Most people only think of heading out to the Winelands for a lazy lunch during the warmer summer months. But you’d be missing out on so much if you only went wine tasting in the sunshine. Winter is perfect wine weather what with roaring fireplaces, less crowds and super specials on accommodation and food!
We headed out to Hartenberg recently to enjoy a lazy lunch. We have visited before during summer for a leisurely picnic under the trees which was a memorable afternoon but this time we went in the dead of winter and weren’t quite sure what to expect.
Fortunately the day we booked for ended up being a glorious sunny mid-winter’s day with not a cloud in the sky. We chose to be seated outside to make the most of the weather and so that the kids could run around and explore the grounds while making their way back to us when they needed to.
I joined the kids on a walk around the grounds and we discovered a kids play area and the extensive picnic grounds down the bottom of the garden where we had enjoyed our previous Hartenberg experience.
After heading back up to the restaurant and perusing the winter lunch menu I opted to try the tasting menu which seemed to offer the best food and wine options from both the food menu and wine tasting list. My husband couldn’t miss out and ended up ordering the same as me!
After a few slices of delicious home made bread, we started our tasting experience with a sparkling wine followed by the soup of the day – a delicious chunky lamb and vegetable soup. Next up was the Butternut Ravioli pasta filled with butternut, sage and goat’s cheese and topped with a beautiful buttery sauce. This we paired with the Hartenberg Chardonnay 2012.
The main meal was a Sirloin Steak served with herb butter and skinny fries and paired with the Hartenberg Shiraz 2012. Our kids opted to have the steak and ravioli respectively – although in retrospect we should have ordered steak and chips for both of them! Dessert was an incredible Tarte tatin with creme fraiche and was paired with an incredible Riesling Noble Late Harvest 2010. The kids shared a slice of decadent cheesecake which I was sure to sneak a taste of.
We were even spoilt with a few extra tastings too, thanks to the generosity of our hostess. Some of our favourites included the Gravel Hill Shiraz, The Eleanor Chardonnay, The Riesling and the Stork Shiraz. A wine tasting trip to Hartenberg is well worth the drive!
While my husband and I enjoyed our various pairings and the information about each wine, the kids ran around exploring the pathways and making friends with other kids enjoying the gardens. Unfortunately the playground was a bit too far away from where we were sitting for them to be comfortable there on their own but there was still enough space for them, and us, to enjoy their time at Hartenberg.
Classic wine tasting (6 premium wines): R25
Flagship tasting (2 super premium & 4 premium wines): R45
Food & wine pairing (3 course): R195
Food & wine pairing (4 course): R245
Mon – Fri: 09:00 – 17:00
Sat: 09:00 – 16:00
Sun: Closed (April – September); 10:00 – 16:00 (October – March)
Lunch served daily from 11:00 – 15:30
Picnics from October – March
Images: Kathryn Rossiter