Things To Do in Cathedral PeakCathedral Peak Wine Estate
Where? Cathedral Peak Wine Estate, Cathedral Peak, Drakensberg, KwaZulu Natal
When? Open for wine tasting:
Tuesday to Friday from 09h00 to 15h30.
Saturday from 09h30 to 13h00.
Closed Sundays, Mondays and public holidays.
How? Call +27 (0)36 488-1857
How much? Price on request
Cathedral Peak Wine Estate is the new kid on the block. The only wine estate this deep in the Drakensberg Mountains, the estate lies with Cathedral, Cathkin and Champagne Castle peaks looming from behind the plateau ridge on which the farm's vines grow.
The Central Drakensberg is still in the process of becoming a wine region in the province. Which does not mean that the vines have only just been planted. The initial vines went into the ground in 2007 across two hectares, producing its first harvest in 2011. The results were not what farmer Mauritz Koster was after, and so he planted a further 28 hectares with the help of his winemaker. Once the new vineyards bear fruit the team anticipates 2 000 barrels of wine in their cellar.
This part of the Drakensberg has a completely unique climate. Summer rainfall means the vines are heavy between September and March. During this period heat is reflected off the sheer cliffs of the mountains creating both anabatic (upslope winds driven by warm surface temperatures) and katabatic wind (downslope winds flowing from high elevations) flows that send cool night breezes over the vines.
Varieties growing on the vines include Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Sauvignon Blanc.
To the west of the farm is the estate's wild side' - 3 000 hectares just beyond the vines divided into two game farms. Keep watch and in amongst the vines closest to the game you might catch a glimpse of the odd waterbuck and small game. Most of the bigger game is restrained by a fence. Game includes duiker, giraffe, porcupine, bush-babies, sable, zebra, eland and another twenty odd species of animal.
The estate has only recently upgraded its premises and facilities, operational from the middle of 2015. They are often closed for weddings, and it is a good idea to check their Facebook page before heading out to visit them.
Wine tasting from the veranda overlooking the vineyards over a cheese platter or light lunch has had rave reviews. You can also take a tour of the wine making process with the cellarmaster.