For those of you who have read some of our previous blog posts, you might remember that our very first post was on the Robertson Wine Region. We received fantastic feedback on it, reaching over 3500 readers worldwide, many of which unexpectedly were from the US.
One of our local readers was Mira from McGregor Country Getaways who much to our delight invited us to return to the beautiful Langeberg Valley. This time it would be an educational, media trip jam-packed with activities, food and of course lots of fabulous South African wine.
The focus was on a tiny, sleepy town just outside Robertson called McGregor. This is where Mira has spent the majority of her life and now runs her own successful tourism business called McGregor Country Getaways. She offers tourism marketing, property management and accommodations bookings in the valley. For our weekend spent in McGregor, we stayed in one of her gorgeous properties called Laurel Cottage. Full of character and charm, this three-bedroom cottage with an open fire and fully equipped kitchen was the perfect spot for us to be based for the weekend of exploring.
Our first day was spent visiting a few wine farms in Robertson, our favourite is still Esona Boutique Wine Estate, where owners; Rowan and Carol welcomed us with a crisp glass of rosé and sat with us next to the open fire and told us all about how they got to where they are today. We were then lead downstairs into the underground old cellar where we experienced their unique “Taste the Difference” pairing matched with different music for each wine varietal which was amazing. Each wine is paired with either a fruit preserve or chocolate. Wine is served in Riedel glasses with a ‘joker’ glass on the side to compare the difference the glass makes on the taste and experience of the wine.
We enjoyed a wine pairing, then lunch at Chistina’s at Van Loveren and in the evening we visited Wahnfried for a brief film screening, a very special space created for the community to appreciate and experience cultural events such as music, films and live performances. The house is solely for the benefit of the village, the owners do not charge for movie screenings, which anyone in the village is welcomed to attend. We thought this was really wonderful.
The most memorable and enjoyable experience for us of our weekend in McGregor was the dinner we had on our very first night at Tebaldi’s Restaurant. Not only was the food fantastic, but also it was paired with Arendsig’s exceptional wines. Their infamous winemaker and owner; Lourens van der Westhuizen joined us for the evening to intimately explain and introduce each of his incredible wines.
Saturday was Mandela Day, so we spent the morning making and distributing sandwiches to the nearby informal settlements which was a great bonding experience for our group and enabled us to give just a little back to the community which were a part of our weekend experience.
The rest of the day was spent filled with all kinds of exciting and interested activities, such as olive tasting at Rhebokskraal Olive Estate and a visit to the farm where we joined the owner in preparing a delicious olive soup, yes, olive soup! It tasted like a creamy mushroom soup, which warmed us up from the inside out on one of the coldest weekends in the Western Cape this winter.
Our favourite part of Saturday was spent at the stunning Lord’s Wine Estate. They put together a special pairing menu just for us and we were privileged to taste some of their premium wines, which were still in the barrel, not yet released. Their unique “Craft Pinot Noir” is one of their must buys, which we enjoyed a few weeks later whilst watching a beautiful sunset over Camps Bay.
Sunday was our final day; we spent the morning walking through The Healing Garden of Temenos which is a beautiful place for locals and travellers to find peace, stillness and tranquility in the serenity of the luscious gardens.
We also visited the Edna Fourie Gallery where her permanent collection can be viewed along with pieces for sale. We rode around the small town in an old “noddy bus” and then visited Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary. A small farm just outside the centre of McGregor, providing a permanent home for abused, neglected and elderly donkeys. A place where people care and the donkeys are taken care of indefinitely, visit their website to find out how you can support this heart warming cause.
A quick visit to Tanagra Wine and Guest Farm where Robert, the owner and winemaker welcomed us and showed us around his working farm where he provides self catering accommodation, produces hand-crafted wines and grappa. After which he joined us at The Robertson Small Hotel for lunch in their famous Reuben’s restaurant where we enjoyed exquisite food, paired with his fantastic Tanagra Wines.
Thank you to Mira and all who hosted us for this unforgettable weekend exploring McGregor. What a great team we had, was so great to meet you all.
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