The folks at Waterkloof Wine Estate in Somerset West want their guests to connect with nature. The wine you drink, they want you to know where it comes from. Their pride lies not just in making good wine, but in how it’s made. To illustrate this to their guests, they offer what they call the Circle of Life Biodynamic Tour.
You probably think this tour will be the same as at other wine estates do: the winemaker talking and you watching. Not at Waterkloof! For starters, the tour is two hours long. That should suggest something. During this time, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the farm and take part in an amazing lineup of activities.
The tour shows how biodynamic agriculture is done (that’s farming in tune with nature, kind of like organic but more so). When farm manager Christiaan Loots and his team took over the land, it was damaged and the vines infected. They have reconstructed it and turned it to the masterpiece of a wine estate it is today. Since then, they are more than careful with the methods they use. Percheron horses do the ploughing instead of tractors. They also help out with spraying and harvesting.
On Waterkloof’s Circle of Life Biodynamic Tour, you’ll meet their new brood of compost-making chicks. They’ll give you the inside scoop on how they produce their very own 100% natural fertiliser and do without toxic pesticides and herbicides. Don’t be surprised when they ask you to stick your hands into the earthworm farm. This tour is a pretty reasonable R100 pp. If you choose to upgrade your experience and include a wine tasting and Waterkloof Platter in their tasting lounge, a cost of R250 pp is payable.
Waterkloof has also introduced a Tour With Us option. This is a more exclusive version of the biodynamic tour. They take you to the wine cellar, give you an informative wine tasting, and then treat you to a two-course lunch at the estate’s Eat Out Top 10 restaurant. This tour costs R520 pp.
Waterkloof offers other tours too. These include Guided Walks, Ride With Us and Bird’s Eye View excursions. These range from R520 to R10 500 pp. Before you gasp with shock, the R10 500 option involves you being up in the sky. Let’s just say you’ll be in for the ride of a lifetime!
All tours must be booked in advance. Contact Zandri from Waterkloof for all information regarding dates, and terms and conditions.
We love Waterkloof so much, we put them on the cover of Cape ETC Magazine! You can get your copy now at Exclusive Books and CNA.
Photography courtesy Waterkloof Wines