Winters Drift “Stationed” in Elgin

January 30th, 2013 by karen

Spending much of my time as a wine specialist tour guide I’m always on the look out for somewhere new and interesting to take my guests. Not much has piqued my interest in this regard as I the invitation to attend the opening of the Winters Drift Tasting Station housed in the historic Elgin station building on the Glen Elgin farm. Winters Drift Wines, the wine brand of Molteno Brothers (Pty) Ltd, the extensive farming business situated on Glen Elgin farm in the cool-climate Elgin Valley.

The Winters Drift wines, named after the ‘winter ford’ crossing of the Palmiet River, on Glen Elgin, which formed part of the original ox wagon trail through the Overberg, honour the remarkable story and legacy of two pioneering and philanthropic bachelor brothers, Ted and Harry Molteno. Sons of John Molteno, the first premier of the Cape, these young men purchased Glen Elgin in 1903 and dedicated their lives to transforming Glen Elgin from a modest vegetable farm into a vast fruit-farming enterprise that spanned the valley that we now know as Elgin, taking its name from the Moltenos’ farm. The antique clock on the Winters Drift label, a clever design by Anthony Lane, shows the time as 19h03, the year in which the Molteno brothers bought the Glen Elgin farm.

There are two winemakers are involved, Koen Roose (from Spioenkop) and Kobie Viljoen (from Gabrielskloof). The 2011 Rose, made form 100% Rose was a very welcome taster on this particularly warm day and their soon to be released 2012 vintage shows even fresher character and restrained fruit expression. My favourite white was the elegant 2011 Chardonnay where the softly integrated oak allows the fruit to stand proud with beautiful flavours of white peach and pear along with some zesty lime notes. The Pinot Noir was certainly the best value for money offer on the day with a limited 700 bottles made, and the vibrancy and intrigue of their 2011 Shiraz, due to be released soon, confirms that they have a wonderful stable of wines to work with!

The Tasting Station will also be showcasing some of Glen Elgin’s other offerings such as: cut fynbos flowers, potted proteas, honey and fresh fruit, with other local produce to follow. Visitors will soon be able to purchase picnic baskets, and in time, the food offering will also include country platters.

Another highlight of this tasting room is that it is an effortless drive to hop onto the pass into Franschhoek with its picturesque vistas and breathtaking views.


Tuesday to Friday:             9am – 4pm

Saturday:                              10am- 4pm

Sunday:                                 First Sunday of every month

Monday:                               By appointment only

Contact:                                Emy Mathews (Marketing and Tasting Station Manager)

Telephone:                           021 859 3354/2527 · Cell: 082 494 1265

E-mail:                        ;


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