One of my favourite drives through the Cape Winelands involves the Helshoogte Road between Stellenbosch and Franschoek as you head up passed Delaire Graff and Tokara, and then gently wind your way down through the Hottentots-Holland Mountains into the Banghoek Conservancy. A recent discovery in the area is the Oldenburg boutique winery and Homestead. With most properties vying for attention with their latest fine-dining experiences and star-designer tasting rooms, it is refreshing to find some respite from it all at this elegant, unassuming property tucked away in the valley. There are no loud signs or entrance gates to attract your attention, instead a narrow country lane guides you off the R310, running parallel to the Banghoekrivier and historic Kylemore village.
I was extended the warmest welcome on arrival at the Homestead by endearing house manager and ‘butler’ Annine van Reenen, who immediately settled me in with a glass of their multi-award-winning Syrah. It’s opaque crimson colour is as enticing as its aromas of ripe plum and cherries. Needless to say, a second bottle of this Rhône-style wine followed promptly.
Although I settled in nicely with a few bottles of their award-winning Syrah, it was winemaker Philip Costandius’s wonderful Chenin Blanc (2015) that got my attention.