Franschhoek, just a 50-minute drive from Cape Town, is famous for its beautiful landscapes and great vineyards. With many fantastic places to explore in the region, Eikehof Wine Estate doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. It’s a small, family-run winery that produces excellent wine and cheese platters. Most importantly, though, our visit there felt very personal and special. So, for me, Eikehof was a standout in Franschhoek.
A family legacy
The estate has an extensive history that goes back more than a hundred years. Since 1903, the Malherbe family has lovingly cared for this special place. Today, François Malherbe, the fourth-generation winemaker, carries on the family tradition, making wines in the same cellar that has seen generations of dedication and passion.
Eikehof: The yard of Oaks
Translated from Afrikaans, Eikehof means ‘yard of Oaks.’ The estate lives up to its name, with giant oak trees surrounding the property. The main building and tasting room stay cool under these old oaks, so its a lovely place to visit especially on a hot day.
The wines of Eikehof Estate
Eikehof Wine Estate may be small, but it’s got a great variety of wines spread across its 23 hectares. You can find everything from a crisp Sauvignon Blanc to a bold Cabernet Sauvignon. Eikehof also proudly hosts the oldest block of Sémillon vines in South Africa. Sémillon is a unique grape that produces both dry and sweet white wines.
Wine tasting at Eikehoff Estate
We had a great time tasting wines on the shaded outdoor patio. The views stretch across the vineyards to the Drakenstein mountains in the distance.
Despite its size, this small estate surprisingly offers a diverse range of wine tasting options and platters.
- Try 3 to 6 wines from Eikehof’s selection, ranging in price from R75 / $4 to R150 / $ 8
- The Cape Ruby tasting, a port-style red wine using Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz grapes – R40 / $2
- The Premium Semillon tasting. With only 550 bottles made, this exclusive tasting is from the oldest Semillon vineyard in South Africa, dated 1902 – R100 / $5.5
Platters at Eikehof
We just had to get one of their delicious looking cheese and meat platters, too. The cheese was so tasty that after the first bite, I asked our host where it was from. That’s when I found out about Dalewood fromage, a cheesery in the wineland area. The platter came with salami along with South African favorites biltong and droëwors. Biltong and droëwors are dried and cured meats that South Africans love as snacks. The closest thing I can think of is American beef jerky (but don’t say that to a big biltong fan!) – Cost: R290 / $15.
Below are some more platters that Eikehof presents:
- Cheese platter: A selection of Dalewood Cheeses: Chilli Brie, Fig Brie, Camembert and a mature Cheddar – R190 / $10
- Cheese & fruit platter: A selection of Dalewood cheeses served with delicious seasonal fresh fruit. – R290 / $15
- Cheese, meat & fruit platter: A selection of Dalewood cheeses served with salami as well as traditional South-African biltong, droëwors, accompanied with delicious seasonal fresh fruit – R380 / $20
Planning your visit to Eikehof
In conclusion, if you enjoy cozy, small wineries with a personal feel, Eikehof Wine Estate is a must-visit. Don’t miss their special Semillon tasting, a unique and exclusive experience from South Africa’s oldest vineyard of this type. You can book your spot online or get in touch with them directly at (+27) 83 232 6223. Note: Eikehof lies on the PINK-line of the Franschhoek Wine Tram.
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