WORDS: CARLA REDELINGHUYS IMAGES: SUPPLIED
Many people when they think “Winelands” think Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek or the Constantia area. But behind the Boerewors Curtain, nestled in a particularly picturesque part of Cape Town, you’ll find the Durbanville Wine Valley, where favourites like Durbanville Hills, De Grendel, Nitida and Diemersdal – to name but a few – stand proudly, producing some of the best wines in the country.
Slightly further afield, on the Klipheuwel road, about 5km outside of Durbanville CBD in the direction of Stellenbosch, is Groot Phesantekraal, where you can indulge in excellent food and wine while the kids run around on the surrounding lawn.
Once a reposing farm with rolling wheat lands, vineyards, grazing cows and sheep, this historic estate has lately seen a quiet evolution under the guidance of fourth generation owners André and Ronelle Brink, elevating it to the top of any wine lover’s to-do list.
“When we started thinking about making wine back in 1998, the soil experts we consulted said we would never produce good grapes,” says Ronelle with a smile. How wrong they were! With winemaker Etienne Louw (of Altydgedacht) at the helm, the farm is now producing awarding-winning blanc de blanc MCC, sauvignon blanc, unwooded and wooded chenins, a cabernet sauvignon, and the flagship pinotage, Berliet – named after the 1927 French Berliet that belonged to André’s late father and which has been restored and is showcased at the estate.
After a wine tasting in the original chicken coop (just mind your head going in), buy a bottle of your favourite (it’s ridiculously reasonably priced) and head to the restaurant, run by husband-and-wife team Juan and Maret van Deventer (Juan is head chef and Maret front of house) and housed in a converted farm stable (built in 1767) with white-washed plastered walls, original stone floors, open-beam thatched roof and original feeding troughs. It’s rustic yet stylish.
And that describes the food too. The small but eclectic menu changes regularly according to seasonal availability, as much of the produce used is sourced on the farm.
The new spring menu was recently launched and will not disappoint – think steak, pork belly, lamb noisette, line-fish risotto and homemade tagliatelle with a roasted tomato garlic sauce and smoked aubergine for lunch, or hearty breakfasts, Saturday brunch or lunch on the lawn. Check their website for opening times.
Groot Phesantekraal Farm | 021 825 0060 | grootphesantekraal.co.za