21 May, 2019 | For close to two years, the historic Bottelary Road landmark, Hazendal Wine Estate, was under construction, and shrouded in mystery. In December 2018, the gates opened to reveal a beautiful destination in the Cape Winelands.
Hazendal is one of the oldest wine estates in South Africa, dating back to 1699, when German settler Christoffel Hazenwinkel made his way to the Cape where he was granted 60 hectares of land in the Bottelary Hills by Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel. Inspired by his own name, and the population of Cape hares that inhabited the area at the time, Christoffel named the farm Hazendal, which in Dutch translates to ‘the valley of the hares’.
A gentle Russian influence
In the early 1990s, a Russian delegation of decision-makers and investors visited South Africa, inspired by the changes in both the Russian and South African governments. One of these delegates was Dr Mark Voloshin, an entrepreneur who fell in love with the country and especially the Cape. He purchased Hazendal in 1994 and began building the dynamic, multifaceted winelands estate, that hints at old and new, South African and Russian, and artfully weaves together nature, heritage, wine, cuisine, art and culture.
The rebirth of high tea
The culinary offerings at Hazendal are impressive. The crown jewel is the fine-dining Avant-Garde Restaurant headed by executive chef Michélle Theron, who seamlessly merges South African and Russian cuisines to create works of art. The Babushka Deli is perfect for breakfasts and lunches, and Hazendal’s own home-made deli products are sold alongside imported Russian trinkets like Matryoshka dolls. Babushka Picnics are presented on the expansive lawns. Guests can enjoy the culinary attractions from an a la carte or Zakuski (Russian-inspired tapas-style small plates) menu overlooking Hazendal’s vineyards that are nestled in the Bottelary Hills.
A unique offering at Hazendal is the Russian Tea Ceremony under the canopy of oak trees in the Russian Tea Garden. The ceremony not only offers a glimpse into Russian culture, it’s also a treasured household ritual. As part of the ceremony, a strong Russian black tea blend is served from a Russian teapot and mixed with hot water poured from a steaming Samovar (a traditional Russian tea urn). The menu consists of traditional Russian tea recipes interpreted in a modern way. And no Russian experience would be complete without the finest Beluga caviar which is elegantly served in the Russian Tea Garden. (The Russian Tea Experience and caviar are available upon request and pre-booking.)
Hazendal is a textured palette of natural and artfully created beauty. The Marvol Gallery hosts a bespoke collection of Russian-South African art. And those who appreciate installation art will enjoy the selection of pieces created by renowned artists Strijdom van der Merwe and Angus Taylor. When driving up the winding road leading to Hazendal’s werf, the estate’s magnitude, magnificence and its diverse offerings is astounding. Distinct, yet discreet, it truly epitomises what Hazendal stands for today: a destination for all your journeys.
Find out more on Hazendal’s website.
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