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Weekend Wine Tasting in Montagu in the Klein Karoo

To kick start the year, we thought we would head off to another part of the Winelands – Montagu & Robertson – to sample some of their wine estates and see what the region has to offer. We are lucky to have a friend with a self-catering apartment right in town, The Full Monty-gu. The weekend started of course with a braai and then we explored the surrounding area…

The Klein Karoo Wine Region in the Southern Cape is the easternmost wine producing region in the country and stretches from Montagu to Oudtshoorn. Robertson is renowned for the quality of its wines. Many believe it is the source of some of the Cape’s finest red wines, particularly Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. The distinctive fortified dessert wines for which it was originally famed continue to be produced.

Personally I am a white wine fan – especially in this heat! – but Lucas is more a fan of the reds…. but there was more than enough to keep us both very happy. That said I was the designated driver so I was not as “merry” as the other three!

We started the day at Arrabella where they have a large number of horses roaming the fields around and the first wine of the day was purchased! Then onto De Wetshof for a fantastic Sauvignon Blanc that was right up my street and more wine to buy – this time their De Wetshof Mine D Or – a Rhine Riesling. Such a stunning setting for a tasting room!

Next we dropped into Bon Courage, which was very busy but the tasting room staff seemed to be everywhere at once and always knew when our tasting glasses were in need of the next wine. We hoped to have lunch at Viljoensdrift on their riverboat cruise, but unfortunately many others had the same idea – book in advance or get there early! – so we settled for the tasting room and I explored their cute shop Ways.

Next up was my favourite – how now I wished I was not the driver! – Springfield. Here I had to battle Lucas’ urge to buy several bottles of all their wines! After all, we only live 90 minutes away, we can go again. Again, their white wines (especially the Special Cuvée, a sauvignon blanc) won me over, and Lucas added their Methode Ancienne – a cabernet sauvignon – and the Work of Time – a Bordeaux blend – to our collection!

Finally, we thought six estates was a good number, we stopped at Major’s Hill wine estate – yet another wonderful member of staff and the wine tasters were happy and we added a Port to our stash – thanks Riaan.

In the afternoon, we explored Montagu abit more, its a cute little town with some lovely old buildings and a nice atmosphere – enhanced by us stumbling across Montagu’s Premier Beer Festival at The Mystic Tin & Karoobrew[ery]. A stroll through the village will introduce you to its fascinating architecture and historic buildings – there are 14 National Monuments in Long Street alone. The Museum showcases local history and a medicinal herb garden, and there is a profusion of local flora and bird life in the Nature Garden. There are also many scenic walks, nature trails and mountain hikes in and around Montagu and for the more energetic, Montagu is a rock climber’s paradise and offers some of the best rock climbing in South Africa.

Dinner was enjoyed at “Ye Olde Tavern on Church” – set in an old historical house on Church Street and described as a casual and friendly place, I think does not do it justice, once again the friendly staff and service was amazing and we had a great meal and fantastic value. But again, I would recommend booking in advance in season.

On Sunday, we woke to the most quiet Sunday morning I can remember! Tummys were rumbling again so off to Cafe Fresh for a scrummy omelette and a never-ending pot of tea, and then the dried fruit and nut farm stall to stock up on goodies. A great relaxed weekend away and lots of nice bits and bobs purchased to stock the cupboards and wine rack! If you want to chill, I can highly recommend Montagu as a great base and explore the area. Different again from Stellenbosch & Franschhoek for the sights, and the tasting rooms all offer something different again and in my experience, the service and friendliness of everyone we met was amazing!

Thank you Montagu and thank you Riaan and The Full Monty-gu for a great place to visit!

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