Wow Wow Wow. This estate is spectacular. Breath-taking views, delicious fine dining food and outstanding, biodynamic farmed wines are the treats awaiting you at this truly special estate on the ‘kloof’.
The drive to Waterkloof leaves you in anticipation as you drive up the winding, steep hill knowing the views are going to be spectacular but nothing can prepare you for the breath-taking beauty that greets you as you exit the car. I spent 15 minutes in the car park alone taking photo’s trying to capture the beautiful view of the vineyards on the hill. Then you turn around and proceed to the entrance only to be greeted by the spectacular ocean views across False Bay, it will leave you breathless, and taking a million more photos 🙂
Waterkloof Wine Estate was born in 2003 after a 10-year search by UK wine merchant Paul Boutinot for the perfect vineyard to produce fine wine. Situated on ‘top of a hill’ on the slopes of the Schapenberg, Waterkloof is recognised for their dedicated biodynamic approach and environmentally responsible farming. Waterkloof is one of the few estates to adopt biodynamic viticulture, combined with minimal intervention winemaking, allowing them to produce wines of vitality and a strong sense of origin. Waterkloof aim to produce ‘honest’ wines that truly express their unique site on the Schapenberg.
The entrance of this modern estate is constructed in corrugated iron giving it an industrial chic appearance. Inside on one side is the modern Tasting Lounge with a beautiful wooden bar and fireplace for winter. Tall glass windows allow you to view the working cellar and raw concrete columns frame artworks from well-known South African artists. Cheese platters are available in the Tasting Lounge.
The Restaurant at Waterkloof has floor to ceiling glass window panels, allowing for plenty of natural light, surrounding the conservatory type room where you are spoilt with dramatic views over False Bay and the vineyards. French chef Gregory Czarnecki’s menu is a combination of classical cuisine with a modern French twist using the freshest seasonal ingredients, many of which are grown and sourced at Waterkloof. The open plan kitchen provides transparency to visitors complimenting their honesty policy.
On the perfect sunny winters day, I was spoilt with the most delicious three course lunch paired to perfection with ‘seriously cool’ Waterkloof Wines, that is name of one of the wine collections 🙂
To start the meal a selection of breads and delicious homemade butters are brought to the table, beautifully presented. Next we received a tasty Amuse Bouche of Sweet potato cremeaux with Smoked goats cheese, Kumquat gel and Biscotti Crumble to cleanse the palate in preparation for a delicious meal. To start we chose the West Coast Crayfish Dugléré in a tomato concassé with hollandaise sauce paired with the Waterkloof Sauvignon Blanc 2015 and the Egg 63 served with an onion veloute paired with the Circle of Life White 2012.
For mains we had the deliciously fresh Mauritius Seabass cooked to absolute perfection served with confit leek, Saldanha mussels and Cape gooseberries paired with the Seriously Cool Chenin Blanc 2015 and the Gemsbok Fillet served with smoked mascarpone and stewed fruit. After the main course a palate cleanser is served of Lime Cremeaux with Strawberry gel, vanilla sponge and Vanilla & Lime ice cream, and we ordered some delicious herbal tea infusions.
For dessert we indulged in a Dark Chocolate Fondant served with hibiscus and raspberry coulee and Matcha Tea Cheesecake with salted caramel, lemon sorbet and mango shavings. The fondant was very decadent and delicious, the cheesecake was a little unusual for my taste buds but the salted caramel and sorbet where delicious and the dish presented an explosion of flavours quite contrary to the fondant, so together they made a great diverse choice.
After dessert Petit Fours arrive at the table consisting of Cherry and Tarragon Sorbet Lollipop, a Green apple and White chocolate Religeuse and a Coffee and cream Macaron to complete the indulgence.
The meal was fine dining perfection with each dish being a journey of its own presented beautifully. The proportions were perfect, not too small or big and at the end of the meal we felt extremely content. I think, if you prefer two course, that would also satisfy on the proportion front but it would be a shame to miss dessert, or a starter for that matter. If you are to fully enjoy this restaurant in its culinary excellence I highly recommend the three course menu, or degustation if the budget allows.
Although I was sadly not dining with hubby this time I would highly recommend this to be the perfect intimate fine dining restaurant for romantics looking for that somewhere special. This was truly a special dining experience.
Two course R370 / Three course R480.
Degustation Menu R900 / R1100 with wine.
*Prices correct at time of publishing
Thank you Waterkloof for a truly special experience.
Waterkloof offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the farm and its mountainous surroundings through a diverse program of superlative activities.
More than just a typical ‘organic vine to organic wine’ experience, the two-hour Circle of Life Biodynamic Tour takes eco-enthusiasts and lovers of pure, untamed wines in particular behind the scenes of Waterkloof’s green way of life on the crest of the Schapenberg in the Helderberg. Personally conducted by the estate’s farm manager Christiaan Loots – the driving force behind Waterkloof’s cutting edge, environmentally responsible farming methods – these insightful edu-eco tours show how biodynamic and organic farming is really done.
It took Christiaan and his “green brigade” ten years to transform the once depleted, conventionally farmed land covered in alien tree species, infected vines and eroded roads, into the healthy, sustainable life-force it is today. With groups limited to 12 people, you’ll learn more about amongst others, its beautiful Percheron horses that are used instead of tractors, to plough, compost, spray and harvest.
“On our Circle of Life Tour you will get to meet our new brood of compost-making chicks; the inside scoop on our biodynamic preparations; to stick your hands into our earthworm farm; the dirty on how we produce our own 100% natural fertiliser; and, much more. Not to mention the clean air and scenic splendour,” says Christiaan. Remember the sunscreen, hat and comfortable walking shoes. R100 per person.
Waterkloof is a World Wildlife Federation Biodiversity and Wine Initiative Champion, and invites you for a full circuit walk of the wine estate to explore its natural beauty. A two-hour guided walk will lead you through one of the world’s foremost biodiversity hotspots. Nestled between indigenous flora and fauna on the majestic slopes of the Schapenberg. Include a two course lunch or dinner. R630 per person, prices subject to change.
Walks start at 10am or 4:30pm.
The estate’s new Tour With Us experience offers a more exclusive and all-round glimpse of Waterkloof by including the bio-dynamic tour with a visit to the cellar; an informative wine tasting, and a two-course lunch at the estate’s Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant. Groups are limited to six people to keep it personal. R520 per person.
The picturesque trail ride invites enthusiasts to saddle up for a 60-minute ride through the Schapenberg.
Afterwards, relax at our ‘Cellar in the Sky’, and enjoy a two course lunch. R670 per person, prices subject to change.
Take helicopter trip to Waterkloof from the V&A Waterfront. On arrival enjoy a tutored wine tasting and cellar tour followed by a delicious six course degustation menu (including wine paring) in The Restaurant at Waterkloof, before returning back to the Waterfront by helicopter. Complete Cost R10,500 per person.
Prices subject to change – Booking essential, 48 hours in advance.
All excursions must be pre-booked. For bookings, dates and terms and conditions, contact Zandri.
Tel: 021 858 1491
Email: [email protected].