The reward for taking the bumpy 4km journey off-road and seemingly into the middle of nowhere, is the opportunity to taste some amazing wines from one of the Cape’s most recently-founded estates, in a fabulous setting.
Proprietor Adrian Vanderspuy decided to bring the Oldenburg vineyards to life in 2003, with the farm producing its first vintage in 2007. The wines immediately gained a following, with the Syrah and Cabernet Franc leading the charge. The property’s assertion that there are 8 Natural Elements which are available only on this particular farm, which contribute to making their wines so special.
The winemaker’s focus is on finding balance in creating the wines – working with the natural effects of terroir to create a balanced environment in which the grapes can thrive, resulting in wines with great balance, complexity and elegance in the glass. The terroir of the estate is notable – not only by the wines produced by Oldenburg, but bourne out by the list of illustrious neighbours, including Thelema, Tokara, Delaire, Bartinney, Camberley and Rainbow’s End.
The staff in the beautiful tasting room will relate those 8 Elements in a dedicated tasting – one of six tasting options that encompass the full estate offering. That 8 Elements tasting (R200) is probably the premium option, including a selection from the 9 wines in the Oldenburg Vineyards Series and the iconic Rondekop Rhodium, which is served in its own implausibly delicate hand-blown glass.The tasting is hugely educational – about the estate in particular and about wine in general, offering more than ‘fun facts’ and demonstrating a deep understanding of the winemaking process. Unusually, the price of each tasting includes a complimentary snack of local cheese, crackers and olives – beautifully presented and full of flavour.
If getting away from it all is in order, the 200 year-old Homestead at Oldenburg sleeps up to 12 people in ultimate luxury, with deep verandas, a large swimming pool and a glass-walled that maximises dramatic views of the Groot Drakenstein Mountains. It comes with a resident manager – a trained butler with sharply honed concierge skills – and two housekeepers. Additional staff, such as a private chef, professional butler and childminder can be arranged.
The Oldenburg Tasting Room is open Monday – Friday 10:00 – 16:30 and 10:00-16:00 on Public Holidays, closing on Sundays, Good Friday, 25 & 26 December and 1 January.
It’s rare to be able to taste different vintages of wines, even on the estate – but Oldenburg have a Rare Vintage Tasting (R210 for three wines) as a fixture on the menu that gives guests the opportunity to savour a few vintages of the premium wines.
Banghoek Valley, Stellenbosch