• Kim Rabe

Organic Bliss at Babylonstoren

Want to feel energized and experience something out of the ordinary? Then why not include a stop at Babylonstoren on your wine tour. Whether you have a green thumb or not, you will be in awe of the incredible display: 8 acres of edible plants; from indigenous succulents, fruit, vegetables, nuts, olives, berries, herbs and so much more. The gardens are forever changing with the seasons and so I never tire of a visit. In winter the citrus smells from the orange and lemon harvest dominate the air, in spring the clivias bring the river banks to life and in summer the vegetable and fruit orchards stand heavy with their yield.

The gardens of Babylonstoren were inspired by the Company’s garden in Cape Town; originally established in 1652 to supply fresh produce to the Dutch East India fleet of ships rounding the Cape as they sailed the Spice Route. On the farm shards of blue and white Delft porcelain have been uncovered. These remnants of porcelain bowls and plates were used during these early days of exploration to transport spices back to Europe. Blue and white forms part of the theme and colour scheme of Babylonstoren’s very stylish aesthetic, from printed linen table cloths sold at the farm stall to their restaurant menu designs and a ceramic mosaic surrounding the garden's persimmon tree.

These gardens are in turn surrounded by 72 hectares of vineyards made up of 13 different cultivars. Everything grown in the gardens is used in the restaurants and the vineyards supply the on site boutique winery. After a walk around the gardens, one can venture to the new tasting facility to sample their wine selection. The wines have really come into their own over the last year and I much enjoyed my most recent tasting this past December. Charl Coetzee, winemaker at Babylonstoren strives to keep his wine making in harmony with the spirit of Babylonstoren by remaining as true to nature as possible. The flagship is a Bordeaux blend named after Nebuchadnezzar the Neo- Babylonian king who constructed the hanging gardens of Babylon.,yet another play on the exotic garden mythology.

Also on offer at the tasting room are a variety of gourmet food platters; cheese, meats, fish and delicious organic goods from the garden. The greenhouse garden restaurant offer light meals and refreshments and the ever popular Babel restaurant offer delicious farm to fork dining. A visit to Babylonstoren is a wonderful way to start the day on a Best of the Boutiques wine tour, so what are you waiting for?

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