! This lovely husband and wife duo have added a silk screening before wine tasting. Now this was rather fun as we each got to make/print our on our own fabric which would be turned into a heated bag. This is also a great team building activity as you need to work with others to get your bag filled once the paint has dried.
After this fun activity we headed off into the beautifully set up dining room as our tasting was with lunch. It was here we learnt about MCC and got to sample some rather delicious bubbles I fell in love with the rose tinted MCC.
Twitter : @ excelsior_wine
We arrived here eager to see what the afternoon would bring besides good wine and a lazy afternoon lunch. On arrival we were met by the owner who took us on a journey of the farm figuratively and literally. Huddled up in a 4×4 we drove through the huge estate learning about this family owned farm and the history. To appreciate our present we need to learn about the past.
Besides the vineyards there is a beautiful eatery called Graze Deli and accommodation on the estate. The highlight for me was actually bottling and labelling my own bottle of Red Wine. I even got to cork and seal the actual bottle which I branded with SpiceGoddess on the label. This is a pretty cool way to remember a special moment like a birthday or anniversary.
3. Van Loveren
Twitter : @VAN_LOVEREN
Famously know as the home of the “Four Cousins”, our guide took us on a Garden Tour. I see you rolling your eyes as I say this but it was really interesting as the Grandmother of the family love been in the garden so to mark every occasion she planted a tree. The family still live here and YES the Four Cousins are indeed real.
The tasting room is rather modern and boasts a wide variety of tasting options. A store is also here so you can stock up on your favourites before you leave. I decided to be way different and picked The Party Option as it sounded rather fun. And FUN it was as it was the alco pop range Fiver and was very light and was paired with things like Candy Floss and Nachos. There is also a kiddies option so that the little ones get to feel like an adult.
4. Rhebokskraals Olive Estate
On our last morning, we woke up pretty early to head off on our Breakfast Adventure. Rewind when we first entered Mcgregor I noticed an Olive Store on the main street and made a little note to myself to stop there at some point.
It was freezing in Mcgregor and this Durban girl was not accustomed to this weather. On arrival to our breakfast destination ,we were warmly welcomed into a very warm home with a fire going and Traditional coffee by Annalien. This was such a welcome and I literally did not move from the fireplace.
Over coffee while we thawed out, Annalien told us of how the farm choose her family 25 years ago and on first sight they knew this would be their home. Annalien is very talented and is a musician who pulled out her guitar and sang for us about olives and the farm. We were briefed on our breakfast plans which included a walk on the estate where we would be able to see the olives plantations and the holiday cottages and then we would return for breakfast. In small groups we were taken inside the kitchen to cook with Annalien and we made fritters topped with you guessed right all sorts of olives.
A table was set up outside in the warm winter sun with some of the olive products made on the farm. Each product so unique and tasty. Breakfast shared with friendly faces with all home made treats does not get better. The store in the town centre sells a variety of olive based products including skincare.
5. Weltevrede Estate Underground Tasting
Twitter : @_weltevrede
Another wine tasting you think but no this one is pretty awesome as it is in an underground wine cellar. But wait for it there is no electricity so the tasting is done by candlelight even in the middle of the day.
The cellar has a romantic yet erie feeling inside and the glow of the candles cast shadows on the wall. Huddling up in the cold cellar we got to sample a variety of wines from the estate for me the dessert wine was a winner. Our host not talked us through the history of the estate but all shared how the workers are all part of an extended family. The estate is also a beautiful venue for a wedding.
Special mention must be made to Mira from Hot Oven Marketing for hosting us and providing us with beautiful accomodation at McGregor Country Getaways http://www.mcgregor-accommodation.co.za/
The Robertson Valley is full of character and a few degrees hotter or colder depending when you visit. It is worth the drive.
Be Inspired !