With Highly Acclaimed Wines and an Enticing Spring Menu at the Award-Winning Restaurant
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 Awards.
See more information on Groot Phesantekraal’s range of wines below
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.
See additional information on Juan and Maret van Deventer below
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)
MORE ABOUT GROOT PHESANTEKRAAL WINES
With four generations of grape farming weaved into the Brink family’s story, André and Ronelle fulfilled a life-long dream in 2005 when they launched their own family wine brand, Phizante Kraal Wine, in very small quantities. The wines were made for the Brinks by family friend, Thys Louw (Diemersdal Estate). The past couple of years have seen some changes. Etienne Louw of Altydgedacht has taken over as winemaker and all the wines have been rebranded. Phizante Kraal, one of the names of the farm during its long history, was changed to the current name of the farm, Groot Phesantekraal, in 2017, with the wine labels now including the Brink family crest honouring more than 120 years of Brink family ownership.
Groot Phesantekraal Blanc de Blanc MCC 2016
Made from 100% Chardonnay, gorgeous aromas of green apple and citrus combine with biscuity notes from the lees maturation, to create a wine that is both complex and refreshing. The full mouthfeel can be attributed to malolactic fermentation and 17 months of lees maturation in the bottle. The tantalising delicate bubbles in the wine round off the taste experience. Enjoy with deep-fried calamari, steamed crayfish, sashimi, sushi and even pan-fried Cob. A touch of butter holds up wonderfully to the biscuit notes. It also likes cheese, holding up against the creaminess of most cheeses.
Cellar door price: R140
Groot Phesantekraal Chenin Blanc 2019
The wine is clean and crisp with summery stone fruit, pineapple, quince and some spice on the nose. Unwooded, fresh, and intensely fragranced, it offers effortless fruit concentration and complexity. Appetising and lip-smacking with a bone-dry finish. An ideal al fresco summer sipper, it is great on its own, but also pairs well with scallops, fried calamari or smoked chicken salad.
Cellar door price: R60
Groot Phesantekraal Sauvignon Blanc 2019
Awards: 2019 Michelangelo Gold Medal
Regional suitability of the variety shows in an abundance of boldly aromatic fruit. The complex and intriguing nose displays a melange of cool, crunchy tropical fruit, with passionfruit and guava dominating. The palate is still very youthful, with mouth-watering grapefruit and lemongrass notes along with cut grass and gooseberries. A distinctive, structured, elegant Sauvignon with a range of flavours and a layered, lengthy crisp finish. This Sauvignon Blanc becomes better with age, with the tropical nose tending to develop on the palate after 6 to 12 months. It stands up beautifully to strong flavoured shellfish (like mussels) and goats cheese salad.
Cellar door price: R85
Groot Phesantekraal Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Awards: 2019 Michelangelo Gold Medal
This is a rich and complex wine. Durbanville’s typical dusty, herbal notes are well supported by red and black fruit with a hint of spice and vanilla and cigar box notes. The medium-bodied palate shows Cabernet’s cooler flavours including spearmint, red berries and plum, supported by a bright line of acidity. Well-integrated élevage in French oak and fine, soft tannins make for a rounded, seamless finish. Accessible now but will be even better in 3 to 5 years. Allow breathing time for the wine to open up or decant an hour before serving. Enjoy with grilled lamb, hearty vegetable stews, risotto or beef carpaccio with parmesan shavings.
Cellar door price: R120
Groot Phesantekraal Anna De Koning Chenin Blanc 2017
Awards: 2018 Michelangelo Silver Medal
This wine is named after the beautiful Anna De Koning, daughter of a freed slave who became the wife of the farm’s first owner Olof Bergh in 1676. Much of this farm’s history and legacy is linked to Anna who rose above her circumstances and went on to inherit Groot Constantia after her husband died. Thanks to her intelligence and beauty, she became a distinguished member of the Cape of Good Hope elite. Sweet melon fruit with honeyed almond, nougat, candied nuts and citrus notes on the nose follow through onto the palate. Richness derived from lees contact and barrel maturation impresses on the textured palate. Serious yet refined, powerful yet elegant. A worthy dinner companion that will complement rich, buttery grilled gamefish, and a salty charcuterie spread. It also makes a good companion for a baked cheesecake, slightly infused with lemon, or even an apple almond tart.
Cellar door price: R130
Groot Phesantekraal Berliet Pinotage 2017
Awards: 2018 Michelangelo Gold Medal
The farm’s Pinotage is named after the 1927 French Berliet that belonged to André Brink’s late father. Having been meticulously restored, this splendidly orange classic automobile is portrayed on the wine’s label and proudly showcased at the estate. Etienne believes that the unique elegance and fruit-structure of Durbanville Pinotage will cement the ward’s position as one of the leading production areas for this variety. This limited release Pinotage exudes the characteristics of this uniquely South African variety – ripe red fruit, subtle toasty oak and an elegant tannin structure. This wine will develop further complexity with careful cellaring for 8 to 10 years. It makes a beautiful accompaniment to slow-braised pork belly or hearty game dishes. For the more adventurous, seared salmon or even a dark chocolate-based dessert is recommended.
Cellar door price: R140
To Purchase Groot Phesantekraal wines:
Pease call 021 825 0060 or visit http://www.grootphesantekraal.co.za/our-wines
Being newly launched, the wines are available at the farm and at select wine merchants but will become more widely available in due course.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org · Restaurant: email@example.com
Groot Phesantekraal Farm, Klipheuwel Way (R302), Durbanville 7550
GPS: 33° 48″ 20S / 18° 40″41 E
HISTORY 0F GROOT PHESANTEKRAAL
One of Durbanville’s oldest farms, the heritage that is Groot Phesantekraal dates back to 1698 when Cape Governor Simon van der Stel granted the land to its first owner, Captain Olof Bergh of the VOC (whose name lives on as one of the Cape’s rare aged brandies produced by the solera method). A story of improbable love, triumph and perseverance is woven into the farm’s history. Olof Bergh’s heart was captured by the beautiful Anna de Koning, daughter of a freed slave in the Jan van Riebeeck household. Anna and Bergh married in 1676 and together they farmed the land now known as Groot Phesantekraal. After her husband’s death, she became a wealthy widow, inheriting Groot Constantia. Thanks to her intelligence and beauty, she became a distinguished member of the Cape of Good Hope elite.
Records show that by 1756 some 40 000 vines had been planted on Groot Phesantekraal. In 1759 the property was sold to the Louw family and later purchased by Arend Brink in 1897. Primarily devoted to mixed farming (grains, cattle and sheep), fourth generation current custodians André (Oubaas) and Ronelle Brink planted vineyards covering 50ha of its 840ha expanse in 1996.
MORE ABOUT JUAN AND MARET VAN DEVENTER
Juan and Maret van Deventer are the formidable culinary duo who run the Groote Phesantekraal Restaurant. After graduating from Warwick’s Chef School in Hermanus, Juan gained enormous experience travelling overseas and working in London and in Florida, USA. On returning to South Africa, he worked at the Showroom Restaurant with the late Bruce Robertson – where he met Maret who is also a chef – and at the Marine Hotel with Peter Tempelhof as well as the Birkenhead House Boutique Hotel. Juan and Maret had their own coffee shop for three years before joining Groot Phesantekraal in 2014.
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