When it comes to good wine, food and views, Stellenbosch is the place to be. We have had some of our very best weekends in Stellenbosch and we’ve only scratched the surface of all it’s magic. It’s hard not to love being surrounded by mountains and vineyards, food and wine and the feeling of being on holiday – just 40 minutes from home. Our recent visit into the Winelands sent us on an Eikendal Wine Estate experience and it was glorious.
If you haven’t visited Eikendal before I suggest you do yourself a favour and set a date. The estate has a whole lot on offer and there is a little something for everyone. Wine tasting, lunch, wine and pizza tasting, kiddie’s cookie decorating, cheetah sanctuary, vineyard walks, cellar tours, fly fishing, tractor rides and a great children’s play area. It’s the kind of day where you can linger-on and forget about your busy city life.
We arrived a bit early and went straight into a wine tasting session – the very best way to get to know about a farm is by tasting their wine. This was followed by a wine and pizza pairing which was even better than expected. What’s better than wine and pizza? Nothing, that’s what! Hats off to the Eikendal team for bringing 2 of our favourites together for a delicious experience.
R40 pp gets you a trio of mini pizza slices, expertly paired with a generous glug of their award-winning wine. From left to right. We started with the zingy chicken and pineapple pizza paired with sauvignon blanc, followed by the ham and olive pizza paired with unwooded chardonnay and to end, the brie and cranberry pizza paired with Rose. All the flavours worked incredibly well together, we couldn’t pick a favourite. They were all that good to be honest.
We were told we might be in for a surprise after our wine and pizza tasting, and boy was that an understatement. A big highlight of our day was getting to meet Romeo (cheetah) and Juliet (Anatolian Shepard guarding dog). Eikendal has a cheetah sanctuary and we were lucky enough to be invited into the enclosure to say hi. It’s was such a fantastic experience.
We then moved outside for lunch at Cucina di Giovanni, the estates resident restaurant where we were met with a packed terrace. We were so busy drinking all the wine inside the tasting room that we didn’t notice the outside area fill up. In what felt like no time at all, the estate was packed with friends and families enjoying the warm summer day while sipping on wine and munching on good Italian food.
Lunch was a delicious and leisurely affair of pizza and osobuco with plenty of white wine to wash it all down. We went for 2 dishes that came highly recommended and we were not disappointed. The food was fresh; the portions were more than generous and the flavours were full. A true testament to Italians knowing a thing or two about pizza and pasta.
The Don Pizza – fillet, salami, ham, veal, chorizo & chilli @ R125. It was light and crispy and topped with plenty of fresh and tasty toppings.
The Osobucco – veal shin in tomato sauce served with pasta @ R149. Finger licking good. Tender meat with an incredibly rich and moreish tomato sauce. The sauce was so good that we found ourselves dipping our pizza crust, making sure we mopped up every last bit.
We didn’t need to indulge in dessert… but we did. No point in doing half measures. We left the selection up to the ones in the know and a little while later we were presented with 2 knock-out desserts. It’s been a long time since we’ve tasted such delicious desserts.
The baked cheesecake @R55 was light, creamy and rich all at once and topped with fresh strawberries, crunchy nuts and a drizzle of sauce.
The Avocado meringue @R55 blew our minds. Unlike any dessert we’ve had before. The light and crisp meringue worked beautifully with the creamy avocado, dollop of fresh cream, strawberries and crispy nuts. I am literally drooling thinking back to this dish.
All in all, we had a wonderful Eikendal Wine Estate experience. The wine, food, service, views and setting were all perfect and we can’t wait to visit again soon. We loved how family-friendly they were and how they have gone the extra mile with fun activities like cookie decorating and a playground area for the kids to enjoy. Thanks for spoiling us, we’ll see you all again soon.
R44 road between Somerset West and Stellenbosch
Tel: +27 (0) 21 855 1422