Tag Archives: wine estate

Breakfast with a View at Jordan Wine Estate in Stellenbosch (2020-12-06) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 14 MAR 2021

Geologist Gary Jordan and economist Kathy Jordan have as a husband and wife team been making world-class wines since 1993, on a 300 year old farm which their parents purchased back in 1982. Now standing at 104 hectares in size, the Jordan Wine Estate produces a bevy of award winning wines from the range of grape varietals that it has planted in its vineyards, and like any good wine estate in the Cape Winelands today, Jordan offers a full visitor experience with its award winning signature restaurant, more relaxed bistro, luxury accommodation options, picnics on the lawn, and of course the all important tasting and tours.

At this point in the game, despite the global Covid-19 pandemic swirling all around us, Chantelle was certainly enjoying quite the nice 40th birthday (which was definitely going much better than what mine did due to the stricter lockdowns of earlier in the year). Having treated her to a spectacular evening of fine dining at Bertus Basson’s immaculate Overture restaurant at Hidden Valley, the morning of her birthday saw us shuttle through in search of the rather hidden Jordan wine estate, where we were booked in for a sumptuous morning of breakfast with a view.

Opting to dine ‘al fresco’ on The Bakery@Jordan’s recently completed wooden deck, we sat in the shade of its huge overhanging trees, looking out over lush green lawns, pretty shrubs and a very tranquil dam, with the rolling hills and distant mountain vista of Stellenbosch laid out before us. Eggs benedict with a thick Hollandaise sauce and good coffee completed the scene, as we eagerly got down to the serious work of relaxing a little before the next celebration event kicked off.

Springbok Venison at Tangram at Durbanville Hills Wine Estate (2021-02-24) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 27 FEB 2021

Generally when the core Touchwork team gets together for lunch it is always someplace in the Steenberg/Westlake region of Cape Town, which makes completes sense given that it is both the area where our office resides as well as where everyone but me is actually based. I’ve been working as a software developer for the company since 2007, and although we were a decent sized team for a fair while, it’s actually now been a number of years that I’ve been working completely alone, developing, maintaining, and managing our Kinetica SaaS platform.

This is perfectly fine of course, primarily because Kinetica is something that I created more than 10 years ago and thus have a personal vested interest in seeing it stay alive and thriving, but in the time of a deadly global pandemic it goes without saying that it is a lot smarter to have some backup just in case things do go… wrong. Pleasingly we found a young, enthusiastic, Durbanville-based developer to join our team and so, while we patiently wait out his notice period, headed out to lunch for our first ever face to face meeting.

This then is how we found ourselves travelling to the outskirts of Durbanville to Tangram on the Durbanville Hills wine estate, a lovely, award winning restaurant at the top of the winery, which itself is perched on the top of a hill with a view in pretty much all directions – including that iconic one of Table Mountain as it stands looming over Cape Town on the edge of Table Bay. Durbanville Hills is of course known for its very popular range of wines, much of which owes it character to its closeness to the sea air, balanced with the warm airflow around the hills, as well as the soil of the area, but interestingly enough, it doesn’t really have any history behind it, having only really been established in the 1990’s when seven or so grape farmers from the area decided to band together with the help of Distell to found the cellar as a joint venture and thus start producing wines on a commercial scale.

In terms of the restaurant experience, it is actually quite a lovely one. Passing through the wine tasting section and the Dylan Lewis leopard sculpture guarded cellar at the bottom, you ascend the stairs to reach the Tangram’s dining hall, all modernly outfitted with a warm touch and neat aesthetic, and of course featuring a lot of big glass panel to make the most of the view on offer. (There is also a bastille which you can walk out on to get a view over the vineyards, Table Bay, Cape Town, and Table Mountain in the distance, though my suggestion would be to wait a little until the cooler months when the dusty brown grass of summer gives way to something far more luscious green.)

Some excellent wine, good company, a delectable pork belly starter, and a sumptuous springbok venison main then all nicely came together to make for an exceptionally enjoyable experience, even if quite removed from our usual stomping grounds.

Wine Tasting at Ormonde in Darling (2019-05-11) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 05 NOV 2019

After a morning session of cake in Durbanville and then dropping the girls off with their grandparents, Chantelle and I enjoyed the scenic drive out towards Darling, pulling into the charming little town well before we could actually check into the guest house we were staying at for the evening. Only one solution for that really – a spontaneous spot of wine tasting!

Situated on the edge of the residential part of Darling, Ormonde fell into the hands of the Basson family in 1970 when they bought the farm to start a dairy stud but in the process decided to plant some vineyards as well – in a time long before the area became the wine producing region that it is today.

The closeness to the cold Atlantic Ocean, the altitudes afforded by the Darling hills, and the eroded granite type homogenous soils of the plantation all mix to produce a terroir that has helped Ormonde produce numerous top award winning wines. (Though the 2006 investment into an ultra modern, international standard cellar didn’t hurt either!)

With a welcoming lawn area overlooking a duck-filled pond, a small outside eatery and lots of shaded nooks and crannies to enjoy, the Ormonde wine estate makes for a pleasant family outing space, though as Chantelle and I can now attest to, their excellent quality wines are more than reason enough to pay Ormonde a visit of your own!

Jackal Lager and Pizza at Jakkalsvlei near Herbertsdale (2019-07-05) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 10 SEP 2019

It has turned into a nice little outing for whenever we holiday in Mossel Bay, nipping off on the quiet back roads out into the farm lands, driving past the small hamlet of Herbertsdale and then finally in the middle of nowhere, about 60 kilometers from where we first started, walking past the bronze sculpture of a jackal as you enter through the glass doors of Jakkalsvlei.

Situated at the foot of the Langeberg mountains, with its cool temperate climate, the Jakkalsvlei winery and its 34 hectare large vineyard produce a host of award winning wines, and is also home to a seemingly impossibly popular restaurant and wine tasting facility (given the remoteness of its location).

An excellent array of food, pizza and wine to be had, innovative wine tasting pairings to try, and of course, even their own craft brews to sample. Hard not to enjoy each and every visit to this tucked away little gem!

...

Pizza and Wine at Jakkalsvlei near Herbertsdale (2019-01-04) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 31 JUL 2019

Herbertsdale is a small settlement that lies east of the Gourits river, 56 km north west of Mossel Bay. Travel another 6 or so kilometers on from there, and you will stumble upon a most unexpected sight – a winery and its vineyard, better known as Jakkalsvlei.

Situated at the foot of the Langeberg mountains with its cool temperate climate, Jakkalsvlei (named after the once abundant jackals found in the area) with its 34 hectare vineyard is perfectly positioned to produce high quality mountain-grown grapes which are then turned into a host of awarding winning wines.

The site is also home to a stunning tasting room/restaurant facility which surprisingly is almost always busy – despite Jakkalsvlei being VERY much out in the middle of nowhere! (In fact, they are so busy that come the December holiday season, the team has to put up an outside tent in order to cope with the sheer volume of visitors!)

Pizza, burgers, wine and cotton candy tastings (and the occasional live music act), Jakkalsvlei is more than worth the lazy drive out to the middle of nowhere.

...

Sculptures and Selfies at Tokara Delicatessen in Stellenbosch (2018-12-08) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 24 JUL 2019

I love the fact that Tokara with its wonderful wines, olive oils and exquisite restaurant, also has the more casual, equally as beautiful, Tokara Delicatessen on the estate, opening the beautiful art, landscape and food experience to an even broader range of people.

This particular visit saw us meeting up with Retha and Miguel who were down in the country for a bit of a visit, but seeing as the girls and I had arrived a little earlier than everyone else (Chantelle was out delivering a cake on the day if I remember right), we had a bit of extra time for strolling around the vineyards and orchards to admire all the sculptures and scenic beauty on display.

And after a light lunch? Well it was time for some silly selfies of course!

...

Ending a Touchwork year at Groot Constantia and Pastis, Cape Town (2018-12-11) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 26 FEB 2019

Following the last year-end function at Monkey Valley in Noordhoek, 2018’s Touchwork/Hypenica year-end function moved a little closer to home with a delightful session of wine tasting at the granddaddy of Cape wine estates, Groot Constantia, followed by a delectable French-themed lunch at nearby Pastis Brasserie.

Now a provincial heritage site, Groot Constantia is recognised as being the oldest wine estate in South Africa, with this age old winery having been established in 1685 after the land was first granted to Simon van der Stel, the then VOC Governor of the Cape of Good Hope.

These days, in addition to the production of excellent wine, Groot Constantia is also a major Cape Town tourist attraction (a member of Cape Town’s Big 6 to be exact), with the grounds being home to the Cape Dutch Manor House, the famed Cloete Cellar, two restaurants, a wine tasting centre, wine and cultural history museums, and walking tours of the vineyards and modern-day production cellar.

As for us on the day, we were there to taste wine, and taste wine we did.

Next up, a short stroll down the road lead the French-themed team to the Pastis Brasserie, a French inspired eatery that has been around since 2004. More wine was drunk, speeches had, Mystery Santa played, and lunch tucked into.

Great way to end off another good year for both sister companies really.

...

Visiting the new BASH at Louisenhof Estate in Stellenbosch (2018-09-02) Kid Activities | Photo Gallery 21 FEB 2019

While the original Rosendal (Durbanville) BASH branch continues to fire on all cylinders, the delightful Paarl BASH kids venue unfortunately didn’t quite work out. No worries though – nothing that a quick relocate to the lush Louisenhof Wines estate in Stellenbosch can’t solve!

So all the cool wooden play structures have been brought across, the fun kids play areas have been set up, the kitchen/restaurant area fired up, and the scenic Paarl view swapped out for a scenic Stellenbosch view.

The kids are happy to run about and play, the parents are happy that BASH can finally serve alcohol, and that of course then means that there is now little reason not to stretch out play dates for just that little bit longer.

...

Exploring the Estate of Vergelegen in Somerset West (2017-07-01) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 30 MAY 2018

A visit to Somerset West’s historic Vergelegen estate is always a treat, thanks to its selection of stunning restaurants, the elegant wine tasting venue, the beautiful (and functional) gardens, its rolling lawns and tree rich grounds, the fascinating history on show in the preserved manor house and library, and of course, the 300 year old Camphor and other ‘Champion’ trees dotted about the estate.

I have of course written about Vergelegen and its long history before, but it is worth keeping in mind that this wine producing estate (now owned and maintained through the deep pockets of Anglo American) was founded all the way back in 1700 – and indeed a large part of the farm’s original grounds served as the base for the eventual 1822 founding of Somerset West itself.

In other words, Vergelegen is very much integral to the story of the Helderberg region.

Surprisingly, the estate is quite child friendly these days, with a great play area and of course the large open lawns all making for a very welcome kid distraction for those times when you just want to sit back with a glass of wine (or warm cup of coffee) in hand, take in a deep breathe of crisp outdoor air, and enjoy the spectacular landscape views on offer.

One such opportunity arose just before the holidays last year, when we met up with Miguel, Retha, and her folks for a cup of coffee and a stroll around the estate – something my two little girls very much enjoyed once I told them about the bridge that needed crossing and the magical tree cave that needed finding on the other side.

They were rather pleased then when this turned out to be entirely true for a change.

[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”50825,50826,50827,50828,50829,50830,50831,50832,50833,50834,50835,50836,50837,50838,50839,50840,50841,50842,50843,50844,50845,50846,50847,50848,50849,50850,50851,50852,50853,50854,50855,50856,50857,50858,50859,50860,50861,50862,50863,50864,50865,50866,50867,50868,50869,50870,50871,50872,50873,50874,50875,50876,50877,50878,50879,50880,50881,50882,50883,50884,50885,50886,50887,50888,50889,50890,50891,50892,50893,50894,50895,50896,50897,50898,50899,50900,50901,50902,50903,50904,50905,50906,50907,50908,50909,50910,50911,50912,50913,50914,50915,50916,50917,50918,50919,50920,50921,50922,50923,50924,50925,50926,50927,50928,50929,50930,50931,50932,50933,50934,50935,50936,50937,50938,50939,50940,50941,50942,50943,50944,50945,50946,50947,50948,50949,50950,50951,50952,50953,50954,50955,50956,50957,50958,50959,50960,50961,50962,50963,50964,50965,50966,50967,50968,50969,50970″]

Vergelegen’s well maintained grounds are always such a pleasure to explore, and indeed, whether you are interested in wine, art, fine landscapes, or even historic buildings, there is pretty much always something for everyone at this very enchanting estate.

Related Link: Vergelegen Wine Estate | Wikipedia | Somerset West