As our kids are getting older (an almost teen and an almost pre-teen) we’re finding life is getting busier and busier. Some days we all leave the house before 7am and only return after 7pm. Some weeks we go days without sitting down for supper together or having a moment to catch up. It’s not ideal. But it is reality. Life with a family of growing kids is busy. Crazy busy. Throw in a couple of work commitments, school meetings, church responsibilities and sport matches and it’s a wonder we see each other at all!
And this is exactly why family holidays are so important to us. Whether these are a few weeks away during the school holidays or a quick weekend getaway when we spot a sport-free gap, we are always keen to make a plan to get away with our kids.
Yes, group holidays are great and I’m all for getting away with a group of friends every now and again, but there’s something special about the memories you make when it’s just you and your kids.
We were recently able to do just that at Windfall Farm at Agterkliphoogte in Robertson.
We arrived in the dark after a very busy week meant we only left Cape Town around 6:30pm. The roads were quiet and we made good time, but arriving in the dark is always quite disconcerting….
Fortunately we were greeted by wide starry skies and the next morning the sunrise revealed more of Windfall’s secrets and surprises…
Mendola Cottage is one of 5 self-catering cottages at Windfall Farm. This is one of the family units that sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms. The basic farm cottages are fitted with a fully equipped kitchen, comfortable beds, private bathrooms and outdoor braai areas.
Mendola is situated close to a jungle gym with large grassy lawn in front of a wide patio, as well as a trampoline and a fenced swimming pool making it is a great spot for a family getaway. That being said, these cottages would work equally well for a group of friends or families looking for a spot to enjoy a communal weekend away with some privacy!
Windfall is a hidden gem in the Agterkliphoogte section of the Robertson Wine Valley. Named by a previous owner, Eddie Barlow (yes, the South African cricketing legend), for the mist which cascades down the mountains, this is beautiful spot in a corner of the country we had never visited before.
Tucked down a winding dirt road and nestled amongst vineyards, the Windfall Farm cottages are set close to the Windfall Tasting Room where we headed on our second evening for a specially arranging private tasting of the wines from Windfall Boutique Wine Estate.
At this time, Windfall only produce small quantities of wine made by winemaker, Kobus van der Merwe.
The varietals produced at Windfall include Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, a red blend and a recently released Méthode Cap Classique, called Mendola, which is a crisp 100% Chardonnay.
The Cabernet Sauvignon is a Gold Michelangelo winner and this wine was a favourite with it’s superbly rich, deep, dark and mysterious berry flavours. The Shiraz, another Gold Michelangelo winner, is soft and elegant with some spice to support all that luscious fruit. The Barrel 41 is a delicious blend of Cab and Shiraz, smooth and medium bodied. They also have an aging pot still brandy from Chenin Blanc called The Hunter.
During our weekend at Windfall we slept in, enjoyed watching the sunrise from our patio, read books, had afternoon naps and long chats.
On the Saturday morning we went wine tasting at a neighbouring farm, Habata. But note that in this neck of the woods all wine tasting is by appointment only, there are plenty of wine farms a bit further afield in the Robertson valley that aren’t, we just wanted to stick fairly local on this visit as we wanted to try out some new wines…
We were in the mood for a chilled weekend and didn’t break our necks driving around doing ALL the things to do in Robertson but we can recommend a slow drive through to McGregor with possibly a stop off to say “Hi” to the donkey’s of Eseltjiesrus.
Another favourite outing is olive tasting at Marbrin. I had visited this olive farm on a previous visit to the valley, but it was worth another visit and I wanted to take my husband along. The owners, Clive and Briony, are worth the visit (and rocky dirt driveway) alone!
Expect lots of laughs and generous tastings of their delectable olive oils, olives, balsamic and bread. The views are pretty magnificent too and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to somewhere in Italy for a few hours! I highly recommend this as a chilled way to enjoy the fruits of the valley. My foodie kids enjoyed it, but if you have younger kids you’ll be pleased to know there is a jungle gym and swing set as well as a few friendly farm girls who are keen for playmates!
After our relaxed time at Windfall we weren’t in a hurry to head home, and so, to extend our country life for just a few more hours we opted to seek out somewhere to enjoy a leisurely lunch before hitting the N1 back to the ‘burbs.
We weren’t quite sure where… but we found the perfect place!
Saggy Stone brewery is located about 10km off the main drag of the R60 between Robertson and Worcester but it’s well worth the slight detour. We LOVED discovering this secret spot that’s tucked between towering mountains and serves up delicious beer and delectable pizzas in a family-friendly setting. We were even lucky enough to enjoy some live music on our visit. This is somewhere we will certainly return to – possibly even on every visit to the Robertson Valley! It’s that good!
Whether you’re looking for an affordable weekend away with family or a group of friend we definitely think you’ll find what you’re looking for at Windfall Farm cottage. We did! Peace, tranquility, time to unwind and time to connect. The perfect weekend away.
Contact Windfall Farm
Tel: 083 320 8473
Address: Agterkliphoogte, Robertson
GPS Coordinates: S33° 56′ 33.37″ E19° 38′ 42.98″
Trading Hours: Open by appointment
Tasting Fee: R50pp (whole range). No tasting fee is charged for guests staying over. Cellar tour at no charge.
Images: Kathryn Rossiter