South Africa has once again shown why it’s considered one of the world’s most exciting wine tourism destinations, with a string of awards at the World’s Best Vineyards awards hosted in Rioja, Spain.
The awards, now in their fifth year, celebrate global wine tourism destinations that combine culture, cuisine and fine wine into one unforgettable experience.
And that’s certainly the case at Creation Wines in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, a scenic two-hour drive from Ellerman House, which this year earned a remarkable #4 position on the list, placing it ahead of iconic cellars including Australia’s Penfolds and Chateau d’Yquem in southern Bordeaux.
“What Carolyn and JC Martin have done at Creation is amazing,” enthuses Manuel Cabello, Operations Manager and Sommelier at Ellerman House. “The attention to detail is just next level, and they have created the most amazing tasting experience and fine food pairing, with wonderful views, art and – of course – great wines. They fully deserved to be recognised globally for their dedication and vision.”
But Creation, known for its excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, certainly wasn’t alone in sharing South Africa’s wonderful wine tourism experiences with the world.
Delaire Graff – a fellow member of Relais & Châteaux – earned a respectable #37 position on the list. As with Ellerman House, both the art and memorable views – here out across the Stellenbosch Winelands – dovetail seamlessly with the elevated wine and food offering.
But the winner closest to Ellerman House – just 20 minutes by car – has been a landmark Cape estate for more than 300 years.
In the heart of the Constantia valley, Klein Constantia was named #32 among the World’s best Vineyards, hailed equally for its Cape Dutch and contemporary architecture as its award-winning wines.
Klein Constantia is the home of the acclaimed Vin de Constance, a natural sweet wine dating back to the late-1700s. It was the favoured tipple of Napoleon Bonaparte during his exile on the island of St. Helena, while Jane Austen sang its praises in ‘Sense and Sensibility’, prescribing a glass of Constantia wine “for its healing powers on a disappointed heart”.
“To experience Vin de Constance where it comes from is really a unique experience,” says Manuel. “The current winemaker, Matthew Day, has created some of the best vintages ever being produced, and the estate is looking better than ever.”
For guests who don’t have time to head out and explore the Cape winelands, all three of the award-winning estates form part of the extensive wine list at Ellerman House.
“We like to showcase the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Creation, the Cabernet Sauvignon from Delaire Graff, and the Vin de Constance and Sauvignon Blanc from Klein Constantia,” adds Manuel.
Showcasing the wines of South Africa has long been central to the Ellerman House experience, and today all guests enjoy a complimentary wine tasting in the impressive Wine Gallery. This contemporary space set alongside Ellerman House, features works by some of South Africa’s leading artists and designers, with our striking helical wine rack of carbon fibre as its centrepiece.
Hosted by one of our trained wine stewards, the hour-long tasting is curated as an informal introduction to South African wine, leading guests on a journey through the varied terroir of the Cape.
“This month we are offering a tasting focusing on old vineyards, allowing guests to experience old vine Chenin Blanc, Syrah and Chardonnay,” adds Manuel.
And of course, also being poured is The Ellerman: a Rhône-style red blend made exclusively for Ellerman House by celebrated winemaker Erika Obermeyer.