When you think of South African wine, you might picture the warm and sunny vineyards of Stellenbosch or the famous wines from the Stellenbosch and Franschhoek regions. However, South Africa’s wine scene offers much more diversity than you might expect, and some of the country’s most exciting wineries can be found in its cooler climate areas. We are exploring a few of our wineries we stock on our portfolio, and we’ll take you on a journey to DISCOVER three exceptional wineries nestled in South Africa’s cooler climate regions: Seven Springs Vineyards, Benguela Cove Estate, and Beaumont Family Wines.
Seven Springs Vineyards: A Boutique Gem in the Overberg
Well, here we have a winery that has got a close connection with us (Gerhard) and nearly the reason why we started doing what we do. If you been to our wine tastings you will already know the connection but let’s us, tell you a bit more about Seven Springs Vineyards. A family-owned winery situated in the Overberg region, just a stone’s throw away from the picturesque town of Hermanus. This area is known for its cooler climate, making it perfect for producing elegant and refined wines. The vineyards are perched on top of a ridge, allowing them to benefit from the cool maritime breezes coming off Walker Bay.
What sets Seven Springs apart is its commitment to sustainable farming practices. They employ organic and biodynamic methods to ensure that the vineyard thrives in harmony with nature. Their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines have gained recognition for their purity and expression of terroir. The cool climate influence results in wines that are fresh, vibrant, and filled with minerality.
Tim and Vaughan have a successful UK based business that has enabled them to invest in Seven Springs and South Africa. Their wine journey has and continues to be an emotional roller coaster, but the people they’ve met, and experiences enjoyed together have been amazing.
Benguela Cove Estate: A Waterfront Haven in Walker Bay
Benguela Cove Estate is a wine estate with a difference, located in the stunning Walker Bay region. Here, vineyards stretch down to the edge of the Bot River Lagoon, offering a unique maritime-influenced microclimate. The cool sea breezes and moderating effect of the lagoon create the ideal conditions for producing cool-climate wines.
What makes Benguela Cove Estate exceptional is its picturesque location and a diverse range of wines. From Sauvignon Blanc to Cabernet Sauvignon, their portfolio offers something for every wine lover. Visitors can enjoy wine tastings with a view of the lagoon, creating a memorable experience. The estate also houses a restaurant, making it a perfect destination for wine and food enthusiasts.
As one of Walker Bay’s most prominent wine and lifestyle estates, this is the epitome of luxury living. The lush farmland was developed to create a vineyard, state of the art winery, lifestyle estate and olive groves in 2003. Owner and Developer, Penny Streeter OBE, had a dream to create a world-class and sophisticated wine tourism destination. That dream is happening now.
Johann Fourie is their head winemaker and is one of the foremost experts on winemaking and viticulture in South Africa. His passion for wine includes all aspects of the industry – from selecting vineyards for our brands, to growing grapes; and from the technology of winemaking to judging on wine competition panels.
Johann’s philosophy is “To bridge the gap between the science and the artistry of making wine: that’s why I enjoy spending time with consumers, not just to share our story and passion for what we do, but also to get a deeper insight into their interest in wine, and to reflect that in every bottle we produce”.
Today Penny’s Benguela Collection hospitality and entertainment group includes other properties in South Africa and the UK. In 2016 Penny identified new opportunities internationally for a South African-style wine farm experience and created the first ‘golf and wine estate’ in the UK. Some 38,000 vines were planted at the 500-acre Parkland site at Mannings Heath Estate, at Horsham in West Sussex.
This is where our own Gerhard Perold’s connection with Benguela Cove estate comes in play.
England’s First Pinotage Vineyard
A beautiful vineyard stretches across four acres, growing Pinot Noir and Pinotage grapes.
The vineyard sits amongst their Grade I listed gardens and is surrounded by breath-taking views of the valley, Leonardslee House and the South Downs. The first harvest took place in Autumn 2020 with the first release of English wine set for 2024.
In 2017 Penny acquired a neighbouring property from Manning’s heath, Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens. She has restored the 240-acre site, which is fast becoming a major tourist destination since its April 2019 opening. It features probably the finest woodland gardens in England, Grade I Listed and first planted in 1801, and the first ever UK Pinotage vineyard.
Beaumont Family Wines: Crafting Wines with Tradition and Passion
Nestled in the Bot River region, Beaumont Family Wines is a charming, family-owned winery with a deep commitment to crafting exceptional cool-climate wines. The farm has a rich history dating back to the 1700s, and this legacy is reflected in their winemaking practices.
Beaumont Family Wines focuses on varietals such as Chenin Blanc, Pinotage, and Mourvèdre. The cool climate and unique soils of the region imbue their wines with distinctive flavours. Their Chenin Blanc has received critical acclaim for its complexity and aging potential.
What sets Beaumont Family Wines apart is their dedication to preserving the environment. They embrace sustainable farming practices and have even incorporated draft horses into their vineyard management, reducing the environmental impact of their operations.
The Beaumont family story is one where fact, fable, and fantasy merge – a story where wine, food and family are always at the centre of the narrative – a story in which a family filled with big-hearted and impassionate people, strive to capture the essence of happiness, be it in the cellar, in the kitchen or sitting on a farmhouse stoep. It is a story that applauds the efforts of the everyday and the memories that are made through generous sharing of the spoils of the land.
Sebastian is the oldest son and a second-generation Beaumont – a man with a passion for wine, fishing, and surfing. After studying viticulture and oenology he joined the family business in 1999 and honed his skills on the farm as viticulturist initially, working alongside Raoul. During this time, he assisted with the wine making under the guidance of Niels Verburg and Jayne. Five years later, in 2004, he completed his first vintage, was in charge of the wine making and soon established a standing as a Chenin Blanc aficionado. After receiving four 5-star ratings for Hope Marguerite, he earned the nickname, “The Chenin Dude”.
In conclusion, South Africa’s cooler climate regions offer a wealth of exciting wine experiences. These wineries, from the elegant Seven Springs Vineyards to the picturesque Benguela Cove Estate and the traditional Beaumont Family Wines, showcase the diversity and quality of South African wines. If you’re a wine enthusiast looking to explore unique terroirs and cool climate varietals, these wineries should be on your must-visit list.
If you fancy trying these wines, explore the region or any other South African wines. Contact us to host your very own South African wine safari. We travel all over the UK to share their wine stories & wines with you.
Gerhard & the team at Perold Wine Cellar