Prince Albert, lies on the southern edge of the Great Karoo, nestling under the magnificent Swartberg Mountains. The Swartberg mountain range are a World Heritage site, part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, boasting the greatest number of plant species, particularly fynbos, in the world.
A brief stay of two days allowed us to discover the following places of interest.
Lazy Lizard 023 541 13790
Good country cooking served by friendly locals. Homemade lemonade with a touch of mint. Take your own wine, with no corkage fee. Plus fee internet access. World famous apple pie, though we never got to taste it.
Vergeet-my-Niet 023 541 1069
Vergeet-my-Niet lives up to its name and is a comfortable self-catering cottage which offers accommodation for a family of four or ideally two couples.
The lounge and kitchen lead onto a grassed garden complete with hammock, comfortable rustic outdoor seating and great braai facilities.
Two Olive Farms
O is for Olive
This farm is situated about 4 kms on a dirt road outside Prince Albert, under new management and has great potential.
On offer are olive tastings and light lunches.
Prince Albert Olive Oil 023 5411 687
Situated more centrally in Hope Street, were father and son team of Fred and Hein Badenhorst realized olives were a natural fit for the unique micro climate.
The extra virgin olive comes in a striking yellow tin and has great peppery aftertaste. Also available at Woolworths.
Hein and his cousin, Adi Badenhorst also produce wine under the AA Badenhorst Wines and Secateurs label in the Swartland appellation.
SoetKaroo Wine Estate 023 541 1768
A must visit is the SoetKaroo Wine Estate, which is a hectare town farm situated in the middle of Prince Albert, opposite the Swartberg Hotel and run by Susan and Herman Perold.
We met the energetic and passionate winemaker, Susan, who has converted the garage into a cellar & here she handcrafts the four cultivars grown on the piece of land at the back of their Cape Dutch cottage, a Red Muscat d’Alexandrie, Red Muscat de Frontignan, Petit Verdot and Touriga Nacional.
Loved the Suzie se Soetez, which is a blend of ‘left overs’ from all of the above – cheeky and delicious, with no two vintages ever tasting the same!
Leaving Prince Albert on the way to Meiringspoort you come across three wine farms. The two we visited were Bergwater and Fernskloof.
Bergwater 023 541 1703
The largest of the wine farms in the Great Karoo, Bergwater is situated in the Prince Albert Valley, the second farm on the outside Prince Albert. Known internationally for their wines having them served in the business class of KLM and also at the royal wedding of Prince Albert of Monaco.
The Shiraz reserve was the best on offer, with good red fruits.
This is the first wine farm, some 18 kms outside Prince Albert. Fernsfkloof is a small family run farm, whose wines are produced from organically grown grapes. Winemaker, Diederik le Grange presented the wines and most enjoyed were the Shiraz/Merlot 2012, which is well rounded and good for every day drink and the Chardonnay 2013, which is briefly oaked and has good complexities
Ladismith (Route 62)
Mymering Guest House and Hillock Wines 028 551 1548
Beautifully situated luxury suites and a self-catering cottage on this working farm, 10 kms outside Ladismith, Mymering is nestled in the Dwarsrivier valley amongst wine lands and the towering Towerkop Mountains.
Run by husband and wife team, Andy and Penny Hillock, Mymering offers
walking, hiking and mountain biking trails, which allows one to explore and enjoy the many beauties of the farm.
The option of accommodation packages are bed and breakfast, self-catering or the choice of a sumptuous three course dinner served on the terrace in candle light and hosted by Andy and Penny. The dinner is prepared by Penny and her staff and it doesn’t get better than that outside of Cape Town.
Penny’s cookbook is expected out in September.