Escape to the beautiful Overberg

Brian Berkman recently travelled to apple and wine country in the Overberg region to experience true Cape farm hospitality at Paul and Nicky Wallace’s property in the Elgin Valley. Paul Wallace Wines offers a tranquil getaway for anyone looking for a farm break close to Cape Town, and is a special treat for wine lovers.

Escape to the beautiful Overberg
The apple orchards on Paul Wallace Wines‘ 25ha property have been largely replaced with vineyards. The farm‘s hilly terrain provides the ideal terroir for wine production, according to Nicky Wallace. Brian Berkman照片:Brian Berkman
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The Elgin Valley, situated close to Grabouw in the Western Cape’s Overberg region, has long been associated with fruit production, and its apple orchards are renowned.

然而,在2000年代初,由于苹果价格低,谷中的较小的苹果种植者发现自己挣扎。一些种植者用葡萄酒葡萄将他们的苹果园重新装修,而其他种植物则将其性质销售给更大的农民。

Nicky Wallace well remembers a comment made by her husband, Paul, as they drove through Elgin on their honeymoon trip to the Transkei in 1987. It was a comment that would plant the seed for their future life.

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“He turned to me and said, ‘This is the best place to plant wine grapes’. He was a viticulturist at Stellenbosch Farmers’ Winery and I was working as a Woolworths wine and grocery buyer.”

十六年后,这对夫妇在高原地区的一个小苹果农场的眼睛上才出售。

“We faxed through an offer to purchase, and before we knew it we’d bought the place,” Wallace recalls.

在25Ha,他们太小,他们太小了,苹果制作的巨大收入,但农场的陡峭山庄是葡萄酒葡萄的理想选择,所以他们拔出了奶奶史密斯和金黄美味的果园,种植了Sauvignon Blanc,Malbec和Pinot没人。

“2016年,我们种植了我们的第一个霞多丽和赤霞珠葡萄藤。Malbec Vineyard正在进行延期,这将使我们种植面积高达12Ha。

“What we’ll plant on the remaining 4ha of arable land is still hotly debated at the dinner table! The cattle and chickens graze there in the meantime,” she says.

根据华莱士,尤其是约翰内斯堡的餐馆,是他们的主要葡萄酒买家。但由于作为Covid-19锁定法规的一部分引入的酒精销售的零星禁令,许多餐馆被迫关闭。

“It has been an extremely tough time for us and for the industry as a whole. We’ve managed to survive because we run a very lean operation, by which I mean we do almost everything ourselves,” she says.

Elgin Valley亮点
To further diversify their income on the small farm, the Wallaces run an agritourism operation comprising three cottages: two two-bedroomed cottages (R1 600/cottage/night) and one one- bedroomed cottage (R900/cottage/night). Weekend rates increase to R2 000 and R1 200 respectively.

The self-catering cottages are well equipped with good-quality kitchen utensils and glassware. There is also a full range of the estate’s wines in each cottage with a QR code to scan, should guests want to purchase any.

这三只小屋位于另一个小屋附近,是一个由一组街区预订的理想选择,特别是因为它们是由草坪和一个大的阴影树。

除了用丈夫跑床和小屋,华莱士还椅子埃尔金·格拉博鲁沃旅游,所以热衷于谈谈山谷的许多活动。

“You must try the zip line adventure,” she says, and points out new eating places at Oak Valley Estate and Paul Cluver. “I had a delicious meal at the Hickory Shack the other day, and there’s a fabulous new ‘steampunk’ clock at the Railway Market.”

配有舒适
庄园的宠物提供轻松,家常的感觉。两个大型黑色拉布拉多犬,安格斯和贝基,是第一个迎接抵达的客人,而斯普林斯·西班牙赛,Benji也不远。还有一个叫做尼尔森和母鸡的鸡舍,包括Potchefstroom Koekoek和Boschveld鸡。

The cottages offer thoughtful touches, such as a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers and farm-fresh eggs and seasonal fruit as a complimentary gift. Tap water is supplied by the farm dams, but 5ℓ of drinking water is also provided in each cottage.

两卧室小屋,Penrith和Tralee酒店每间客房均配有两间卧室,一个带一张大号床,另外一张特大号床,可分为两张单人床。

共用浴室配有带淋浴,卫生间和便携式壁炉的休息室,带封闭单元的壁炉和带座位的开放式小厨房。

The kitchenette is equipped with a four-plate hob, a microwave oven, and a fridge with a small freezer compartment.

A built-in braai outside is deep enough to enable you to bake bread or pizza as well. Wood, charcoal and firelighters are all supplied, along with self-catering essentials such as salt, pepper, tea, coffee and milk.

尽管有农场信号助推器,但客人可以免费提供免费(有效)Wi-Fi连接,但手机接待并不是最好的。

秃鹰和蓝色起重机
The hill on which the farm is situated is short but steep, so provides a good cardiovascular workout, and to walk around the hill-top dam early in the morning while the valley is still shrouded in mist is a special treat. A big tree on an island in the dam attracts large numbers of birds, including buzzards.

“When the grapes are nearly ripe, we hang aluminium streamers in the vineyards, hoping that the reflecting light will keep the birds from eating too many grapes,” says Wallace.

“Also, come sunset, look out for a pair of blue cranes that nest on the island in the dam at night. We call them Victoria and Albert.”

她补充说,谷物在葡萄园之间种植,这也吸引了该地区的鸟类。

Even if you are not an avid wine drinker, to be in the company of the grower, winemaker and marketer is a special treat, especially considering the personable nature of the hosts.

“These are challenging times,” says Wallace. “But, thank heavens, we’re in one of the prettiest areas, and it’s just an hour from Cape Town.

“我们在葡萄酒和住宿中拥有优质产品,我们为他们都为他们感到骄傲。竞争很凶,但就像一个整体的埃尔金山谷一样,有一些我们相信的东西就是很好的。“

访问paulwallacewines.co.za..

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