Val du Charron – Beautiful Wine & Leisure Estate with Good Food

At the beginning of the month, The Husband and I were fortunate to visit the Wellington Wine Route once again - this time, at Val du Charron, a beautiful Wine and Leisure Estate.

They have SO much to offer on the estate: accommodation, wine tasting, two restaurants as well as a spa. We were unable to experience it all in our short time there, so I would definitely recommend staying over for at least two nights - if you're keen on trying out everything 🙂

When we arrived, it was absolutely pouring! Although we're more than happy for the rain, it did mean that the photos are a bit gloomy-looking and thus don't really do justice to the stunning views. Nevertheless, you can still get a feel for how pretty this whole estate is.

There are two options for accommodation: the 4-star rooms in their Guest House, or the 5-star rooms in their Coach House. We stayed in their Guest House which you can see below. Our rooms were on the ground level. They are currently building new rooms on the top level and I can imagine that the views will be even better from there!

The 4-star rooms

The rooms are quite spacious inside (see below). They have everything you need, including a bar fridge, TV, aircon and kettle. 

The spacious room

They do not have a bath in the 4-star rooms, but the shower has nice pressure and the dressing table area is well-lit, with a hairdryer available.

Outside your room, there's a little balcony with stunning views of the estate. As I mentioned, the weather on the day we went was miserable, but I can imagine that it would be really amazing to sit outside on the balcony in summer. It overlooks the pool area, which all guests have access to, so I think it would create a nice atmosphere in the warmer months.

View of the pool
Pool area

As I said above, there are two restaurants on the estate. Our first visit was to the Grillroom - which is situated on the lower level of the Guest House (see below). You can eat lunch or dinner there, but it also serves as the venue for breakfast, which is included when you stay over.

The restaurant is really cosy in winter with the fireplace, but I can imagine that it would be even better in summer as the big doors open up and you can sit outside (and be able to take in those beautiful views).

The Grillroom

Their menu is pretty diverse. Typically, they have the steaks and the burgers, but they also do salads and seafood, so you can still find something if you're not a big meat-eater. But if you ARE a carnivore, then you're in for quite a treat, because they have loads of options to choose from.

I found it pretty unique that you can choose between grain fed or grass fed cuts of steak and also see how many days your steak has been aged for. They have a board up in the restaurant indicating this (see below).

Days Indicator Board

When cooking their steaks, they use a nice spice mix (see below) and so you can order your steak without a sauce like we did and not really feel like you're missing out.

Spice Mix

You can choose from a range of options for your sides, but I love onion rings and chips, so we went with that. And they were really great! I particularly loved the onion rings! They were really crispy and delicious and I would recommend you pick them as a side option. The chips were also tasty and they had a nice spice sprinkled on them.

Fantastic Sides

We had a tough time choosing what steak to order because you really can order anything! The Husband settled on a Grain-fed Rib-Eye steak with Bone Marrow which typically costs R225. He thoroughly enjoyed it! I'm not such a fan of bone marrow, but he said it was delicious. As you can see below, you get quite a generous portion.

Grain fed Rib-Eye with Bone Marrow

I ended up choosing a Grass-fed Fillet steak (see below) that typically costs R190. I also really enjoyed it but couldn't finish it all due to previously mentioned onion rings 🙂 It was cooked perfectly and the meat was really tender.

A cool thing that they have on their menu is a meat platter that you can share with friends. They have a few options to choose from, but there is one for R444 or R349 (grass fed vs grain fed) where you can order three primal cuts of beef fillet, rump and sirloin. This is a 600 gram platter, but you can also get a kilogram one - great idea for trying all three cuts of steak with a group of people.

Grass fed Fillet

After lunch, you will be pretty full (trust me), so I'd suggest a walk around the pretty estate. There's so much to see. They have a spa which you can visit too - it's closed on a Sunday though.

You can also see their beautiful vineyards and relax on the big grass patch in front of the Guest House. 

In the afternoon, we sat down for a wine tasting with Sihle. He's really knowledgeable about wines in general and is clearly passionate about the wines at Val du Charron, so you'd be happy to get him for your tasting. We were fortunate enough to taste their range of wines! (I know, tough job)

White wines
Red wines

My favourite whites were the Chardonnay and the white blend, called Four White Legs. It's a blend of Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris, Roussanne, Viognier and Grenache Blanc. I found it to be quite unique and very easy-drinking. It's refreshingly acidic and I think it would be a lovely summer, picnic wine as it's aromatic with flavours of lime and honey.

My favourite reds were the Cabernet Sauvignon and the red blend (see below). The Black Countess is a blend of Shiraz, Mouvedre, Grenache and Tinta Barocca. The added Mouvedre made it quite smooth and I enjoyed the dark berry and spice flavours. The added Grenache and Tinta Barocca added a refreshing red fruit flavour to the wine which was balanced nicely with the oak flavours. It's quite a light wine actually and so I'd suggest drinking a glass in front of the fire. I'm sure it would be nice paired with steak too, but you can easily drink a glass just as is. 

The Black Countess Blend

So after I was so full that I couldn't finish my steak, we popped in at the other restaurant for dinner (hence why I say you need two nights here). The Piza e Vino restaurant (see below) is situated next to the Manor House and it's the perfect summer spot as there is loads of space to sit outside in front - and, you get a clear view of rolling hills and the vineyards. 

The Pizza Spot

But, as you know, it's clearly winter, and so we sat inside. There's a cosy fireplace there too (winning) and a relaxed atmosphere inside, so you don't feel like you're missing out.

They have medium and large pizza options and quite a range of pizzas and pastas to choose from. (They also have beers on tap and a whole range of cocktails too!) We decided to order a medium pizza each. The Husband chose the Porky the Pig pizza (see below) which costs R92. Its toppings include salami, pepperoni, bacon, caramelised onion, feta and fresh basil. Although the basil was missing, the pizza was delicious. The onion added a nice sweet taste that balanced out the saltiness in the meat.

Porky Pig Pizza

I felt like something spicy so I opted for the Americano pizza (see below) for R79. It had toppings of pepperoni, red peppers, jalapenos, garlic, olives and feta. I really enjoyed it. The bases were really good and I liked the feta they used.

Americano Pizza

After all that food and all that wine, I must say, we slept pretty well! The next morning, we headed back to the Grillroom to eat - again! 🙂 They have a good breakfast menu (see below) where you can order a continental or hot breakfast (or both).

They have a range of coffees to choose from and fresh juices. We opted for a cappuccino and fresh orange juice. You get toast with your breakfast, but also mini croissants (see below) which is a nice added touch.

Cappuccino
Mini croissants and toast

I opted for a hot breakfast (see below). You can choose what you want on your plate, which is ideal for the fussy eaters. Everything I ate was cooked perfectly and really delicious! 

The Husband opted for an omelette (see below). I'll admit, the photo isn't that great but it tasted delicious. You can also choose your own fillings.

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. It's a place where you can literally eat and drink 'til your heart's content - all while taking in the beautiful views. The service is good and there is always a staff member keen to help you with anything you may need.

Cheers!

I'd recommend a visit with a group of friends and family and spend the whole weekend there experiencing all they have to offer!

Thank you so much to Cathy - who invited us and let us stay on her stunning estate - and to Evans, our host. Evans was very accommodating, professional and friendly and was good at making us feel right at home. 

Contact: +27 21 873 1256 / 079 886 1775
Email: stay@vdcwines.com
Address: Bovlei Rd, Wellington, 7654
Website: http://www.vdcwines.co.za/

Star Rating: ****

Note: We were invited to stay at Val du Charron by the owner, Cathy, and so everything was paid for. This review is based solely on this specific experience that we had.

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