Darling Wine Route
Darling, 'the flower of the West Coast', is an hour's drive from Cape Town. The town and surrounds are the home of vineyard plantings influenced by the nautical conditions of the nearby Atlantic Ocean. Mainly dryland, the plantings yield fruit of huge intensity and flavour, resulting in wonderful wines. Darling is a member of the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative, which aims to minimise the loss of natural habitats and contribute to sustainable wine production through better land-management practices.
The Darling Wine Route is named after the cultural and historic small town Darling. The town was named after Lieutenant-Governor Charles Henry Darling.
From the earliest years travellers through the area were overwhelmed by the beauty of the wildflowers, and since the inception in 1917 of the annual Darling Wildflower show, the incomparable blooming of wildflowers in spring have been main tourist attractions. The Darling region and town is also historically associated with dairy milk, butter and cream.
The pretty town of Darling has some great, down-to-earth eateries for travellers to enjoy. Visitors can choose from the atmospheric Evita se Perron, to dining on wine farms such as Cloof Wine Estate and Hilda’s Kitchen at Groote Post. Expect down-to-earth food and value for money.
Experience warm hospitality and true country living in intimate guesthouses or cottages when you visit the lively town of Darling.
The Darling Wine Route is less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town. Wines are down to earth and great value for money, and labels include Cloof, Groote Post, Darling Cellars, Ormonde and Tukulu. Farms offer wine tasting, and many have restaurants and accommodation on site.
Darling is a non-coastal town with a variety of good tourism products to offer visitors in the town and its region.
For entertainment there is golf, as well as two art galleries and live shows at Evita se Perron. The latter has become a national and international attraction driven by satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys.
Other attractions include:
Wildflowers in season
Day hikes at Rondeberg
Game viewing at Buffelsfontein Nature Reserve
For the outdoor adventurer there are agri-tourism attractions at Waylands farm and Dukkit’s orchid nurseries
For tourists interested in history there are the Hildebrand Monument, the Darling Museum and the !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Village
The Darling Wine Route boasts the one-of-a-kind Voorkamerfest, which affords visitors the experience of a “truly South African multicultural sphere”. Voorkamerfest visitors visit different routes set out by the festival, taking them on a journey from township houses to Cape Dutch homes.
Tannie Evita's Koeksister Recipe
One can hardly mention Darling without mentioning Evita Bezuidenhout, or Tannie Evita as she is affectionately known by South Africans. The former stateswoman owns the local railway station and has a whole boulevard in the quaint town named after her.
We sat down with a glass of her favourite wine, Groote Post Old Man's Red Blend, as she shared her recipe for that quintessentially Afrikaans confectionary, koeksisters, with us. Cheers skattie!
Don’t Forget to Discover Darling
Of South Africa’s 23 wine and brandy routes, the Darling Wine Route is one of South Africa’s most charming enclaves. Besides its exquisite West Coast location and famed music festival, Darling draws oenophiles to the route, due to a bevy of reasons. We talk to Charles Withington, proprietor of Withington Wines and the Darling Wine Shop, about what not to miss when visiting this quaint little town.