The famous ‘Wine Route’, Western Cape, begins in the city of Stellenbosch and passes through the valleys of fabulous beauty - with green vineyards, age-old oaks and branchy Cape pines. The local climate proved to be extremely suitable for the cultivation of wine grapes, and the wine production is among the main activities of the farmers here.
The next stop was The Rickety Bridge Wine Estate.
This is a fairly popular place in Cape Winelands with a long history of winemaking. The famous Rickety Bridge wines can be tasted in a welcoming tasting room. Few of the guests can refuse an excursion to the cellar where you can get to know the winemaking process from a vine to a barrel. A unique wine blending lesson is of interest to both the wine connoisseurs and enthusiasts. These wine blending lessons are a great idea to get together with friends or colleagues to enjoy the time and get some interesting information.
Situated on the slopes of the Franschhoek Mountains with the view of the majestic Vemmershoek mountain range, the 50-hectare winery has 27 hectares of vineyards, it offers accommodations at Basse Provence Guest House and Rickety Bridge Manor House, as well as a visit to its amazing tasting room where the guests can enjoy the Rickety Bridge winery's fine wines. The Paulina's Restaurant is in a stunning vineyard setting, ideal for dining and wine tasting.
Every detail of this sumptuous winemaker's estate has been carefully thought out - classic Dutch furniture, a fire-warmed living room and a country-style kitchen, yellow-beamed ceilings and pinewood floors polished by the estate’s history, all brings the serenity and tranquility to the guests.
Jan van HUYSSTEEN, Managing Director, Rickety Bridge Winery:
“We consider our farm - located just 3 kilometres away from the city - with its 500-tonne wine cellar as an average one. The farm was founded in 1797, when Pauline de Villiers found this place convenient for growing grapes, from any point of view. Next to us is the Basse Provence Estate, a quite unusual one. There is no winemaking there, but there is a beautiful guest-house where a group of up to 12 people can be comfortably accommodated. We suggest staying in one of their three luxury suites in the main building. They are really luxurious ones for those who love comfort. And together with our neighbours who have 10 rooms, we can accommodate a group of up to 26 people.
“Our guests will see the whole process. In the morning, the work starts in the vineyards. Our farm grows various grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, as well as Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot. We also buy a lot of grapes from other grape growers in the Western Cape region. Next to the main restaurant, we have a spacy hall for various events such as weddings, birthdays and celebrations. And, of course, we have a good vineyard, we produce 400,000 bottles of wine annually. We also have several tasting rooms. These premises are deliberately divided into different parts. Our guests have a choice to sit both indoors and outdoors enjoying the scenery. And for groups, we also have private rooms where no one would disturb them. That's what our Rickety Bridge is.”
A wide choice of wines allows you to create various combinations for tasting, which can always suit both connoisseurs and lovers of certain varieties. At Rickety Bridge, ‘vertical’ tastings of one variety of different years are held as well as the professional tastings to compare several red or white wines. The standard option includes 2 white wines and 3 red wines.
Jan van HUYSSTEEN, Managing Director, Rickety Bridge Winery:
“There are many interesting things to do in the Franschhoek region. Our restaurant combines excellent cuisine with fine wines, and there are many great restaurants in the city of Franschhoek. But the main reason why tourists come here is the vineyards. We cooperate with the Franschhoek ‘wine tram’. This tram brings the guests from the city to our station located on the main road. We take them further using a special tractor with a trailer. After a short drive along the vineyards to the main estate, they enjoy wine tasting, have a blending lesson and, of course, lunch. One of the unique opportunities our visitors have at our farm only is a blending lesson. Our guests can make their own bottle of wine from several grape varieties. We offer three different red wines and help them create a one-of-a-kind blend to take along with them. It is a very interesting process and we have all the necessary equipment for measuring volumes and bottling. They definitely need to come up with their own label and stop their personal wine bottle. It will be a great souvenir to remember our farm at home.”
We have finished our trip on the third peak of the Western Cape Wine Triangle is located in the town of Paarl. This is the place where the Zulu peoples traditionally live.
The BAYEDE! company is the first wine brand on the African continent, the ‘Purveyor to the royal household of His and Her Majesty’, and it combines the historical and cultural heritage and the highest quality. BAYEDE! means ‘Salute to the King!’. For centuries, this greeting has been used by the Zulu tribe and 30 million followers to salute their monarch. The Bayede! Marketing company was founded in 2009 and it has sold over 1 million bottles of wine to date. Each bottle has an insignia with the royal arms. This is the official coat of arms of the Zulu King. His Majesty the King of Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu has developed the brand with a primary focus on creation the jobs for the South Africans.
Antoinette VERMOOTEN, CEO of the Bayede! brand:
“The Bayede wines are the only product that represents the brand name of the African continent. Our brand is personally designed by the King of the Zulu. Bayede presents wines with their own 200-year history. This is the legacy of the Zulu Kingdom and it shows the strength of the traditions underlined by many international awards. We offer the wines that received gold medals, and some wines received their honorary awards twice. The main strengths of our wines are their historic heritage, quality and their true African character.”
The company's mission is to create jobs for the South Africans, with a particular focus on the empowerment of women. In total, the company has 102 employees, not including the labor force involved during the harvest season. His Majesty the King is the nation's moral defender and is well known for his actions aimed at fighting against the HIV disease. The beaded decorations on the neck of our wine bottles are handmade. Six beadwork teams make works of art using multicolored beads and they bring a piece of their country and their culture to each customer.