School holidays mean lots of extra traffic on the N2 as families head down to the Garden Route or move inland to Karoo destinations. It’s also whale-watching time in the Southern Cape when locals argue about which bay is the best from which to watch the great mammals and their offspring cavort in the Indian Ocean .
Baleia means whale in Portuguese which ties in with the vineyard’s location in St Sebastian bay which is known as South Africa’s whale nursery.
Travelling winelovers should note that there is a fairly unique tasting room, deli and restaurant on the N2 about 1`km from Riversdale as you head to Mossel Bay. There you will find the Baleia Wines cellar and La Bella restaurant and deli, and can taste the small but interesting range of wines and take home their olive oil as well.
Dassieklip farm is sited near the hamlet of Vermaaklikheid where the Joubert family started producing wine and olive oil a few years ago. Their wine range, made by Abraham de Klerk has caught the eye and palate of many a connoisseur: the vines, rooted in limestone soil are also conditioned by the bracing, sometimes windswept Mediterranean climate of that coastal area,
The 2013 vintage of their flagship Erhard pinot noir notched up awards, and the 2014 has now been released, a medium-bodied garnet-hued wine with moderate alcohol levels and rich tannins which promise longevity. There’s a herbiness along with the characteristic earthiness of the cultivar, and this could be a pinot to squirrel away for a few years and then open to increased enjoyment. It costs R180.