On the slopes of the Simonsberg, just off the Helshoogte Pass, this is an excellent example of the exciting developments in the Cape Winelands since the early 1980s, when farmers began to eye land that hadn't traditionally been earmarked for wine farming. When Gyles and Barbara Webb started the farm in 1983, there was nothing here but very good soil and old fruit trees. It's a testament to their efforts that the winery has regularly won prizes for both its reds and whites ever since. To cap it all off, the view of the Groot Drakenstein Mountains from the tasting room is unforgettable. Ever the pioneers, the Webbs have also bought Sutherland, an old fruit farm (not open to the public) in the Elgin area, an exciting new wine-growing region at the top of Sir Lowry's Pass. The Sutherland vineyard sits in the middle of the Kogelberg Biosphere, where many rare and endangered species of protea can be found. The Sutherland wines, which can be tasted at Thelema, are wonderfully fragrant; look
out for the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Mint Cabernet Sauvignon is Thelema's flagship red wine, exhibiting light mint and herbal flavors. The locals' favorite, however, is Ed's Reserve, a single-vineyard Chardonnay named after the farm's matriarch, the late, legendary Edna McLean, Barbara's mother; she originally bought the Thelema farm, was a stalwart in the tasting room, and received all the farm's visitors.