The Cederberg might be the last place you'd expect to find a vineyard, but that's what makes Cederberg Private Cellar so unusual. It's been in the Nieuwoudt family for five generations. When old man Nieuwoudt, known to everyone as "Oom Pollie," planted the first vines in the 1970s, all his sheep-farming neighbors thought he had gone mad. Today, however, winemaker David Nieuwoudt and his viticulturist father, Ernst, are laughing all the way to the award ceremonies. At an
altitude of around 3,300 feet, this is the highest vineyard in the Western Cape, and consequently is almost completely disease-free. They don't have to spray for the mildew and mealybugs that are the bane of wine farmers in the Winelands and Constantia. The chenin blanc wins one award after another, and the bukettraube is a perfect accompaniment to South African curries. The exciting CWG Auction Reserve Teen die Hoog Shiraz is made from the upper portion of the best vineyard and coaxed to maturity in new oak, but, unfortunately, this is not for sale on the farm. The farm has self-catering accommodations and is near the Wolfberg Cracks (cracks in the mountain that lure hikers) and Malgat (a huge rock pool), both well-known Cederberg attractions. The Cederberg Observatory also operates on this farm on Saturdays. It's an open-air wonder run by passionate stargazers, who give a slide presentation when the weather permits and then help you spot faraway galaxies on their superpowerful telescopes. Make sure you call ahead to reserve your space. Tastings occur for no fewer than five people.
Dwarsrivier Farm, Algeria turnoff from the N7, Clanwilliam, 8136, South Africa