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Welcome to Highlands Road Wine Estate

Make your way to the elegant Elgin Valley, where you'll find the picturesque setting of Highlands Road Estate that will keep you occupied for hours, and that’s before you’ve tasted our wines!  Already with a string of award-winning Sauvignon Blancs to our name, our wines are set to impress. Our range of wines include elegant white blends, MCC, Rosé,  Pinot Noir, and a robust red blend dubbed “Ruadh”(Scots Gaelic for red) but be sure to inquire about our 100% Sauvignon Blanc Dessert wine for a real treat. If you’re lucky, you’ll be served in the chic tasting room by the passionate owner himself , or else be left in the capable hands of our enthusiastic young team. The water-side café serves up simple, bistro-style foods, with a wood-fired pizza oven ready for action on the busy weekends. Keep an eye on their social media pages for updates on special events, menu updates, expos and much more. An ideal spot to bring the whole family!


Started in 2004, Highlands Road is the culminating dream of Michael White, who identified Elgin as one of the top areas for producing Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. With the planting of the vineyards and the building of the cellar, we now have the ability to complete that dream.

 Hoping to provide the full winery experience, our exclusive estate contains not just a wine cellar and tasting room and a restaurant with decks overlooking the dam. We believe that wine is more than what is in the bottle; it is the memories that go with it. To this end, we have attempted to make our estate not just a place to taste wine, but a destination to experience it.

 Elgin Valley The Valley of Wonders

For years, Elgin has been the centre of the apple trade in South Africa. However, a little less than 10 years ago, a significant dip in apple prices suddenly brought Elgin Valley’s famously unattainable land to market. Aware of the Valley’s wonders, many top wineries and winemakers swooped into this fertile valley to stake their own grape claims. The cool climate of the valley combined with the natural fecundity of this fruit bearing region makes Elgin every wine grower’s paradise. Rapidly gaining national and international acclaim for it’s top Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs, Elgin’s magic is only just beginning.

Wood Fired Pizza

Come try our delicious pizzas and enjoy a glass or two of wine.

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Wine Tasting

Our award winning wines can be tasted any day of the week.

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Highlands Road News

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The latest Highland Road Estate News

What's the story with that "Oak" AKA a brief history of Oak barrels and their use in the wine industry

What's the story with that "Oak" AKA a brief history of Oak barrels and their use in the wine industry

The use of Oak barrels in the wine making process has become a standard procedure in the wine industry today, allowing producers to playfully develop the characteristic of their wines in terms of their taste, aroma and mouth feel. Who would have guessed that such an important and valued process was discovered by accident?

Wooden barrels have been dated to their first use in the Iron age (800-900 BCE) then used for holding various consumables such as oil, milk, water, beer and of course wine. But it was not until International trade amongst people started expanding that their true value was realized. Apart from the fact that these sturdy containers were far superior in strength than their clay-counterparts and much easier the transport and maneuver, it was soon discovered that certain items (such as wine and beer) actually benefited from being stored in wood containers.

It is thought that if it had not been for this accidental discovery, wine makers would never have thought of using wood in the wine making process at all, especially in today’s age where the use of non-reactive metals (such as stainless steel) reigns supreme.

 But ageing wine in oak barrels not only evokes a sense of romantic nostalgia for the consumer, but can alter its chemical composition entirely. In red wines, the oak promotes gradual oxidation- I know you’re thinking “isn’t that what you DON’T want”, but in this case it is something most red wines need to make them less acidic, whilst also enhancing their colour and chemical stability. The oxygen is gradually introduced to the wine over a period of months by way of racking the wine from barrel to barrel, and is thus done in a controlled manner.

Ageing both white and red wine in oak barrels also imparts characteristics in taste and aroma such as sweet vanilla flavours, toasty aromas, notes of tea and tobacco and more structural tannin. The altering of tannin levels also changes the “mouth feel” of the wine, often being described as making the wine “smoother” or “softer”.

The variety and quality of flavours given off by the oak barrels to the wine differs with the type of oak used as well as its manufacturing details, and these differ so vastly that each wine maker has his/her personal preference and opinion on which is best to use. Currently, the most common types of oak barrels used are American, French and Eastern European. Although technically a barrel can be used 100 times over to store wine, chemically it loses its compounds and ability to change the flavour of the wine by its third or fourth use, so although it can be a great asset to have for your end product it is definitely a costly endeavor, with each barrel costing between R4000-R8000, sometimes more.

If you’ve visited Highlands Road Estate before, you might have seen our various oak barrels in our cellar, mostly used for our Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Semillon varietals. We use both French and American oak in our cellar, and our winemaker Jacques Maree enjoys experimenting with oak has a few showstopper wines lined up for release… Stay tuned!

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Something sweet just for you...

Its Friday- and what better way to end of another great week than with something sweet and enticing…

We recently had the fantastic opportunity to taste our newly bottled vintages made by Jacques Maree whilst they await their shiny new labels, and among these was our 100% Sauvignon Blanc Dessert wine.

If you were one of the lucky few who purchased or tasted our previous “sticky” (now completely sold out here on the estate!) you must be on the edge of your seat with excitement that there is another one on its way, SOON! With its intensely golden, straw-colored hue and lingering honeyed notes on the palate, we cannot say enough good things about this little number! And with a limited amount produced (less than 400 bottles) it’s definitely lining up to be a hot commodity.

That having been said, perhaps it’s necessary to also mention than such exquisite wine is not only suited for an after-dinner drink, but can be used as a key ingredient in many desserts and sauces, and this one is one of our favourites!

PS: Follow our social media accounts for continuous updates on our wines and new vintages, or call 071 271 0161 for more info


OLIVE OIL AND DESSERT WINE CAKE (from The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander)


5 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup dessert wine
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
150g plain flour, sifted
pinch of salt
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 F). Butter a 24 cm (9 inch) springform cake tin and line base with baking paper. Beat egg yolks with half the sugar until pale and thick, then add wine and oil. Fold in flour and salt and transfer to a large bowl. Wash and dry mixer bowl and beat all 7 egg whites with cream of tartar until they hold soft peaks. Beat in remaining sugar until you have a soft meringue. Fold lightly but thoroughly into yolk mixture. Spoon in to prepared tin and bake for 20 minutes. Turn off oven, cover cake with a buttered round of baking paper and leave to cook slowly. Remove from oven after 15 minutes. (The cake tends to deflate as it cools so it needs to be protected from all sudden changes of temperature.) Dust with icing sugar before serving

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