There’s a new winery in Joburg called Gerakaris Family Wines. This is a big deal (hence my use of a rare exclamation point). Let me explain why.
South Africa is heaven for wine-drinkers. I rave about it all the time to my American friends. South African wine is as good or better than wine anywhere else in the world, and ridiculously affordable. Also drinking wine in South Africa is a particularly enjoyable activity. We’ve got the right weather and the right scenery and it’s all just perfect.
But South Africa’s wine culture is in Cape Town and the surrounding areas of the Western Cape province. No one comes to Joburg for wine. The climate here isn’t right for grapes and it’s next to impossible to buy decent wine by the glass in this town. Up until now, as far as I have been able to determine, there were no wineries in Joburg open to the public.
That changed a couple of weeks ago when Gerakaris opened for business on a quaint little property in Craighall Park.
Gerakaris is not an actual wine estate, meaning it doesn’t grow its own grapes. But that doesn’t mean the wine isn’t legit. In fact, it’s fantastic.
Kath Gerakaris, the winery’s owner, is originally from New Zealand, another wine-loving country. She has a post-graduate diploma in viticulture and oenology (basically, a degree in wine) and has worked for several prominent South African wine cellars.
Gerakaris imports its grapes from the Western Cape, within a day or two of being picked, and performs the rest of the winemaking process on the premises in Joburg.
The winery currently offers two Chenin Blancs and two Syrahs, one of which is a 2014 vintage. (Although I think the 2014 Syrah is running out.) Best of all, Gerakaris has a lovely back garden and it’s open for tastings and sales.
Saturday Afternoon at the Winery
I visited Gerakaris with my friend Kate, just a few days after it opened to the public. The winery is in a white-washed converted farm building on the edge of Delta Park, and is ridiculously lovely and quaint. We sat outside under a willow tree and spent the afternoon hanging out and sipping wine. It was delightful.
Gerakaris doesn’t serve food but it’s next door to the Delta Café, which serves Gerakaris wine. There are also some cute antique shops and art galleries in the surrounding buildings, and a horse stable and organic veggie garden (run by the non-profit REEA Foundation, which also owns the Gerakaris plot) next door. It’s a perfect place to spend a sunny Saturday.
Gerakaris Family Wines is at 20 Marlborough Avenue, Craighall Park. The winery is open Wednesday through Friday from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.