Sun, surf and … wine, of course; a visit to the Cape without an encounter with the fruit of the vine is inconceivable. That’s why Van Loveren wine estate near Robertson has to be on your must-do list for the 2013 summer holidays.
When the Cape’s infamous South Easter interrupts your beach plans, you’ll be glad to have this family-friendly winery in the RobertsonWineValley, in your back pocket. Van Loveren, home of the famous Four Cousins wines, welcomes you seven-days-a-week with great food, wine and adventure for the whole family.
The farm’s new tasting venue, gardens and array of outdoor activities promise wine lovers and their families the perfect environment in which to spend many leisurely hours.
Wine and dine out in the country
A mere 90 minutes’ drive from most of the Cape’s most favourite holiday destinations brings you to the canna-lined farmlands of Van Loveren. Here, three generations of Retief winemakers have perfectly married tradition and innovation in six exquisite wine ranges. There’s something for every palate among the collection comprising Van Loveren, Christina Van Loveren, Papillon, Five’s Reserve, Four Cousins and the eco-friendly range, Tangled Tree.
Van Loveren is renowned for its hospitality, too. Wine aficionados return time and again for the generous welcome and the refreshingly different wine experience offered by the Retief cousins. “We are only too aware that wine lovers expect novel wine tasting experiences, preferring to involve all their senses,” says Van Loveren CEO Phillip Retief. “Our popular food and wine pairings have been developed to grant visitors a thrilling journey with wine, extending their wine horizons.”
Daily cellar tours that include tank and vat tastings add to a comprehensive wine experience.
At Van Loveren food and wine pairings take on a whole new dimension with sessions as educational as they are fun. Pairing wine with nougat and nuts, or white, milk and dark chocolate eliminates the sometimes-daunting experience of wine tasting. Among the delicious offerings is the pairing of a Van Loveren Blanc de Noir Shiraz with Sally Williams Cranberry Nougat; and, Five’s Reserve Brandy complemented by an orange zest dark chocolate.
The tasting venue with its 6.5m-high glass panels effectively merges the famous Van Loveren gardens with the tasting areas, while the shaded wooden deck provides the ideal space to seek shelter during the valley’s hot summers.
Lingering hunger pangs will be banished by Christina’s Bistro and its renowned thin crust, wood-fired pizzas while the on-site deli will treat you to regional gems such as olives, olive oil, cheese, meats and for your next picnic.
A guided stroll through the gardens counts among the favourite pastimes of visitors to Van Loveren. Fascinating stories are entwined in the trees that Jean and Hennie Retief planted to commemorate special family occasions or important historic events.
And for the outdoor enthusiasts who need the action of a hike or a bike ride, Van Loveren caters for these adrenalin-seekers too. There are picturesque 15km and 6km mountain bike routes across the river and through undulating vineyards, and a Fish Eagle hiking route that makes the most of the views and birdlife. Bring your own bike or simply rent one on the farm.
Van Loveren was just voted the Best Child-Friendly Venue on a Wine Farm and received the award for Best Food and Wine Pairing at a Cellar Door at the Klink Awards.
For more information, visit www.vanloveren.co.za or follow Van Loveren on Twitter @vanloverenwines or @4CousinsWine.