On Sunday I visited Waterkloof Wine Estate at the edge of Somerset West. I’d never heard of it before until I attended a wedding there earlier in the year. Waterkloof is the perfect “man” wine tasting venue. I told Mr Love it was a compound when I tried to explain the building to him. He didn’t quite get it until he saw it for himself.
We wound our way up the tight corners to the hill top that homes Waterkloof restaurant and wine cellar. Waterkloof is housed in a, well, compound style building!
Built of glass, cement and metal, it truly is a modern man’s wine “palace”. Because of the floor to ceiling glass walls held firm by the cement walls, Waterkloof is the perfect balance if femininity and masculinity. With Mother nature’s touch, the windows are filled with panoramic views of Sir Lowries Pass, the hills, the mountains and the valley leading the eye across Gordon’s Bay blue waters into the sky. No photograph does the venue justice in the least.
From the moment you enter the restaurant, you are greeted by blue waters and blue skies at the end of the passageway. If the entrance is South, the kitchen is tucked south-east, bar to the east, fireplace North-West, winemaking cellar to the north and seating area with views all the way down from north to south. There is also an elevator to assist those visiting with mobility assistance needs.
Although I’d been sick with flu all weekend, I thought some beautiful views and a wine tasting may help me. Well I’ve realised it’s pretty much ridiculous to do a wine tasting with no sense of smell! Our hostess was very gracious and explained the farm’s organic and sustainable philosophies, using horses to plough the field, using natural spring water, farming natural systems like manure, compost and a worm farm, all used to provide ingredients for either the wine or award-winning restaurant.
We shared the charcuterie board that offered olives, gigs, gherkins, pickled onions, warm bread, butter, Brie, Camembert, home-made punchy sweet chilli sauce and their own 7 months matured cheddar which was DELICIOUS! Smooth, rich, moist, it reminded me of the dairy products in the UK. Even the “low” quality cheese in England is better than our good quality cheese in South Africa. The Waterkloof award-winning cheese reminded me of the soft (not dry) mature cheddar or England. Beautiful.
Our platter also offered two slices of beautiful pork/chicken liver terrine – wow. Even with a blocked nose it was delicious! Wrapped in pancetta (although I think our hostess said bacon) it was smooth with pops of pistachio nuts and a hint of cinnamon. I’m not a big fan of the grittiness of many patés but this was cooked beautifully. The attention to detail continued with our requested water. Perfectly chilled water was poured for us. This doesn’t seem like a big deal but it’s the difference between great restaurants and good restaurants. God is in the details as they say!
If you’d like to go wine tasting on a day, trust me, this is a place where your man won’t moan. He’ll love the modern, bold, masculine architecture coupled with the exquisite feminine views – it really is the best place for a great lunch time date. Sit around the fireplace and enjoy the nibbles (R130) or wine tasting at R40 per person. Waterkloof also has vineyard tours at selected times. See their website for more information.