As Cape Town social media erupts with complaints of the brisk weather conditions enveloping the city, the snow dusted Groenlandberg mountain casts a shadow over the vineyards at Oak Valley. Situated in Elgin, one of South Africa’s coldest wine regions, temperatures can drop to 0°C and frosty mornings ensure the production of true cool climate wines and specialisation of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.
Oak Valley was established in 1898 and was instrumental from the outset in the development of Elgin’s apple industry. The 1800 hectare farm is still to this day devoted to fruit production, apples, pears, and since 1985 grapes.
In 2019 Jacques du Plessis began as winemaker, and in my opinion has taken the wines to another level in terms of quality and accessibility.
After a meandering, tree lined drive-way through the extensive farm, you eventually arrive at the aesthetically pleasing tasting room and restaurant aptly named The Pool Room.
Stone & Steel Riesling 2019
Beautiful floral and tropical fruit aromas bellow out of the glass. A fruit forward palate follows through with green apple, litchi and apricot, an authoritative natural acidity vitalises the palate and offers a wave of freshness. A dry and wonderfully balanced Riesling. R95
Foundation of Youth Sauvignon Blanc 2020
A superbly ‘cool’ Sauvignon Blanc. Awakens your senses with elevated aromatics. Vibrant tropical fruit, typical of cool climate, dominate with a mineral edge. Added palate weight from a touch of barrel fermented semillon and three months lees contact. A persistence of flavour lingers. R95
Beneath The Clouds Chardonnay 2019
An admirable Chardonnay at a price you can enjoy every day! What a great discovery. A wonderful weight and mouth feel from an intelligent oaking regime. Classic Elgin traits of creamy oatmeal and yellow apple on the palate, flaked almonds, concentrated citrus and pear. An animated acidity brings extra joy to the wine. R130
Groenlandberg Chardonnay 2019
An exquisite premium Chardonnay, perfect for the refined palate who simultaneously cherishes oaked Chardonnays. Charming honeysuckle and Asian pear aromas lure with subtle nuances of dolce de leche. The palate is unapologetically oaked with citrus fruit purity and a vibrant acidity in check. The perfect pairing to a Peregrine Farm Stall chicken pie! R255
Sounds of Silence Pinot Noir 2019
Akin to its Chardonnay sibling in the same tier, this wine offers serious value for an everyday, easy-drinking Pinot Noir, when you want all the characteristics of the undisputed King of Grapes but not with price tag. It ticks all the boxes, bright fruit, savoury elements, fruit purity, umami spice, vibrancy. Definitely worth stocking up on! R155
Groenlandberg Pinot Noir 2018
The vibrant crimson hue reflects the light and captivates. Aromas of wet forest floor and wild mushrooms follow, certain to entice any Pinotphile. Beautiful fruit purity is the shining star however, macerated strawberries, fresh cherries and blueberries interlaced with a lively acidity. Worthy of all of its many accolades, it strikes the perfect equilibrium between new world immaculate articulation of fruit and old world savoury fleshiness. R320
WELL RESTED; 1912 Cottage at Oak Valley
A quaint cottage perched amougst whimsical apple orchards and surrounded by the rolling hills of Elgin Valley. It prescibes the perfect home for a weekend of winelands exploring . Ducking your head as you enter through a low doorframe, the cottage has been refurbished but retains the country charm. A small kitchenette on your right fitted with all amednities needed for simple entertaining, including one or two bottles of Oak Valley wine to enchance your stay. On your left a comfortable sitting room centered around an alluring wide fireplace. Upstairs is a loft bedroom with a pitched roof. It is home to a gloriously comforable king size bed decked out in scatter cushions and a small bathroom. The cottage is small but not lacking an abundance of charm. Nothing more you need for a weekend away with your partner in wine.