Waterford Wine Estate

If I tell you that I feel as if I am driving in France what do you picture in your mind…? Do you think of a wooden farm style gate in between low natural colored stone walls? A path between grassland with on both sides a pond where ducks happily wagging their tails and the sun makes shadow drawings of trees and ornaments?
The driveway of Waterford is lined up with lavender bush and clementine trees and ending at a typical Bordeaux style building. I assure you that in every season the smell of this garden is fragant and amazingly beautiful to the eye. 
But I am not travelling in France … I drive from the R44 onto the Blaauwklippen-road, exploring the Helderberg wine area of Stellenbosch.

I must be honest, I do visit Waterford wine estate regularly. It’s such a gorgeous place to go, I love their wines, their Rose Mary, Chardonnay and Shiraz … 
There is no better way to spend the day than sipping the time away under the trees or on the covered ‘stoep’ with a view on the Waterford fountain.
I love that there are always fresh flowers and a carafe of water on the French bistro style tables and if you like to relax a bit more… snuggle up on the comfortable couches outside or inside in winter next to the fire place.

When I bring my family or friends, I always suggest …no I think it’s a must, to enjoy the wine and chocolate tasting. The staff is always friendly and very patient and they do know what they are talking about. So it’s lovely to do a winetasting like this, but there is an even better way to activate all you senses.

So I went for the unique wine tasting experience and had a wine safari on their 120 hectare estate.

Before we head off I meet my Wine Ranger in the courtyard, where a table with chilled Champagne was already waiting. 
I can’t think of a better way to start a morning!

When everyone has enough time and you must make sure that you have… The wine experience will start with a cellar tour. It is very informative and provides a lot of detail about their way of farming and reusing water and pulp . After that, it’s time to walk through the lavender bushes and step into the Safari Jeep. During the trip you will enjoy the spectacular view of the winelands with their different species of vines against grey mountains, where clouds are shifting making shadows over the land.

The first stop is between blocks of white grapes, a table under an old Oaktree next to a dam is set. The spotless white tablecloth, some snacks, tasting glasses and white wines makes it look like a still life. This is a fabulous way of winetasting…

The next stop is, as you can guess, between the red grape vineyards… the wooden deck is elevated, so the view is amazing. You can see Table Mountain from this side. On a hot day such as this, it’s great that there is some cooler fresh wind which also brings the spicy smell of the fynbos alive. 
‘Biltong and droë wors’ a typical South African snack complement the red wines and the feeling gets to you that you would love to stay all day. But if you would do that you are missing out on their famous wine and chocolate tasting.
A winetasting is not just a winetasting if you can feel the grapes, the leaves…if you walk on the different sorts of soil where the vines grow and where the workers start in January in the early morning picking the fruit, that ripened for months in the sun … grapes that were cooled down by the South Easter wind, got pressed and ended up as a delicious drink in your glass … it’s for you to say what wine you like the best!

I opened a nice bottle of Waterford ‘Rose Mary’ Blanc de Noir at home and thought; wine gives me so much in life… it can make me sparkle, romantic or even soundless if I dream away… because after a wine safari at Waterford you can dream away and see the sloping land and taste the goodness of mother earth…

Tips from the Winelands, Western Cape
by Zeelandhuys
January 2016

Blaauwklippen Rd, 
Helderberg, Stellenbosch
Click here to view website