Paardeberg Country Wine Experience

Ayama Slent Farm recently hosted an exceptional culinary experience. It was a unique event where an exclusive Italian lunch was paired with Paardeberg Wines.

The stars of the show showcased their wines and shared their knowledge about their wines and how each wine was paired with a dish enhancing flavours and taste.


Chardonnay – VONDELING

Aristargos – DAVID & NADIA


Petit Sirah – AYAMA


We also learnt more about the Paardeberg Country, an area which is rich in biodiversity giving grapes and wines a unique personality.

The Paardeberg is a sprawling granitic mountain in the Swartland area of the Western Cape in South Africa, near the town of Malmesbury. It got its Dutch name “Horse Mountain” from the zebra-like animals which once roamed here.

Today, the higher reaches are still covered with natural vegetation, but the kloofs (valleys) and lower slopes are home to grapevines. Paardeberg divides the Paarl and Swartland wine regions. This hilly, off-the-beaten-track region offers delightful surprises waiting around every bend with gravel roads that lead to the dotted farmhouses and wineries.

We started the afternoon off with a refeshing glass of Caperitif Kaapse Dief. Orange slices, rosemary and some pepper corns were added. It was mixed with Swaan Cape Tonic water and the result is a delicious drink that went down well as we quench our thirst from the scorching heat outside.


From the cellar of Kalmoesfontein and the mountain slopes of the Paardeberg, AA Badenhorst Family Wines bring you Caperitif.

A Danish mixologist queried winemaker Adi Badenhorst, and the modern version of Caperitif was launched in 2015. Caperitif just resurfaced almost 100 years after having gone missing.

Chenin Blanc is fortified with spirit, gently sweetened by the sugar of the grapes, bittered by Quinchona bark and flavoured with 35 ingredients from the Cape, such as fynbos, kalmoes and naartjies. This drink captures the essence of the Cape.


Mini bite-sized treats made their way to the tables. The Aubergine Croquette was crispy on the outside, soft inside and was simply delicious.

The Red Beet Hummus on a Chickpea Cake was definitely a new favourite for me. The beetroot has an earthy yet subtle sweetness and added a delicious twist to the chickpea cake.

Who doesn’t like an Italian Salami Tramezzini? They are triangular sandwiches made with crustless white bread. A popular Italian finger snack that went down a treat.

The Baby Tomatoes was stuffed with Tuna. A tasty treat – one bite and it’s amore!

Wine Pairing: Circa Rosecco


The nose shows upfront aromas of crushed raspberries and fragrant strawberries that follows through on the palate.  It has a long, rounded finish with a lovely acidity and great balance. This beautiful bubbly is made from pinotage which makes for a fruity yet not too sweet. Circa is a gorgeous summer-sipper and all round celebratory fizz.

Circa is made in the fun style Italians call Prosecco.  The grapes came from a 1ha bush vine Pinotage vineyard on their farm Nuwedam in the Swartland.

Circa also means “almost” or “round about” or “there or thereabouts”, so it perfectly describes the entire process of crafting an almost Prosecco.


A homemade bread basket was brought to the table with a selection of different kinds of bread.

Our first starter was Broccoletti flan with gorgonzola cream. It was packed with flavour and together with the bread it was a match made in heaven.

Wine Pairing: Vondeling Chardonnay



This wine has an inviting nose of honeyed citrus, potpourri and peach blossoms with a subtle hint of beeswax. The palate is poised and sophisticated, with fresh chalky limestone, yellow flowers, candied orange peel and ginger infused honey. The flavours are vibrant and the finish refined.

Vondeling Wines, situated on the slopes of the Paardeberg Mountain in the Voor Paardeberg comprises of three properties, of which the original Vondeling farm dates back to 1704 with a wine making tradition stretching back over three centuries.

The second starter was appetising with Baby Lobster and Prawns Catalana Tartare served with avo and celery.

Wine Pairing: David & Nadia Aristargos


This wine is a blend of several white varieties from 14 different vineyards – Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Semillon, Roussanne, Clairette Blanche and Marsanne. On the nose you get big aromas of yellow plum and jasmine. The palate is well balanced with notes of stone fruit and orange peel. Concentrated fruit and fresh acidity.

The 2017 Aristargos is a complex and multilayered wine made by the extremely talented young team of David and Nadia Sadie from dry farmed old bush vines in the Swartland. The wines of David and Nadia are family-owned and the farm is situated in the Siebritskloof Valley, Paardeberg.


The Aubergine Parmesan was layered with aubergines, tomatoes and cheese. It was rich in flavour and it was moreish and delicious.

Wine Pairing: Doran Vineyards Shiraz


This Shiraz spent one year in old oak barrels. On the nose, it is showing deep black plum fruit, tinged with bright red cherries, on top of a savoury base. The flavour is generous and complete, but dances on the palate – vibrant, energetic, balanced. It is medium-bodied, dry and delicious now, but the savvy wine buyer will lay down a case for another five years.

Doran Vineyards is owned by Irish-born, London based Edwin Doran. His Partner/CEO is André Badenhorst, the South African wine icon. It is the home of elegant, artisan, hand-nurtured wines created by dedicated, passionate people.


The Braised and seared Beef Tongue was mouthwatering and tender, served with Sicilian Caponata that married all the flavours together.

Wine Pairing: Ayama Petite Sirah


This full red wine’s bouquet suggests ripe berries overlaid with green pepper and spicy flavours. There is excellent follow through onto the palate where the peppery flavours dominate. The well-integrated ripe tannins make for easy accessibility.

Ayama Wines, home to SA’s 1st Vermentino, is owned by Italian couple Attilio & Michela, making wine expressed from the unique terroir of the Voor-Paardeberg, one of the newest wine appellations declared as producing distinctive wines of significant quality.


We ended off a great afternoon with an indulgent Peach Clafoutis. The sweet and tangy peaches are a delight after a flavoursome lunch.

Wine Pairing: Chenin Blanc Brut


Chenin Blanc was used to make the Filia Brut Nature. On the nose citrus white peach and pineapple. The palate is intensely flavoured with a bit of mineralty citrus flavours and herbs. Has a nice long finish.

Huis Van Chevallerie is responsible for producing some of the Best Sparkling Wines from the Swartland. The Sparkling Chenin Blanc Brut Nature is called Filia. Filia – Latin for daughter – is the embodiment of the familiy passion for the Paardeberg, old vines and farming heritage.

It was a wonderful event with extraordinary Italian food paired with some amazing wines – enough to delight your palate and senses. For more information on future events contact: +27.218698313,, see

Categories: Ayama Wines, Paardeberg, RegionTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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