Food & Wine of the Overberg

Morukuru Ocean House and Morukuru Beach Lodge are most definitely off-the-grid, but we are absolutely plugged in when it come to food and wine.   You have probably heard the popular saying:“Life’s too short for bad wine” and we totally agree! Fortunately we are surrounded by excellent wine producers right here in the Overberg.This region has a predominantly mediterranean climate with cool sea air adding a special something when it comes to wine-making conditions. The section from Elgin to Elim on the Southern Cape Coast is a spectacular grape-growing region so we never have to worry about “bad wine”.

 One of our favourite wine farms is Joubert-Tradouw. This family-owned private cellar is  on the R62 wine route just outside Barrydale in the Klein Karoo. Meyer and Beate Joubert are established winemakers with exceptional knowledge and their motto is “Proe die Klein Karoo” (Taste the Small Karoo) and that is just what we love to do.  All Joubert-Tradouw wines are exceptional and highly recommended but if we had to choose our favourite it would be the Joubert-Tradauw Pinot Noir 2013 because the notes of red cherry and Asian spice compliment fresh fish, seafood and fantastic Karoo Lamb, which features regularly on the menu. (Lamb recipe).

 Gabriëlskloof is another of our picks from the Overberg and is part of the Botrivier wine route. At this farm wine and olive oil is produced in the most environmentally friendly way possible. The eco-principles of Ocean House are aligned with those of Gabriëlskloof which is committed to ethical farming and taking the lead in community upliftment. This wine farm is a WWF Conservation Champion and keeps the use of insecticides, weed killers and fertiliser to a minimum. Gabriëlskloof doesn’t only create amazing wines it is also an award winning olive oil producer and has received gold medals at the annual SA Olive Awards for the past four years. The olive trees thrive in the sunny climate and when ready for harvest the fruit is picked by hand. Ocean House is proud to say that Gabriëlskloof is one of our preferred suppliers and we choose to use their olive oil in our kitchen. Chef Hope loves to add a drizzle of Gabriëlskloof Estate Virgin Olive Oil to her dishes.  The perfect balance of intense fruit, pungency, and bitterness is particularly delicious when enjoyed as a salad dressing.

The Whalehaven winery is located at the beginning of the Hemel en Aarde Wine Route and is well known for fine wines using noble French varietals cultivated in a traditional style. We appreciate their wines but particularly adore the labels which are a nod to the annual migration of the Southern Right whales. The logo shows the special relationship between a Southern Right mother and calf which guests can witness for themselves during whale watching season right here at Ocean House. (Whale watching).

The winery has recently undergone extensive renovations and has been transformed into the new Whalehaven Wine Experience Centre where visitors can enjoy wine tasting but also jam and chocolate pairings. I think it is safe to say that the one thing we enjoy as much as wine is chocolate! Whalehaven makes an outstanding Pinotage with notes of dark plum and blackcurrant which is a perfect partner for something dark. What could be a better ending to a brilliant meal with a dark chocolate desert and a glass of red. A match made in heaven!

The Overberg region boasts a vibrant food culture and food lovers will be in paradise at any number of  a local farm stalls. The Plaasmark is another of our preferred suppliers and that’s because they have the best fruit and vegetables. In fact their motto is: “Fruit and Veg with a difference”.  We choose Plaasmark for locally grown vegetables and all sorts of fresh produce including fish caught in Struisbaai from local fishermen, free-range eggs from local farms and honey produced in the Overberg. Our team in the kitchen just loves creating magic with all of these delicious ingredients like a special Honey Cake recipe borrowed from Morukuru Family in the Madikwe. What a special tea-time treat!