Elgin has always had very special place in my heart. When I was younger I can remember discovering the area with my family. Taking My grandmother for lunch at the Pool room Oak Valley or finding the perfect red rose to celebrate my late grandfather in a nursery found at the end of a long gravel road. This particular Valley has many great memories for me and only brings happiness to my heart. When my calendar reminded me that the Elgin Cool Wine & Country Food Festival was approaching, I was certain to not only pencil it in, but use permanent marker to secure the date. I was equally excited to find out that most of the wine farm welcomed dogs on the leash, which suited me well as I could bring along my dog Molly. We set off late Sunday morning and headed up Sir Lowry's pass. As I live in Somerset West, Elgin feels just a stones throw away. We were there in almost 25 minutes and headed straight to the newly launched Elgin Railway Market to collect our Golden tickets, wine glasses and the very important map.
After browsing the market and enjoying some rather loud music, Chelsea my wine drinking sidekick for the day, Molly and I planned a route. We decided to begin our journey at Paul Cluver Wines. On arrival we were greeted by the perfect autumn morning, warm in the sun and cool in the shade. As we drove along the tree lined drive towards the winery, past many cars filled with passengers, who only had smiles on their face is when we knew we were heading in the right direction. Having already worked up quite the appetite planning our route, the Chimichurri chicken wrap was our choice, light and healthy which paired beautifully with the estate Chardonnay. Both being Pinot Noir lovers we enjoyed that tasting and decided to finish off with an ice cream before heading onto South Hill Vineyards.
It was lovely to be greeted by such warm and friendly staff at South Hill Vineyards and the beautiful gardens were equally as welcoming. We tasted the wine offering paired with homemade pates, enjoyed the music and then moved onto Highlands Road Estate. I definitely would like to return to South Hill to enjoy their restaurant.
At Highlands Road Estate they had a charming food truck which served the most delicious hot fries with 'secret sauce' . I really wish I had the secret to this sauce, as it was utterly addictive. After devouring our hot fries and delicious secret sauce the next watering hole was Paul Wallace Wines. The sun was fading now, which led to our jerseys and scarves making an appearance - but this did not deter us from seeking out our final destinations.
Paul Wallace Wines was basically dog heaven, where all the dogs were interacting off leash and having so much fun which great for Molly and I. With some amazing live music, delicious burgers and interesting flavour combinations of Belgian chocolate, we lingered for a while. The Pinot Noir was delicious and the Reflection Chardonnay to 2017 was easy drinking and light.
At this point we were chasing the sun, as we did not want to miss out on Lothian Vineyards. Next we headed to Almenkerk Wine Estate, a firm favourite of mine, where can dogs are welcome. Here we caught some great live music, Ardis' Food Truck and another delicious Chardonnay and enjoyed this with some friends we bumped into. We were then again told how beautiful and unusual Lothian Vineyards was and how great the pizzas were. So we all loaded into the car and headed to our final destination.
We arrived a little too late to enjoy the pizzas, but were able to try the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The setting was breathtaking as the sun fell on the Elgin Valley. As people began to leave and pack up, we decided that it was time to head home after a great day of beautiful wine and delicious food. Already planning next years route, we slowly crawled down the pass back home, with our hearts full and our wine selection even more so. 'Til next year.
FOR MORE INFO
Wines of Elgin
Elgin Railway Market
Elgin Valley Tourism