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  • Writer's pictureCathy Henderson

A ‘technicolour’ tasting at the ‘cellar in the sky’

Updated: Jul 15, 2019

There are many reasons why Waterkloof Estate is called ‘the cellar in the sky.’ Sitting in the glass-encased globe of the dining area watching birds catch tailwinds and looking over vineyards that flow down to the Strand and Gordon’s Bay might be just one of many...

Other reasons simply flow from the ideas that make up the menu, and the wines, which match the works of art on the plate. This is one of those 'heightened' thinking-dining experiences... all senses are alerted as the brain digests each dish before it even gets any further!

From starters like the 'Smiling Valley Marron' – a revisited version of the prawn cocktail with a koeksister-coated fish flavoured filling (yes, fish working so well with sweet!), savoury cheesecake, avocado, peach and coriander dust, to a main course of either monkfish and black bean purée or quail and pear. The cheese platters are Healy-heavenly as chef Gregory Czarnecki has a special importer. A must is the Valnori St Catherine Maure when available, with its partner preserves. On the sweet side, the Mango and Coriander Vacherin includes a jasmine flavour – in all technicolour – the desserts are truly a palette to behold before they reach the palate!

The wines of @WaterkloofWineEstate are also special... with several ranges, Waterkloof, Circle of Life, Circumstance and False Bay, Paul Butinot has ring-fenced most taste inclinations. We taste and purchase wine with several needs in mind – balancing quality, cost and occasion; each range reveals characteristics to tick these boxes. There’s a great gathering from whites to reds, including Sauvignon, Chenin and Chardonnay through to Shiraz/Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and some blends. If nothing else, a tasting here is imperative as a few varieties are presented in differing guises. The labels are a further testament to this thoughtful place in the wine world – twirl the bottle to view the life and times of a vine during the seasons on the #CircleofLife range.

Artisanal is a word frequently used, but the care taken in the attention to detail and the biodiversity initiative here is quite phenomenal... From a rotating garden scheme for the restaurant kitchen, with a unique and environmentally friendly irrigation system, to rabbits who munch along methodically in mobile wooden frames to keep the vegetation at bay as opposed to using mowers :-), horses in place of tractors to carry out the work required in the vineyard (reducing carbon footprints here by the gallop!), and the blend of indigenous colour in the surrounds with the preservation of fynbos.

Visit this winery throughout the year – from the sunlit views through the ceiling-to-floor glass walls in summer to the central fireplace of the tasting room area in winter that beckons everyone to take time to pause and partake…

Prices go from R200 for two courses to R300 for three courses, and then there’s the Degustation Menu at R500.

[Information and prices provided at the time of writing, Feb 2017]

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