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Welcome to Highlands Road Wine Estate

The picturesque setting at Highlands Road Estate will keep you occupied for hours, and that’s before you’ve tasted their wines!  Already with a string of award-winning Sauvignon Blancs to their name, this young winery is set to impress. With a collection of wines including elegant white blends, MCC, Rose,  Pinot Noir, and a robust red blend dubbed “Ruadh”(Scots Gaelic for red) you will be spoilt for choice.   Be sure to enquire about their Port and 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 his enthusiastic young team. The water-side café serves up simple, bistro-style foods, with a wood-fired pizza oven ready for action on the weekends. Keep an eye on their social media pages for updates on special events such as Italian evenings, Family days, picnics and much more. An ideal spot to bring the whole family!

History

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

Highlands Road Update

Highlands Road Update…

Whats been going on at Highlands Road Estate?

We’re already halfway through 2014 Wow! How time has flown- It seems like it’s a sip, swirl and taste and all of a sudden you’re 3 bottles of red down and talking to a rock about your philosophy on economic empowerment. Yes.

Needless to say, this has been a whirlwind year for Highlands Road Estate, full of new and exciting ventures. Our first harvest with our new winemaker, Jacques Maree (the end product of which we are BEYOND excited to taste), our first Cool Wine and Country event with our new team (a great success!) and many other private functions,  not to mention the wrath of the cold Elgin winter, something none of us Elgin-newbies were prepared for! To arrive at the estate in the morning to find our outside tables covered in a layer of solid ice is no joke, I can tell you that much! Thank goodness for our fantastic tasting room fire place!

We received rave reviews for our much anticipated 2013 Rosé, bottled earlier in the year, and our proudest moment came when owner Michael White stepped up to accept the Trophy for Best Unwooded Sauvignon Blanc in the Museum Category. We are honoured to be sharing the win with the great wines who won before us. We are expecting our 2010 vintage to also start making waves soon- watch this space! With our Old-Mutual Trophy Win, we had the opportunity to go on a roadshow across SA, meeting some wonderful people along the way

We were also very fortunate to be able to participate in the Graff-Reiniet “Stoep tasting” weekend, where this sleepy little Karoo town sprang to life, fueled by good people, great wines, and an unforgettable air of small-town hospitality!

With the changing season and removal of some unwelcome dogs, we have also seen the return of the Highlands Road otter(s), which have playfully bobbed their heads up from the dam waters in the early hours of the morning and the start of nightfall.

We also had the addition of two fantastic staff members, assisting us in the tasting room and in the kitchen. And lest we forget the addition of our little girl who was born in February, who has been entertaining us all here at Highlands Road and who has already taken an interest in wine, judging by her fascination with wine glasses and barrels!

Gosh- and we still have 5 months to go! We are all gearing up for the busy summer months to come and can’t wait for the Elgin Valley to spring back into life with the hustle and bustle of customers! Bring it on!

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Cool Climate Wines

Here in Elgin, we’re famous for our outstanding “cool climate wines”, but what does that really mean? No, it does not mean that our wines can only be enjoyed on cooler days (thank goodness for that) but refers to the micro-climate in which the grapes are grown. Now, if you’ve visited our beautiful Valley before (particularly between May-November) you would have likely experienced the lovely chill that embraces you as you approach Grabouw.

Scientifically speaking, grapes don’t like temperatures that drop below 10°C and the vines will lay dormant until temperatures rise above this mark, reserving all their energy for the warmer times to follow, and because our climate tends to wean off winter much later than other wine routes (such as Stellenbosch) the vines get a much later and slower start when it comes to growing and maturing berries. The best description for this whole process and the consequences thereof is with using the comparison of growing tomatoes-

“ Imagine trying to ripen tomatoes on your patio if you live where it’s foggy daily in the summertime, and temperatures rarely rise above 30°C. Unless you’re really lucky, those are going to be some tart, green tomatoes that don’t have much flavor, right?  They start out with high levels of acid, low levels of sugar and vegetative flavors. As the weeks go by the sweetness increases and the tomatoey flavor develops, providing they get enough heat and sun. So, depending upon where they’re grown they’ll ripen slowly or quickly. In a cool-climate situation there’s a risk that they never get really ripe – they’re on the tart side. In a warm climate situation there’s little difficulty getting them nice and sweet and you need to pick them before they start to get mooshy and over ripe.” (The Tasting Group Blog)

 Although this might sound like bad news for vines growing in cooler areas, it makes for very interesting and unique range of flavours and aromas in the final product vastly different to its warmer climate counterpart, as well as wines that age extremely well due to the high levels of acid naturally found in the wine. As they age, the true flavour of the wine unfolds to make it complex  and balanced whilst keeping their crisp freshness.

A key example of this process is of course our 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, which has become much fuller and softer whilst maintaining its typical cool-climate minerality, and which has gained many accolades to its name in recent years. Most notably the 2014 Old Mutual Trophy Award in the Museum Class (yes, we LOVE talking about this one!).

Varietals that do well in this sort of climate range from Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Syrah and Cabernet Franc. 

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