When heading up to visit the Hermanus Wine Route, the very first wine estate you'll come across is Benguela Cove; a utopia very well positioned next to the glistening deep blue Botrivier Lagoon besides the ocean's edge. The estate is home to a private nature reserve where plenty of wildlife resides. Benguela Cove is home to 70 hectors of vines, silver-green olive trees and a large abundance of fragrant lavender bushes.
Visually, I think it's one of the Western Cape's most scenically appealing estates I have visited so far but there's so much more then meets the eye. Benguela Cove was founded in 2003 and a lot of money, attention to detail and creative energy has been sowed into this young and thriving estate. Given its dream location, plus excellent terroir, I'm glad it has been nurtured by a visionary and built into what it is today ~ Penny Streeter and her family have done an excellent job with this diverse location!
Benguela Cove offers a kaleidoscope of fun activities that cover a vast array of interests, age and budget. I feel that there's something for everyone to enjoy and that Benguela Cove really caters for everyone's uniqueness.
So, do you really want to get your spoil on? I suggest planning a whole day of fun and leisure at this sensory carnival estate. Let me take you through some of my favourite activities that I experienced during my recent visit and some others they offer.
I arrived in the morning at Benguela Cove eager to spend the day whole day exploring it with my best mate Tim, we were very warmly welcomed by the very lovely Samarie (I hope to be half as cool as her one day, she's fantastic). We headed to the tasting room, I quickly noticed that this estate had some jaw-dropping works of art.
We decided to start our day with a magnificent oyster and wine pairing in Benguela Coves modern tasting room. The tasting room is bright with gorgeous views of the "Moody" Lagoon. The Oysters were invitingly plated, soon the flavours washed over us and Tim and I got lost in our own world deeply discussing our taste-bud adventure with great enthusiasm and delight.
Tim was clearly in heaven (Only R185.00 pp bargain)
If you're not an oyster lover, not to worry... as I said, there's something for everyone!
Here's a list of other food and wine pairings on offer:
Wine & Cheese pairing, an assortment of top quality cheese from local and international producers, with award-winning Benguela Cove wines (still my favourite cheese and wine pairing to date) R120 pp.
Chocolate and wine pairing, handmade chocolates, with award-winning Benguela Cove wines R120 pp.
Millionaire's pairing, Noble Late Harvest with the multi-textured caramel delight of our homemade millionaire's shortbread R40 pp.
Standard wine tasting, 5 wines R80 pp.
Benguela Cove is regarded as a wine-growing region of Walker Bay and next door neighbours to the Hemel en Aarde Valley. But really if the truth were told the estate is so unique that it could be considered a micro wine-growing region all on its very own.
Benguela Cove wines are all estate certified...meaning all grapes must be grown, produced and bottled at Benguela Cove.
So what allows them to achieve this? Well, they have North, South, East, and West facing slopes and four different soil types.
The first still wine that was planted at the estate was Sauvignon Blanc. They planted the vines on all the four different facing slopes and in all four different soil types, using six different clones of Sauvignon Blanc. In theory, this gives them the capacity to create 340 different version of Sauvignon Blanc...the possibilities are thrilling.
Currently, they bottle four different Sauvignon Blancs and I must say I really loved what I tasted.
For years I’ve stuck my nose up at Sauvignon Blanc and closed my eyes to the widely abused cash cow grape but regions like Walker Bay and Elgin with winemakers like Johann Fourie are making me sit up and pay attention again.
Next, we embarked an estate provided 4X4 drive through the vineyards, olive trees and down to the glistening Lagoon.
Once down by the Lagoon, I decided to try my hand at a Sabrage. We had chosen a beautiful bottle of Benguela Cove Méthode Cap Classique Cuvée to enjoy while we relaxed on the pontoon.
After a rather successful sabrage, we climbed on board the Lady Bonnie pontoon for a 45-minute sail around the sparkling Botrivier Lagoon and toward the salty ocean view ahead. I heard that it can be specially arranged that you dock on the beach from the Lagoon and watch a beautiful African sunset...Epic Marriage proposal idea, don't you think?
The lovely Samarie and I
After our return from our lagoon adventure, we were feeling rather peckish and decided to head for a casual lunch at the Moody Lagoon restaurant, which also offers stunning views of the lagoon from their outside patio. The interior of the restaurant is luxurious with elegant velvet chairs and vibrant art.
(Fantastic Savory Pinot Noir made a excellent lunch companion)
If you'd prefer a more formal dining experience book their gourmet tasting menu. A 6-course lunch with wine pairings that brings together the very best flavours of the Overberg, specially prepared by chef Annelie Badenhorst.
Brand New to the estate is their English style tea salon, that offers afternoon tea style experiences, tea demonstrations, cake, coffee and the British favourite, cream teas.
If tea isn't up your ally, opt to feel like Marie Antoinette while having a glass of Joie De Vivre MCC and sweet mouthfuls of cake.
I say that this would be a fantastic place to host a Baby Shower, hens party or to take your mothers this mothers day.
As a mother of an eight-year-old, I'm always on the lookout for wine estates my daughter and I can both enjoy on our weekend adventures. Benguela Cove offers a brand new Splash Pad, it's super safe, a whale of fun and a great way of cooling off with our South African summer heatwaves. I haven't seen everything like this for kids at other estates, and I think it's a brilliant idea; if you're a parent you know how grumpy the heat can make a little person...which is the last thing you want when you're trying to relax and enjoy a glass of wine.
Kids can also play a round of putt-putt at their pirate themed 18-hole Adventure putt-putt course followed by lunch at the Blackbeard diner which offers kiddie friendly food like burgers, hot dogs and slush puppies.
Benguela Cove In a nutshell
Great estate for wine lovers of Methode Cap Classique (South African Champagne), Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Bordeaux Varietals
Wine Geeks can enjoy a guided cellar tour and wine blending experience
Top scenic estate
Vineyard safari and pontoon rides
Foodie haven offering three restaurants and a host of different food and wine pairings
Great for teetotalers with their new tea room saloon
Thanks so much Benguela Cove, I hope to be back very soon sipping your gorgeous wines and taking in the views.
Cheers wine warriors...till next time