The Apex Cape Winelands triangle
Stellenbosch is host to a plethora of world-renowned wine estates, but there are three gems in particular that are located at the highest point of the Stellenbosch Wine Route; these are the wine estates of Hidden Valley, Uva Mira and Ernie Els Wines. The “apex Cape Winelands triangle” would be an appropriate name to classify these extraordinary wineries. .
Owing to the naturally elevated land, these unique estates are able to produce wine with specific flavours, notes and undertones, unlike any other wine farm in Stellenbosch. The official Hidden Valley website explains: “Our vineyards in Stellenbosch are planted on ancient, decomposed granite soils, consisting of Oakleaf and Tukulu profiles. This wonderful soil combined with our altitude and cool weather result in a very unique terroir which is extremely sought after.”.
Uva Mira Wine Estate is located at the highest point of this triangle and from the cosy tasting lounge you are able to look over the whole of Stellenbosch as well the peninsula. The estate has won many awards, with the most prestigious being that from the International Wine and Spirit Competition, which was held in London, 2006. They are quoted as saying Uva Mira has “the best chardonnay in the world.” South African wine guru, John Platter awards with 41/2 and 5 stars, which could be argued, sets a new precedent in wine quality.
Their official website explains the concept of elevated vineyards, “Uva Mira’s vineyards average between twelve and twenty-eight years in age and are situated between 420m to 620m above sea level. Our soils are a mixture of decomposed granite and shale. Each vineyard has a different elevation, soil, meso – and – micro climate and exposure to the elements.
These factors make the fruit produced from each site – specific vineyard extraordinary and unique. It is this high altitude mountain vineyard diversity that gives our elegant and distinctive wines the ability to hold captivated, in every drop, their true sense of place.”
The final wine farm that completes the triangle is Ernie Els Wines. The “Big Easy” has proved he can dominate golf courses as well as the art of viticulture. Initially specialising in red wine, the estate has since branched into the crisp white variety. The wines have drawn worldwide attention; this is definitely a worthy wine farm to form the “apex Cape Winelands triangle” – an absolute must for the wine connoisseur.
Stellenbosch guest houses are also widely available at many of the estates along the famous wine route. There is no better time to clear a weekend on your calendar and experience South Africa’s most prestigious wineries.