In the days when ships of the Dutch East India Company used Cape Town as a refreshment station on their way to the East, a ship would fire a cannon as it entered the harbor to let farmers know provisions were needed, and a set of relay cannons, all set on hilltops, would carry the message far inland. One such cannon was on this farm, which was then called Kanonkop, Afrikaans for Cannon Hill. The beauty of Kanonkop today is not in its history or its buildings but in its wine. Winemaker Abrie Beeslaar has taken over from the legendary Beyers Truter (a very hard act to follow), but Kanonkop continues to reel in numerous awards and accolades. Paul Sauer, a blend of about 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% each Merlot and Cabernet Franc, rakes in awards both in South Africa and internationally year after year. Bow before the Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage. It's an iconic wine that is produced only in small quantities (fewer than 2,000 bottles a year) and is sold only from the farm. It recently
scored 97 points out of 100 at an international tasting. There are no guided cellar tours, but during harvest you can do a walkabout in the cellar to see all the action. An added attraction to this farm is the art gallery that features art from around 50 leading South African artists. It's a wonderful selection of the really modern to totally traditional and gives good insight into the artist soul of the nation.