Vrede en Lust Tapas + Wine Pairing: A Blissful Exploration of Flavours

Vrede en Lust Bistro

Big flavour pairings at this family wine estate in the Franschhoek Valley.

The historic Cape Dutch manor and farm buildings of Vrede en Lust date back to 1688, beautifully restored by the Buys family who bought the farm in 1996 and have continued to harness the authentic working-wine-farm vibe. A ribbon of solar panels along the farm border indicates a move towards sustainability and keeps them going through load-shedding.

A tasting centre for all seasons

Vrede en Lust Aerial View

Offering beautiful views over the vines of the Simonsberg and surrounding mountains, Vrede en Lust’s wine-tasting room is a comfortable modern building with a wide open-air terrace, and three wood-burning stoves indoors that keep things toasty on cooler days. A popular stop on the Franschhoek Wine Tram route, the estate offers a varied selection of wine-and-food pairings – most notably its new Tapas Tasting – that should be booked in advance.

Vrede en Lust Tasting Centre

Tasty tapas

When it opened in 2013, Lust Bistro became one of the go-to spots in the Winelands for unpretentious bistro food; the wood-fired oven still bakes up a storm of sourdough breads and pizzas. The kitchen was recently taken over by Ed Saunders (previously Fork restaurant on Long Street), who has retained all the old favourites, and added his “meal in a mouthful” concept to the chalkboard menu.

Vrede en Lust Tapas Tasting Experience

Working closely with winemaker, Karlin Nel, Ed has developed a raft of five tapas designed especially to pair with her selection of flagship wines.

A delightfully relaxed way of experiencing the estate’s flagship wines. Each tapas is one or two bites at most and comprise layers of flavour, each reflecting a whole dish in their complexity.

Vrede en Lust Tapas Bites

Seared tuna with sun-dried tomato dressing on a crispy lettuce leaf is a natural companion to citrussey Kogelberg Chenin Blanc. As Karlin says: “Food-and-wine pairing is a fine balance; a little too much garlic here or spice there and the harmony is lost.” These morsels have been expertly fine-tuned and the pairings are spot on.

We move on to earthy mushroom-and-Parmesan puff pastry with the classic Barrique white blend; then a spicy chicken curry on potato with a fragrant Early Mist Riesling. Smoky spices in a Moroccan meatball with pizzaiola sauce deepen the flavour profile for the berries of the Elgin Pinot Noir; finishing with a gorgeous deep-fried goat’s cheese with honey and marmalade that sets off the complex notes of the Cabernet Franc to perfection.

Vrede en Lust Bistro Outdoors

If you’re hungry for more, segue into lunch at Lust Bistro… Or, we noticed a few customers enjoying cakes from the bistro after their tasting, sipping on happily, ensconced at their tasting-room table for the afternoon.

Cost R250 Winter special (valid from 1 May – 30 September 2022)
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm (last tastings 4.30pm)
Contact 021 874 1611, info@vnl.co.za
Where to find it Intersection R45 & Klapmuts Road, Simondium
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Grape expectations

Vrede en Lust Wine Bottle

Vrede en Lust produces 20 different wines, growing most of their reds here in the Franschhoek Valley and their whites at their cooler-climate farm in Elgin. A strong female team, winemaker Karlin Nel and masters in viticulture Annette Human and Yolandi Barnard, works together to produce the best quality, releasing experimental new wines first to their wine club via the Artisan Range. If successful, like their Cabernet Franc 2018 that’s currently included in the winter tapas tasting, they will go on to become part of their flagship black label range.
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The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 21 April 2022