Blaauwklippen Vineyards, the renowned Stellenbosch wine farm that...read more
Blaauwklippen Vineyards, the renowned Stellenbosch wine farm that celebrates its 333rd anniversary in 2015, has recently unveiled the transformation of its wine centre into a venue dedicated to sensory ecstasy, featuring a room for enjoying premium spirits, an exciting bistro, as well as revitalised wine and food experiences. Blaauwklippen - meaning blue stones - was named after the granite present in the surrounding mountains and soils. Its erosion over centuries has ensured mineral rich vineyards that allow for the production of exceptional wines and especially Zinfandel, for which Blaauwklippen is famous. Today, it is a well-known wine tourism destination for families and wine lovers who enjoy a great day out involving wine, food and the not to be missed popular weekly Sunday family market. The Tasting Room incorporates several features, all geared to provide insight, comfort and pure sensory enjoyment. In addition to Blaauwklippen's award winning brandies, the Spirits Room features a selection of premium potstill brandies by South African producers, creating the first brandy hub on a wine estate in South Africa all available for tasting and sale, and hosted by specially trained staff. A selection of cigars can be enjoyed on the Oak Terrace outside, along with a brandy tasting. The full range of Gentleman Spirits - a range of artisanal distilled products made by Urs Gmur, master distiller Hubertus Vallendar and Rolf Zeitvogel, will be available too. This is the ideal space to try a Zinfandel Grappa with a delicious espresso. Blaauwklippen's reputation for fine food is further bolstered in a new wine and food offering. Not to be missed is the Wine & Chocolate Experience where visitors can savour amongst others a delicious coriander whirl paired with the farm's famous White Zinfandel, or a melt-in-the-mouth coffee-and-ginger dark coffee bean paired with noble late harvest Zinfandel. The spirits too get a showing; try the warm spice orange box chocolate paired with a 10-year-old potstill brandy or a hot chilli oval chocolate with Blaauwklippen's well-known Before and After Aperitif. At R80pp, the value is outstanding. If it's something more substantial you're after, then the new wine & food pairing adventure is for you. For only R150pp, you'll be able to enjoy five sumptuous bite sized nibbles accompanied by five Blaauwklippen wines, meticulously paired to showcase their best flavour and aromatic attributes. The Bistro is the culinary playground of charcutier Steve Jeffery of Cape Town's famed the charcuterie, who brings his fresh and easy approach to food. He supports the principles of free range, hormone free, pasture-fed and ethically farmed animals cured in the classic timeless fashion. Here you will find the finest ingredients, prepared with passion and served with love - an unparalleled culinary experience. The Bistro offers a selection of platters available daily and a classical bistro home-cooked style menu in the evenings. While parents enjoy their meal in a tranquil setting, there's a jungle gym for the children to enjoy. Picnics are also on offer. Adults are further catered for in the Piazza, a beautifully manicured courtyard adjoining the cellar where informal wine tastings will be held. It's also the ideal space for private celebrations and is therefore available for hire. A sure highlight for oenophiles is Blaauwklippen's vinoteque. This comprises a carefully selected wine archive dating back to 1978. But it's not only for observing - no less than 33 vintages of wine are available for purchase, making this the premier destination for that very special gift. Tastefully decorated, the vinoteque can also be booked for private tastings or intimate get-togethers. For the nominal fee of R20pp, visitors can visit the Blaauwklippen cellar as part of regular, guided tours every day at 11:00 and 14:00. Booking should be made in advance. Other interests are still to be catered for at Blaauwklippen. Visitors can shop and buy a wide range of products, from home ware to Riedel glassware and books to gifts. There's a complimentary gift-wrap service too. If you have a keen interest in art, visit Blaauwklippen's very own artist-in-residence Marius Prinsloo as he creates bright and beautiful paintings before your very eyes. He also ensures a wide selection of works, by various South African artists, are on display in the Tasting Room and available for sale. The farm will also pack purchased artwork for travel. And, before you head home, be sure to pick up some fine deli cheese, charcuterie and preserves - the ideal accompaniment to any one of Blaauwklippen's superb wines.