Hazendal Sensory Experience: An Underground Wine-Tasting Journey of Discovery

Hazendal Sensory Experience: An Underground Wine-Tasting Journey of Discovery

A sensational experience of wine-pairing and culinary art awaits.

When you arrive at Hazendal Wine Estate, you get the sense that a multitude of exciting experiences are waiting for you to explore. Art gallery! Vintage cars! Babushka Deli! Wonderdal Edutainment Centre children! Beer garden! High Tea ceremony! Wine tasting… and it’s here we pause because wine-tasting at Hazendal is a phenomenal experience in itself.

Smell. Taste. Learn.

Hazendal Wine Library

At Hazendal, wine-tasting is a deep-dive into the journey of the grape – from vineyard to cellar to glass. The unique cellar tour led by specialist wine ambassadors is followed by a tutored tasting of the estate’s wines in the atmospheric Wine Library, with each wine paired with a bespoke tasting plate.

Seeing is believing

Clarise Sciocatti-Langeveldt: Hazendal Wine Maker

Chef Michelle Theron and winemaker Clarise Sciocatti-Langeveldt have created a truly unique wine-pairing experience that is visually striking. Each small plate arrives enclosed in its own capsule, its base custom-made by ceramicist Hennie Meyer and covered by a delicate five-tiered glass tower. Starting from the top of the tower, you work your way down through six courses – each subsequent course is only revealed when the previous one is finished.

Making magic

Hazendal Sensory Experience Pairings

Exquisite presentation aside, the taste is where the true magic lies. Each of the six pairings is unique and intriguing – some consist of a single bite, others offer more substantial mouthfuls. But what you are assured of is delicious flavours complemented and augmented by exceptional wines.

“We wanted to do food-and-wine pairing in a different way,” says Michelle. “Each season the dishes change to complement the wines, with mostly white wines served in summer, and red in winter.”

Guests can expect snoek bonbon with black garlic and chutney jelly paired with the 2018 Hazendal Chenin Blanc, or a savoury kalamata olive madeleine with a 2018 Hazendal Chardonnay. And, with autumn bringing cooler weather, it’s a perfect time to experience the pairing of Hazendal’s 2017 Syrah with a dish of pickled ox tongue, black pepper, roast pear, horseradish and rocket. Imagine the Syrah’s peppery notes combined with the savoury flavour of the ox tongue…

There is a sense of lightness and play evident in the way the dishes are made and presented. It is a warm and inviting experience – something special to be shared and relished.

Wine that shines

Of course, Hazendal’s superb wines are the counterpoint to Michelle’s food. “Hazendal has experienced a wine rejuvenation over the past few years,” says Clarise. “Our winemaking philosophy revolves around the work that happens in the vineyards. We want the fruit to really shine.”

Going underground

Hazendal Sensory Experience Underground Cellar

The last piece of the sensory puzzle is the setting: the fact that everything happens in an underground wine library, next to the cellar, only adds to the sense of fun and adventure. The oval bar is surrounded by walls of vintage wines and covered by a glass ceiling with people walking overhead. It feels a little cheeky to be eating such extraordinary food and drinking such delicious wine underground, while the real world continues above.

“Food and wine is a conversation,” says Michelle. And at Hazendal, the conversation starts like this: “Come in! Make yourself at home. Let us give you an experience you won’t forget for a long time.”

Cost R680 per person
Times Tuesday – Sunday, 12.30pm
Contact bookings@hazendal.co.za
Address Hazendal Wine Estate, Bottelary Road, Stellenbosch
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