There are a host of reasons to stop off at the Black Oystercatcher Wine Farm en route to and from Cape Town. It’s the home of Cape Agulhas cool-climate wines – made from grapes crafted by the region’s unique terroir. It’s a farm steeped in history, with centuries’ old buildings converted into the restaurant and self-catering cottages. And it’s nicely snuggled in the middle of the Overberg – in the biodiversity-rich, clear countryside.
Overnighting at one of the four self-catering cottages offers the perfect opportunity to get to know the area. The Black Oystercatcher Wines are part of the Elim Wine Ward, close to the most southerly tip of Africa. It’s one of the newest – and fastest-growing wine wards in South Africa.
The vineyards here make use of diverse soil layers and cool winds that blow off the ocean, which ensure the grapes remain compact and small. That leads to wines with intense fruit flavours, distinct minerality and a long finish – experienced in wine tastings held on the farm.
The cottages are situated close to the restaurant, and overlook the immense biodiversity of the Agulhas Plain. It’s a region where conservationists are actively working to protect the many critically-endangered fynbos species, and much of the rich (and also often-threatened) bird and animal life. The Black Oystercatcher forms an essential part of the Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management Area – where a group of landowners are working to actively protect their natural landscapes, including birdlife like the endangered Black Harrier and Secretarybird.
It’s also easy to get into nature from the Black Oystercatcher cottages. Hikes, mountain bike trails and bird-watching opportunities are easily accessible from the cottage veranda. Cultural heritage is rich in the nearby missionary town of Elim – where South Africa’s only monument commemorating the end of slavery is found.
And at the nearby Black Oystercatcher restaurant, food is prepared straight from the garden, and as the seasons dictate. It’s a fresh dining experience, in a relaxed atmosphere – an atmosphere that captures the unique Cape Agulhas country experience.