Open 7 days a week | 09h00 – 17h00 (last entry at 16h00) | Entrance R10 (€1)
R45, Simondium, 7670, South Africa | Tel: + 27 (0) 84 275 1243
Our Wine Pick | Babylonstoren Chardonnay & Nebuchadnezzar
When the warm, dry winds announcing the arrival of Summer sweep over the tabletop of the mountain, there is only one thing we want to go and do:
Go outside, sit in a green garden, and sip on both the sun and a delicious bottle of wine.
And apparently, we’re not the only sun + garden + wine enthusiasts out there. Huh, who would have thunk it? As if reading the minds of all the people, Babylonstoren, which directly translated from Afrikaans means the ‘Tower of Babel’, houses a secret-garden style paradise just 60kms outside of the Mother City.
It’s likely you’ve seen the spaces and places of Babylonstoren taking over trendy blogs, Cape Town guides and wedding pictures. Hidden just off the wine route’s easily accessible R44, this Cape Dutch farm is a whitewashed haven, housing the original 1777 manor house, a farm yard (with roosters and donkeys and goats oh my!), a hotel, a spa, two restaurants (Babel has easily and very quickly entered onto every foodie’s must-eat list), an orchard, and our favourite addition – a beautifully manicured vineyard estate. It’s all just calling out for visitors to close their eyes and bathe in the sunlight, isn’t it? If you’re interested in learning more about the flora and fauna that’s out and about, you’re welcome to book a daily garden tour that starts at 10h00. Or you can just explore the cacti forest and press your bare feet onto the soft mint-carpeted paddocks like we did.
One of the newest (and our favourite) treats Babylonstoren has to offer is the wine collection. Considering the fact that the farm only started producing wine for public sale in 2011, their range is small, but already steadily growing. Priced at a mid-to-upper range bracket, it’s definitely more of a ‘treat yourself or someone’ wine. If you’d like to get the experience of the wines but aren’t ready to commit, every day at 12h00, Babylonstoren caters to all, offering a guided cellar tour and wine tasting at R100 (€8) per person.
During our tasting, our winning choice was the signature Chardonnay (yes, living in Burgundy for 9 months does make you biased to the local show horse). The aromas are layered, and made us reminisce about butterscotch and lemon candies handed to us by our mom’s during church mass back in the day. Mmmm, nostalgia can be delicious. The close second was the newest and very intriguingly-titled Nebukadnesar (you try pronounce it). The name is founded in the most famous king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, and comprises all five classic Bordeaux varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot. It’s a mouthful both in name and flavour, but it’s a great example of what South African new world winemaking is all about – the delicate art of blending.
Without a doubt, Babylonstoren is easily one of our favourite wine estates in the Western Cape. Wait, probably in the whole of South Africa. You know what? Probably the world.