Just 20 minutes from Cape Town, peacefully tucked away within the Tygerberg Hills on the outskirts of Durbanville, a rural gem awaits you, where the rich heritage, dating back to 1698, is woven into the very fabric of the estate. This is Groot Phesantekraal.
Once a reposing farm with rolling wheatlands, vineyards, grazing cows and sheep, this historic estate latterly saw a quiet evolution under the guidance of fourth generation owners, André and Ronelle Brink, elevating it to the top of any wine explorer’s to-do list.
A must-visit in the Durbanville Wine Valley, the Groot Phesantekraal Restaurant – the recipient of a Best Bistro Highly Commended Award at the 2019 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Best Everyday Eateries Awards – has an enticing Spring Menu that is not to be missed. The highly acclaimed Groot Phesantekraal wines are also no strangers to awards. Latest accolades include a 2019 Michelangelo Double Gold for the Groot Phesantekraal Sauvignon Blanc 2019 and a Gold Medal for the Cabernet Sauvignon 2017.
The drive into this working farm is along a long windy road alongside vineyards and green fields where sheep and cows are grazing. It’s dead quiet except for a few farm-animal sounds. All traces of city life are forgotten as you reach the end of the road. A wonderful welcome awaits you: beautiful gardens, historic white-washed buildings and spectacular views across the valley. Here and there a farm dog lolls in the shade while hens and chicks potter around. This is tranquillity at its best.
This is the historic Groot Phesantekraal, a perfect blend of country charm and modern sophistication, where you are about to be spoilt with an excellent selection of wines and exquisitely presented gourmet food in their beautifully restored restaurant housed in the farm’s original stable.
Enter the tasting room, designed by Jacques Erasmus of Hemelhuijs and Ronelle Brink, where central features are a wall of shelves lined with over 100 classic glass storage jars filled with every possible wine aroma imaginable – black cardamom, szechuan pepper, eucalyptus, nougat, cut-grass, coconut, cloves, ginger, vanilla, cumin seeds… to name just a few – and gorgeous lighting made out of old glass decanters. In addition to the range of excellent wines, Groot Phesantekraal’s very own extra virgin olive oil is available at the tasting room for R70 a bottle. Next door is the original chicken coop where private tastings are held. Or perhaps you prefer an informal outdoor tasting on the grassy terrace where you can enjoy a delectable cheese and charcuterie platter while sipping your wine and gazing across vineyards and farmlands.
GROOT PHESANTEKRAAL WINES
Groot Phesantekraal’s wines, made by celebrated winemaker Etienne Louw, are regular recipients of prestigious accolades:
Groot Phesantekraal Sauvignon Blanc
The newly released 2019 Sauvignon Blanc has just been awarded a Double Gold at the 2019 Michelangelo Awards, following on from a series of accolades for previous vintages including Double Gold at Veritas, four placings in the Top 20 of the FNB Sauvignon Blanc Awards as well as two placings in the Top 10.
Groot Phesantekraal Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon was recently honoured with a 2019 Michelangelo Gold Medal, endorsing a fine pedigree which includes Michelangelo and Veritas Gold Medals for previous vintages.
Groot Phesantekraal Chenin Blanc
Groot Phesantekraal’s Chenin Blanc has a fine pedigree including a Michelangelo Double Gold and Gold Wine Award for excellent value for recent vintages.
Groot Phesantekraal Blanc de Blanc Méthode Cap Classique
Made by Etienne Louw who is well-versed in MCC, having made the overall winning Cap Classique at the 2015 Amorim Cap Classique Challenge, this refreshing yet complex Cap Classique has been very well received by bubbly lovers.
Groot Phesantekraal Anna De Koning Chenin Blanc
This barrel-fermented flagship white wine, a, single vineyard expression from 57-year-old bush vines and a flag bearer for Chenin Blanc of Durbanville origin, was the proud recipient of a 2018 Michelangelo Silver Medal.
Groot Phesantekraal Berliet Pinotage
The estate’s flagship red wine made by Etienne Louw, a regular recipient of Absa Top 10 Pinotage awards, was the proud winner of a Gold medal at the 2018 Michelangelo
One of the oldest farms in Durbanville, the restaurant, housed in a converted farm stable (built in 1767) pays homage to the history of the farm. The white-washed plastered walls, original stone floors, open-beam thatched roof and original feeding troughs blend seamlessly with modern touches and wonderful views over the rolling hills and mountains beyond.
Juan and Maret van Deventer are the culinary force behind the emergence of Groote Phesantekraal as a must-visit in the Durbanville Wine Valley. Juan is the head chef making magic in the kitchen while Maret, also a chef, runs the front of house.
The menus, based on a combination of contemporary country style and traditional cooking, provide hearty, wholesome meals; a perfect foil to the farm’s wines. The small but eclectic menu changes regularly according to seasonal availability as much of the produce used is sourced on the farm.
Breakfast Tuesday to Friday:
In addition to a Full Farmer’s Breakfast with real freshly laid farm eggs, popular breakfast choices include the Warm Quinoa Breakfast with Fried Tomatoes, Baby Spinach, Aubergine, Feta, Leek Cauliflower Watercress Garlic Puree and Crispy Onions; and Homemade Nutty Granola with Fresh Paw Paw, Plain Yoghurt, Honey, Toasted Seeds and White Chocolate Shavings.
The restaurant is extremely popular for its Saturday brunches which are growing in legend, so booking is advised. Be sure to try the Home Cured Salmon Ciabatta with Baby Spinach, Poached Eggs, Hollandaise Sauce and Pickled Pearl Onions; Three Egg Open Omelette with Sliced Gammon, Mozzarella, Red Onion, Herb Crème Fraiche and Toast; Crispy Panko Fried Chicken Strip Salad with Pickled Onion, Cucumber, Cabbage, Baby Marrow, Peas Garlic Aioli and Fresh Apple; or Sweet Raspberry Belgian Waffle with Tangy Mascarpone, Earl Grey Sugar Syrup and Berry Compote.
Saturdays on the Lawn:
New at Groot Phesantekraal, some delicious accompaniments to wine tasting are on offer on Saturdays. Overlooking rolling vineyards, parents can relax outside, tasting wine while their children run freely on the expansive lawns. The menu includes Fine Cheese and Meat Platters with Ciabatta (Everything is local: chorizo-style salami, coppa ham, cremona (SA gorgonzola), jong belegen boerenkaas and mature cheddar) as well as Pizzas, from the new wood-fired pizza oven, served on wooden boards. Current pizza options are: Chorizo, Blue Cheese, Fresh Pear and Mozzarella, and Field Mushroom, Feta, Red Onion, Truffle Oil and Mozzarella. There is always a Sweet Treat on offer to end the meal. Follow Groot Phesantekraal on social media to find out about their occasional Saturday ‘Pizza & Wine Promos’ which really draw the crowds.
Lunch Tuesday to Friday:
Although the menu changes from season to season, certain lunch ‘favourites’ remain on the lunch menu – steak, slow-roasted pork belly, lamb, pan-seared line-caught catch of the day – but the trimmings and sides vary according to the season, and there is always an interesting vegetarian dish available and a choice of to-die-for desserts as well as limited vegan and children’s menus. Some of the choice new dishes are:
Pork Belly: Braised Pork Belly served with Potato Fondant, Pea Puree, Mustard Seeds, Cabbage, Fennel, Citrus Preserve and Crispy Onion Flakes;
Winemakers Choice: Groot Phesantekraal Berliet Pinotage
Line Fish Risotto: Pan-Fried Fish & Baby Marrow Parsley, Puree Risotto, Grilled Baby Marrow, Brussel Sprout Salad and Bonito Flakes;
Winemakers Choice: Groot Phesantekraal Anna de Koning Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc
Lamb Noisette: Rosemary & Garlic Pan-Fried Lamb Loin served with Buttered Summer Vegetables, Lamb Meatball in Crumb, Cauliflower Leek Watercress Garlic Puree;
Winemakers Choice: Groot Phesantekraal Chenin Blanc
And to end with something sweet:
White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Poppy Seed Madeleine and Fruit Gel;
Granadilla Tart with Coconut Pastry, Coconut Sorbet and Granadilla Curd;
Winemakers Choice: Groot Phesantekraal Noble Late Harvest 2018 (only available at the restaurant)
A VISIT TO GROOT PHESANTEKRAAL
Opening hours and contact details
Wine Tasting & Sales: Open Tuesday to Friday: 08:00 – 16:30 · Saturday: 09:00 – 14:30
Restaurant: Open Tuesday to Friday: Breakfast: 8:00 – 11:00, Lunch: 12:00 – 15:00
Saturday Brunch: 09:00 – 14:30
Saturdays on the Lawn: 10:00 – 14:30
Sunday & Monday: Closed
Booking is essential
Tel: 021 825 0060
Tasting Room: email@example.com · Restaurant: firstname.lastname@example.org
Groot Phesantekraal Farm, Klipheuwel Way (R302), Durbanville 7550
GPS: 33° 48″ 20S / 18° 40″41 E
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