Just 1 hours’ drive north of Cape Town, Cloof Wine Estate sits at the end of a 5 kilometre long scenic dirt road, lined with vineyards, cattle and prolific birdlife.
Our wines are known for their rich, bold flavours and we are one of only 50 wine producers in South Africa recognized by the WWF as Biodiversity Conservation Champions.
Located 60km north of Cape Town, the charming West Coast hamlet of Darling, Western Cape is a tiny farming town situated 25 kms inland from Yzerfontein Beach. The town was named after Sir Charles Henry Darling, the British Governor who came to the Cape in 1851.
Historically a dairy-producing area, Darling is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom and is dubbed ‘The Flower of the West Coast’. A place of raw beauty, here you can escape the city for a breath of fresh country air amongst rolling farmlands and grazing cattle. During the spring months of August and September, you can also admire the spectacular kaleidoscope of colours that bloom with the area’s iconic wildflowers.
An easy drive north from Cape Town, Hello Darling, headed by Darling Tourism, helps visitors find their way to all the attractions the region has to offer, including the handful of wine farms that form the boutique Darling Wine Route.
Founded in 1853, Darling has a long history of winemaking – old bush vines and heritage architecture are common. This history makes the Darling Wine Route a must-see, with illustrations of iconic historical buildings and cellars often appearing on the wine labels.
Old bush vines are generally over 35 years old, mostly untrellised and unirrigated, meaning the roots dig deeper into the soil for water. These more established vines produce grapes that are noticeably smaller, yet pack an incredible fruit punch. Old bush vines are often referred to as a truer expression of the vineyard site and are both balanced and of incredible quality.
Darling’s diverse soils, temperate climate and nautical position just a few kilometres inland from the Atlantic Coast contribute to the unique profile of the grapes in the area. Signature Darling varieties include Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc, however also popular are red and white blends, old vine Chenin Blanc, Pinotage, Chardonnay, Merlot, plus combinations which produce bubbly Cap Classique.
Darling wine farms historically tended to produce large quantities of grapes, however a recent shift in focus has seen an increasing number of farms move towards smaller, more premium wine production.
What are the best things to do in Darling? In addition to exploring heritage buildings, a small selection of dining outlets and quaint shops, the farmlands and winelands surrounding Darling are picturesque and are loved by cyclists who explore the area on two wheels before conveniently ending at the popular Darling Brewery.
In addition to the brewery (South Africa’s first carbon-neutral craft beer brewery!), Darling is also notable for its seasonal festivals and proximity to nearby national parks, beaches and cultural centres, making it an ideal day trip or weekend getaway.
While the accommodation options are limited in Darling itself, there is a small selection of quaint guest houses and B&Bs, designed to immerse you in the relaxed country atmosphere.
For more information on Darling, please refer to: www.hellodarling.org.za/.