We recently visited Hazendal Wine Estate on Bottelary Road in Stellenbosch. It’s been closed for quite a while as they underwent extensive renovations to create a brand new venue that now houses a wine tasting lounge, a deli, a restaurant, a tea garden, a vodka bar, a mountain bike trail and even more! (Pretty impressive!)
We popped in just for a quick wine tasting and to scout out the venue for possible future lunch dates. They have done a great job with their renovations! The wine tasting area is still in the same spot, but way more fancy 🙂 The same applies to their restaurant. But now, on the other side of the venue, there is a deli. We weren’t able to visit this time, but I checked out the menu and thought they had a nice selection of breakfast options. (You can check out their menu here).
The restaurant though, seems particularly fancy. Their new head chef, Michélle Theron, says that “(g)uests can expect a celebration of seasonal and sustainable produce focused on creatively diverse and thoughtful combinations of Russian and South African heritage. The result is a contemporary blend of recipes that are unexpected, textured, delicious and healthy”.
You can check out their menu here. I’d like to visit soon and will report back when I do so 🙂
Anyway, I digress … As you enter, you see the wine tasting building on your left (see below).
You have the option to sit outside for your wine tasting, which seems really lovely. It reminds me of what it was like when we’d visited previously. (Although, there has now been a massive furniture upgrade and I quite like this new layout.)
However, I kind of feel that you’d be missing out on the new Hazendal “experience” if you sit outside, because they have really gone to a lot of trouble to make the inside something quite special.
I thought the touches of copper were great and that the big wine wall in the background was rather impressive. Also, the massive fire place will be truly amazing in winter!
To the right of the tasting area, is the entrance to the new restaurant, a peek into the vodka area upstairs, a wine tasting bar and of course, the four important men who played a role in the formation of the Hazendal Wine Estate.
For the wine tasting, they offer various options.
– The Christoffel Hazenwinkel Range Tasting: R35 for 3 wines.
– The Hazendal Range Tasting – R65 for 3 premium white wines.
– The Grand Tasting – R90 for all 6 wines.
We opted for the Grand Tasting. I prefer this option to the straight Hazendal Tasting, as although R90 is a lot of money, their three premium wines are pretty decent and then at least you get the three ‘normal range’ wines thrown in. However, if you’re driving, I’m sure you’d be more than happy with the three Hazendal Range wines.
One thing that I think has become synonymous with Hazendal is their really creative wine labels for their Christoffel Hazenwinkel Range (see below). They are so unique and therefore memorable and so I think it’s rather clever.
You will see on the left of the photograph, there is a booklet. That is their interactive wine tasting guide – a book that lets you write your own tastings notes for each wine as you go along. You can take it home with you which is super handy if you often forget which wines you enjoyed the most. The booklet also has three recipes for you to make and pair with their wines! 🙂
In this range, I quite liked the rosé. It’s so very easy drinking and fruity and the perfect drink to have on a hot summer’s day around the pool. They also serve you some “nibbles” to have with your tasting (see below.)
However, it was the Hazendal Range that really stood out. These wines do not come cheap! They range from R285 to R295, but they were really great. The Semillon and Sauvignon white-Bordeaux style blend was very well-balanced, smooth with a soft texture and a long finish.
I also enjoyed the Chenin Blanc and the Chardonnay. I think it’s interesting how Chenins used to be fruity with little complexity and Chardonnay’s used to be quite wooded, which sometimes overshadowed the fruit. Now however, many people are making wooded Chenins or using grapes from older vines or even a combination of both (as is the case here), which adds great complexity and texture. You can now have brilliant Chenins with so much of a buttery, oak flavour but yet restrained enough that you can still taste the fruit. And a Chenin Blanc can so easily be paired with food, so it’s really versatile. If you want to buy a bottle to take home, I’d suggest that one, although the other two are worthy contenders.
If you do buy one of the bottles from the Hazendal Range, you do not have to pay your tasting fee of R90. (But this only applies to the Hazendal Range, and not the Christoffel Hazenwinkel Range.)
Here’s a photo of us having a good time 🙂
They also have a particularly pretty wedding venue (see below). It’s called the Pavilion and it is set on a small body of water and surrounded by the beautiful Stellenbosch mountains. As you can see, it is quite small and so it would only really be suitable for more intimate weddings. But they do have larger venues available too, which you can check out here.
Overall, we had an enjoyable few hours. The tasting room manager was very professional and knowledgeable about the wines, as was the tasting room ambassador that we had serving us. Admittedly, it wasn’t all that busy, but I think it will soon be bustling when word gets out about all the activities they have got going on there. (There is a mountain bike trail for the active folk and a large, kiddies educational center coming in March that is definitely worth checking out if you have kids between the ages of five and twelve.)
Contact: 021 903 5034
Address: Bottelary Road, Stellenbosch, 7599
Star Rating: ****
Note: This time, I went as Just Janet on one of my usual weekend outings and not as an invited blogger 🙂 So my experiences were what I can imagine you can expect if you visit too 🙂