Things To Do in De RustExcelsior Vlakteplaas
Where? De Rust, 6650, Karoo, Western Cape
When? Please enquire.
How? Call +27 (0)44 241-2568
How much? Price on request
On the R341 just beyond the Klein Karoo town of De Rust is the farm Excelsior at Vlakteplaas where grapes have been farmed for the last 80 years and the present wine maker, Danie Schoeman, is the fifth generation to produce quality wine.
They are well known for their superior Muscadel, aptly labelled Masters' Choice, and their Jerepigo wine has also excelled.
The Little Karoo has scorching summers. And because of this sweet wine culltivars, like Hanepoot and Muskadel, are very popular. It is no surprise to learn that the wine making tradition of these wine producing farms around Oudtshoorn hails back to the early 1900s.
There is no shortage of brandy in this long, narrow valley that stretches between the Swartberg, Langeberg and the Outeniqua Mountains. Here it is locally known as 'Cangobrandewyn' or farmers brandy. By adding herbs and spices, farmers have used it for generations for their medicinal needs.
It was after the collapse of the ostrich feather boom that the true 'last men standing' revealed themselves. Like the Schoemans' of Excelsior Vlakteplaas, the Meyers of Mons Ruber, and the Grundlings of Grundheim.
Farmers in this isolated valley (before major mountain passes made journeys beyond it far easier) diversified so that they could be as self-sufficient as possible. This is what made them so resilient to change. Even today, wine farms are not exclusively grape producers.
You will need to make an appointment to visit Excelsior Vlakteplaas.