It’s been a massive success in Franschoek and the Hemel and Aarde Valley! Wine trams and buses are a great way to explore the beautiful wine routes of South Africa and now we can finally add the Robertson Wine Valley to the list of stunning routes to explore by hop-on-hop-off-bus. Yes, friends, we introduce you to the Robertson Wine Valley‘s Wine Safari bus. A hop-on-hop-off adventure bus that crisscrosses it’s way through the beautiful Robertson Wine Valley via two scenic routes – truly the ‘funnest’ way (yay, no designated driver needed) to explore this beautiful wine valley.
Choose between self-guided hop-on-hop-off tours or planned day trips which include exclusive tastings, winemaker tours and lunch. We were treated to a self-guided tour of the Golden Mile, many of the Robertson Wine Valley‘s famous wine farms are located along this route, situated in the appropriately named Goudmyn region just outside Robertson. We hopped-on at Bon Courage Estate where we started the day early with breakfast at Cafe Maude. You can also start the route in town at the Robertson Tourism Office and transfers from surrounding towns like Montagu, Bonnievale and Swellendam are also available on request.
Our first stop after a scrumptious breakfast was Viljoensdrift Wines, the family-owned wine farm on the banks of the Breede River is well known for their award-winning wines, but also for the Uncle Ben River Boat cruises. A tranquil cruise on the Breede River was the perfect way to kick-off our wine adventure. So with a packed picnic basket, a beautiful bottle (or two) of Chardonnay and massive excitement we boarded the Uncle Ben II. The stunning views paired with a yummy cheese platter and fine wine make for an exceptionally unique and memorable experience. In what felt like an instant, our hour long cruise had come to an end and after contemplating a picnic on Viljoendrift‘s landscaped lawn overlooking the River (the jungle gym and long stretched out lawns make it a great place for family outings), we chose to get as much variation in our day as possible, so we hopped-on to the Wine Valley Safari bus awaiting us and moved to our next exciting location.
With the windows of our safari bus open, we cruised to our next location with the wind in our hair enjoying the breeze and beautiful views. Van Loveren‘s tasting hall lives up to every expectation of a household name brand and Schoone Oordt’s chosen house wine. A relaxed and down-to-earth vibe prevails inside with friendly and inviting staff who know their product very well. Van Loveren is constant expanding brand and their tasting hall is the best place to get familiar with all that they offer – that’s right, Van Loveren recently added whiskey (the eight year old Scottish Cousin is a firm favourite), ciders, beers and gin to their range. With hiking and MTB trails, the stunning Christina’s at Van Loveren Restaurant and so many different wine and food pairings available to taste you can honestly spend an entire day here.
Once again we chose to drain as much out of the day as we possible, so after a gin tasting and the Christina Master Wine Tasting we hopped-on our Wine Valley Safari bus and hopped-off at our next stop, Excelsior Wine Estate. The Graze @ Excelsior Deli is a local favourite offering scrumptious baked goods, traditional breads and roosterbrood sandwiches. Children can play safely on the jungle gyms or run around on the large expanse of lawn – making it another great venue for family outings. The tasting room overlooks the farm dam and here you can even blend and label your own bottle of wine. Excelsior Wine Estate has a wide variety of wines from which everyone from novice wine drinkers to wine connoisseurs can find something they’ll love.
Our final stop was Zandvliet Wine Estate. We were pleasantly surprised by the sophisticated interiors of the historic Cape Dutch tasting room building. The beautiful lounge area inside is the perfect place for small, private functions (and wine tasting, of course) and the outside old porch creates a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere where multiple bottles of wine (or just a wine tasting) can be enjoyed. Our jaws dropped further to the floor as we ducked down to the old cellar where beautiful art displays and age old wines deck the walls of what were once concrete wine tanks. Viewing a bit of the history behind the wines made us appreciate our tastings even more.
Alas, we were well ‘stuffed’ with food and wine and had to end our tour there. We headed back to our starting point, Bon Courage. Our friendly driver, Andy, enthusiastically helped us carry our multiple provisions (which we’d happily collected throughout our tour) to our own vehicle and made sure we had all our belongings (such a thoughtful tour guide, thank you Andy, you were superb). If it’s the best variety of wine tasting experiences you are looking for we highly recommend you do the popular Golden Mile Route on a Saturday.
If you’d like to try something a little off the beaten track, the Klaasvoogds Meander Route is a superb option. With stops at olive farms, a lavendar farm, spa and numerous prestigious wine estates such as Kranskop Winery, Fraai Uitzicht and Rietvallei Wine Estate this route offers a unique experience in the Robertson Wine Valley.
We’re so excited to share this beautiful wine valley with our guests and with the option of transferring straight from Swellendam it can only make for an unforgettable highlight to your stay at Schoone Oordt. We can highly recommend booking the Wine Valley Safari hop-on-hop-off bus as your mode of transportation for your next wine adventure in Robertson – it’s a carefree and fun way to enjoy one of South Africa’s most beautiful Wine Valley’s. Thanks a mill to Wine Valley Safari for hosting us and for a day well spent – we thoroughly enjoyed our tour and can’t wait to see your new business thrive.