If you’re looking for a perfect weekend destination in the Winelands only an hour from Cape Town city central ‚ head for the Slanghoek Valley. Yes, it is over the mountain and yes I’m sure it’s an hour unless you’re unlucky enough to get swallowed by traffic. And yes it is far enough to feel like you’ve really escaped the gravity of the big city ‚ something not always easy to achieve on arguably the more popular wine areas on the southern side of the Cape Fold Mountains.
I recently spent a weekend at the Slanghoek Mountain Resort which is perfectly situated to make strategic forays to a number of surrounding farms. And don’t be confused by the term resort. Although you can camp (which looks awesome), opt for safari tents, chalets or the newly established luxury wooden cabins (which overlook the farm damn and are nestled against a dramatic backdrop of mountains) it really doesn’t feel like your archetypal resort.
Of the wine farms within easy hitting distance don’t pass up the opportunity to drop in on Slanghoek Winery ‚ the Private Selection Chardonnay is yummy and great value having won Best Value Awards in 2009, 2010 and 2011;Jason’s Hill ‚ try the Shiraz and their flagship red the Merlot. And whatever you do, don’t miss the opportunity of lunch (and tasting) at Opstal, for something different try the Blush 2010 a Syrah/Viognier blend.
One word of warning however, Slanghoek becomes a hard habit to break and every time you have half an excuse you may just find yourself returning to this wonderful secluded corner of the Winelands.