Tag Archives: vergelegen wine estate

Exploring the Estate of Vergelegen in Somerset West (2017-07-01) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 30 MAY 2018

A visit to Somerset West’s historic Vergelegen estate is always a treat, thanks to its selection of stunning restaurants, the elegant wine tasting venue, the beautiful (and functional) gardens, its rolling lawns and tree rich grounds, the fascinating history on show in the preserved manor house and library, and of course, the 300 year old Camphor and other ‘Champion’ trees dotted about the estate.

I have of course written about Vergelegen and its long history before, but it is worth keeping in mind that this wine producing estate (now owned and maintained through the deep pockets of Anglo American) was founded all the way back in 1700 – and indeed a large part of the farm’s original grounds served as the base for the eventual 1822 founding of Somerset West itself.

In other words, Vergelegen is very much integral to the story of the Helderberg region.

Surprisingly, the estate is quite child friendly these days, with a great play area and of course the large open lawns all making for a very welcome kid distraction for those times when you just want to sit back with a glass of wine (or warm cup of coffee) in hand, take in a deep breathe of crisp outdoor air, and enjoy the spectacular landscape views on offer.

One such opportunity arose just before the holidays last year, when we met up with Miguel, Retha, and her folks for a cup of coffee and a stroll around the estate – something my two little girls very much enjoyed once I told them about the bridge that needed crossing and the magical tree cave that needed finding on the other side.

They were rather pleased then when this turned out to be entirely true for a change.

Vergelegen’s well maintained grounds are always such a pleasure to explore, and indeed, whether you are interested in wine, art, fine landscapes, or even historic buildings, there is pretty much always something for everyone at this very enchanting estate.

Related Link: Vergelegen Wine Estate | Wikipedia | Somerset West

Breakfast at Vergelegen Stables with Chantelle (2016-02-25) Photo Gallery 20 MAR 2016

So as I just mentioned, Terrance, Ryan and myself got together for a particularly enjoyable breakfast outing to the historic Vergelegen Wine Estate in Somerset West.

It was a gorgeous sunny day, the food was fantastic, and the views spectacular.

So needless to say, Chantelle was super jealous and thus literally a week later, I found myself enjoying breakfast there once more.

IMG_20160225_102027 chantelle lotter at the stables restaurant at vergelegen wine estate in somerset west

Which really isn’t a bad thing at all!

Related Link: Vergelegen Wine Estate

Vergelegen Breakfast with Terrance and Ryan (2016-02-17) Photo Gallery 20 MAR 2016

It has been a good couple of years now since Terrance left our sunny shores for a life of teaching English in Japan, and while I have been over there once so far for his wedding, I pretty much rely on his annual(ish) visit to South Africa to catch up and learn all about his interesting life in the Land of the Rising Sun.

IMG_20160217_095041 ryan lotter and terrance brown at the stables restaurant at vergelegen wine estate

So as you might imagine, I was quite pleased to discover that he dropped into the country for a couple of days in February, so much so that I immediately suggested getting together for a nice breakfast at Vergelegen Wine Estate – an experience that he was instantly onboard for!

IMG_20160217_105154 craig lotter and terrance brown at vergelegen wine estate

Established in 1700, the historic and beautiful Vergelegen Wine Estate in Somerset West is a must visit if you’ve never been there before, and it was a great treat for both Ryan and Terrance, neither of whom had been there before. We enjoyed a leisurely and delicious breakfast (complemented with extremely expensive water I might add), before shuffling along and taking in the sights of the estate.

(I did my best to keep up on my crutches, but eventually I set the two free to go and explore while I worked my way slowly back to the car park!)

IMG_20160217_110745 ryan and terrance standing in front of the museum house at vergelegen wine estate in somerset west

Following that, the three of us next headed over to Somerset Mall, where we caught an afternoon screening of Deadpool – which was surprisingly good. They really, really captured the essence of the character for the movie, with Ryan Reynolds proving to be the perfect actor for the role. (That sequence of him punching Colossus literally had me wiping away the tears of laughter!)

The movie done, I next convinced them that going for an ice cream with Chantelle would be a great idea, so after a bit of a wait at home for her to finish up with work, the three of us left and headed out to Gordon’s Bay beach.

Only… the wind had picked up a bit in the meantime, meaning that in the end we swapped out soft serve on the beach for ice cream in the safety of the Spur – which turned out perfectly fine as well!

IMG_20160217_155545 ryan lotter and terrance brown at gordon's bay spur

And yes, once again I took many, many pictures at the beautiful Vergelegen Estate:

Related Link: Vergelegen Wine Estate

Wedding Anniversary Lunch at The Stables at Vergelegen (2014-11-07) Photo Gallery 07 NOV 2015

Today, 7/11/2015 marks the sixth year that Chantelle and I have been married to one another. However, seeing as today is a Saturday, Chantelle is working, and I have a slightly sick Emily to worry about, means that other than maybe a nice coffee get together during her split shift, we probably aren’t going to really celebrate this one.

Last year was however a completely different story though.

IMG_20141107_150446 food at the stables bistro restaurant at vergelegen wine estate

Lunch at The Stables bistro restaurant on the beautiful Vergelegen wine estate?

IMG_20141107_162052 chantelle lotter at the stables bistro restaurant at vergelegen wine estate

Yes please! :)

Related Link: The Stables at Vergelegen Wine Estate

Breakfast at Vergelegen Wine Estate (2015-07-06) Photo Gallery 16 JUL 2015

Our first day of our official July week of holiday saw Chantelle and I take a day for ourselves, leaving the kids in school while we got to gallivant around. Sure, we did have some great coffee at the Daily Coffee in Somerset West and installed the kids sandbox back home, but the best part of the day was actually the morning, which we decided to kick off with an impromptu breakfast at the historic (and now Anglo American owned) Vergelegen Wine Estate.

IMG_20150706_121235 chantelle and craig lotter at vergelegen wine estate in somerset west

If you aren’t familiar with this historic wine estate, Wikipedia gives us this (much less lyrical than Vergelegen’s own website of course!):

“The estate was settled in 1700 by an early Governor of the Cape, Willem Adriaan van der Stel. Van der Stel used the resources of his employer, the Dutch East India Company, to improve the estate, and in 1706 a number of free burghers at the Cape drew up a formal memorandum complaining about van der Stel’s illegal activities. This memorandum contains some of the earliest images and descriptions of the estate. As a consequence of the free burghers’ complaints, van der Stel and other officials were sacked, and three-quarters of the original Vergelegen estate was sold off, drastically reducing the size of the property.

In 1798 the estate was sold to the Theunissen family, who planted extensive vineyards and concentrated on the production of grapes until an infestation by the phylloxera louse in the late nineteenth century wiped out most of Vergelegen’s grape production.

In 1917 Vergelegen was purchased by the millionaire mine magnate Sir Lionel Phillips as a present for his wife Florence. She remodeled aspects of the house and planted the magnificent gardens, but removed the few remaining acres dedicated to grapes.

IMG_20150706_123459 vergelegen wine estate in somerset west

Following the death of Lady Phillips the estate was purchased by the Barlow family, and Charles “Punch” Barlow oversaw the reintroduction of limited planting of grapes. However, by the time Anglo American bought the property from Barlow’s son in 1987, no grapes were being cultivated.

Anglo American concentrated on the production of high-quality wines from Vergelegen. The first vintage under the company’s stewardship was harvested in 1992. Within ten years the estate was recognised as producing some of South Africa’s finest wines, with the cabernet sauvignon blend Vergelegen, single-vineyard cabernet sauvignon Vergelegen V and semillon/sauvignon blanc blend Vergelegen White regularly achieving a maximum five stars in John Platter’s annual Guide to South African Wines.

Vergelegen’s Cape Dutch house, gardens and winery are open to visitors. Interesting features of any visit include a trip up the mountain to the winery plant, and a walk under the vast Camphor laurels (Cinnamomum camphora) planted by Willem van der Stel in about 1705 which have been declared a protected provincial heritage site. The winery is uniquely shaped in an octagon form that is mirrored on the vineyard’s labels.”

IMG_20150706_105052 breakfast at vergelegen wine estate in somerset west

Breakfast was of course amazing (always is – as is the lunch which we enjoyed on our wedding anniversary last year!), but this was the first time that we took the time out to wander around the estate, visit the museum house, ponder over the slavery issue highlighted by the fact that this was once one of the largest slave populations outside the Cape Town castle, stroll over the bridge and through the small forest, and take in the beautiful, ancient and majestic trees dotted around the estate.

IMG_20150706_124645 chantelle lotter in the forest at vergelegen wine estate in somerset west

What a truly enjoyable morning out and about, and certainly a great way to start one’s leave! :)

Related Link: http://www.vergelegen.co.za/