10 Things to Expect at the Upgraded Weltevrede Wine Estate

by - November 02, 2022

 While the Weltevrede Wine Estate in Bonnievale in the Robertson Wine Valley is more than a century old, fourth-generation owner and winemaker Philip Jonker recently oversaw an extensive revamp and re-development of the farm’s visitor experiences. Its reputation for quality wine is well established but now this name is becoming well known for so much more. 

The scenic wine farm is also the latest addition to the Cape Country Routes portfolio, a collection of owner-operated establishments known for their character, charm and romance in the Eastern and Western Cape.

I was invited to experience all that this farm now offers. 

If you are looking for a reason to take a day trip out of Cape Town to visit the new and improved Weltevrede Wine Estate, here are 10! 


Scenic gardens at Weltevrede Wine Estate

*Weltevrede Wine Estate / Cape Country Routes hosted my visit but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

1. A world-class visitor centre

How can you not feel welcomed by this?

Visitor centre at Weltevrede Wine Estate
(Photo provided)

2. The Captivated by Chardonnay Tour

I do like a good underground tour! This one was fortunately a significantly more luxurious experience than that time I went journeying underground at the Castle of Good Hope. No headlamps or water shoes required here!

The Captivated by Chardonnay tour takes you underground into what were once large fermentation chambers, repurposed into an exhibition space with a labyrinth of fascinating displays. 

Underground museum The Captivated by Chardonnay tour

Through the exhibits, we learnt about the history of Chardonnay, both internationally and on this farm, with a couple of tastings along the way. The stories recounted by our tour guide really fostered a new appreciation for this specific type of wine and especially Weltevrede’s version of it. 

The tour culminates in a candlelit underground poetry reading and a tasting of Weltevrede’s Chardonnay ‘Poet’s Prayer’ in what almost felt like a religious ceremony (but without any uncomfortable cult connotations). 

Weltevrede's Poet's Prayer - candle lit tasting
What heterosexual woman doesn't want a man to read her poetry
in a candle-lit room over a great glass of wine?

3. Captivated by Cap Classique Tour

This tour provides a fascinating look at the production of bubbly, again culminating in a tasting - this time of two vintages of Philip Jonker Brut.

I learned a lot. 

Fun facts: 

  1. There are 4 million bubbles in a bottle of Cap Classique (or was it 40 million? Things were starting to get fuzzy by this point in the day.)
  2. Lipstick and lip balm can kill the bubbles and therefore Cap Classique is best enjoyed mouth-product-free.
  3. Asking the tour guide for a straw in light of fact 2, will still get you booed by the other tour group participants for committing a “wine sin”. (I maintain that it could have been worse. It’s not like I asked for ice!)
Weltevrede's Captivated by Cap Classique Tour
If you base your wine purchases on the number of stickers on the bottle,
you've probably already tried these.

4. Create your Own - Cap Classique

In this experience, you get to learn about the making of Cap Classique before bottling your own. First, you have to disgorge the frozen sediment and go through the other steps to dosage, cork and foil your own Cap Classique bottle before taking more credit than you deserve by expressing yourself on the label. 

For a better explanation, watch this video:


5. Sit Down Tastings 

What would a wine farm be without offering a straight-up wine-tasting experience? We tasted plenty of wine throughout the various experiences we had that day, so we bypassed this activity. 

Weltevrede's wine glass


6. Sabrage

That’s right! At Weltevrede Wine Estate they will let you play with swords! Sabrage refers to the technique of opening a champagne bottle with a sabre. We didn’t get to do this one but after my reaction to the disgorging part of the Create your Own - Cap Classique experience (in the video above), I’m not sure if I could be trusted with a sword. 

Pro tip: It’s probably best to do this experience before you start drinking. 

Author at Weltevrede Wine Estate's Chardonnay Tour

7. A new rose and vine garden

What was once part of the parking lot has been converted into a rose and vine garden. 

Fun fact: Roses are very commonly planted in vineyards because they are to grapevines what canaries are to mine shafts and can be an early warning system for funguses and diseases that may affect the vines. 

rose and vine garden at Weltevrede Wine Estate
(Photo provided)

The symbolism behind various aspects of the garden highlights the farm’s significance in the South African wine industry and various sentimental aspects of its heritage. 


8. The Kapokbos Restaurant

A more recent part of the upgrade is the Kapokbos Restaurant, serving contemporary country cuisine by the husband and wife team, Chefs Juan Fourie and Samantha (Sam) Morris-Fourie.

It is named after a type of rosemary that grows in the area. The bread that is delivered to your table prior to the meal features some of this. 

The Kapokbos Restaurant - sign
(Photo provided)

We tasted quite a number of the picture perfect dishes on the menu, such as the skaap stertjie (sheep’s tail) with curried pickle onions, frikkadele (a type of South African meatball) with tomato smoor and brandy sultanas, and the Amarula ice-cream sandwiches with honeycomb. 

While I have a sweet tooth of note, I’m also a very picky eater. I normally have a cardinal rule that fruit and chocolate should never meet but I’m still dreaming about that Chocolate Mousse Bar that features a raspberry mouse. Yum! No wonder Kapokbos is fast becoming the ‘go-to’ restaurant of the Robertson Wine Valley.  

Chocolate Mousse Bar - Kapokbos


9. Cape Wine Crafters

This is the tasting room of a more accessible and experimental brand of Weltevrede Wines including the likes of Cherrychoc, Lemon Zest and Turkish Delight, as well as some collectable wines and sweet wines. 

10. (Coming soon) The Kapokbos Deli

Soon, you’ll be able to shop at a deli built here too and enjoy a more casual dining experience in the scenic picnic area just in front of it near the newly built kids' play area and still within view of the gardens and vineyards. Making for a great day out for the whole family. 

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On the Captivated by Chardonnay Tour, as the tour guide recounted the history of the Jonker family (who has been farming here for over a century), the message that came through was that greatness doesn’t come without brokenness.

Jonker family photograph - Weltevrede Wine Estate

The COVID pandemic did a number on the hospitality industry. A few years before that, wine farms like this one had to contend with one of the worst droughts ever to hit the Western Cape. In spite of this, not only is Weltevrede Wine Estate still standing but it’s continuing to evolve and improve. 

Though the upgrade is still in progress, the farm has already won two prestigious awards for its Architecture & Landscape as well as its Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences in the 2023 Great Wine Capitals: Best of Wine Tourism Awards. It’s no longer just great wine that is synonymous with Weltevrede but so much more. 

Weltevrede Wine Estate gardens

Weltevrede means "well satisfied”. After spending some time here, how can you not be?

Group photo at Weltevrede Wine Estate entrance
(Photo provided)

Find out more about Weltevrede Wine Estate and its experiences at weltevrede.com and learn more about Cape Country Routes' other notable accommodation and activity establishments at capecountryroutes.com.
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Things to do at Weltevrede Wine Estate - Pin

Innovative wine experiences in the Western Cape - Pin

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2 comments

  1. Such an intriguing article on this winery! I almost felt like I was there with you! Thank you for sharing. Stephanie

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like a fun trip!

    ReplyDelete