Grape Expectations

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Gero Lilleike
Gero Lilleike

GERO LILLEIKE has a vine time at Vindoux Guest Farm & Spa in the Western Cape

A welcome winter sun breaks the peaks of the Witzenberg Mountains and the Tulbagh Valley comes to life. This is wine country, home to countless wine farms and the birthplace of the hangover. We followed the road to Vindoux with the surrounding vineyards in the morning glow.

One of the luxury tree house units
A luxury tree house unit

Only a 90-minute drive from Cape Town with the splendid Saronsberg Mountains as a backdrop, Vindoux Guest Farm & Spa is geared for couples looking for a romantic getaway, with its luxury tree house units offering perfect views of the farm and mountains.

A large tree lodge is ideal for family and friends and there are also self-catering country cottages, fitted with everything you might possibly need for your stay.

Vindoux is also pet-friendly, but only on request and you must take one of the cottages.

We took a short walk to a viewing deck (main image) that revealed zebra, wildebeest and springbok grazing. A female wildebeest was to be darted and relocated to a nearby farm. With dart gun in hand, Mark Walton, the local veterinarian invited us in on the action. Mark waited patiently for the perfect shot and took careful aim. He pulled the trigger and the wildebeest bucked high into the air before bolting off. Minutes later, legs buckled and the beast dropped in the soft grass. Mark and his team quickly moved the animal to its new home.

With the action over, we decided to get stuck into some wine. Vindoux offers “Wine by Bike” – a fun way to experience the countryside and taste some wine.

Pedalling off for a wine tasting
Pedalling off for a wine tasting

With a map in hand and the scent of wine on the wind, we set off to a nearby farm. Our first stop was Montpellier and we didn’t hesitate on sampling the wine. Our taste buds were working hard. As a beer drinker, the wine tasting experience only made me want more. I don’t regard myself as a sophisticated wine drinker, but I can appreciate the way it makes me feel.

Eager to sample the fruits of a second wine farm, we mounted our bikes and headed towards the Saronsberg wine farm where we spent the the afternoon soaking up the sun and scenery, eventually returning to Vindoux for a braai

The Saronsberg Wine Farm
The Saronsberg Wine Farm

A day of peddling and drinking wine takes its toll on the body and there is nothing more welcoming than a comfy bed after a long day on the bottle.

We awoke at sunrise to fish at a nearby dam. Bass were leaping from the water in the early morning light but we didn’t catch any and were left to appreciate the beauty of our surroundings instead.

A charming country cottages at Vindoux
Country cottage at Vindoux

We paid a visit to the Vindoux Day Spa for a relaxing treatment that expelled the lingering aftermath of our wine tasting forays the previous day. Our stay had come to an end and the friendly staff at Vindoux Guest Farm bid us farewell.

The nearby town of Tulbagh is interesting and we parked in famous Church Street for a bite to eat. A 6.5 earthquake in 1969 left Tulbagh mostly in ruins.

The buildings with their distinct Cape-Dutch architecture were restored and today Church Street has the largest concentration of National Monuments in a single street in South Africa.

We decided to visit the local waterfall on our way out. A 15-minute walk takes you to the top of the waterfall where you get a different perspective of the mountains and the Tulbagh Valley, a must-see for anyone visiting the area.

With a boot full of wine, we put the Tulbagh Valley behind us and headed back to Cape Town, rested and ready to conquer the world.