Gabrielskloof Wine Estate comprises expansive vineyards as well as olive groves and lavender fields and is conveniently located just off the N2 highway close to Greyton, Caledon and Hermanus – a mere hour’s drive from Cape Town.
Gabrielskloof cultivates 11 grape varieties, including Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Viognier and Mourvedre. The Estate is committed to sustainable eco-practices and they do not use insecticides on their produce.
My companion and I begin our tour of Gabrielskloof Wine Estate quite appropriately with a wine tasting. The tasting is accompanied with a platter of homemade bread, estate olive oil and a bowl of olives. The oil is made using a pressed mix of Coratina, Frantoio and Leccino olives and it has a distinctive fresh flavour. The olives too are rich and well flavoured.
The tasting is hosted by an expert with a vast knowledge of all things wine. She gives us a history of each of the wines, explains how they are made and which cultivars are used in the process. We taste five wines in total, sampling the estate’s Premium and Reserve ranges. Of the five wines, my favourites are the Rosebud, a fruity off-dry blended rose made with Viognier and Shiraz grapes and The Blend, a five-way Bordeaux style blend with a rich tannin and chocolate palate.
After the tasting we meet the unofficial mascot of the estate, a delightful miniature whippet, called Pepe. Pepe, a well-groomed and friendly dog follows us through the large central courtyard and I play with him on the grass.
The Estate’s restaurant is housed in a large barn-style building with spectacular views of the vineyards and the surrounding mountains. We are seated by Marianne, the restaurant’s bubbly co-owner.
The restaurant offers dishes with wine suggestions for pairing. I opt for a broccoli and split pea soup starter and a main course of sirloin served with vegetables and crispy wedges. My companion has a calamari salad starter and kudu ossobucco as a main course.
The food is tasty and the portions are large. But there is always room for dessert. My companion and I share a delicious nougat, almond and honey semifreddo. It has been a successful trip and we end up buying two cases of wine to take home.
Gabielskloof wine estate is an elegant operation and a great place to visit in the Overberg. The wine and oil are some of the best I have tasted, the staff are friendly and helpful, and if you happen to be exploring the Overberg or simply looking for something to do on a Sunday afternoon, I would highly recommend stopping by.