Last month, The Husband and I headed out to Wellington for a change! I am sad to admit that visiting Wellington is not something we do often as we always thought it to be too far. But, it's actually less than an hour's drive from where we stay! Now that we have been, it's truly a great place to relax and escape the 'busy-ness' of the city. And so, from now on, we have no excuse 🙂
We were invited to visit Andreas Wine Estate and to stay in their Luxury Accommodation. (It's a tough job, but someone has to do it, right?) Andreas is the only wine estate I've visited that just has one wine: a Shiraz - and a pretty decent one at that. (Some more wines are in the pipeline for the future...)
When we arrived, we were greeted by Henry - the Guest House manager. He is completely perfect for this job! He makes you feel right at home and ensures that you never want for anything. The House itself is truly remarkable. It's an old house, that has been restored to hold four guest rooms. But they have managed to retain a lot of the original fixtures so you still get the feeling that you are staying in an old, typical farmhouse. The rooms themselves though are certainly not 'old' - they've been done up to include really modern touches that deserve their four-star status. (More of the rooms below).
Here's a photo of the house (see below). The guest rooms are all at the top.
Our first activity was the visit to the cellar, where the wine maker, Shaun Meyeridricks, was busy with the wine pump over. Shaun joined Andreas in December, and since then, has been working hard to maintain the high quality of wine that Andreas has become known for. We took a look inside to see what he was up to...
After Shaun was finished with this process, he joined us back in the Guest House for a tasting of their Shiraz. I think it's truly fantastic that some winemakers, particularly the new generation, are starting to come out and meet their guests. It allows guests to truly understand the process the wine goes through and thus perhaps be able to have a better appreciation for it. You, too, can also meet Shaun (it's not just because we were there). You just need to make an official appointment. Because he's actually quite busy - making great Shiraz! 🙂
We tasted a 2014 bottle of Shiraz, which was perfect, four years later. It's got a lot of 'depth' to it, having been matured for 12 - 18 months in toasted French and American Oak Barrels and then spent some more time maturing in the bottle. The grapes are hand-picked in the morning and then carefully selected to create this wine. The wine is a dark, ruby colour and I found it to be darker than a typical Shiraz. It's flavour is a full-bodied, spicy, peppery wine that has dark berries and plum flavours. Yum! I really enjoyed it and I was pleasantly surprised at how different it was to any other Shiraz that I've tasted. I enjoyed the slight smoky taste.
Unfortunately, Shaun had to get back to work (someone has to make the wine). So we took the rest of our bottle and explored the rest of the property 🙂 There is a very large grass area at the back of the Guest House and the garden is well looked-after. It was a welcoming change to see everything so green as they have their own water system and are therefore not as badly affected by the drought as others.
There are some couches and tables outside of the Guest House, at the back, where you can relax in the sun while sipping on your wine.
They also have a lovely pool area, where you can hang out for the day. The water must be so refreshing on a really hot day, which is common in Wellington.
You can also just sit with your feet in the water and drink wine, like I did 🙂
The Guest House itself is equally beautiful. I love the fact that they have managed to retain the original 'feel' of the house. There are wooden floors and ceilings and the rooms are so spacious. There are a few rooms that have been made into lounges in which you can sit and relax (see below). I was so happy to see such a big fireplace! All who stay in the Guest House have access to these lounges and I think they are such cool spots to hang out with friends or family. I spied a game of 30 Seconds in one of the rooms and I can imagine that one could have a very enjoyable evening in winter, in particular, relaxing in front of the fire with a glass of Shiraz and playing board games with friends.
Upstairs, there is a more modern lounge area, where you can also relax and read a book. No fireplace, though, but it's nice and light and cosy, and also quite spacious.
The four Guest Rooms are apparently pretty much the same, with two slightly bigger than the others. When we walked in to our room, we were greeted with a loft-like haven and a big bed (see below).
(Note the chocolate on the bed! 🙂 You may also see the glass of wine - that was ours and does not come with the room 🙂 )
If you are a tall person, you may find this particular room to be a bit small. The arched ceiling is quite low. In that case, I'd opt for one of the slightly bigger rooms. But for us, this room was perfect. The bathroom is behind the bed, which sounds odd, but it fits perfectly. The bathroom is very modern with a free-standing bath and big, glass doors around the shower and the toilet. The fittings are modern too and the bathroom is kitted out with white towels, a robe each and Charlotte Rhys products - which I love!
The rooms also have DSTV, a fridge and an aircon, which could come in handy on those warm evenings.
The Guest House does not serve supper, but thankfully Henry is super organised and has collated a file filled with places you can visit that are not too far away. If you like, he can also make the reservation for you, so all you have to do is rock up. (Like I said, you don't want for much when you stay there...)
They do, however, do breakfast. And their breakfast is pretty decent. You can place your order the day before and say what time you would like to eat. And then you just rock up. Easy peasy 🙂 I started with a Cappuccino, because how can you not start your day with coffee?
They have a range of options to choose from for breakfast. You can go the 'healthy' route and opt for things like yogurt, muesli and fruit. But we opted for the Hot Breakfast option. You can tick off exactly what you want, so if you don't like something, you simply don't select it.
Our breakfasts can be seen below. Everything was cooked wonderfully and I particularly enjoyed the roasted tomatoes.
After breakfast, we had one last tour of the property before heading home. It's a truly beautiful place that is perfect when you want to unwind and yet not travel too far from Cape Town.
Thank you so much to Angela for inviting us and to Henry for hosting us. A special thanks to Shaun too for taking time out of his busy schedule to sit with us. We really had a fantastic time! We'll certainly be visiting Wellington more often in the upcoming months!
Contact: +27 (0)21 873 2286/ 079 320 5884
Address: Groenendal Farm, Bovlei, Wellington, Western Cape
Star Rating: ****
Note: We were invited to visit Andreas Wine Estate and so the wine tasting, accommodation and breakfast was complimentary.