The Elim Area
The Elim Wine Festival is close to the southernmost tip of Africa – where the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans meet. It’s believed that the area was formed 900 million years ago, and once formed part of Antarctica.
That’s why the region is so unique. There is diversity in the soil types, encouraging distinctive mineral and flinty flavours. And the main winds that blow all come straight off the sea, keeping things slightly cooler, and carrying some of the ocean’s salt.
So it’s no wonder the Elim Wine Ward has become one of the most closely watched wine-producing regions in the world.
Steeped in history
The ward is named after the small town of Elim, established by Moravian missionaries in 1824. Elim, which means ‘place of God’ is steeped in history and ambiance. More than 100 years ago, vineyards were planted here for sacramental wine. These ceased for many decades, and viticulture only resumed in the 1990s.
Getting into nature
The area is also rich in biodiversity – from the fynbos, to the bird and animal life. Much of the vegetation found here is critically endangered, and forms part of the extremely diverse Cape Floral Kingdom. Like the very rare Elim Ferricrete Fynbos – of which much has been lost already.
The birdlife here is busy, and birders will no doubt see an array of vulnerable and endangered birds, including the Secretarybird, the Black Harrier, and the Blue Crane, and a range of Little Brown Jobs.