Fryer's Cove: Taste the West Coast

Fryer’s Cove is the only vineyard within the Bamboes Bay ward, which is also the smallest ward in South Africa. Fryer’s Cove wines have a distinct maritime flavour, hence our slogan ‘forged of the earth, tempered by the sea’.

Fryers Cove once seemed an improbable dream – to plant vines on a remote stretch of land just 500 m from the Atlantic Ocean at Bamboes Bay on the rugged Cape West Coast. Yet local farmer Jan van Zyl and his father, Jan Ponk, set out on this great adventure more than 30 years ago.

Inspired by the wines of Marlborough in New Zealand, which have the same cold winters and cool summer evenings as Bamboes Bay, the dream was to make distinctive, fine wines, different to anything else you would find in South Africa. But they needed water and the nearest freshwater source is in Vredendal. And to irrigate the vineyards, a 30 km pipeline had to be dug from that town.

Arid conditions aside, being the closest vineyards to the sea in South Africa, the vines also have to brave persistent sea breezes. A cool blanket of mist continually deposits vast amounts of salt onto the leaves and grapes, which prevents vineyard diseases and adds to the vivid minerality in the wines.

The cellar is in an old crayfish factory which has a jetty over the ocean. Icy seawater is pumped into the cellar and through the tanks to cool the wine during fermentation.

Visit Fryer's Cove & The Jetty Restaurant - open Monday to Sunday from 09h00 - 18h00