Spice Route Winery’s name reflects what the vineyard, the wines and the people are all about. It recalls the ancient mariners of the 15th century braving the tempestuous waters of the ‘Cape of Storms’ as they plied their trade bringing exotic Eastern spices to Western Europe along the so-called ‘Spice Route’. (The view of Table Mountain from the Spice Route vineyards takes the imagination back to the scene which would have greeted those bygone sailors as they rounded the Cape Peninsula). In much the same way Charles Back went sailing into largely uncharted waters on his route to realising the viticultural potential of this part of the Swartland wine region.
When Charles Back started the Spice Route wine journey, the farm did not have a cellar, so an old tobacco drying shed was converted into a fermentation and maturation cellar, adapted to the type style of winemaking required to handle Swartland fruit with care. His venture’s name is equally evocative of the style of wines being made: rich, complex yet infinitely enjoyable, with ripe fruit of the finest quality skilfully enhanced through careful oaking… much as carefully selected spices bring out the flavours in a dish.
Wine is made in the vineyard, and requires a gentle hand to guide it. The Spice Route cellar is in the heart of the Swartland region, near a town called Malmesbury with the first harvest to pass through the cellar back in 1998.