Agulhas Wine Triangle

Written by Daléne Fourie

Languishing on a beach, watching the clouds pass overhead, with only the promise of cold white wine and a luxurious seaside cottage to retire to, one might be forgiven for overlooking the actual WILDNESS of the Cape. So wild that the Portuguese, while trying to gain access to land, wrote epic poems and legends about the Titan, Adamastor. According to Portuguese poet Luiz Vaz de Camoes he was turned into the jagged mountain at the Southernmost tip of Africa as punishment for coveting a nymph. Doomed for all eternity to remain locked in stone, raging with all the power of the wind, sea, and rain, at whoever dared approach these shores. Kind of like that ominous drumming that draws you into the Jumanji game. (I’m sorry, it’s all I’m hearing writing this.) Back in the day, a trip to where the oceans meet was much more than a leisurely cruise along the coast it was an epic trek – the level of ease we now enjoy, a testament to the people who came before us.

Given the context, you can understand our fascination with this forbiddingly idyllic place and the people who live here. The Agulhas Wine Triangle, as they call it, and more recently the title of a non-profit company established in 2019 to showcase the area for all its bounty, wine chief amongst these. The rich biodiversity of flourishing flora, abundant birdlife, protected wetlands, and great white sharks roaming the ocean. Are all inherent to the unique expressions certain grape varieties adopt here. The custodians of these grapes, a handful of intrepid wineries, ten to be exact. Including Black Oystercatcher Wines, Ghost Corner, Land’s End, Strandveld Vineyards, The Giant Periwinkle, and Trizanne Signature Wines from the Elim wine ward; Sijnn Wines from Malgas; Olivedale Private Vineyards from Swellendam; Lomond Wines from Cape Agulhas; and The Drift Estate from Napier.

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Syrah from the Southernmost tip of Africa