Nabygelegen vineyard - wine at its best. One of the reasons we traveled to Wellington vineyards was that my friends wanted to visit one vineyard in particular - the Nabygelegen.
Owned by a former banker from the UK, Nabygelengen produces mainly Bordeaux and Rhone varieties (the local climate, which is hot during the growing season here, seems to suit these varieties).
We were treated to a wonderful tasting session, which showcased all their produce from a lovely Sparkling wine to a Rose, an excellent Syrah, and onwards to their powerful Bordeaux-style wines, they also have a sub-label called Snow Mountain, which markets Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, these grapes are grown further south and specially selected and bottled by the Nabygelegen people. You live, you learn!
Through the wine tasting we were guarded by 3 huge but lazy German shepherds (I guess they wanted to make sure we finished every drop of the delicious wine. We were also lucky to visit wine cellars and even see a glimpse of the owner’s private wine collection. As we came in May, the harvest was already over, but the surrounding landscapes looked stunning anyway.
Granted in 1712 by Governor William Herlot to one of the new free citizens of the Cape Jan Lorenz, originally from Rostock in Germany. Lorenz made the first steps towards developing the farm and planted the first vines along with fruit and vegetables to supply to the Cape’s fast growing shipping lanes.
The name Nabygelegen – “lying nearby” – probably stems from that time, when Lorenz’s family all lived in the area. After his death in 1721, the farm passed through several hands until 1847, when it was acquired by the Du Toit family in whose control it remained until 2001.
It is worth mentioning that prior to the modern history and even sporadic Bushman and Iron Age settlements, the area of the Bovlei, specifically the farm itself, was inhabited by prehistoric man. The lush fertile valley with its strong flowing river attracted ancient man. Stone-age implements and hand axes have been found, some dating back to over a million years. Most of these finds were discovered in the deep, red, vineyard soils by the vineyard team on their daily rounds.
If you don’t feel like driving back to Cape Town, there is self-catering accommodation available.
Nabygelegen Private Cellar,
Bovlei Division Road,