If the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ was referring to a place, it would most definitely be Groot Phesantekraal. Situated on the outskirts of the Durbanville Wine Valley, the understated entrance could easily deter you from taking the turn-off but then you’d be missing out on an absolute gem! This Durbanville wine farm strikes the perfect balance between country charm and modern sophistication.
We visited on a scorching hot Spring day which was perfect conditions for marveling at the bright yellow canola fields with a refreshing glass of Groot Phesantekraal Blanc de Blanc MCC in hand. The intimate outside area is ideal for those who prefer the quieter wine farms, with the small herb and vegetable garden adding to the countryside appeal.
Wine tasting in a restored chicken coop
The Groot Phesantekraal tasting room is such a unique delight that you have to fight the urge to immediately whip out your camera and start taking photos! Making a statement are the shelves lined with glass storage jars filled with every wine aroma imaginable – black cardamom, Szechuan pepper, eucalyptus, nougat, cut grass, coconut, cloves, ginger, vanilla and cumin seeds – as well as the lighting made out of old glass decanters.
If you’re up for something other than your run-of-the-mill, the adjacent restored chicken coop is available for private tastings. Our tasting was conducted by winemaker and former engineer, Etienne Louw and included the:
- Groot Phesantekraal Chenin Blanc 2019
- Groot Phesantekraal Sauvignon Blanc 2019
- Groot Phesantekraal Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
and their two Reserve Wines:
- Groot Phesantekraal Pinotage Berliet 2017
- Groot Phesantekraal Anna De Koning Chenin Blanc 2017
The tropical fruity Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect accompaniment to a hot summer’s day while the limited release Pinotage Berliet will go down well with a dark-chocolate based dessert.
Eat in a converted farm stable
The Groot Phesantekraal restaurant is housed in a converted farm stable originally built in 1767, making it one of the oldest farms in Durbanville. Original feeding troughs blend seamlessly with the white-washed walls and open-beam thatched roof. Juan and Maret van Deventer are the formidable culinary duo behind the restaurant – Juan is the head chef making magic in the kitchen while Maret, also a chef, runs the front of house. The menus, based on a combination of contemporary country style and traditional cooking changes regularly according to seasonal availability.
For lunch I enjoyed the Sirloin Steak served with Double Fried Potatoes, Garlic Herb Butter, Dusted Onion Rings and Mushroom Sauce paired with the rich and complex Groot Phesantekraal Cabernet Sauvignon. Dessert was the delightful Burned Sweet Potato Tart with Caramel Custard Mousse and Candied Nuts paired with a Groot Phesantekraal Noble Late Harvest.
The restaurant also hosts a popular Saturday Brunch as well as the newly launched Saturdays on the Lawn where you can relax on the lawn tasting delicious wines overlooking the vineyards. Menu items includes fine cheese and meat latters with Ciabatta as well as pizzas, from the new wood-fired pizza oven, served on wooden boards. In addition to the above offerings, their new Spring menu has just been launched which features even more delectable dishes.
www.grootphesantekraal.co.za | Klipheuwel Way (R302), Durbanville |
+27 825 0060 | firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com
** I was hosted by Groot Phesantekraal for a wine tasting and lunch. As always, all views are my own.