Wine with heart: Groote Post, the darling of Darling

Wine with heart: Groote Post, the darling of Darling
Nicolette Waterford

Nicolette Waterford

The name Groote Post is derived from the farm’s original status as the largest guarding post in the area, set up to protect cattle and sheep from stock thieves.
When the Pentz family bought the historic Groote Post and neighbouring farms, they were dairy farmers and winemaking was not on their wish list. In fact, the Pentz family had been in the dairy business since 1904, when Peter’s grandfather founded the Union Dairy in Cape Town. Fortunately for the wine industry, dairy farming is as terroir “driven” as the wine industry.

Not least is the requirement for a cool climate (just like wine) and fertile soils to produce healthy grazing for milk cows. Groote Post farm, in a verdant valley set back from the barren Cape West Coast coastal fynbos, was the perfect dairy farm. The Pentz family were unaware at the time of the rich wine-growing potential in the hills above. However, Peter Pentz is a man of vision and by 1992, after extensive soil testing of the entire 5 300-hectare farm, they identified the best areas and aspects of the farm and during the 1990s planted 117 hectares of noble cultivars. The rest as they say is history!

The Pentz family recently launched their Kapokberg Vineyard Selection range. This is the name for the Reserve wines in the portfolio. The other two ranges in the wine collection include The Old Man’s Blend range and the Groote Post varietal range.

A visit to Groote Post is a treat. Don’t miss out on a meal at legendary Hilda’s Kitchen boasting great Cape cuisine, or enjoy a farm drive. What I love about Hilda’s Kitchen is that the wines are available at cellar door prices and they cater for kids too. Hilda’s Kitchen is open for lunch Wednesday to Sunday (booking essential). Farm drives are offered from Monday to Sunday starting at 10am, bookings essential, 24 hours in advance. Cost: R120 per adult and R50 for children under 12.

The Farm Drive in the winery’s game vehicle affords visitors the opportunity to take in the splendour of their 2000-hectare game camp. Visitors can spot the game to which Groote Post is home, namely: Eland, Kudu, Gemsbok, Bontebok, Springbok, Red Hartebeest, Ostrich, Black Wildebeest as well as Quaggas. For those more inclined towards flora than fauna, one will appreciate the farm’s conservation of natural vegetation, including the highly endangered Swartland Granite Renosterveld, Swartland Shale Renosterveld and Atlantis Sand Fynbos.

The Groote Post Renosterveld makes up 4.7% of South Africa’s total area under this type of vegetation. The drive continues through the Groote Post vineyards – including a breathtaking view of Table Mountain from the top vineyard on the Kapokberg – and, of course, to complement the experience, a glass of wine (and other refreshments) is a pre-requisite as you soak up the glory of nature.

Groote Post is only an hour’s drive from Cape Town and in addition to a wide range of award-winning wines, Hilda’s Kitchen’s superb culinary experience and Farm Drives through the private game camp and vineyards, Groote Post also offers:

  • Cheese platters at the cellar
  • Picnics in summer (to be ordered a full day in advance from the cellar)
  • A child-friendly area with a jungle gym and rolling lawns
  • Spectacular views of the Atlantic coast and Table Mountain
  • Nature walks and bird-watching in the hide

Being part of the famous West Coast spring flower route and a member of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative, Groote Post also holds much appeal for environmentalists.

* For more information, call 022 492 2825, send an email to  wine@grootepost.co.za, or visit www.grootepost.co.za.