As experienced by Honey, Mom of two and side-kick of Sometimes Grumpy Husband (aka SGH)
After a very successful ‘Mom and Dad’s Big Getaway’ (which you can read about in part 1 of our Plett blog here) SGH and I re-joined our six-foot-tall teenaged daughter and seven-year-old f u s s y eater who had been spending quality time with Granny and Grandad at our rented beach house. I come from a long line of ‘sea and surf’ people so we spent the morning looking for pansy shells on Lookout beach and watching the sun rise over the sea – what a magical way to start the day. Now it was time to do some more winederlusting!
This wine farm was high on SGH’s must-visit list because he knew that their 2015 MCC Blanc de Blanc was the winner in the Amorim Cap Classique challenge (the first producer to win this prestigious award outside of the traditional Western Cape Winelands) so it was never in doubt that we would be visiting Newstead Winery and Restaurant. Sue and Doug Lund’s approach to wine echoes their ‘small is special’ ethos – each vine is nurtured using organic fertilisers. And because this winery prioritises quality over quantity, they have taken the unusual step of using netting over their vines – a costly measure but one that results in unusually high-quality grapes. This is of course music to the ears of award-winning winemaker, Anton Smal who is responsible for the estate’s award-winning bubbly. The even better news is that because these wines are naturally low in sulphites, you can indulge without the threat of a headache the next day. They are passionate about upskilling people who work on the farm too – a winner on all fronts if you ask me!
All that bubbly tasting was hungry work, so we decided to stop off at Moss and Maple Restaurant for what turned out to be hands down the best brownies ever to pass my lips and pizzas with some serious cheese pull. I can guarantee that a visit here will score you major brownie (pun intended) points with the kids and even a Sometimes Grumpy Husband who literally had to drag seven-year-old f u s s y eater off the playground with evidence of those brownies still visible on his face! Owners John and Naomi Roos have turned a ‘farmstall’ into a place where you can shop, eat, play and enjoy nature – pretty impressive! Even pooches are welcome!
We took a day off from winederlusting at Cairnbrogie Farm which is truly every hiker, biker and horse rider’s dream come true where the breath-taking scenery spans forests as well as coastal cliffs with secret coves. We tried our hand at catch and release fishing – let’s just say that there was room for improvement in this activity, but we earned an A-plus for effort! Fortunately, an immature Jackal Buzzard that had fallen into the water and was hanging from a tree trying to dry himself was a source of great interest for our kids, so Cairnbrogie definitely earned their stamp of approval. This really is a memorable real-life farm experience and the perfect spot for a great cup of coffee with fresh farm milk or a light snack after exploring on bike or foot around this beautiful farm which has access to the sea.
The last wine farm we visited during this year’s APP (Annual Plett Pilgrimage) was Kay & Monty Vineyards. This boutique winery’s first vines were planted in 2004 so a lot of hard work went into their first wine production which released in 2012 but boy oh boy did that hard work pay off – in 2013 their SAV won gold at the Old Mutual Wine Show and their Champu MCC was awarded four out of five stars by Platter’s Guide. According to the grand daughter of the farm’s founders, Steph Legh, Kay & Monty Vineyards is a lasting tribute to her grandparents.
On balmy summer evenings Kay was likely to turn to Monty and conspiratorially suggest a chilled glass of Champu! I think it would make them very happy to see how many families enjoy visiting the farm now – our kids caught tadpoles in the dam while we sat back and listened to live music nibbling on cheesecake which made the Champu sing! There is also a huge indoor venue which would be ideal for a wedding or function.
Sadly our 2020 APP had drawn to a close. After a final body surf, we handed the keys to Xanadu back to the rental agents, Holiday Plett , but there was one last treat before we headed back to reality… Ice Dream Land! This Italian family owned and run authentic trattoria is the pride and joy of Marco and Grazia, their daughter Chiara and her husband Mattia, who make everything using ingredients that they grow or source at the dairy farm next door – even the eggs in the hand-made pasta are from their own chickens. In fact they are so authentically Italian, they refused to put pineapple on our seven-year-old f u s s y eater’s pizza which he still ate and pronounced ‘Yummy!’ – and who needs pineapple when there is a range of magnificent pizzas, platters, o’panuozzi and salads all made with farm fresh ingredients by real Italians? This restaurant is extremely popular because of the quality of all the homemade food so bookings are essential and can be made via a quick WhatsApp to Chiara on 082 448 5795. We did get a little waylaid here with the playground and delicious Gelato made by Mattia but the delay in getting home was well worth it!
We ran out of time but when we come back for APP 2021 we will definitely visit Lodestone. We have it on really good authority that they have some seriously delicious wine and platters plus olive oil that is pressed from the farm. We tried their MCC Rosé at a friend’s house and the strawberry notes were really enticing. I have added their Sauvignon Blanc vertical tasting to the top of our to do list next time.
And for Mom and Dad’s next Big Adventure, we have earmarked The Junction Hotel – a cosy yet minimalist boutique hotel which promises to send us “into deep la la land after a day of exploring and night of splendour”. Doesn’t get cooler than that for a romantic getaway with SGH now does it?
Exploring Plett as a wine route destination was a true joy, one that really should be on your bucket list!
‘Til next time… Honey x
UP FOR GRABS
PLETT WINELANDS FAMILY FUN
Plett really is a family destination with so much to offer. Visit Plett Tourism’s website on www.pletttourism.co.za where you will find more suggestions for activities for all ages