Just outside the popular tourist towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, both famous for their superior wines and fascinating histories, lies the little village of Simondium. In effect, it forms a triangle with these other two, larger hubs, right in the heart of the Cape Winelands of the Western Cape Province. Although tiny, its prime positioning, beautiful surrounds and excellent wines have established Simondium, putting it on the wine country map. Every year, this little hamlet welcomes visitors from all over the world into its hospitable borders.
Touring the wine farms of Simondium not only allows visitors an opportunity to sample some world-class flavours, but also provides an insight into the fascinating history of this region. In terms of farming and winemaking, this history hails back to the time when French Huguenots settled here in the late 1600’s, and established farms off which to survive. They soon discovered that the climate and the condition of the soil was ideal for the production of excellent wines and, later, brandies. Some of the wine estates to be found here include the acclaimed Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons and Plaisir de Merle Wine Estate.
Simondium is also known for its outstanding brandies, and is on the formal Western Cape Brandy Route for those that appreciate the smooth, rounded flavours of this rich drink. Sampling the quality and touring the facilities to get an idea of the complex art behind the production of such top-notch spirits will provide lasting memories for connoisseurs and novices alike.
Photograph: NG Church in Simondium © Morné van Rooyen
Another taste adventure awaits visitors to Simondium, for this region is gaining increasing acclaim for the beautiful cheeses that it produces. It hosts the annual South African Cheese Festival, which attracts people from all over the country who appreciate fine wine and cheeses, and the pairing of these two culinary delights. Dalewood Fromage is a well-known cheese-maker that is local to Simondium. This farm only uses organic, hand-crafted methods in the creation of their scrumptious cheeses. The festival promises its guests the opportunity to taste a host of cheeses, wines and brandies, as well as to attend various workshops, which reveal the process behind the production of fantastic cheeses.
Simondium is surrounded by natural beauty and abundance. This makes it a nature-lover’s dream. The surrounding mountains are full of walking, hiking and cycling trails that showcase the most wonderful vistas to perfection. This is the ideal way to finish a day spent sampling the award-winning wines of the region.
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Simondium is less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town and about 30 minutes from the Cape Town International Airport. It is an ideal base from which to launch your exploration of the Mother City and the Western Cape at large. Cape Town is full to the brim of attractions and activities. It offers some of the world’s best shopping and entertainment. Restaurants, malls, night clubs, outdoor markets and massive sports facilities combine to create a vibrant hub of activity. The coastline is magnificent, and complemented by Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and Devil’s Peak, as well as rolling hills and forests.