In Their Words
The Giant Periwinkle History & Location
Nestled against Perdekop on the outskirts of the village of Baardskeedersbos sits The Giant Periwinkle wines. Just a stone’s throw from the town of Elim in the southerly Cape Agulhas wine district, we have built our boutique winery on love – a love of good wine!
Pierre established The Giant Periwinkle from small beginnings in rented spaces and hand-crafted labels to where it is: still a fledgling winery but with its own cellar, vineyards and brand new label. Together with his friends and business partners Karen van Helden and Robert Stelzner, The Giant Periwinkle are part of a new wave of winemakers who take bold risks to push the boundaries of flavour and quality. Our efforts pay off – we have seen great success at local wine festivals and boutique bottle stores.
Balance is everything, and we enjoy every moment we have put into establishing our little winery. We enjoy being creative and expressing ourselves while simultaneously ploughing back into the industry and community. We look forward to welcoming you to our Tasting Room located on the small farm, ‘South Cape Vineyards’. Please call ahead to arrange as tastings are offered by appointment only. Friendly dogs welcome.
The Giant Periwinkle Operating Hours
Wine Tasting: available daily, by appointment only.
Please contact De Wet Groenewald to arrange, on 082 465 8350.
All times, prices and facilities listed are subject to change. We recommend checking latest details directly with the farm and pre-booking experiences wherever possible, to avoid disappointment.
The Giant Periwinkle Wine Tasting
At The Giant Periwinkle, we make non-interventionist wines without compromising on quality. The first vines were planted in the wider Elim region in the mid 90’s and the cool climate Baardskeerdersbos terroir certainly presents its challenges, but has also been generous with its rewards. We have grown from a garagiste winery into a boutique winery and specialise in Sauvignon Blanc.
We do not filter our wines, ensuring the flavour profiles are not changed. We also whole bunch ferment with extended skin contact to ensure that natural tannins and flavours are imparted to the wines. We sort our grapes by hand to make sure they are of the highest quality. We also like to use alternative vessels such as clay amphora to make and store our wines.
In addition to our welcoming Tasting Room, visitors can also relax with a glass of wine on our deck, which overlooks a small dam (please note this is weather dependent).
Wine Tasting Prices
Try a selection of our available wines, for R50pp (waived with wine purchases).
The Giant Periwinkle Restaurants
There are no dining facilities at The Giant Periwinkle however there are a limited number of options within a 10-15 minute drive.
The Giant Periwinkle Tours & Activities
Currently The Giant Periwinkle do not offer cellar or farm tours, however periodically offer winemaking experiences. Please contact the farm for further information.
When Lucy Visited
I was utterly charmed by The Giant Periwinkle, so don't be put off by the 'tastings by appointment'. Small and perfectly formed, this is a wonderful one on one tasting experience and I left feeling like our host De Wet was part of the family!
So what makes The Giant Periwinkle stand out?
If you’re not familiar with the term ‘Garagiste’ broadly speaking it’s a French term used to describe “independent, artisan winemakers handcrafting small batches of wine on their own, not yet discovered by the mainstream.” This is how The Giant Periwinkle started and this innovative grass roots style and excitement for wine has since evolved from these humble beginnings into boutique commercial winemaking.
You won’t find many (or any!) major facilities here, such as restaurants or jungle gyms. This is an intimate winery on a small farm, located off the beaten track between Gansbaai and Elim. Here you are welcomed into the family to hear, see and taste for yourself The Giant Periwinkle story through their wines. Pure and passionate craftmanship at its best, in a surprisingly modern and welcoming space with artworks, lush flowerbeds and a serene dam. You could easily while away two hours here!
Getting to The Giant Periwinkle
Firstly, you might be thinking as part of the ‘Agulhas Wine Triangle’, The Giant Periwinkle must be near Cape Agulhas. It’s not. (It’s actually about an hour’s drive west). The rugged and wild Agulhas Wine Region is the most southerly in Africa, spread over quite a vast distance. Whilst TGP is definitely off the beaten track, it sits on a farm called South Cape Vineyards located between Gansbaai, Hermanus and Stanford to the west and the towns of Elim and Bredasdorp to the east. It’s not actually that remote when you look at a map and all these nearby towns offer accommodation. The closest village is Baardskeerdersbos (or B’Bos for short) and it’s also situated near Lomond Wines, making a day of wine hopping easy.
I would follow the directions given from The Giant Periwinkle’s website www.giantperiwinkle.co.za/contact/ to reach the farm, as the turn offs are easy to miss. The drive here was very relaxing – expect rolling pastoral scenery, empty roads, peaceful dams, hills and vines. We saw lots of birds of prey and wildlife.
Once you turn off the main road, you follow a dirt track for a couple of kilometres to the farm itself. The pristine Tasting Room is an old converted stable with grand shutters, painted in traditional Cape Dutch green and white. Inside is bright and welcoming with high ceilings, exposed beams, a showstopping communal tasting table, comfy rattan furniture and quirky pieces of art (scroll down for pics). If you want views, externally you can also climb some stairs to the serene dam. If the weather is calm, here you can also enjoy a wine tasting on the adjacent deck, surrounded by nothing but birdsong and swaying trees.
What About The Wine Tasting?
All tastings are by appointment, so you MUST pre-book by contacting De Wet Groenewald on 082 465 8350. Because of this, you’re likely to be the only ones here but don’t be put off – De Wet was so welcoming. He made it a very personal and informal experience, recounting great stories yet also listening patiently to us and answering all our questions. Such a lovely guy.
As this is a boutique winery, availability of wines varies, however it’s around R50pp to taste whatever is on offer. I loved the fact that De Wet joined in the tasting with us! As each wine was poured, he unfolded The Giant Periwinkle story, piece by piece. What do sun spiders, Shakespeare, whiskey and TGP have in common? Well you’ll just have to visit to hear the reasons first-hand!
Although winemaker Pierre has been honing his craft for years, it was only in 2017 that the first harvest at the farm under the new partnership with Karen van Helden and Robert Stelzner was undertaken. With only 3.5 hectares under vine (mostly Sauvignon Blanc but also Semillon and the most southerly planted commercially farmed Pinotage in the country), they also supplement their grapes from neighbouring farms and Paarl so there’s a wide choice.
In many ways I found several of their wines typical of the region: light and minerally, with flinty yet tropical notes. The flagship 2019 Blanc Fume was a favourite, aged with Russian oak with a beautiful colour and a sweet peach aroma. I also really enjoyed the 2018 Sun Spider Pinotage – rich and smoky with cherries. Each wine has an evocative name and backstory; drinking each felt like exploring a new chapter of a book. These are boutique, handmade and experimental wines which change yearly – for a consumer, so exciting to taste.
A wine farm for real wine lovers, I would definitely leave the kids and non-drinkers at home, come with an open mind, an open heart and just enjoy the ride. You don’t need to understand what boutique winemaking is, or even what wines from the Agulhas region should taste like, as if you are hosted by De Wet you’ll soak up his patient and wise conversation. The setting is gorgeous and uplifting – I left with a smile on my face, more curious than ever about this exciting winemaking corner of South Africa.
Don’t miss a visit to the outside deck, with its glorious views and tranquil sounds of lapping water. So good for the soul. Afterwards, as there is no food on offer at The Giant Periwinkle, continue on to Lomond Wines for a platter – the perfect wine hopping afternoon.