Brookdale Estate has released three new white wines, crafted by winemaker Kiara Scott Farmer at the young Paarl winery on the slopes of the Du Toitskloof Mountains. Under the leadership of the owners, the Rudd family, Brookdale continues breaking down boundaries to define its own path within South Africa’s wine industry. The new release includes the second vintage of the lauded Brookdale Estate Sixteen White Field Blend (2022) and the fifth vintage of the flagship Brookdale Estate Old Vine Chenin Blanc (2021), as well as a brand-new Southern Rhône-style, white blend, called Brookdale Estate Bradbourne (2022).
With each harvest, Kiara Scott Farmer takes an intuitive approach, responding to the growing and harvest conditions in order to curate the vine which creates the wine. She says: ‘Wines like these are largely made in the vineyard, and polished in the cellar through minimal invention practices.’ Kiara creates room in her winemaking process for the wine to reveal its potential. This means that no two vintages receive the same treatment – there are no formulas and there is no recipe. Kiara prefers to use vintage-specific techniques which allow the grapes of that particular year to showcase their terroir best.
The award-winning 2020 vintage was a hard act to follow, but the newly released Brookdale Estate Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2021 meets high expectations once again, in celebration of old-vine Chenin Blanc. This vintage is yet another triumphant display of Paarl’s terroir and wine producing status of complexity and balance. The winemaker’s tasting notes refer to ‘Ginger spice and sourdough unfolding on the nose, laced with pineapple freshness, peach tea and a hint of vanilla pod. Richly textured, weighty stone fruit coalesces with vibrant, tropical nuances. On the mid-palate apricot tanginess balances creamy, salted lees. The acidity is sewn right through, fine and mineral, along a seam of subtle spice. Quince, peaches and poaching pears simmer to the finish, echoing long and resonant with fruitful generosity.’
Brookdale is a proud member of South Africa’s Old Vine Project – a collective of certified heritage vines. At the Trophy Wine Show in 2022, the Brookdale Estate Chenin Blanc 2020 took Gold with a top score of 97/100 placing it first in its category, winning the coveted Rosa Kruger Trophy for best Old Vine Wine. The wine was produced from Old Vine Chenin Blanc planted in 1985.
The maiden vintage of Brookdale Estate Bradbourne (2022) is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Piquepoul Blanc, Roussanne and Marsanne. Paarl is a region well-known for producing quality blends, and these varieties are particularly suited to this climate. Carefully selected, the four varietals were picked at different stages and crafted into a traditional, Southern Rhône-style blend. ‘Clean aromas of Asian pear, white honey, blossom and crushed chalk. Textured and detailed, the palate has a floaty feel, like club soda. Young quince, apples and melon abound, curving along a line of salted butterscotch to a deeper shade of waxy honeycomb. On the mid-palate the sensation of peaches and cream is run through with a lifted, lemony acidity as the wine crests into a citrus-toned finish.’
‘The sum is greater than its parts’, is how Brookdale’s owner Tim Rudd explains his passion for the lost art of field blend winemaking, discovered during his travels around Portugal. The second vintage of Brookdale Estate’s Sixteen White Blend (2022) is once again totally representative of the vintage it stems from, and in line with the winemaker’s philosophy, not much altering was done to produce the wine. Winemaker Kiara Scott Farmer says: ‘Sixteen white varietals were planted as bush vines and the fruit was picked at two different stages due to the variability of the grapes. Expect a sense of quiet luxury on the opening chords; thatch, heather, white blossom and French linen give way to green pineapple, lemon balm and fresh honey. The fruit weaves richer on the palate, silken ribbons of peach, apricot and peardrop. A squeeze of limey acidity enlivens and sculpts around lush fruit, going flintier to the side palate and evolving into an appetising mineral-saltiness on the finish.’
The iconic Marine Hotel in Hermanus has opened a new Conference and Function venue. With exemplary service and awe-inspiring views of Walker Bay, the versatile event space boasts beautiful natural daylight to make the most of its unique setting, complemented by its world-class offerings.
The light and airy event space is perfectly suited to corporate events and executive strategy meetings and getaways. It also lends itself to hosting intimate, exclusive weddings and other private events and celebrations. Half- and full-day conference packages are available, promising excellent value with the inclusion of state-of-the-art audio-visual and conference equipment suitable for in-person and hybrid events. The facility can accommodate up to 80 guests cinema style; 60 seated school room style and 56 U-shape; or up to 30 delegates in a boardroom configuration.
Head Chef Oelof Vorster takes conference breaks to another level with tailor-made offerings to suit the requirements of every individual event. Adjacent to the new venue, the dedicated Origins restaurant caters for meetings, conferences and events exclusively, seating up to 48 guests for meals or cocktails.
Michel Bouic, GM of The Marine says that The Liz McGrath Collection has paid heed to the requirements of the growing business community of Hermanus and the greater Overberg region for a world-class meeting venue that offers excellent value, with warm hospitality and service to match. ‘The venue is however also designed as an attractive option for executive meetings and smaller conferences from Cape Town and upcountry. Within 100kms from Cape Town Airport, we present a unique out of office work environment in this magnificent seaside setting on the famous Hermanus cliff path. At The Marine, conference breaks can be truly memorable as there are few places where one can breathe the champagne air and stretch your legs while watching dolphins and whales frolic offshore as you gather your thoughts for the next work session.
As a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, we take pride in our accommodation that is spacious and luxurious, offering delegates a choice of 40 hotel rooms and suites to choose from, some with sea views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.’
Less than 90 minutes from Cape Town, the seaside town of Hermanus offers a host of exciting experiences. For downtime and out of conference excursions, the area boasts a great variety of activities and attractions, from cold water swimming in the Marine tidal pool, to wine tasting in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley, and sightseeing boat cruises, to name but a few. ‘At The Marine we promise successful conferencing with a good dose of Vitamin Sea – a holistic experience set to stimulate the senses and sharpen the mind’, Bouic concluded.
Brookdale Estate has introduced a new wine pairing to be enjoyed at its Tasting Room outside Paarl. Focussing on Brookdale’s range of lifestyle wines, the new ‘Mason Road Sip & Dip’ tasting includes the four wines in the current Mason Road range, each paired and enjoyed with a different, freshly made pâté and toasted baguette.
The estate has received wide acclaim for its Chenin Blancs, and it is therefore fitting to kick off with a tasting of the Mason Road Chenin Blanc 2021 and traditional Hummus. The wine is fragrant and inviting, opening with honeysuckle and pear drop, then evolving to an electric current of topicality, like an island storm – pineapple, mango, zingy squeezes of lime, the flintiness of rain. On entry a bloom of honeycomb precedes fleshy pear and that abundance of tropical fruit, around which an enlivening acidity sculpts and cools.
The Mason Road Serendipity Rosé 2022, one of South Africa’s favourite Provence-style rosés, is perfectly paired with an Olive Tapenade. A blend of Syrah, Grenache Noir and Cinsault, the wine has a pale salmon pink colour, with fragrant notes of hibiscus, fynbos-spice and wild strawberries unspooling on the nose. The palate is red-fruited and generous, plumped with raspberries, mulberries and sappy cherries; then lifted on the mid-palate with refreshing watermelon verve. Keenly balanced with a lemony acidity, all that beautiful, bright fruit is cradled in a fine-boned structure imbued from old oak ageing.
Moving to the reds, the ever-popular 2022 Mason Road Syrah presents dried violets and kirsch scent ripe plums, black olives and red cherries on the nose, complemented by a delicious Mushroom & Sunflower Seed pâté. Delicately savoury from a hint of smoked meat on the undertow, the Syrah shows fresh berry fruit on the palate, buoyed by a plummy acidity. Gently structured, the tannins layer in featherweight and fine along the bright red fruit profile. The finish tails in with a light dusting of black pepper spice, well balanced and refreshing.
Trailblazer Kiara Scott Farmer, the winemaker at Brookdale Estate, is known to push the boundaries of convention and her newly launched Mason Road GSM2022 is no exception. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Petit Syrah, this medium bodied red blend has a layered density of fruit, liquorice root, fennel seed and ground spice, preceding blackberries and bramble leaf on the rich, inviting nose. Red and black berries unroll to a juicy pomegranate finish, dusted with a hint of cacao. It is the final wine in the ‘Sip & Dip’ tasting line-up, once again perfectly paired with chef Gary Coetzee’s Baba Ghanoush.
Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, which stretches for 114,000 hectares across the southern Kalahari, has opened its new Loapi tented camp. Designed to exacting environmental standards by Cape Town architectural firm GAPP Architects, it offers a true wilderness experience in the largest privately protected area in South Africa. The camp is unique in that guests don’t share any communal spaces. Instead, there are six private safari homes, each an exclusive-use retreat or independently run micro-camp.
With expansive views across arid savannah grasslands, Loapi Tented Camp’s six private safari homes are tucked into the contours of the ancient Korannaberg mountains and can accommodate two or four guests for the ultimate private wilderness experience. In the local language, Setswana, Loapi means ‘the space below the clouds’, and the light-footprint design speaks to being suspended between earth and sky. “The overarching design philosophy was that the new camp needed to be as low impact as possible, to reflect Tswalu’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and the owners’ vision of regeneration of the environment,” said Sally Tsiliyiannis, of GAPP Architects. The modular design, combining canvas, steel and glass, was largely manufactured off-site to minimize the environmental impact and protect the iconic shepherd’s trees. “The main design intent was that, should it ever be required, it would be possible to take the built structure apart and cart it away, leaving the environment exactly as it was found.”
Designed as contemporary glass and steel pavilions, the living and dining areas form the heart of each home, together with an open-plan kitchen, fully stocked pantry, and bar. Deep, shaded decks feature day beds for relaxation, a water-wise plunge pool, and a fire pit for sundowners and early morning coffee. The bedrooms are cocoon-like sanctuaries under canvas, connecting guests to the sights and sounds of nature while providing exceptional comfort and insulation from the Kalahari’s extreme temperatures. The sophisticated tented design incorporates generous overhangs, providing ample shade and reducing the need for excessive energy consumption.
The camp features further minimal-impact, eco-friendly design solutions, including the latest in solar power and water recycling technology, energy-efficient air conditioning, and solar-powered pool pumps.
“Embracing a true wilderness experience, Loapi speaks to a much-needed change of pace for unscripted time in nature, with space to breathe out, be present, and reconnect with what truly matters. Inspired by the nomadic spirit of camping, the tented homes offer complete freedom to explore the reserve’s vastness and diversity at your own pace, knowing that everything is being taken care of behind the scenes by your private guide, chef and homathi, a private butler,” said Marketing and Public Relations Director Russell Binks, who shared his excitement about Tswalu’s latest addition, one of only three camps sharing exclusive access to this private reserve. With its commitment to sustainability, Tswalu is dedicated to protecting biodiversity and vital wildlife habitat, as well as the dramatic natural beauty of the surrounding area.
Embracing an authentic, immersive Kalahari experience, guests have complete freedom to do whatever they want. The six homes (four one-bedroom homes, and two two-bedroom homes), span over 300 square metres and over 400 square metres, respectively, and are for those desiring complete privacy on safari. The micro-camps are at least 50 metres apart to ensure privacy and solitude and each home comes with a private team that includes a homathi (butler) and chef, a private vehicle, and the undivided attention of an experienced guide and tracker. Guests can choose to spend all day tracking Kalahari keystone species, like the desert black rhino or brown hyena, visit nearby pans where resident black-maned lion prides converge, or take a picnic breakfast to the top of Bushman Hill where Hartmann’s mountain zebra and greater kudu are often spotted.
Most of all, Loapi provides the luxury of space and time to do nothing more than relax on the deck and gaze at the view, relishing the deep silence.