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Waterkloof Wines – Somerset West’s Hidden Gem

Recently I’ve been trying to find some new locations to shoot, and while I had pinned down a few within the 30 kilometer range, it’s not always easy to predict a good sunset ahead of time that would cater to driving to the location without a severe risk of disappointment. I ended up turning to Google Earth, and looking around for closer locations that could offer some form of elevation over Somerset West, or better yet some kind of tranquility that would lend itself to the landscapes I enjoy taking photos of. While zooming in and out of nearly every open piece of land or farm within the area, I found some photos taken at a place called Waterkloof Wine Estate. Living in Rome Glen area myself, I was a little surprised to see that there was a wine farm so close by.

I ended up sending a message to their social media page, enquiring as to the possibility of shooting on the farm. Even though there is a restaurant and wine tasting venue on the farm, I was looking for some more freedom to wander between the vineyards, and hoped I would be granted permission. Sure enough, just an hour later I had received a friendly response which suggested I follow up with someone by the name of Claudia. Claudia gladly accepted my request to shoot on the farm and was extremely happy to accommodate me in this regard, asking that I just let them know prior to arriving.

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I had noticed some altocumulus developing in the sky and knew that there was a potential for a good sunset, so I replied letting them know that I may come by in the evening. Sure enough the sky was looking promising by 17:15, and so I made my way up the road (quite literally 3 roads away) and was let through by the gate security. At this point I really had no idea what to expect, but as the road crawled up into the hills the views just got better and better, forcing me to stop several times along the way merely to take in the scenery. Before I was even at the parking area I was in awe of the views, civilization lay in the wastes below while the farm was tranquil and open, vineyards stretching on across the hills.

After parking in the main parking area by the restaurant (which looks absolutely incredible, by the way), I made my way into the vineyards and walked around, scouting for unique views and compositions around the farm. I followed the one path to a peak on the hill where I got to experience views of Helderberg area that I hadn’t managed to before. Though it wasn’t only the mountain-esque views that were appealing, and small farm houses catching the golden light through the trees were also highly appealing.

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One of the most interesting aspects for me was also the amount of bird life that I heard calling through the farm, and I would love to be able to come do a morning’s birding and see what species turn up.

As the light disappeared behind Table Mountain in the distance, I began making my way back to the car, but not before catching a few shots of the now pink sky that illuminated the Hottentots Holland Mountains. I wasn’t sure on closing times and when I had to leave, so a few other potential shots were left out, but I hope to return soon to capture more of the farm and see what other treasures are held. Definitely some of the best views I’ve seen and judging by the reviews, those views are tied with excellent service and extremely high quality dining.

Bryn De Kocks

Bryn is a passionate and opinionated antinatalist and naturalist with a love for nature, the ocean, photography, severe weather and music. He spends most of his time looking for new birds within the Western Cape, taking landscape photographs or behind his computer being a nerd.

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