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Base of operations: South Africa
This historic Cape Dutch farmstead near Swellendam offers a unique experience on the R62, a mere 2-hour drive from Cape Town towards the Garden Route and Little Karoo. The original slave quarters and wine cellar (ca. 1723) lie at the heart of this delightful oasis of exceptional food, ambiance and service, set amidst rolling fruit and nut orchards along the and popular Robertson Wine Route. Guest are treated to understated elegance and comfort in four voluminous en-suite rooms, replete with authentic yellow wood detail and 1-meter thick walls. The adjoining original wine cellar now provides the setting for lounge, dining area and library, and offers unashamed relaxation and comfort with great views of the majestic Langeberg mountains. Fine food is an integral part of the M18678 experience, complemented by their award-winning cheeses, organic vegetables and preserves grown on the farm.
The owners take great pride in their many community-based achievements: Fair Trade accreditation, proven skills development programmes for the local community, empowerment of staff-shareholders at the Old Gaol Coffee shop in Swellendam and regular charity music events, to mention just a few. M18678 is the perfect setting from which to explore the abundant delights offered by nearby Montagu (with hot mineral springs), the Breede River, Bontebok Park, Cape Agulhas, the De Hoop Nature Reserve(offering exceptional whale watching in season), and the delightful town of Swellendam itself, the third oldest town in South Africa, and well worth exploring. The nearby Robertson wine route is renowned for several festivals: Wacky Wine Weekend in June, Roberstson Slow Food weekend mid August, and the Wine and Food on the river event at the end of October.
For less adventurous souls, or those intent on just a gentle stay-over, there are easy strolls and walks among the orchards, or simply relaxing by the lavender-surrounded pool. Indigenous wildlife such as springbuck, grey rheebuck and ostriches can be seen from an open-vehicle drive on the 680-hectare farm, along with many smaller creatures and birds. Fine wines have been a tradition here almost for three centuries, and the impressively-stocked wine cellar is nestled in the farm's original fermentation tank. Neighboring wine estates on the Robertson Wine Route welcome you to sample their acclaimed wares.
Granted as a "freehold farm" in 1723, the historically significant Jan Harmans' schat (Jan Harmans Treasure) has been at the heart of the regions rich history, and featured in the writings of Lady Anne Barnard. Today, owner/managers Brin and Judi Rebstein invite you to join them in savoring one of the true gems of this wonderful region.