HERMANUSPIETERSFONTEIN FARM COTTAGES
Friday 29 September to Sunday 1 October 2017
I am fortunate to live in Cape Town. Consequently, I am able to visit most wine estates on days out. It is fun occasionally to make a weekend of wine-tasting. I have long wanted to visit Hermanuspietersfontein for tasting, as well as other estates in the Hermanus area, and so it made sense for my partner and me to stay in the Cellar’s farm cottages.
The first comment to make is their location. If, like me, you assume that the cottages are close by to the Hermanuspietersfontein Cellar then you will be in for a surprise. The cottages lie deep in the Sondagskloof some 45 kilometres almost due East of Hermanus. It mattered not as we ended our wine tasting in the late afternoon. We still had sufficient time for a quick walk in Hermanus and to reach the cottages in daylight.
The journey from Hermanus, first on tar and on gravel roads for the last 20 kilometres, was relaxing and uneventful. The satnav did what it was paid to do and the cottages were easy to find, being well signposted from 10 kilometres to go. It took less than an hour as we slowly gained altitude through pastures, lowlands, forest and ultimately to the cottages that are surrounded by vineyards. Hermanuspietersfontein has 4 cottages of differing sizes. We were booked into Kleinboet that, with one double bed, is perfect for a romantic getaway. There was a sofa-bed too in the lounge that could have accommodated children or another couple.
The cottages are self-catering and basically equipped with all that is needed. There is no electricity but a gas hob (2 rings) in the kitchen together with a solar powered geyser for hot water and the small fridge. We did not need to cook evening meals but, if we had, we would easily have managed with the old pots and pans, bone-handled cutlery and singing kettle. Tea, coffee and sugar were supplied. A crate of Hermanuspietersfontein wines and an honesty box proved too tempting and we opened a bottle of the Bloos Rosé, one of my favourite wines from the earlier tasting. It was soon finished!
There was plenty of wood for either an outdoor braai or indoor one, or both if wanted. I lit the fire to take away the evening chill. Paraffin lamps and candles made for a warm and restful evening. Fresh air and the outdoors always make one sleepy, wine too, and so we retired early. The bed was comfortable and fortunately the sound of our neighbours in the attached cottage did not disturb us too much.
I awoke refreshed to the sound of birds and the wind rustling through the nearby pine trees. The sociable weavers did their best to rouse me but I listened to their incessant chatter instead. Later, I wandered up the hill behind the cottage on the second morning and into the vineyards. I wanted to see the large netting windbreaks that are uncommon in most of the Western Cape.
We stayed for 2 nights, spending time at the Hermanuspietersfontein Saturday morning market and in Stanford, conveniently halfway back to the cottages, before returning to the cottage. We left rested on the Sunday morning for breakfast in Stanford. The road passed by fields of purple flowers, with their scenic mountain backdrops, and green pastures – complete with sheep of course!
I thoroughly recommend a visit. Stay away from the guesthouses in Hermanus and Stanford and escape the television and the mobile phone (there’s no signal at the cottages). The journey is not so far and the trip passes through beautiful countryside. The cottages are basic and secluded, comfortable rather than luxurious, and peaceful. Make a Hermanuspietersfontein weekend of it as I did: wine-tasting on Friday afternoon; Saturday market; and cottage overnight. Treat yourself and your partner or family.