It’s quite natural for Southern African Travellers to assume that they will need to visit the Cape winelands to sip on Africa’s finest vintages, but Namibia too, has a thriving wine route with a charm and character all of its own.
This wonderful trail of tempting tipples runs from Neuras in the South to Kombat in the North and while it may not feature the world-renowned wines of the Fairest Cape, it is well-worth a day trip from your accommodation in Windhoek to sample their wares, or as a stopover on your way to Etosha National Park.
Although the route encompasses just three wine farms, the stunning Namibian scenery along the way makes up for the long distances and ensures a healthy appetite on arrival.
In the south, located in the foothills of the Naukluft Mountains which rim the Namib Desert, Neuras Wine and Wildlife Estate is perfect for a lunch break en-route to the Sossusvlei, just 80km distant.
The estate was established in 1997 and produces up to 3 000 bottles of Neuras Shiraz and Namib Red annually, with all proceeds going directly toward charitable environmental causes in the area.
Apart from 3 course lunches and dinners accompanied by their unique wines, Neuras dishes up a substantial breakfast of the continental or English variety. Tours of the rustic stone, sand and wood cellar followed by a cheese and wine tasting and a dip in the sparkling pool are worthwhile activities at Neuras Wine and Wildlife Estate. Alternatively, trips to the Neuras ‘Honey Canyon’ to see the rare Elephant’s Foot plant, an ancient San settlement and one of Namibia’s longest caves yield fantastic opportunities for photographers of every ability.
Travelling northward you will come across Kristall Kellerei at Omaruru, just over 2 hours’ drive from Windhoek. Here, the owners, Thinus and Olga, will accompany you on a half hour tour of their small vineyard, prickly pear patch and wine cellar, followed by a delicious lunch platter of venison cold cuts, cheese and homemade bread in the garden. Birds abound in this tranquil spot, particularly the Paradise flycatcher, and it is no wonder that this beautiful estate is the chosen starting venue for the Omaruru Artist Trail every year in September, and is also a popular spot for weddings and other celebrations.
Award-winning brandy, prickly pear and monkey orange liqueurs are also distilled here alongside Nappa (a Namibian “grappa”), fresh, fruity Colombard and a smoky flavoured Cuvé red wine with hints dryness befitting its desert origin.
Further up country, the Thonningi wine farm produces high quality Shiraz wines in the Otavi Valley, under the custodianship of retired medical doctor Bertus Boshoff and his wife Ebby.
Almost 3 000 of this dark red, almost black, wine is produced annually at Thonningi, along with Viognier white wine and a delicious Rosa, created from a blend of the two. The wines are predominantly sold to the tourists who flock here to sample these unique flavours and enjoy a tour of the farm followed by a cheese and wine tasting.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to test these unique Namibian wines while exploring the countryside or travelling to one of Namibia’s famous safari, scenic, historic or action-packed sites.