For the second consecutive year, Brookdale Estate received the coveted Tim Atkin nod for its Chenin Blancs. Both wines in the stable scored above 90 in the 2021 report on South African wines, compiled by the renowned British Master of Wine, wine judge and commentator.
Flagship Brookdale Chenin Blanc 2019 retains a solid rating of 93 for the same vintage judged by Tim Atkin in 2020. It was however the Brookdale Mason Road Chenin Blanc which made great strides this year, the 2020 vintage having broken through the 90’s bar to walk away with a score of 91, improving last year’s score of 88 for the previous vintage (2019).
Brookdale is a very young estate, and winemaker Kiara Scott and her team is working hard at innovation and improving each vintage. A true Cinderella story, the farm was once overgrown and underused. The Rudd family, originally from the United Kingdom, recognised the potential of the property and acquired the 67-hectare estate in 2015. Their vision was to create a world-class country estate producing fine wines, starting with a single block of old-vine Chenin Blanc, currently estimated to be about 36 years old, which was saved to become the maiden release in 2017. New vineyards were planted on the estate, including more Chenin Blanc which has once again proved that it thrives in this terroir, set above Paarl against the dramatic backdrop of the Klein Drakenstein mountains.
The Marine Hotel in Hermanus has appointed Rudolph Blaauw as Executive Chef to oversee all culinary operations, including the famed restaurants Origins and The Pavilion. The Marine, a member of The Liz McGrath Collection, is one of South Africa’s most spectacular seaside hotels and is a proud member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
Chef Rudi brings with him extensive experience gained at two Relais & Châteaux properties, including five years as Executive Sous Chef at Delaire Graff Estate’s famed Indochine Restaurant in the Cape Winelands. During his most recent tenure as Executive Chef at Ellerman House in Cape Town, he worked alongside his mentor, Relais & Châteuax Grand Chef Peter Templehoff. Prior to Ellerman House, Templehoff raised the culinary bar at The Liz McGrath Collection during eleven years as Executive Chef at the award-winning Greenhouse at The Cellars Hohenort, sister property to The Marine and The Plettenberg.
From an early age Rudi Blaauw learned the tricks of the trade from his father, who also was a professional chef. The young apprentice cook completed his training at what was then known as The Mountain Manor Hotel in Franschhoek, now Le Franschhoek. During the past 20 years as a chef, he also gained valuable international experience working as a private chef in Qatar and the UK. When asked about his food philosophy, it’s an easy answer for this Chef who concentrates on the quality of the produce, letting that shine and believing that creativity will follow.
At The Marine’s Origins Restaurant, Chef Rudi has introduced a new a la carte menu, which includes what Chef Rudi describes as ‘everyday’ favourites that showcase local flavours. ‘My new menu is inspired by our suppliers and the local produce. I like to have stories attached to dishes and create a menu that’s exciting for diners, but also for our chef team too, encouraging them to experiment with flavours and learn new techniques.’
Paying homage to its seaside location, The Marine likes to support ethical fishing and buy from local fishermen who catch fish by the line. Starters focus on fresh seafood, followed by a section dedicated to a variety of interesting and healthy salads. Main courses are divided into specialties from ‘The Sea’ and ‘The Land,’ with dishes highlighting the produce of the Overberg.
Rounding off the menu is a selection of mouth-watering desserts, including the Chef’s personal favourite – Wesley’s Fynbos Canelés de Bordeaux with Madagascar vanilla ice cream and gummi bears of the region.
‘The idea behind our canelé dessert is for our guests to prepare the palate and enjoy a small honey tasting before they indulge in the dessert. The honey that we use is supplied by Wesley Abrahams, our very own Sous Chef in the kitchen, a beekeeper in his spare time, who oversees the honey production from start to the final product. The ‘honey gummi bears’ are created by using three different types of honey, from different regions. It starts with the multi-floral honey from Betty’s Bay, then Blue Gum honey from Stanford, and our favourite – fynbos honey from the Hemel-en- Aarde Valley. It brings a distinctive and delicious, playful element to this small French pastry as a showstopper dish with an intriguing element of local storytelling to it.’
The Marine has ongoing special offers and themed evenings that are popular with locals and visitors alike, including fresh Fish & Chips Fridays, Roasting Sundays, and Food & Wine pairing events to showcase the wines of the region. Believing firmly that the time to support local is now, Chef Blaauw invites patrons to enjoy his expertly prepared menu of ‘simple pleasures’. This celebration of the produce and talented artisans of the area comes together perfectly in a menu centred around the origins of fine food.
Kyle Macaskill has been promoted to Head Chef at Plettenberg Bay’s landmark boutique hotel, The Plettenberg. With 16 years of solid industry experience to his name, of which the last eleven years was in the kitchens of sister property The Cellars-Hohenort, this appointment, his first as head chef, demonstrates the excellent scope for career opportunities and progression within The Liz McGrath Collection.
Macaskill trained at the South African Chefs Academy and completed an Advanced Diploma in Culinary Arts under Garth Stroebel and Paul Hartmann. His first four years of work experience was notched up in other leading fine dining restaurants in Cape Town, including The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, where he worked as Chef de Partie. This was followed by a stint as Head Pastry Chef at Bruce Robertson’s fine dining restaurant The Showroom, and Senior Pastry Chef at Mike Bassett’s Myoga restaurant at the Vineyard Hotel.
His tenure with the Liz McGrath Collection kicked off in 2010 with his appointment as Junior Pastry Chef at The Cellars-Hohenort. After a short while he progressed to Head of Pastry at the hotel’s famed restaurant, The Conservatory, and over the years, he worked his way up to Junior Sous Chef and then Senior Sous Chef, a position he held for the past three years.
Macaskill says he is dedicated to his craft and finds it deeply satisfying to create art on a plate. ‘I enjoy experimenting with food and my aim is to execute the perfect marriage of flavours, using local produce to create dishes that will entice the diner’s senses. From sight to smell to taste, I like to create a memorable experience for the diner, leaving them wanting to come back for more.’
New items on the menu at The Plettenberg include Chef Kyle’s Klein Karoo springbok loin with fynbos cream potatoes, red cabbage marmalade, slow-roasted baby tomatoes, field mushrooms, string beans and a port reduction. He predicts that his new Sesame-encrusted Norwegian salmon is destined to become a signature dish too, served with black garlic risotto, citrus rocket salad, umami beans and an orange-teriyaki reduction.
The Restaurant at The Plettenberg is renowned for its ocean bounty, drawing inspiration from the rich marine life that can be found in Plettenberg Bay. The indoor dining section offers beautiful views of the pool and ocean, while the outdoor terrace is perfect for alfresco dinners, with mesmerising ocean vistas – especially at sunset.
Brookdale Estate has introduced private wine and dine experiences with special menus created by Executive Chef Gary Coetzee. Small groups of up to 12 people are catered for with brunch, lunch or cocktail menus custom designed and personalised to the taste of guests. There is an option of wine pairing by winemaker Kiara Scott to showcase the estate wines, including the lauded Brookdale Chenin Blanc, as well as the Mason Road range.
Private events and special dining experiences may be booked by non-resident guests and day visitors for celebrations ranging from birthdays, anniversaries and corporate events, to engagement parties and bridal showers. Depending on the nature of the event and the weather conditions on the day, the event may be hosted in any of various magnificent dining areas in the Brookdale Manor House, or al fresco at the pool house and terrace.
Depending on the season, a tasting menu could include a refreshing starter of Chilled tomato water and Parmesan tuille served with the Mason Road Serendipity Rosé 2020, followed by a Raw broccoli and avocado salad enjoyed with the Mason Road Chenin Blanc 2021. Fish Ravioli with caper and Brookdale Chenin Blanc sauce is complemented by the show-stopping Brookdale Chenin Blanc 2018, leading to the main course of Loin of lamb, wholegrain mustard mash, carrots, peas and rosemary jus served with the Mason Road Syrah 2020, before the festivities end on a sweet note with Mocca Brûlée, coffees and tea.
With some 20 years of experience under his belt in some of South Africa’s most lauded kitchens, Chef Gary specialises in delicious tasting menus. Inspired by the changing seasons and the quality of Paarl’s local produce, he brings imagination and playfulness to each dish. He also takes pleasure in putting together elegant, family-style options served in a relaxed environment while guests soak up the tranquil surrounds and natural majesty of the Paarl winelands. He says: ‘Here at Brookdale we have the opportunity to share this magnificent location and the fruit of the valley with our guests. While our restaurant is under construction on the estate, we are pleased to have the opportunity to offer the exclusivity of a luxurious private venue where we create a stylish and private, home-away-from-home experience. We are proud to offer a place to relax and entertain guests while all the details are taken care of by our professional team.’
The Manor House is surrounded by expansive gardens which may also be used for pre-drinks or exclusive picnic events.
Whale-watching season, in Hermanus, is in full swing and The Marine hotel is inviting locals to make the most of this special time of the year, by booking a stay at up to 25% discount on the bed and breakfast rate.
Traditionally, whale watching season falls between July and November when Southern Right whales are spotted frolicking in the beautiful bays of Hermanus. The area is favoured as the choice mating and breeding grounds for the species and presents the perfect base to experience these unforgettable sightings. This year, the pandemic forced organizers of the renowned annual Hermanus Whale Festival to cancel the event, but fortunately, one of the ‘greatest shows of the natural world’ is carrying on regardless, with whales instinctively arriving in the protected bays of the Overberg seaside town – almost daily.
At The Marine guests are encouraged to keep their ears open for the whale bell, which gets rung at the hotel whenever a whale is spotted in the bay below. The Southern Right whale is one of the largest species of whale with females between 14 and 16 meters long and males from 13 to 15 meters, and adult whales weighing between 40 and 50 tons.
The team at The Marine is passionate about whale conservation and committed to supporting the Mammal Research Institute Whale Unit, which offers symbolic adoptions of the best-known Southern Right whales. The Marine has embraced this educational and conservational project with the adoption of ‘Maggie the whale’, who can be recognised by a small grey marking on her back. Maggie was the first female Southern Right whale to ever be identified in South African waters. Over the years, she has returned to Hermanus regularly, having had no less than ten calves in normal three-year calving intervals along the South African coast. New whale mothers like Maggie come quite close to shore as they need to get the calf, who can weigh over 900kg at birth, to the surface of the water for its first breath after it is born. This provides guests of The Marine with the delightful opportunity to experience what is rated as the finest land-based whale watching in the world, sometimes even from the comfort of their guest room!
Located on Hermanus’ famous cliff path, overlooking the breathtaking Walker Bay, The Marine is currently offering excellent savings for those needing a break and a change of scenery. As a Small Luxury Hotels of the World property it offers ideal remote-working conditions, allowing guests to combine work and pleasure to present professionals with the opportunity to enjoy world-class hospitality in a safe bubble with their loved ones.
Families with children are welcome, as well as their ‘furry friends’ who will receive 5-star treatment, complete with a special doggy menu, toys and 5-star hotel bedding provided. For those looking for even more privacy and exclusivity, The Marine also offers the option to book a dedicated wing ideal for families and multi-generational travel. All room types feature free WIFI and have a desk or dedicated workspace available to cater to guests needing to work during their stay. Excellent Covid-19 safety protocols are in place.
Cape Town, July 2021: Conservation history has been made in the Western Cape with the registration of Sanbona Wildlife Reserve as a non-profit company, following its rezoning from agricultural to conservational use.
Sanbona is one of South Africa’s largest privately-owned nature reserves, stretching across 58 000 hectares of rich protected ecosystems within two biodiversity hotspots. This vast track of land in the Little Karoo outside Montagu will from now on be governed by a Protected Area Management Agreement. This formal proclamation of Sanbona as a Nature Reserve in partnership with CapeNature’s Biodiversity Stewardship Programme is set to secure its future for perpetuity.
General Manager Paul Vorster says the transition into a non-profit company is a milestone for conservation. Particularly for the protection of threatened ecosystems, the reintroduction of extirpated wildlife, and restoration of degraded habitats that preserve numerous rare species. ‘Having this large private conservation area converted into a non-profit model allows for a vehicle of collaboration with conservation bodies and community development, as an internationally accepted model for sustainability.’
Twenty years ago, an audacious dream was given life on the arid plains of the Little Karoo. More than 500 square kilometres of agricultural land was earmarked for the creation of the reserve that would attempt to conserve the heritage, ecosystems and landscapes, while creating employment opportunities in one of South Africa’s hardest hit rural centres. Risks were quantified and with a leap of faith, species that had become locally extinct hundreds of years previously, were reintroduced to explore their new home, including elephant, hippopotamus, cheetah and lion.
Although many other reserves in South Africa have successfully been transformed in previous decades from other uses, this was the first attempt in an arid Karoo environment. Numerous challenges were faced without case studies or scientific literature to inform the process. Sanbona’s dedicated conservation team has spent the last 20 years developing and refining a model that identifies outcome driven projects, with the goal of establishing resilient ecosystems, landscapes and communities. These innovative projects have fostered collaborations with international academic institutions and leading conservation organisations.
In October 2015, Sanbona Wildlife Reserve was bought by the non-profit CALEO Foundation and the reserve entered a new phase of its vision. The Foundation’s goal is to protect critically vital ecosystems, endangered wildlife and flora, so that they can prosper. The acquisition of Sanbona was perfectly suited to meet this goal and over the years it has become a role player in many ground-breaking conservation initiatives.
On behalf of future generations, CALEO Foundation decided that the best way to ensure the protection of Sanbona would be to donate and transfer it into a non-profit company (NPC), as this transfer significantly enhances the prospects of the reserve being preserved as a wilderness refuge indefinitely. The new non-profit entity of the reserve is the Sanbona Nature and Wilderness Reserve NPC. Following onto this objective, the NPC can now drive donorship into conservation funding with the added benefit of qualifying as a public benefit organisation (PBO). This comes with associated advantages, among which is the tax benefit it affords to donors, whereby donations made to Sanbona NPC may be treated as tax-deductible expenses.
Today, Sanbona serves as a major role player in the conservation realm, which is shared and intricately woven into the guest experiences at each of the three luxurious lodges, Tilney Manor, Gondwana Family Lodge and Dwyka Tented Lodge, as well as the seasonal Explorer Camp. Revenue from the hospitality business will continue to be invested in Sanbona NPC. In effect, all funds generated by tourism at Sanbona will now be injected directly into the ongoing, long term protection and identified conservation projects, as well as protected area expansion.
Golf enthusiasts are invited to escape the winter cold and head for the Garden Route where The Plettenberg and Fancourt have put together a special offer that includes the opportunity to play no less than three of SA’s top golf courses. Locals can experience the famed ‘Plett feeling’ with The Plettenberg’s Putt and Plett special which includes a round of golf at the Gary Player-designed Goose Valley Golf course, and the use of a golf cart.
The 5-star treatment continues with luxury accommodation and a complimentary room upgrade plus minibar. Full English breakfast is included daily, as well as a 3-course dinner in the hotel’s acclaimed restaurant, or served in the comfort of guest suites. A rejuvenating spa treatment is included to the value of R550 per person at Fresh Wellness Spa, and a 2- varietal wine and canapé tasting with a vineyard platter to share at the award-winning Luka Vineyards nearby. The Plett Winelands is home to 18 wine farms and is fast becoming a major attraction on the Garden Route, being conducive to producing cooler-climate wines such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir varietals. To complete the ultimate holiday for outdoor enthusiasts, a 30% discount is offered on whale watching and dolphin encounters from Plett-based activity partners Ocean Blue Adventures, as well as visits to the trio of animal sanctuaries of Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and Jukani.
Golfers may also extend the trip to Fancourt and book the 2-night ‘Tee off in paradise’ package where each guest receives one round of golf per day on Fancourt’s Outeniqua or Montagu golf courses. Alternatively, partners who do not play golf may use a complimentary Spa voucher to the value of R635, or a dinner voucher to the value of R375.
During the winter months when other parts of the country are hauling out the winter woollies, the Garden Route remains inviting, boasting mild weather conditions and pleasant, sunny days. With more than 25 top-notch golf courses along the 250-km stretch of coastline, it is widely recognised as South Africa’s golfing mecca. It is the perfect destination for a self-drive road trip to soak in the unsurpassable scenery of the Southern Cape and the beguiling diversity of its seaside cliffs, white sandy beaches, lagoons and evergreen forests.
About The Plettenberg
The Plettenberg, part of The Liz McGrath Collection, is situated on a rocky headland in one of South Africa’s most spectacular beach towns. Tucked neatly into the Garden Route, Plettenberg Bay boasts a year-round temperate climate, pristine beaches and dense green forests, making it the ultimate South African seaside escape. The 5-star Small Luxury Hotels of the World property has direct beach access and showcase some of the most breathtaking vistas in Southern Africa, with views of the ocean, mountains and endless stretches of golden sand. The hotel features 37 beautifully appointed guest rooms, including 12 Suites and two spectacular Villas.
Guests may enjoy world-class cuisine courtesy of The Plettenberg restaurant, where deliciously fresh seafood dishes are served in a mesmerising seaside setting. The Sandbar meanwhile, is the perfect spot for pre- or post-dinner drinks, as well as tea, wine and meticulously crafted signature cocktails throughout the day. Guests may relax at one of two pools with stunning sea views, or on the Sun Lounge & Terrace, before getting pampered at the Fresh Wellness Spa, or indulging in a spot of shopping at The Collection Boutique. Whether visitors are looking for a romantic seaside escape or an action-packed family holiday, The Plettenberg is the ideal place to relax and unwind, recharge and reinvigorate.
The transformation of the iconic Glencairn Hotel (Cape Town), which started with the opening of a family restaurant (Barstaurant) in December 2020, has been completed. Re-branded and now known as the Deep South Eatery, the restaurant has expanded its culinary offering to include a Hickory Shack traditional smoke house in partnership with ‘pitmaster’ Jay Haupt, the owner of the original Hickory Shack outside Elgin. The menu features slow-cooked, Texas-style barbeque dishes including beef brisket and ribs, pulled pork and BBQ chicken wings, and sides of buttermilk mash, fries, coleslaw and cowboy meaty beans, and more.
The restaurant is geared towards locals and families, with comfortable outdoor and indoor dining areas, and lawns with jungle gyms and safe play areas for children. Offering diners the opportunity to ‘eat around the world’, the Deep South Eatery menu also includes Italian wood-fired pizzas and build-your own pizzas for children, as well as signature sushi dishes. Other classic favourites include tacos, fish & chips, burgers and Caesar salad, as well as delicious vegan options.
Another exciting addition to the historical building, which dates back to 1904, is the opening of the Deep South Supply Company on street level. A passion project for the business partners of the Tintswalo family, Lisa and Warwick Goosen, and Ryno and Melissa du Rand, the Deep South Supply Co. is a stylish wine boutique and liquor retail shop, which also specializes in selling gift items, biltong and everything one needs for the perfect braai at home.
The personality behind the Deep South Supply Co is sommelier Jabu Ngwenya, who is currently studying towards level 3 of his international WSET (The Wine & Spirit Education Trust) qualification. Jabu first joined Tintswalo in 2009 as a junior waiter/barman at Tintswalo Atlantic. Over the years he further developed his interest in wine, and after taking a year off to travel the world and gather international experience, he returned to Tintswalo Atlantic as Hospitality and Service manager overseeing restaurant and bar operations until the opening of the Deep South Supply Co. The wine and liquor shop not only serves retail clients, but also acts as a central purchasing department for the restaurant and the two hotels within the Tintswalo group in the Cape, as well as Tintswalo’s safari lodges upcountry. In addition, it offers a convenient wholesale service to other restaurants, bars and hotels.
The Deep South Eatery is open six days a week for lunch and dinner (closed on Mondays), with breakfast served on Saturdays and Sundays. An extensive selection of drinks is available, including beers on tap and craft beers. The wine list features some popular options, as well as more unusual vintages and varietals, and a soon-to-be-launched ‘wine wall’, inviting diners to browse and select the wine they would like to enjoy with their meal. Sports events are broadcast on big-screens in the bar area and live music is featured on weekends. Special events such as Comedy or Quiz Nights, as well as fun children’s events and activities are scheduled on a regular basis.
South Africa’s most immersive and game-changing dining experience
After three years of research into the culinary traditions and ingredients of the cultures and communities that call the Kalahari home, South Africa’s first Michelin-starred chef, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, has opened Restaurant Klein JAN at Tswalu Kalahari. Creating Klein JAN has been the much-loved chef’s great homecoming project, an opportunity to tell some of the stories of the Northern Cape region on every plate – stories of an off-the-radar place of extremes and vast landscapes. A place where life is determined by the absence or presence of rain, and where resources are preserved for leaner times in a year of plenty.
Jan felt an instant connection to the vastness of the Kalahari and knew that the time had come to open his first restaurant on home soil and to elevate the unsung heroes of the Northern Cape and their superior produce and products. Opening Klein JAN at Tswalu, rather than in South Africa’s foodie capital of Cape Town, added authenticity and sustainability clout to the venture, echoing the importance of local expression, provenance and procurement that Jan and his team have nurtured at the Michelin-starred Restaurant JAN in Nice, France, which first opened in 2013.
Jan traveled across the semi-arid Kalahari and explored ingredients and local cuisines from independent producers, fourth-generation farmers and artisan specialists. He gathered tried-and-tested recipes, many of them passed down by word of mouth through the generations. What all these small-scale farmers and suppliers had in common is the creativity born out of resourcefulness that comes from living and working in the remote Northern Cape province where your closest neighbor might be over 62 miles away. The region’s under-explored ingredients, including boutique, family-owned wineries and distilleries, provided endless inspiration for the menus at Klein JAN.
The wide, open spaces of Tswalu Kalahari have long drawn those seeking a deeply layered, authentic and immersive safari. Tswalu is a vast, magical land of infinite possibility, with sweeping vistas and a liberating sense of space. The green Kalahari is nature at its most diverse and surprising, and to spend time here is to be touched by exuberant, soulful beauty. Considered important for thousands of years, Tswalu is now striving to conserve this breathtaking landscape for future generations. A commitment to celebrating local provenance, heritage and culture, as part of Tswalu’s journey towards greater sustainability, makes the reserve the perfect home for Klein JAN.
Jan and his team of chefs, overseen by Executive Chef for Tswalu, Marnus Scholly, are working together to provide a series of modern Kalahari courses prepared in a sleek, open-plan kitchen. Every aspect of Klein JAN has been carefully designed and curated, including the chairs made from repurposed French oak wine barrels. A glass wall opens up in fine weather, creating a fully immersive dining experience in the undulating plains of the Kalahari. Other features include the subterranean root cellar, located 13 feet below the ochre sands of the Kalahari. To access the cellar, guests step back in time at the 100-year-old Boscia House before opening a door in the side of an original plaasdam (farm dam) and descending a helical staircase infused with the unmistakable scent of petrichor. The 65-foot, temperature and humidity-controlled root cellar stores all the ingredients and produce used at Klein JAN, not dissimilar to storage solutions prior to modern-day refrigeration.
Guests staying at Tswalu Kalahari’s Motse camp or Tarkuni homestead are invited to enjoy one extraordinary, sensory dining experience at Klein JAN as part of their stay.
Restaurant Klein JAN is open to day visitors for a lunch service on select dates each month.
(Image: Adriaan Louw)
Kiara Scott, the talented young winemaker of Brookdale Estate in the Paarl Winelands, has received recognition from WineLand magazine as one of 2021’s most promising young wine ambassadors in the South African wine industry.
WineLand Media, in collaboration with ROTOCON, honoured 30 young professionals who are making their mark in the South African wine industry. The June 2021 issue of WineLand magazine, with the theme 30 Under 30, pays tribute to these 30 individuals from across the country. ‘Our goal is to pave the way to prosperity,’ says editor of WineLand Media, Wanda Augustyn. ‘To make this dream a reality, we have to identify and give recognition to the young voices in the industry who are making a difference, by shining the spotlight on them. They will become the leaders of tomorrow and we want to tell their stories, share their visions for the industry and help shape their future.’
Kiara Scott (29) has been the winemaker of Brookdale since 2019, following two years as assistant winemaker of the estate, where she worked alongside consultant winemaker Duncan Savage to establish Brookdale’s reputation as a producer of wines of character and elegance. She was born in the Cape Flats and graduated from Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute in Viticulture and Oenology in Stellenbosch. She was then selected for the 3-year CWG Protégé Programme, where she gained valuable experience under David Nieuwoudt (Cederberg Cellars), Carl van de Merwe (De Morgenzon) and Charles Hopkins (De Grendel), and had the opportunity to work vintages in the Rhône Valley, Sancerre and the Russian River in Sonoma (California). She says: ‘I have a simple and minimal intervention approach to winemaking. I believe that great wines are made in the vineyard. Year on year I am aiming to better understand our vineyards and soils to make the work in the cellar easier.’
Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Klein Drakenstein mountains in Paarl, Brookdale Estate produces wines as unexpected as they are enchanting. A true Cinderella story, Brookdale was once overgrown and underused. The Rudd family, originally from the United Kingdom, recognised the potential of the property and acquired the 67-hectare estate in 2015. Their vision was to create a world-class country estate producing fine wines, including interesting blends crafted from varietals that are somewhat ‘unusual’ in South Africa. A single block of old-vine Chenin Blanc, estimated to be about 36 years old, was saved to become Brookdale’s maiden release in 2017. Currently, Brookdale produces this flagship Chenin Blanc, as well as a range of Mason Road wines, which includes a Chenin Blanc, Syrah and Rosé produced from newly planted vineyards. The Rudd family also set out to further restore the balance of nature on the estate by clearing 27-hectares of alien vegetation. Indigenous vegetation was planted, including 3700 trees, as well as expansive gardens for Manor House resident guests to explore. The Brookdale Manor House provides luxury accommodation for up to 12 guests.
The summer of 2021/2022 will see the opening of a new Cellar, Wine Tasting Experience and Restaurant on site at Brookdale.