The beautiful estate at Uitkyk on the R44 at Stellenbosch has one of three Cape Georgian manor houses still in existence.
As you drive up towards it, with horses grazing serenely in the meadow, you could almost be stepping back in time, to a place where graciousness and good living were the norm.
The house itself is well worth a visit, filled with the most gorgeous antiques and porcelain from the Rupert collection. The original glass in one of the front window panes has scratchings that date back hundreds of years from some avid visitors who wanted to leave their mark.
A huge old wine press stands in front of the cellar. The modern tasting facility, through which a mountain stream flows, is one of the most evocative you are likely to find anywhere.
The winemaker here, Estelle Lourens, is a feisty, attractive, no nonsense, go-getter with sparkling eyes and an easy grin. One can immediately see that she is passionate about wine, a very necessary trait in this field.
Her wines have won numerous awards, but what she is really interested in is making wines “that show something of where they come from.” She does not believe in “fiddling too much with what the vineyard gives us.”
The wines she makes are all delicious, very much fruit driven, with particular kudos being given to the reds, including the iconic Carlonet.
Her Sauvignon Blanc 2015 has recently been named as one of the Top Ten in SA.
The fruit for this great wine comes from two different vineyards growing in deep dark red soils of decomposed granite giving the grapes an intensity of flavour one doesn’t find everywhere.
A visit to Uitkyk will satisfy the most fussy of wine drinkers.
Words: Greg Landman
As the wine writer for Country Life magazine for the last 15 years, Greg has met and interviewed more than 150 of the country’s top wine makers. His articles offer unique insights into where to eat, what to drink, and where to go all over the Western Cape. With his dining companion Beryl Ormsby Browne, he has also reviewed more than 60 country restaurants for the magazine and has been a reviewer for the prestigious Eat Out Guide for 12 years. His passion for everything the winelands has to offer has led him into the world of wine tours. To find out more, visit his website Magic Grape Tours.