Former dairy farmer Peter Pentz had enough of getting up at 4 am to milk his cows, so together with his son, Nick, he turned instead to wine farming at Groote Post Vineyard. Groote Post fans couldn't be happier. The large, environmentally sensitive winery got off to a fantastic start when its maiden 1999 Sauvignon Blanc was judged one of the best in the Cape, and Groote Post has been garnering awards ever since. Try the award-winning Groote Post Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2012, packed with flavors of granadilla, green fig, and green pepper, or taste the Groote Post Reserve Pinot Noir 2009, with hints of plum, raspberry and dried beef(!). There are no cellar tours. The restaurant, Hilda's Kitchen, is a really excellent choice for lunch; regulars have been known to want to punch the chef if the Old Man's Steak Roll with its secret sauce isn't on the menu. A scrumptious picnic basket, teeming with local cheeses and cured meats, quiche, and chocolate brownies can be ordered in advance at around
R350 per couple. A large portion of the farm has been left uncultivated and is covered with endangered renosterveld (literally, "rhino vegetation" in Afrikaans), which is found only in this area. These scrubby bushes might not look like much, but in the past they supported large herds of game. Because the vegetation grows in fertile soil, a lot of renosterveld has been lost to agriculture. Game drives (R130) through this unique vegetation for groups of 4 to 10 people are usually run by the charismatic owner, Peter; advanced bookings are essential.
Off R307, Darling, 7345, South Africa