Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm
Durbanville Experience 4.0 Wine 4.0

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

Thursday 31 August 2017

Experience: 4/5
Wines: 4/5

‘Rustic’ was how sommelier Micela described Altydgedacht Estate as I sat down to select 5 wines for tasting (R40). I could not have chosen a better word. The intimate Tasting Room with its aged wooden fittings and furniture seemed unchanged for half a century. Only the wine fridge and printer visible in the office behind the tasting counter – a long wooden bench with school-type chairs in front – gave clue to the 21th century.

Time had passed slowly in the 300 year old cellar with its white-washed walls. I soon learned that the Altydgedacht Estate was established in 1698 to make it one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa. It boasts an unbroken tradition of more than 2 centuries and 6 generations of Parkers in the Durbanville hills. As if to prove a point, Assistant Winemaker Andrew Parker from the latest family generation came to introduce himself to me as I sampled my first wine.


The approach to the Cellar building was down a narrow dirt drive. Had it not been for the Altydgedacht sign by the entrance gate I could easily have mistakenly entered a farm. An old plough and trailer with wine barrels stood outside to remind the long history. It would not have surprised if they were still in use today. En route, I had a nagging feeling I had been here before. I certainly remember the black wine label with the original slave bell tower reproduced as the brand logo, even though I cannot remember the wine itself.

This was nonetheless a first visit and so I was eager to taste the wines. Altydgedacht is renowned for interesting wines and these were the ones I selected. The Weisser Riesling, made with the German grape more commonly known simply as ‘Riesling’, is made in a dry style and has won many awards. Shy but fruity white peach, nectarine and gooseberry flavours followed through to a crisp palate.

Also made in a rare dry style was the pale straw Gewürztraminer that was served from a classic elegant tall bottle. Rose, pot pourri and litchi aromas were prominent on the nose that softened on the palate to balance the alcohol content. I liked the wine. After, I sampled the only blend of the tasting, the Muskarade, an unusual combination of Muscat, Gewürztraminer and Weisser Riesling. Sweet, grapey hanepoot flavours show through underlying nectarine and peach to make for a pleasant light semi-sweet wine.


I like both reds, the first a fruity Cabernet Sauvignon with dry supple tannins. It was the single variety Barbera that caught my eye having recently enjoyed the Italian cultivar for the first time at Idiom wines. Barbera vines were some of the first planted at Altydgedacht and remain in the vineyard. Full bodied, with rich earthy plum, savoury loganberry and slight liquorice aromas, the complexity balanced light tannins with moderate alcohol on the palate. I could not resist buying a bottle.

Altydgedacht Altydgedacht charmed and intrigued. It is an excellent wine estate for an unhurried visit. The wines were well made and interested. It will not be the only nor last time that I stop by for a tasting.

Wines tasted (bought *):


2016 Parker Reserve Weisser Riesling – R95
2015 Estate Gewürztraminer – R95
2016 Muskarade (43% Muscat D’Alexandria, 33% Gewürztraminer, 26% Weisser Riesling) – R65


2015 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – R75
2013 Barbera Reserve – R220* FAVOURITE WINE

You Might Also Like

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Summer Whites …… and Rosés

No Blues at Hillcrest

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

An Early Start at Rietvallei

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

From the Angel Gabriel to the Arch Angel

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

Warwick Wines Win their Colours


Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

Ghostly Clouds Swirl at Spookfontein

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

It’s High Time Again

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

Water into Wine at Uitkyk

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

Individual Quality at Jordan

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Of Female Rugby Players and Ballet Dancers! Let’s Continuously Study Very Seriously: Wines of the Loire and Northern Rhône

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

Diploma Done and Dusted – But for the Final Result – I Passed!

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

Beyond Expectation

The Terroir is Honoured in the Bottle at Springfield

The Vineyard Hotel a Classic Vehicle to Showcase L’Ormarins Wines

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

Mutual Attraction

Sublime Sauvignon Blanc Makes up for Variable Bloemendal

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Very Cape Wines at Capaia

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

From Palette to Palate to Muratie

Perfection is Attainable at Boschkloof Wines

Wagons to the Cellar at Waboomsrivier

A Warm Welcome in the Cool Climate at South Hill

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Family Fun in Pairs at Four Cousins

Diemersdal has Six Appeal

iWine rather than IMAX at the Cape Gate Mall

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Hazendal Fit for a Tsar, a Hare and a God of Wine

Dave Goes Down Under and the Wines Go Up

All Green at Villiera

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

Masses of Fun and a little Chaos at the Ambeloui Harvest Festival

My Best Blend at Zandvliet

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

Mooi Mooi Mooi Mooiplaas

Great Value in the Swartland

Colmant Sparkled

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

Purring at the Wines in Tyger Valley

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

Iconic Steenberg

It’s all Art and Wine at Almenkerk

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Wines to Love on Love Street

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

Around the (Old) World in 18 Hours – starting with the European Cuvée!

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

Taint, Mould, Sweet-Sour, Elastoplast, Stale Honey, Bee Wax and Potato Skin With the Wine Prof

Villion Pairs with Barton in Bot Rivier

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

No Black Marks at Raka

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

Waterf-ord More Ord-inary Than Extra-ord-inary

Linga-ring in a Winery in Malawi

One Day, Three Tastings, Five Wines and Seven Sisters

Altitudes with Wine!

Joy at Really Tasting the Difference at Esona

Old Oaks at La Bourgogne

A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle

Red Chair in the Morning

Relaxing Rosendal

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

Quoin Rock Gently Roars at Knorhoek

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

Taking the Garage into the Classroom

Simple Spier

Style or Substance? Nitida left Me Wondering

More Still at Tanagra

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

Quality with Style in the Vineyard

Being Creative at Flagstone

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert

Where the Lions Roar in the Wild West of Bot Rivier

Wines Merely to Lust After

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

On the Left, but then on the Right …

Quantity over Quality at Durbanville Hills


I Needed to be Guided by the Angel Gabriel

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

Class in Glass at Glenelly

Franschhoek’s Hidden Gem Is Reluctant to Reveal

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

Big Preparations in the Little Vineyard

Mixed Spice at the Pinotage Festival

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

Morgenhof in the Morning

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

Au Revoir France!

Lithos Wines Soar above Mountain and Forest

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage


Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

Late at Lateganskop

More-ish Wines at Môreson

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

More than Just a Destination

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

Wheels Turn Full ‘Cycle’ at Meerendal

Clouds Reign in Stellenbosch

Honest, Affordable Family Wines at Landskroon

Windfall Offered Unexpected Delights

Speed Tasting with Sommelier ‘Royalty’ at my First SASA Meeting

Well Hosted and Enjoyable – Even Though I did not Experience at its Best

Rain Meets Earth at Newton Johnson

Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

Latching onto Superb Wines at De Grendel

Boutique de Brendel

A Table Setting Fit for the Gourmet at De Grendel

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

There’s No Gun Smoke Without Wine

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *