Winters Drift Wines reflect on a rewarding year as they prepare for a busy festive season

Monday, 16 December, 2013
Winters Drift
With a host of prestigious wine awards and new vintage releases and exciting developments at the Tasting Station and Platform 1 Eatery

Winters Drift wines, grown on the historic Glen Elgin farm in the cool-climate Elgin Valley, have had much to celebrate this year, having been honoured with a handsome collection of accolades, including a 2013 Veritas Double Gold for their Chardonnay 2012, a 2013 Michelangelo Gran d’Or (Double Gold) for their maiden 2011 Shiraz, as well as a British Airways listing for their Chardonnay 2012 on First Class flights in 2014.

In addition, the Winters Drift Tasting Station has gone from strength to strength, adding a culinary component with the launch of the popular Platform 1 Eatery earlier this year and now offering picnics for summer, movie nights as well as exciting events.


Winters Drift Chardonnay 2012

Awards: 2013 Veritas Double Gold, a listing on British Airways First Class for 2014, and a Top 6 Chardonnay rating by Classic Wine magazine in the December 2013 issue.

Tasting notes: This wine has a voluptuous nose displaying gorgeous aromas of lemon rind and butter with smoky vanilla and peach undertones. The mouth-feel is full, wide and soft, the acidity gently piercing the finish to afford the wine freshness. The complexity of this Chardonnay testifies to its quality. This wine will age well over the next three to four years.

Retail price: The Winters Drift Chardonnay 2012 is available nationally and retails at R92.

Winters Drift 2011 Shiraz (This maiden release is sold out and the 2012 has been released)

Awards: 2013 Michelangelo Gran d’Or (Double Gold)

Winters Drift 2012 Shiraz

Tasting notes: The 2012 Shiraz exhibits a bright crimson colour with rich spices, lavender and soft oak on the nose and ripe red and purple berry flavours. The mouth-feel is given structure by ripe grape and oak tannins. The wine will age very well over the next three to five years.

Retail price: The Winters Drift 2012 Shiraz is available nationally and retails at approximately R92.


Winters Drift 2012 Sauvignon Blanc

Awards: Silver medal at the 2013 International Wine & Spirit Competition.

Tasting notes: This is an expressive, crisp wine displaying freshly cut grass and a touch of lime rind accompanied by hints of lychee and nuances of white peach. The wine boasts classic Elgin flint in the finish.

Retail price: The Winters Drift 2012 Sauvignon Blanc is available nationally and retails at approximately R67.

Winters Drift Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (will be released early in 2014)

Tasting notes: This wine is intensely fruity on the nose displaying gorgeous notes of soft pineapple, litchi, pear and white peach, as well as typical cool climate green vegetative aromas. On the palate, the wine has refreshing acidity and a lingering aftertaste that finishes with crisp green notes.

Winters Drift 2012 Rosé (new vintage release)

Awards: Bronze medal at the 2013 International Wine & Spirit Competition.

Tasting notes: A refreshing dry Rosé made from Merlot grapes, it displays a lovely soft pink colour and is characterised by notes of fresh summer berries wrapped in floral overtones, most notably white and pink rose petals, with hints of candyfloss on the finish.

Retail price: The Winters Drift 2012 Rosé is available nationally and retails at R55.

Winters Drift 2012 Pinot Noir

Awards: Silver medal at the 2013 International Wine & Spirit Competition, 4 stars in the December 2013 issue of Classic Wine magazine and 4 stars in Platter’s South African Wines 2014.

Tasting notes: The Winters Drift 2012 Pinot Noir is their first commercial Pinot Noir, with the maiden 2011 release comprising only 700 bottles. This wine offers distinct, poignant oak and abundant cherry flavours, supported by crisp, fresh vegetative notes, including forest floor, rhubarb and mushroom.

Retail price: The Winters Drift 2012 Pinot Noir, a limited release, is only available at a few restaurants and at the Tasting Station, retailing for R105.


Just off-the-‘spoor’, situated in the historic Elgin Station on the Glen Elgin farm, you will find the Winters Drift Tasting Station, filled with memorabilia from bygone days, and the delightful railway-style café, Platform 1. The original railway line, which runs through Glen Elgin farm, is still operational today, with two to three grain-laden trains passing through daily, faithfully retaining the atmosphere of the hustle and bustle of the Elgin Station in its heyday. Offering delectable seasonally-inspired dishes, served on wooden boards, with a commitment to local and sustainable ingredients, Platform 1 is a must stop-off in Elgin.


Start your ‘journey’ through the day with ciabatta, toasted to perfection, accompanied by eggs, slow-roasted tomatoes, bacon, sausage and mushrooms. Wash this delectable fare down with a cup of freshly-brewed, piping hot coffee from the Bean There Coffee Company while browsing the newspaper. Or for the not-so-hungry, there are lighter breakfast options on offer.

Blackboard lunch menu

Or refresh yourself with a mid-journey pit-stop and relish an alfresco railway-style lunch where the innovative and well-priced blackboard menu changes weekly, making for an adventurous gourmet journey. Here follows a few examples of the kind of dishes that are likely to appear on the menu from time to time:

- Beef and Brie burger with potato wedges and caramelized onion

- Falafel balls on naan bread with tzatziki and fresh mint

- Open lamb pitas with tzatziki, chopped tomatoes and mint

- Roast vegetable salad with roasted pumpkin seeds and feta

- Mini baguette with teriyaki chicken, red cabbage and apple slaw

- Tapas board

The experience is cosy and relaxed and the dishes are complemented by the Winters Drift range of fine wines which can be ordered by the glass, at only R30 to R38 per glass, or share a bottle, served at cellar door prices.

Koek en Tee

On a more indulgent note, Wednesdays are ‘Koek-en-Tee’ days at Platform 1. Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and treat yourself to a piece of cake. The cakes, which differ each week, include decadent offerings like lemon meringue pie, baked cheese cake, carrot cake with caramelised lemon and walnuts, double chocolate cake, and lemon poppy seed cakes to name but a few.

Picnics in summer

In keeping with the ‘travel’ theme, the picnics are served in vintage suitcases with name tags attached.

Picnic menu @R150.00 per person:

Ciabatta, hummus, mature cheddar, Brie, beef with rocket and mustard, quiche, spanakopita, caprese salad, pesto penne pasta, a delicious sweet something and mineral water.

Picnics need to be booked 24 hours in advance. Vegetarian and kiddies picnics are available on request.

Music nights

In addition to wine-tasting and country cuisine, Winters Drift Tasting Station and Platform 1 invite you to satiate other senses as you embark on another adventure with their Music Nights, which take place on a monthly basis. A ticket for R150 per person includes the music, a light supper and a glass of Winters Drift wine.

Movie nights

Winters Drift have completed the renovations to the adjacent railway buildings to create a home for the popular Movie nights at Platform 2. Movie nights take place every Tuesday. Tickets at R115 per head include a movie ticket and a delicious home-cooked meal. The evening starts at 19:00 with supper served on the platform under the stars (weather permitting) followed by the screening of the movie in the movie house at 20h00. Drinks and coffee are available at an extra cost with Winters Drift wines available by the glass or the bottle. All bookings need to be made 24 hours in advance.

December screenings include:

- Tuesday, 3 December - Great Expectations

- Tuesday, 10 December - Populaire

- Tuesday, 17 December - Summer in February

- Monday, 23 December - Scrooge

Special events

Platform 1 will be hosting a Gourmet Mushroom Day, with mushroom guru Gary Goldman. For more details, visit

Dates: 29 April, 30 April, 1 May and 2 May 2014

Numbers: 40 people per day

Each day will include a quick talk on mushrooms, mushroom foraging and lunch with a glass of Winters Drift wine.

Cost: R350 per person per day


Tuesday to Friday: 9am to 4pm

Saturday: 10am to 4pm

Sunday: First Sunday of every month between September and May

Monday: By appointment only

Contact: Emy Mathews (Marketing and Tasting Station Manager)

Telephone: 021 859 5534 = 082 494 1265





Tuesday to Saturday: 8:30am to 4pm

Contact: Dre Johnson

Cell: 082 379 2623



Closed on Sundays and Mondays, however, events and functions can be scheduled by prior arrangement.

So phone in to book your seats for a first class memorable experience, or simply pop in to share the produce of the lovely Elgin Valley.