Plettenberg Bay is known as the perfect stop along the Garden Route for a beach holiday. The pristine beaches, golden sand and moderate weather make it one of the best beach and pleasure-seeking destinations in South Africa. The town has plenty of up-market accommodations, all with excellent views of the beach. While relaxing and lazing on the beach is the ideal way to enjoy your leisurely Plettenberg Bay holiday, this quaint getaway has so much more to offer.
The Cape Winelands is not the only stretch of the Garden Route producing some of South Africa’s finest wine – the unlikely town of Plettenberg Bay has some world-class wine estates that are well worth a visit. The estates are known to be quite small in comparison to the Cape Winelands, and most are family-owned and run, but the unique cool climate makes for some truly special wine. The wine region of Plettenberg Bay may be small but promises travellers a stunning wine tasting adventure. From a flowery Sauvignon Blanc to a velvety Chardonnay, and a dry Pinot Noir, the wine estates of Plett have it all.
Bramon Wine Estate & Cellar
The Bramon Wine Estate & Cellar is the pioneer vineyard in Plettenberg Bay. The estate is the first of its kind to the east of the Western Cape, and is surrounded by a mountain range known as The Crags. Owned by Peter and Caroline Thorpe, and named after their children, Braam and Manon, the estate has a homely feel. Peter did not originally plan to start growing wine, but after buying the estate, he was intrigued to see what sort of grapes would grow in the Plettenberg Bay climate, one so different to that of the Cape Winelands. The result was an award-winning Crags label Sauvignon Blanc, and the estate is now one of the biggest in the region, and 16 others have followed in Bramon’s footsteps. Bramon has broken barriers with their non-traditional and traditional still and sparkling wines, and with beautiful views over the mountain range and vineyard, Bramon is the perfect place to start off your Plettenberg Bay wine journey.
Our wine choice: The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, which was bottled under the Crags label, won silver in South Africa’s Michelangelo International Wine and Spirit Awards, as well as gold in the Vitis Vinifera awards. The Sauvignon Blanc is zesty, with flavours of lime, fig and passion fruit caressing the palette. This wine can be paired with goat cheese.
Lodestone Wine & Olives
Lodestone Wine Estate is set in a fynbos-covered property right at the foot of the mighty Tsitsikamma Mountains. The estate offers some of the most fantastic views, as well as a range of elegant wines. Lodestone has been owned by the Tonkin family since 2012 and the wine estate produces Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and, for the first time in the Plett region, Semillon. The Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, a white Bordeaux blend, is a Lodestone exclusive, and the very first of its kind in Plettenberg Bay. Next to the vineyard is a stunning olive orchard, with six varieties of olive trees, with an olive press producing Lodestone’s very own olive oil. Lodestone is also launching an exclusive and limited brut Rosè bubbly called Stonechat, which is made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Our wine choice: Lodestone has many exclusive ranges, but the best is most certainly the Jimdog Red Blend 2014. The wine was named after the Tonkin’s friendly Border Terrier, Jimmy, and is a blend of Shiraz, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Jimdog has a spicy flavour and is paired well with olives.
Newstead Lund Family Vineyards
Newstead Lund Family Vineyards is the creation of two families, the Robinsons and the Lund family, who left commercial sugar and dairy farming for the allure of the vineyards. Newstead Lund was inspired by wine farms in New Zealand, which shares a similar climate to Plettenberg Bay. The Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir flourished, producing beautiful, tart and delicate wines. The wine estate nurtures each vine, using only organic fertiliser, netting over the vines, prioritising quality over quantity, resulting in unique and special wines. The estate produces five wines, four of which are award-winning. The Mèthode Cap Classique Brut, Mèthode Cap Classique Rosè, Sauvignon Blanc are award-winning, and the Pinot Noir is a popular seller, as it is light and silky, with soft tannins.
Our wine choice: Newstead promises smooth and elegant wine, perfect for sipping as you watch the African sunset across the horizon. Our number one choice is the Newstead 2017 Chardonnay, which won a Michelangelo Silver and a Novare South African Terroir Wine Award for Plettenberg Bay Winelands. The wine is best described as woody and acidic, with a slight lime and passion fruit flavour, and a crisp grapefruit finish. We suggest this wine be paired with rich fish dishes such as salmon, or with slow roasted chicken.
If you want a unique adventure along the Garden Route, the beautiful town of Plettenberg Bay is a must-visit. Although the vineyards are smaller than the Cape Winelands, the quality of wine produced is of a high standard, and each wine estate takes pride in bottling the best wine in the region. The climate of Plettenberg Bay plays a big part in how different, and beautiful, the wine tastes. For wine-lovers, the Plettenberg Bay Wine Route will stand out as a fun, unique and memorable experience.