Russian and South African heritage meet at this lavish wine estate near Stellenbosch, where chef Michélle Theron and her team conjure culinary magic.
Relaunched in December 2018 following a year-long renovation, Hazendal is a destination unlike any you will find in the Winelands, let alone South Africa. This illustrious estate, owned by Russian-born entrepreneur Dr Mark Voloshin, is a seductive coming together of South African and Russian traditions, offering guests an immersive experience.
The owner and his management team (son-in-law Shlomi Azar, and daughters Ina and Simone) were determined to preserve the Cape Dutch aesthetic of the estate, while at the same time imbuing the property with a sense of opulence and grandeur that evokes the architectural wonders of their homeland.
“There are a lot of similarities between South Africa and Russia,” explains Dr Voloshin, “which many people are not even consciously aware of. Both countries are historically, culturally and demographically extremely diverse, and both are steeped in a depth of heritage-rich traditions and customs. The two countries also share a passion for hearty and fine cuisine, with food and hospitality unifying factors in celebrating family and friendships.”
The re-imagined estate offers an array of transportative experiences that combine Russian and South African influence. Among these attractions is the boundary-pushing Avant-Garde Restaurant, the elegant Wine Tasting Lounge and Hazendal’s Russian Tea Garden.
Here, executive chef Michélle Theron (formerly of Pierneef à La Motte) produces inspiring dishes that incorporate a mix of Russian and South African recipes. Produce is sourced from local suppliers, and the menu is designed around seasonal availability. “I’ve created a contemporary blend of recipes that are unexpected, textured, delicious and healthy,” explains Michélle. “Guests can expect creative and diverse contemporary combinations of Russian and South African heritage cuisine.”
Accompanying the food is Hazendal’s fine selection of wines, as well as labels from neighbouring wineries in the Bottelary region.
A hand-painted mural on the ceiling, dazzling chandeliers, and an exotic aquarium enrich the culinary journey in a venue that wouldn’t look out of place in the Romanov’s palace.
Open for lunch and dinner (11.30am – 5pm) Avant-Garde offers a zakuski menu (Russian-inspired tapas) in addition to its fine-dining menu. Designed for sharing, zakuski are an excellent way to explore a kaleidoscope of flavours and dishes, as a light meal or as an accompaniment to vodka, as it is traditionally served in Russia.
< h2>Wine-Tasting Lounge
Located in the estate’s original cellar, which dates back to 1870, the new-look tasting lounge is a sophisticated mix of traditional and cutting-edge – a fitting environment to sample Hazendal’s selection of award-winning wines, created by Hazendal’s winemaker Clarise Sciocatti-Langeveldt.
Please note Bookings for private tastings are essential.
Insider info An exciting new addition is the estate’s soon-to-be-launched vodka range, produced from grapes, a true blend of Russian and South African craftsmanship.
R35 for three wines (Christoffel Hazenwinkel Tasting)
R65 for three wines (Hazendal Tasting)
R90 for six wines (Grand Tasting)
A premier Winelands destination
With so much to offer, Hazendal Wine Estate stands out among the many attractions in the Stellenbosch area, bringing its unique blend of South African and Russian heritage to the lush natural beauty of the Cape Winelands.
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