Booze tends to get a back rap because of its intoxicating effects but inebriated shenanigans aside, tipple (when enjoyed in moderation) provides us with a charming peek under the skirts of a country’s culture. The gorgeous Hout Bay valley fairly represents the Cape and country’s ardent love for beautiful wine, craft brew, and artisanal spirits. It’s also home to the “smallest pub in Africa”, so line up an Uber because we’re going to take you on a boozy tour of Hout Bay!
Wine, glorious wine
Positioned right next door to the world-famous Constantia wine region, Hout Bay boasts a cool, maritime climate perfect for the cultivation of classic Bordeaux grape varietals, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. There are three wine estates in the valley, all of which can be visited under special circumstances (either by appointment or at certain times of the year, etc.)
Hout Bay Vineyards
T: +27 (0) 83 790 3303
Perched high atop the northwest-facing slopes of Bokkemanskloof, Hout Bay Vineyards make full use of the valley’s favourable terroir to produce a delicious boutique range of wines, which can be sampled in an intimate tasting setting in the cellar. Winemaker and owner Cathy Roeloffze hosts the private tastings (by appointment only) and guests are welcome to enjoy a glass of their favourite wine afterwards. Tastings cost R50 per person with a minimum charge of R300.
Ambeloui is a small boutique wine cellar and farm that produces delicious, high quality Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) in the traditional Champagne method. The only caveat here is that the farm only opens its doors to the public once per year on the first weekend of November – this year, 2nd November 2019 – where you can sample and buy their bubbly. Stocks are limited and are sold on a first come, first served basis!
Silvermist Wine Estate
T: +27 (0) 21 794 7601
Silvermist is a family owned organic wine estate at the top of the Hout Bay valley, where it melts into Constantia. The farm falls within the Table Mountain National Park, so there’s plenty of birdlife about and the panoramic views of the Twelve Apostles Mountain range, Constantia Valley, False Bay, and Hottentots Holland Mountains are truly spectacular. Silvermist Wine Estate is open for tastings during high season (1st November 2019 to 28th February 2020) from Tuesday to Sunday, 11:00 to 17:00; mid-season (1st March 2020 to 30th April 2020) from Wednesday to Sunday, 11:00 to 17:00; and low season (1st May 2020 to 30th September 2020) from Friday to Sunday, 11:00 to 16:00.
Constantia Wine Route
Still thirsty? Why not explore the rest of the Constantia Wine Route, which sprawls out just on the other side of Constantia Nek? There are 10 wine estates here with a history that dates back to the very origins of winemaking in South Africa, as established by the first Governor of the Cape, Simon Van Der Stel. For more information on the Constantia Wine Route and it’s oldest farm, Groot Constantia, click on the relevant links.
It’s Craft, Bru
Located in the heart of Hout Bay’s historic harbour, very conveniently side-by-side to each other, you’ll find the Urban Brewing Co. and Hout Bay Harbour Distillery, where quality, artisanal craft beers are brewed and gins are distilled respectively.
Urban Brewing Company
T: +27 (0) 21 791 1130 or +27 (0) 82 474 9745
The Urban Brewing Co. offers visitors tours of their craft beer operation, which is right next door to the vastly popular Bay Harbour Market. The tour includes a beer tasting, a complimentary beer of your choice, a tour of their facilities, and a short talk on the process of craft beer production.
Hout Bay Harbour Distillery
T: +27 (0) 82 443 9360
If you prefer a G&T to beer (or in addition to), the Hout Bay Harbour Distillery crafts true artisanal gin at its tiny operation, which shares a space with a gorgeous art gallery. They too offer very informative tastings, which conclude with a delicious gin cocktail of your choice.
Bay Harbour Market
Open every Friday from 17:00 to 21:00, and Saturday and Sunday from 09:30 to 16:00, the refurbished fish factory in the old part of the Hout Bay harbour comes to life with hundreds of craft stalls and a mouth-watering selection of food and beverage vendors. The Bay Harbour Market offers the perfect opportunity and setting in which sit down to a delicious lunch after a gin and/or beer tasting, accompanied by more craft beer, cocktails, and wine of course!
The Workshop Pub (the Smallest Pub in Africa)
T: +27 (0) 21 790 1747
Lovingly known as the “Smallest Pub in Africa”, the Workshop has long been Hout Bay’s casual, go-to watering hole. The bar is truly tiny, but an outside tented area (with big screen TV’s playing sports) offers sheltered seating for many patrons. The drinks are cheap, the laid-back vibe infectious, and there’s an ancient Dukebox you can attempt to coerce into playing your favourite songs.
T: +27 (0) 21 791 0189
Woodcutters Arms is a traditional English style pub on Hout Bay’s Main Road, almost right opposite DK Villas’ Harbour View property. Here, you can expect home-cooked, British inspired dishes, a large selection of craft beer, an extensive wine list, a relaxed atmosphere, and, when there’s a game on, hot-blooded patriotism!
Pakalolo Hout Bay
T: +27 (0) 21 790 0700
Pakalolo is a restaurant and excellent bar that serves a constellation of cocktails and shooters in addition to the usual assortment of beverages. Perched at the beginning of Chapman's Peak Drive, right opposite the beach, Pakalolo is reliably vibey with live local entertainment (music and comedy) on weekends and outside terraces, a chill out lounge, a Bistro area with fireplace, and three big screens for sports events in full HD!