Words: Belinda Mountain | Images: Supplied

As the weather becomes chillier in the Western Cape, it’s quieter out there in wine country. But fewer tourists and local visitors opens up an exciting opportunity for winemakers, one which Franschhoek’s Haute Cabrière experimented successfully with last year: a series of pop-up, wine-and-food pairings that tours the rest of the country.

“Last year’s overwhelming response and support was humbling. We sold out within weeks of announcing the tour, a sign that our loyal followers outside the Western Cape are very eager to experience Haute Cabrière in their own cities,” comments marketing manager Lientjie McLachlan.

Chefs Nic van Wyk and Westley Muller will take their restaurant on the road to Joburg, Pretoria, Durban and the Garden Route, along with second-generation cellar master Takuan von Arnim, who will regale dinner guests with charming anecdotes and wine-tasting tips that enrich the gastronomic experience.

A six-course tasting menu paired with wines costs R595, good value when you consider not only the extremely high quality of the dishes, but also the fact that you’ll be able to enjoy a true wine-farm experience without venturing too far from your hometown.

The Haute Cabrière philosophy is all about striving for balance, with the chefs relying on French cooking techniques to produce bold South African flavours, and the winemakers aiming to craft well-balanced wines from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, while still honouring the unique characteristics of these varietals.

Taste highlights include the creamy pea soup with chorizo and pork puffs, savoured with a glass of Haute Cabrière Chardonnay Pinot Noir. The thyme and butter-basted line fish with cauliflower puree, braised lentils and crispy kale is paired superbly with Pierre Jourdan Tranquille, while a dessert of chocolate torte with Amaretti crumbs, candied pecan nuts and salted caramel popcorn is sublime with sips of Pierre Jordan Ratafia.

Whether you’re a loyal fan of visiting the wine farm when you’re on holiday or are eager to have your first taste of the Haute Cabrière experience, these are culinary events not to be missed.

Johannesburg:

Randpark Golf Club
23 July to 27 July
facilitator@randpark.co.za

The Peech Boutique Hotel
31 July to 4 August
events@thepeech.co.za

Bryanston Country Club
17 August to 18 August
reception@bryanstoncc.co.za

Pretoria:

Moonshot, Menlyn
21 to 24 August
info@moonshotcafe.co.za

KwaZulu-Natal:

Osa Restaurant at Fairmont Zimbali Resort, Ballito
13 July
zim.dining@fairmont.com

Fairmont Zimbali Lodge, Ballito
10 to 12 July
zim.dining@fairmont.com

Garden Route:

Oubaai Hotel Golf and Spa, Herolds Bay, George
20 to 21 July
nikki.schaafsma@oubaaihotels.com

Haute Cabrière
021 876 8500
cabriere.co.za