I’ve been clinging onto a beautiful dream that I had on Sunday, all through this week. Mr John and I were kindly invited to visit Oldenburg Vineyards for a warm spring lunch filled with beautiful views, delectable wines and mouth-watering eats prepared by chef Bertus Basson. We had had a late night on Saturday, as it had been Pressure, so spending a day with a mountain side shining in front of me while clouds in the blue sky swirled around us, couldn’t have been more perfect. Spring has officially sprung in the Western Cape, yay!
From the moment we drove into the Oldenburg Estate, I knew it was a special place. I guess everyone who lives in a wine region has their favourite type of wine farm; some may like small and rustic, others may like it vast and manicured. My favourite is type is a farm with heart, where you can feel there’s a story, an innocence, a reflection of the really good things in life. The roads in Oldenburg aren’t tarred and beautifully groomed, they’re “farmy” and genuine, there were little girls swimming in the brook who called us to join them and a young boy playing with his dog and his boxcar in the vineyards. The good things in life and my kind of farm.
At first we went to the tasting room (above), only to turn back around and walk back down to the homestead. The Oldenburg homestead is truly a magnificent home because it had heart, is filled with art and has a sincerity, which I find is so often lacking in large homes. The old oak tree, that shelters the porch, is a testament to how long the home as been there, and a witness to all the good times had under its boughs.
The Oldenburg homestead was renovated to ensure it has all the mod-cons for guests wanting to stay in the home. It is currently available to those who would like to holiday in a more private setting. With 6 bedrooms and room for up to 12 people, it’s the perfect family and friends holiday home for those wanting to experience the Stellenbosch wine route in privacy and luxury. The rates for Oldenburg are available on their website.
On Sunday we had a little mosey around while a number of guests had taken a hike up the mountain. The pool is heated, which brought back memories of my own childhood – swimming in heated pools all year round after having parties in the quarry. While we waited for the others, I tucked into the Chenin. I usually drink chardonnay, but it was hot on Sunday and felt like something a little lighter. The Oldenburg Chenin Blanc is truly is delicious, I loved it.
Once the guests had arrived we all took a seat at the prepared tables, two on the porch and one inside with the chef. While I would have loved to have seen him cook, I couldn’t pass up sitting at a table with such an incredible view.
Chef Bertus Basson and his team cooked a delicious spring lunch, using his signature technique – braaing! All the meat was braaied and many of the vegetables too. What’s quite special, is that one of the first dates Mr John and I went on was to the Taste of Cape Town about 7 years ago. Whenever we have to make choices in new places, we always go for a music theme so we chose to eat at Overture. This year we got married and all these years later we’re still enjoying Chef Bertus’ food, right from the day we first tasted his food from Overture at the festival.
The first course of lunch consisted of smoked pork belly, waterblommetjies and lamb sausage, baked butternut cake, braaied fish, muscles and grilled asparagus.
This was followed by a bread course which had THE most incredible olive butter that I’ve ever tasted in my whole life! This olive butter was just out of this world! Olive tapenade was also served as well as an olive oil mousse – basically, it tasted like raw olive oil, but had the texture of a mousse!
Lamb shoulder was the main course for lunch and it was divine! Served with celeriac puree and grilled carrots, I was in heaven. This is my kind of food! Hearty and packed with flavour.
Everyone was relaxed, enjoyed mingling, learning about each other’s experiences and discussing wine. I met a few interesting people as well as managed to put a few faces to Twitter handles! It was a perfect afternoon.
After lunch, I had to stroll across the lush green lawns and have a quick seat in the last of the sunlight. This winter has felt quite long and uninspiring compared to previous years. I’ve been looking forward to spring, even though autumn is my favourite season!
Before sunset, we had to tear ourselves away from the farm and make our way home. It truly felt like a beautiful holiday with nature rejuvenating our souls and great food and wine tickling our hearts.
Thank you so much to Oldenburg for having us. It was lovely to meet Anetha, Vanessa and Adrian and to hear about his family’s history at the farm, thank you – it was a special day out. I must also send special thanks for the Oldenburg gift box they sent home with us. As if the day wasn’t a treat in itself, the chef had packed us a candlelit dinner including a vegetable lasagna, a bottle of Chenin, a candle, pickled cucumber and chef Bertus fudge! I look forward to returning to Oldenburg as soon as I can…