The charming little village known as Elim, dominated by white-washed fishermen’s cottages and fig trees, is one of the few surviving South African mission stations, founded in 1824 as the third Moravian mission station in the Cape, that today lies halfway on the dirt road between Bredasdorp and Gansbaai, a wonderfully conserved little historical town. Many explorer vessels have sunk in this area, giving it the name "the graveyard of ships". Farmers in the Elim ward who have undertaken to grow vines for wine production echo something of the bravado of seamen on caravels out to discover unchartered terrain.
Elim, which means ‘place of God’, might lie in the middle of a particularly sparsely populated area, but it has recently been firmly placed on the wine map. Four wine producing partners in the Elim ward - Black Oystercatcher, the Berrio, Zoetendal and First Sighting - have joined forces to create the Elim Winegrowers reminiscent of the self-sustaining farming community of Elim that used to supply farm goods to surrounding settlements.
The proximity to two oceans places Elim in an interesting geographical location. A number of interesting climatic factors, such as the cool south west and south easterly winds that restrict upward growth leaving the vine to focus its energy instead on a more concentrated fruit, affect the wines that are being excitedly monitored by the international wine community.
The biggest wooden wheel at any water mill in the country is in Elim, as well as the only monument ever erected to celebrate the emancipation of slaves, and the church, which dominates the village, lie on the axis of the main road.
Grootbos takes its guests on tailor-made wine tours through these fascinating areas to experience the beauties of Elim and the Overberg alike.