Groot Phesantekraal: get off the beaten wine track

The roads linking the farms of Durbanville’s wine valley are not nearly such a well-beaten tracks as those of Stellenbosch or even Franschhoek, but perhaps they should be.

We visited the Groot Phesantekraal with its impressive restaurant, interesting wines and a heritage that dates back to 1698.

Once a reposing farm with rolling wheat lands, vineyards, grazing cows and sheep, this historic estate has seen a quiet evolution under the guidance of fourth-generation owners, André and Ronelle Brink.

Today you’ll find the perfect blend of country charm and modern sophistication, where you can enjoy gourmet food in their restored restaurant, housed in the farm’s original stable, as well as a selection of boutique wines.

The restaurant

One of the oldest farms in Durbanville, the restaurant, housed in a converted farm stable (built in 1767) pays homage to the history of the farm. The white-washed plastered walls, original stone floors, open-beam thatched roof and original feeding troughs blend with modern touches and the views over the rolling hills.

We enjoyed the deliciously tender harrisa lamb ragu with soft polenta, baby spinach, baby veg, pickled red onion and turkish apricot paired, from the winter menu with Groot Phesantekraal’s Berliet Pinotage.

The small but eclectic menu changes regularly according to seasonal availability as much of the produce used is sourced on the farm and the spring menu has just been released.

Tuesday to Friday
The restaurant offers breakfast and lunch from Tuesdays to Fridays. In addition to a Full Farmer’s Breakfast with real freshly laid farm eggs, popular breakfast choices include the Smoked Salmon Potato Hash and Sweet Hot Cross Bun French Toast.

Certain lunch ‘favourites’ remain on the lunch menu – steak, slow-roasted pork belly, lamb, pan-seared line-caught catch of the day – but the trimmings and sides vary according to the season, and there is always an interesting vegetarian dish available and a choice of delectable desserts as well as limited vegan and children’s menus.

Saturday Brunch: The restaurant is extremely popular for its Saturday brunches which are growing in legend, so booking is advised.

Saturdays on the Lawn: New at Groot Phesantekraal, some delicious accompaniments to wine tasting are on offer on Saturdays. Overlooking vineyards, parents can relax outside, tasting wine while their children run freely on the expansive lawns. The menu includes fine cheese and meat platters with ciabatta (everything is local: chorizo-style salami, coppa ham, cremona [SA gorgonzola], jong belegen boerenkaas and mature cheddar) as well as pizzas, from the new wood-fired pizza oven, served on wooden boards.

Current pizza options are: chorizo, blue cheese, fresh pear and mozzarella, and field mushroom, feta, red onion, truffle oil and mozzarella. There is always a sweet treat on offer to end the meal. Follow Groot Phesantekraal on social media to find out about their occasional Saturday pizza and wine promos’ which really draw the crowds.

Wine tasting

Welcoming bites and some Groot Phesantekraal MMC. Wine tasting in the former chicken coop. Image credit: Elise Kirsten

Enter the tasting room, designed by Jacques Erasmus of Hemelhuijs and Ronelle Brink, where central features are a wall of shelves lined with over 100 classic glass storage jars filled with every possible wine aroma imaginable – black cardamom, szechuan pepper, eucalyptus, nougat, cut-grass, coconut, cloves, ginger, vanilla, cumin seeds… to name just a few – and gorgeous lighting made out of old glass decanters.

In addition to the range of excellent wines, Groot Phesantekraal’s very own extra virgin olive oil is available at the tasting room for R70 a bottle. Next door is the original chicken coop where private tastings are held. It was here we enjoyed sampling all six of Groot Phesantekraal’s wines, guided through the tasting by the enthusiastic winemaker, Etienne Louw.

More informal outdoor tasting on the grassy terrace where you can enjoy a cheese and charcuterie platter while sipping your wine.

Groot Phesantekraal wines

Groot Phesantekraal are currently releasing all their new vintages wines, made by celebrated winemaker Etienne Louw.
• Groot Phesantekraal Blanc de Blanc 2016 Méthode Cap Classique
• 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
See more information on the wines below.

To purchase Groot Phesantekraal wines, call 021 825 0060 or visit grootphesantekraal.co.za/our-wines
Being newly launched, the wines are available at the farm and at select wine merchants but will become more widely available in due course.

Opening hours and contact details

Wine Tasting & Sales: Open Tuesday to Friday: 08:00 – 16:30 · Saturday: 09:00 – 14:30
Restaurant: Open Tuesday to Friday: Breakfast: 8:00 – 11:00, Lunch: 12:00 – 15:00
Saturday brunch: 09:00 – 14:30
Saturdays on the lawn: 10:00 – 14:30
Sunday and Monday: Closed
Booking is essential

Contact: Tel: 021 825 0060, Tasting Room: [email protected], Restaurant: [email protected]  
grootphesantekraal.co.za

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