Stellenbosch’s Best Kept Secret: Louisvale

Louisvale is 100% Stellenbosch’s best kept secret. The truth is that I’ve actually not spent very much time in Stellenbosch. I didn’t attend the University and with 500 wine farms in the Western Cape alone, it’s one of the areas I need to spend more time visiting.

This has been reinforced with our wonderful visit to Louisvale, in the smaller Devon Valley out on outskirts of Stellenbosch.

Reasons to Visit Louisvale

  • Exquisite views across the Devon Valley and greater Stellenbosch Mountains.
  • Out of this world architecture (it’s really a space ship in the BEST kind of way!).
  • Proudly South African art both in the restaurant and larger house.
  • Excellent food that was absolutely delicious.
  • Fantastic friendly and knowledgeable service.
  • Most importantly, GORGEOUS wines!

Louisvale Review

I was in a bit grumpy when I arrived at Louisvale. I’d decided that I wasn’t going to story that day because it was just becoming too much to do with blogging, notes, etc. As we drove up the winding road, my irritation dissolved with the altitude and the increasing presence of dragon flies.

High upon the hill we saw an impressive building, curious and unsure it was where we were going. As the car continued to move up the winding road, we were blown away by the views from the top of the hill and the incredible Louisvale wine tasting room and restaurant.

Art at Louisvale

Before sitting down for lunch, we were taken on a short tour of the building and sister farm house. The venue is filled with local art, some for sale, some on permanent display.

It was wonderful to hear about the history of the farm; once bought but abandoned due to WW2. The owner did eventually return and ensure the farm began to produce wine again – and delicious wine at that!

Wine & Dine at Louisvale

The restaurant and wine tasting room at Louisvale is absolutely exquisite. Hands down one of the best buildings on the winelands. Many of the pieces of furniture were created by the designer of the building (if I recall that correctly) which makes for an intriguing interaction in the room.

A mixture of retro coloured fabrics on modern couches with bold carpets, the tear drop shaped windows on one side create their own moving art . Enjoy the vineyards out the frames, the clouds creating shadows towards the mountains or the huge glass doors showing off a view of the valley below. I absolutely loved our time in this room.

Louisvale Wines

The farm has 3 sections of wine: 1) Stone Road 2) MCC and 3) the premium range. There are very few farms where I spent my own money buying the product after a PR visit – this was one of them.

We started with the award winning Rose MCC, which was very nice, but I the straight Brut actually stole my heart. I’m not usually a fan of Brut (as I find it tends to be a bit dry for me), but I loved this chardonnay MCC.

We then moved onto white wines. The Stone Road (named after the entrance road of the farm) is a very easy drinking wine (both in red & white), however, I enjoyed the chardonnays more because it was slightly more refined. I ended up having quite a bit and I lost my notes, boooo, but I can promise that they are all excellent!

Lunch at Louisvale

We enjoyed our lunch at Louisvale as its focus is on relaxed family fare with fresh farm ingredients. They have a wide menu and we saw lots of kids enjoying their meals.

I felt like something a bit different so I selected the Grilled Watermelon Salad (R88). Bacon, goat’s cheese, basil, mint, balsamic reduction and candied pumpkin seeds which might sound like overkill, but a little bit of that and a little bit of that kept the salad fresh and engaging.

Our mains included a Sirloin on the Bone for AJ (R225) and Dukkah Crusted Ostrich Steak for me (R175). Marrow Bone Herb Butter, Roast Butternut, Beetroot, Mushrooms & Beans, the ostrich was rare (which the kitchen checked would be ok with me) and it was delicious.

The enjoyed the fresh, farm produce, however, I do feel the items were slightly expensive. With the farmlands being so competitive, it’s important for plates over R150 to be refined to warrant the spend from locals.

While this restaurant is not trying to cater to the best foodies in the world, a little refinement would just take it that one step further.

A HUGE thank you to the staff at Louisvale for the fantastic hospitality and the wonderful lunch. I sincerely can not wait to return and enjoy the incredible space, delicious refreshing wines and great food once again.

Louisvale is open from Monday – Saturday 10:00 – 16:00 and is found in the Devon Valley on the Devon Valley Road, Stellenbosch, 7599, South Africa.

 

 

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