One of my favourite things about living in Cape Town is having the Cape Winelands right at our doorstep.
A few weeks ago, Nick surprised me with a weekend away to Stellenbosch for our four and a half year anniversary. And it made me fall in love with the Cape (and him) all over again.
We stayed at Clouds Estate, an idyllic spot nestled in the Helshoogte pass with nothing but mountain views all around us. The overcast and rainy weather seriously made us feel like we were staying in the clouds.
We were welcomed by friendly and helpful staff and enjoyed a lovely lunch with an incredible view.
The first thing on our agenda was a wine tasting at the famous Delaire Graff Estate, a farm I had been dying to go to since we moved here.
From the moment you arrive on the property you can understand why it is such a popular destination for travellers to the Cape. It is overwhelmingly grand and luxurious with its perfectly manicured gardens and rolling vines. You feel special just being there.
We were escorted to the underground cellar which was filled with people wine tasting (something to note is that you can’t book for wine tastings so be prepared to wait for an available spot). We chose to do the Premium tasting, which consisted of a flight of 3 wines of your choice, followed by the Icon tasting which was a flight of 3 of their top wines.
In the first flight, I chose the Banghoek Chardonnay, the Swartland Reserve Chenin Blanc and the Botmaskop, a red blend that recently scored 92 points at the Winemag RisCura Red Hot Bordeaux Blends awards. All 3 were very delicious and we ended up buying a bottle of the Banghoek to bring home with us.
The second flight started with a glass of the Sunrise Brut MCC, which completely blew me away! It was zesty and fruity with a creamy mousse finish and just oh so delicious. Our last two wines were the White Reserve and the Merlot which were out of this world.
As an overall wine tasting experience, this was by far my best. The wine tutors were friendly and knowledgeable and poured us generous amounts of each wine to taste so you really can enjoy it without it disappearing in one sip. Each wine (as well as your water) is served in a Riedel glass which really adds so much to the experience. My Dad has always said it, but wine really does taste better in a good quality glass.
Our indulgent wine tasting was followed by a couples massage in our room at Clouds which was the perfect way to end off a very relaxing day.
It was then time for the main event, dinner at the Delaire Graff Restaurant.
I had heard so many good things about the restaurant and the food but it still did not do it justice!
We were welcomed by friendly staff and a warm fire to escape the rain outside. The ambient light creates a very romantic atmosphere.
We chose to start with another glass of the Sunrise Brut MCC and ordered the Boerenkaas and Onion Tart for our Starter. It was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten, full of flavour but not too rich. We were also brought the chef’s special for the evening, a Springbok Frikkadel, which was moist and flavoursome – not something I would normally order off a menu so really nice to try something different.
For mains, I order the Duck and Nick had the Springbok. The presentation of each item that arrived was most spectacular. Each item was perfectly placed and the plate looked more like artwork than food. However, when we took our first bite we realised that it tasted as good as it looked. Having eaten at many restaurants around the world, I can safely say that Delaire Graff is world class and it was one of the most delicious meals that I have ever had the privilege of enjoying.
Yes it is expensive, but you leave there feeling satisfied that it is money well spent because it’s far more than a dinner. It is an experience, an event, and it is worth every cent.
I can’t wait to go back and try the other restaurant on the Estate, Indochine. No doubt it will be another life changing meal.
Do yourself a favour and visit Delaire Graff. It’s indulgent, it’s fabulous and you leave feeling blessed to have experienced everything that it offers.
Ambe Denae xxx