Gerakaris winery in Craighall Park

A Winery in Joburg!

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 winery in Craighall ParkGerakaris Family Wines.

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.

Inside Gerakaris wineryInside the winery.

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.

The Gerakaris gardenThe Gerakaris garden.

Elli Chenin Blanc from Gerakaris wineryThe Elli Chenin Blanc. The wines are named after Kath and her husband Minos’ two children, Elli and Thomas. You can see Thomas hanging out in the background.

Thomas Syrah from GerakarisThe Thomas Syrah. This one was my favorite.

Gerakaris Joburg skyline barcodeEach wine bottle has a Joburg-skyline-themed barcode.

Pouring glasses of wine at GerakarisWe had of round of Elli after the tasting.

Wine friends at GerakarisNew wine friends.

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.

Cheers.

Heather and Kate at GerakarisKate and I in an iPhone wine selfie.

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.

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8 Comments

  • Reply roelia February 12, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    This is the best news EVER! I must go and check it out! x

    • Reply 2summers February 12, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      You’ll LOVE it. My only concern is it will get too popular and there will be nowhere to sit 🙂

  • Reply Kevin k m Collins February 12, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    Lovely article, thank you, but curious that you didn’t mention the property as REEA which is the charity that owns the entire farm with the stables, the veggie gardens and all the property. Please we are an NGO that requires support and positive word of mouth – we really appeal to your sense of community to provide honest factual and relevant information to your readers. It would really be of great assistance and greatly appreciated.

    • Reply 2summers February 12, 2018 at 8:41 pm

      Sorry I didn’t know! Will add.

  • Reply dizzylexa February 12, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Sounds great, need to check out the whole area including REEA which I have heard of, now is the time to visit.

    • Reply 2summers February 12, 2018 at 8:49 pm

      Yes, it’s such a nice place to visit.

  • Reply autumnashbough February 13, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Wow, it looks so bucolic! And like a gorgeous day for a picnic.

    • Reply 2summers February 13, 2018 at 4:53 pm

      Bucolic is just the right word.

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