Spice Route Winery was founded by a constellation of stars from the South African wine industry: Gyles Webb of Thelema, Charles Back of Fairview, Jabulani Ntshangase of Spier and journalist John Platter (known collectively as the Spice Boys) who made their debut in the 1998 vintage with an exciting range of wines. Charles Back has since bought out his partners, passionate about wine and convinced of the potential of Malmesbury as a fine-wine producing region.
Spice Route now has a new home in Paarl, next door to Charles Back's Fairview farm, and together they are one of the Cape's most popular tourist and wine lovers' destinations, welcoming around 500,000 visitors per annum, attracted by chocolatier, microbrewery, distillery, glass blowing, and a selection of eateries as well as wine tasting opportunities.
The grapes come from 110 hectares of vineyard on the Klein Amoskuil farm in the Swartland and are characterised by very rich, almost creamy fruit and ripe tannins. All are Fairtrade, though discreetly so, and Spice Route is IPW and WIETA accredited.
In 2015 winemaker Charl du Plessis celebrated 15 vintages at Spice Route. Plans for the future include the results of new plantings in the cooler Darling region and site-specific bottlings. Chakalaka is the most popular wine in the range, always a six-varietal blend, though percentages vary each vintage.