It’s spring across the southern hemisphere, the sun is trying its best to peak out from behind the thin grey clouds that hang over Cape Town while the Suzuki engines are purring in anticipation for the day’s adventure. My parents recently joined the Suzuki 4×4 club, being an adventure fanatic, I couldn’t resist the offer when they asked me if I’d like to join them.
The day started out at the entrance to Groote Post Farm, where the Suzukis rolled in one by one. We had arrived in the Grand Vitara, thinking there would be a few other Suzukis slightly bigger than the Jimny joining us, we were sorely mistaken. Being the only non-Jimny Suzuki in the club, naturally we stood out like a sore thumb, but the crew were welcoming nonetheless. Mr Duckitt (Yes, that Duckitt) started off the morning by explaining to us that the farm has a large area of natural renosterveld, and through the clearing of alien plant species such as port jackson and rooikrans, they have encouraged a huge bloom of natural flora. The wild flowers on this farm sure gave the west-coast national park a run for its money! With splashes of bright orange, dainty pinks and purples and sunshine yellows, it was hard not to be blown away by the beauty of the flowers. The sun decided to grace us with its presence at about 11:30 am, allowing for the flowers to be viewed in their full, colourful glory.
As we turned our heads to face the daisies while driving past, the white flowery fields could easily have been mistaken for a bit of misplaced snow. We slowly drove along the track through the game camp on the farm, as the farm owner Nick Pentz took the lead. Wildebeest and Zebra were scattered in small herds throughout the camp, with a few Bontebok grazing happily between the brightly coloured daisies. The Springbokkies were very alert and unfortunately took off as soon as they saw us approaching however we were able to sit quietly and watch a few of the youngsters playfully prong and pounce around.
We stopped at the top of a hill that overlooked most of the farm, where Nick enthusiastically explained to us that while the farm may be well known for its wine, other crops such as Lupins and Triticale are also actively grown on the farm. He went on to explain the importance of crop rotation as well as how important it is to conserve indigenous flora on the farm. The farm actively works on the removal of alien trees, during the process they have decided not to burn any removed plant material, instead they pile the material over their old growing area. This prevents regermination of any remaining roots while encouraging a small ecosystem through providing a habitat for small rodents, which eat the seeds of the alien plants. He then explained the layout of his vineyard blocks, as bystanders got very excited at the prospect of a sneaky wine tasting before we continued our journey.
Following the interesting talk presented by Nick, we headed towards the cellar, I was sure that excitement was buzzing all around as we made our way to the parking lot near the cellar. Low and behold, an entire tasting had been set up just for us! The scene was set by the surrounding farm buildings that boasted an old Cape Dutch style, a table was set below an old tree that shaded most of the lawn. A flight of wines were lined up, ready and waiting to be popped and cracked open.
Of the wines we tasted, the 2013 Riesling and the 2013 Merlot definitely stole the show. It became very evident that Groote Post wasn’t only passionate about conservation, but also about the wines they produce. Nick is also very clearly involved in all aspects of the farm’s activities, as he went on to explain the wine making process for each wine we tasted, despite not being the winemaker himself. It was incredibly refreshing to meet someone in the industry who is involved in all aspects of the viticulture, farming and winemaking processes.
After cleaning out the cellar’s 2013 Merlot wine stock, we finally headed to our next destination. We drove along a winding dirt road that lead us past a few farms that also had fields of flowers, bright pops of yellow and orange flickered by as we headed towards Darling. We ended off the tour at the Darling Wildflower show, where the smell of boerewors braais drifted through the music filled atmosphere, the beer and wine stands were the easiest to identify because there were crowds of people buzzing around the tents. All in all, it was a great day and a lovely adventure that I can’t wait to re-visit next year when the flowers pop up again.