A wine-drenched journey of discovery.
On the slopes of the majestic Simonsberg Mountains just outside of Stellenbosch, Quoin Rock Wine Estate is a serene sanctuary whose vast vineyard-dotted terrain is a fitting canvas for Gåte, its fine-dining restaurant.
Purchased by the Gaiduk family in 2012, the estate underwent an extensive replanting project: 36 hectares of new vineyards at Quoin Rock, as well as a white-grape farm in the town of Elim. “My father [Vitaly Gaiduk] has a true passion for wine,” explains Ukranian-born managing director Denis Gaiduk. “What appealed to us about Quoin Rock was that it was a blank slate, which offered us the opportunity to create the vision our family had.”
A vision that has certainly come to fruition in the form of a full-package Winelands destination: Superb wines? Check. A fine-dining restaurant? Check. Five-star accommodation? Check. Plus picnics and a plethora of other pleasurable pursuits.
Welcome to Gåte
Upon entering the restaurant, the bold, clean-lined architecture, courtesy of Denis’ wife Julia, creates a striking impression and also maximises the enchanting mountain and vineyard views. Pared-back furnishings and a muted interior palette further conspire to allow the resplendent terrain to shine.
The kitchen is helmed by Jack Coetzee (formerly Urbanologi in Johannesburg) who joined the Gåte team in October 2020, with a mandate to take diners on a voyage of discovery (as his predecessors had). Drawing on his Zimbabwean roots and focusing on the ingredients available in the farm’s immediate vicinity, Jack has put his own stamp on the farm-to-table concept.
“All our dishes are ingredient-led,” he explains. “We conceive and curate each one according to the compatibility of the ingredients, and then make sure it has the wow factor! We’ve called it ‘micro terroir cuisine’ – it’s designed to excite.”
Bold new winter menu
Designed to take guests to places they’ve not been to, the new winter menu runs the gamut of international cuisines – from South East Asia and Mexico to South Africa and Zimbabwe!
Your seven-course experience begins with a cocktail and a snack of samoosas, kingklip-skin ravioli and a barley taco, as well as mealie bread served with home-grown smoked honey.
Then comes the first course, Sea Tastes, which takes its inspiration from a cooking method used by West Coast fishermen: a seaweed roll filled with mussels, prawns and kingklip.
Wine Quoin Rock MCC Black Series 2014
The second course is springbok carpaccio served with watercress pesto, carrot purée, pickled mustard seeds and king oyster mushroom.
Wine Quoin Rock Namysto Red Blend 2016 (cabernet sauvignon and shiraz)
The third course, barley risotto, is inspired by the Zimbabwean staple sadza, and is served with kale, courgette, Limpopo black winter truffle and peanut oil.
Wine Quoin Rock Chardonnay 2019
The fourth course is Mauritian sea bass, whose moist, buttery and tender flesh is beautifully suited to a green plantain curry.
Wine Quoin Rock White Blend 2019
The fifth course is beef flat-rib pithivier (a round puff pastry pie) that riffs on Beef Wellington, using flat rib (instead of fillet) and served with celeriac purée garnished with red amaranth and mizuna shoot.
Wine Quoin Rock Shiraz 2016
In preparation for a sweet ending, is the sixth course: a goat’s cheese mousse that has been rolled in honeycomb, and served with smoked pear jam that has the same flavour profile of Laphroaig whisky!
The versatile pumpkin is the star of the seventh course, dessert. Expect a comforting spiced cake, served with a croustillant (crisp) and pumpkin-and-citrus ice cream.
Wine Quoin Rock Vine Dried 2019
Chef Jack and his team have devised an original yet utterly delicious menu that will have you lingering for longer. As it should be.
Opening times Wednesday + Sunday, 12pm – 3.30pm
Thursday, 12pm – 2.30pm
Friday + Saturday, 12pm – 2.30pm; 5.30pm – 8pm (depends on lockdown regulations and curfew)
Contact 021 888 4750, firstname.lastname@example.org
Address Quoin Rock Wine Estate, Knorhoek Road, Knorhoek Valley, Stellenbosch
Discover all of the Cape’s hidden gems – subscribe to our weekly newsletter.