I am a huge fan of wine. I literally have a glass the size of “Big Joe” in Cougar Town, which I keep safe from the lips of housemates on my night stand. So when I was invited to spend the evening tasting the wares of Val du Charron in Wellington, I said SIGN ME UP. Although I’m familiar with the Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Constantia routes, I had never set foot in this corner of wine country, and now I’m all like, where can I buy a Made in Wellington t-shirt.
Well, as you can imagine, the wine was incredible. We arrived in the late afternoon on a balmy summer’s day and were served icy Chardonnay while lounging by the pool. Next, snacks and glasses of Pinot Gris on the deck of the estate restaurant, The Local Grill. At this point you need to know that this is where you’ll find the best bobotie spring rolls on the planet, and I’m unashamed of how many I ate. (Up until this post, you’ve been thinking this was a health blog, right? Wrong.)
But my absolute favourite wine of the evening was the Black Countess – it was ever so slightly chilled for the hot night and it was like drinking creamy, smokey berries. I bought a bottle to take home, obviously. You actually can’t buy the wine in any South African stores (eeeek!), so you literally have to find a bottle online or visit the estate. They export 90% of their wine overseas, which I find very unfair, but I suppose it makes Val du Charron even more of a hidden gem.
The next morning, after a late night listening to the wild and wonderful stories of the estate owners and “tasting” far too much delicious vino, I peeled myself out of my glorious bed and met the rest of the party for a proper brekkie in the dining room. The highlight was the homemade bread toasted in what seemed like a whole slab of butter on a hot griddle, and cured me enough for a tour of the vineyards.
Although Val du Charron is famed for its wines, they have started growing olives too, which I’ll have to try next time. In fact, I might have to make a return trip for that hot buttered toast alone. My advice? Head to Wellington for the weekend, stop at a couple of the famous farms in the region (Diemersfontein!) and then book yourself in for the night at Val du Charron. Here’s to discovering new wine routes.
Disclaimer: I visited as a guest of the estate, but was under no obligation to write this post – I only write about what I believe in.