During our weekend in the Robertson Wine Valley, we explored the humble grape any way we could – in a cellar, distilled into spirits, accompanied by music, blended ourselves – and, at Viljoensdrift – on a boat.
The river cruise was something I was most looking forward to from our weekend itinerary – time spent peacefully floating down the Breede River, accompanied by good food and wine. We were expecting a scorcher of a day – at 38 degrees C – but, overhead clouds and a gentle breeze from the river helped keep us reasonably cool. The boat can accommodate 36 people, with a 50 minute cruise costing R60 per adult (booking essential).
As someone who suffers from seasickness, it was lovely being on such a stable vessel, allowing me to simply enjoy out surroundings. We watched birds and ducks, fish leaping out of the water, and lilypads float by, all with a glass of chilled wine in hand.
Guests are encouraged to make their own picnic, with delights from the on-site deli. From charcuterie to an assortment of fresh breads, dips, spreads, preserves and more – we were surprised at how much we could eat in an hour. The house-brand pesto comes highly recommended.
After our cruise, we did an informal wine tasting – included in the cruise price of R60. Viljoensdrift offers three ranges of wines – the premium Cellarmaster’s Selection (from R80 – R120 a bottle), the River Grandeur collection (from R55 – R85 per bottle) and the entry-level Viljoensdrift selection (from R35 – R50 per bottle). The overwhelming favourite was the Villion MCC from the Cellarmaster’s Selection. Made from 100% Chardonnay grapes, it packed a bigger punch than its modest R120 price tag indicated.
If you find yourself in the valley, I’d highly recommend making a stop at Viljoensdrift. Child-friendly, they also have a deck that looks out over the river – which had live music the day we visited – making it the perfect place to spend a few hours, absorbing the views and local wine, of course.