Since moving to Namibia at the young age of 5, I’ve always appreciated local travel. From packing the granny in for Northern Namibia road trips to family holidays in Kruger Park with the cousins, Southern Africa is a wonderful and mysterious place to visit. Yet it was only went I went to boarding school that I had the opportunity to explore the winelands. It’s been nearly a decade since I last visited Robertson so Mr John and I headed out to the well known town to discover what Robertson has to offer. Here’s how we spent 24 hours in Robertson:
24 Hours Left: Getting To Robertson
Fact: Robertson is a bit further than you think it is. You know when you enter a destination in Google maps and your first thought is, “Nahhhh, I’ll get there quicker than that!” No you won’t! Don’t be like me and try to rush there. Leave a bit earlier, take your time and enjoy the incredible mountains around Worcester. (The Robertson Wine Valley is situated on the popular Route62 and was recently listed as CNN’s top 10 road trip routes in the world!)
22 Hours Left: Charcuterie & Wine Tasting at Kleinhoekkloof
Kleinhoekkloof is actually just outside the ‘far’ side of Robertson, in Ashton. We sought our way through the ‘Plattekloof’ of Ashton, as we called it, hit a dusty, semi-rocky road and wound our way up to the mountain to Kleinhoekkloof passing autumn coloured vineyards padding the valley.
We were warmly greeted by Theunis, Ronel and Danielle, who are the owners of the farm. Not only do they make delicious wine on Kleinhoekkloof (and have GIANT bull mastiffs!!!), but Theunis also makes an excellent charcuterie – even though he’s originally from Pretoria! The pigs he uses are free range for (if I recall correctly) 2 years, which makes the fat absolutely delicious. I always know I’m eating great quality meat when it doesn’t leave a horrible fatty layer on my palate.
Sip on their delicious red and white wines as you gaze over the ravines. Even though I’m actually “over” SB at the moment, I loved the Kleinhoekkloof sauvignon blanc and bought a bottle to enjoy later. The Kleinhoekkloof philosophy is to arrive as strangers and leave as friends – which I can fully attest to after visiting. I loved this farm for it’s warm, no fuss, honest produce and beautiful surroundings, visit them by appointment only.
20 Hours Left: Viljoensdrift Boat Ride
Next on our stop was Viljoensdrift for a boat cruise down the Breede River. I’d actually not heard of the venue before, which is surprising considering how often it’s name has come up since visiting. Viljoensdrift is a lovely family orientated venue with live music, a deli and a double decker boat that takes a slow turn up and down the river.
We arrived and explored the wine tasting room and deli, but weren’t hungry enough yet to really tuck into the deli’s fares, although their food did look delicious. We hopped on board the boat and enjoyed a leisurely sail down the Breede River.
18 Hours Left: 200ml Cokes for R6.50!
After visiting these two venues, Mr John and I headed to the town. I love to explore small towns because there are always some gems tucked away, whether it be weird signs, cheap prices, old buildings or bad decor, it’s what makes villages so charming. So we headed to the Spar for some snacks and I found a 200ml glass bottle of Coke for just R6.50, I had to buy one! We also took a turn around town to see the old church square and get a sense of Robertson.
16 Hours Left: Excelsior B&B
Our accommodation for our night in Robertson was funded by Excelsior bnb on Excelsior wine farm. We checked into our charming room and took a turn around the farm. I love to talk to the farmer’s dogs, try pat the stray cats and check out the other animals, in this instant, chickens! We also met the foreman’s son who was more than happy to show us their chicken coup. As the sun set on the vineyards, we strolled down to the damn’s dock and just enjoyed the fresh country air.
14 Hours Left: Excelsior Wine Tasting and Dinner
For dinner, we ate at the hotel’s dining room and enjoyed a wine tasting over dinner. Our server and host, James, at Excelsior was WONDERFUL! He really made everyone feel so welcome and comfortable, while remaining totally professional. I must say, as nice as Excelsior is, James really made our stay – thank you!
12 Hours Left: Midnight Stroll
I REALLY wanted to join Mr John on a night time photo mission, but I was really tired and our bed at Excelsior was just TOO comfy! So I sold out and stayed in bed while he went on a little night time mission to find shooting stars 🙂
5 Hours Left: Wine Tour at Graham Beck
Graham Beck! ANOTHER REALLY well known South African brand but 2 things I learnt:
- Didn’t know it was in Robertson
- Didn’t know it was used at Madiba AND Barrack Obama’s Inaugurations!
I LOVED our visit to Graham Beck! The farm is really modern and they pride themselves on providing education, medical services and opportunities to the local community. I really enjoyed the Graham Beck venue and wine tasting. Our hostess, Kato, was totally professional while being really warm at the same time. I’d love to go back to Graham Beck and spend a bit more time there.
2 Hours Left: Lunch at Bon Cap
I got Bon Cap confused with Bon Courage at first! Another new venue that I wasn’t familiar with, Bon Cap provides a BIIIIGGG, hearty, country lunch buffet on a Sunday afternoon. Normally a wedding venue, Bon Cap is over some white, dusty hills and offers a lovely family venue for hearty country food.
And they really did cater for an army! A full spread including famous South African fair such as pumpkin tart, bobotie and THE BEST malva pudding I’ve ever had. Caramelized corners with fresh custard, literally the best pudding I’ve ever had. I also had roast beef, roast potatoes, salad…honestly I had A LOT! All home made, all made with heart, home cooking style.
Why You Should Visit Robertson
Robertson is also known for their Klippies Brandy production, Bon Courage sparkling wine and De Wetshof wines, all of which I’d love to do another time. There’s A LOT more to do and I’m really looking forward to visiting again.
Thank you to all the venues for having us, but in particular to the Robertson Wine Valley for facilitating our visit. It was great to explore the valley and I can’t wait to return!
If you decide to visit, please tell them that you heard about them from Boring Cape Town Chick so they they can give you extra special service 😉