Having a food and wine lover on a road trip means the trip is likely to be interrupted at some stage or another to indulge, or at least enjoy in moderation, either or both of these. This is what happened on a recent road trip to Cape Town with fellow tourism peeps and Geocachers Shefetswe and Erenei. We just left Storms River Village when Shefetswe got a phone call and announced that we were invited for a wine tasting at Packwood Wine Estate between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna. Wine on the Garden Route? Yes, the Plett Winelands consist of 16 wine estates and is the most easterly wine route in South Africa. I've had a chance to visit the biggest one in the area, Bramon, before so it was great to be able to experience what one of the others in the area had to offer.
We were met at Packwood Estate by owner Vicky Gent and Patty Butterworth of Plett Tourism. Packwood started in 1998 as a dairy farm and today has about 950 Jersey cows who happily travers the rolling green hills of the estate. In 2006 they decided to start a vineyard and produced their first wine, the Packwood Sauvignon Blanc, in 2009. They also produce a Pinot Noir and a Pinot Noir MCC, with all three wines on the list for us to taste.
While we enjoyed the beautiful scenic view from the tasting area, Vicky was telling us about the farm and how they only use organic produce in their lunches. Lunch? Did somebody mention lunch? Lunch came in the form of a selection of cheeses made with milk from Packwood's Jersey cows, a crisp garden salads, delectable
home wine estate baked bread, homemade chutneys and preserves. Although Packwood doesn't produce it's own cheese commercially (they supply their milk to a commercial cheese producer though), they do produce cheese for the lunches they serve. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a big wine drinker, but cheese... I love cheese. The one thing to keep in mind if you want to consider Packwood is that it's not one of those commercial wine tasting and lunch venues. I would rather call it a boutique stop for the discerning wine and cheese lover. Something a bit more exclusive and expensive so don't go there if you just want to stuff your face and get your tummy full while quaffing a few glasses of wine.
One of the things to remember when serving food while hosting bloggers, photographers and social media people is that, come hell or high water, photos will be taken when food get served. So don't grab anything before the cameras and phones didn't come out. Here Shefetswe is doing his thing and, while I wait my turn to rearrange, I maar sommer took one of him. And yes, that is an amused Vicky watching the whole process.
|The wine and table with a bit of HDR added made for another great photograph. Something Erenei spotted.|
It wasn't long and our visit to Packwood was over. It does have me a bit more curious about the Plett
Winelands and at some stage I need to come and spend a couple of days in the area and explore a few more of the estates before the world discovers this special little wine route and descend on it en-mass. Because it's going to happen at some stage.