by ALAN SAMONS
For more than three centuries, Hazendal has been a widely recognised Cape Winelands landmark and is a destination offering that is completely unique and distinctive. Having recently embarked on a complete re-imagining of the Hazendal experience, the result is unlike anything experienced on a South African wine estate before. This fusion of two cultures is evident all over the estate. Sleek modernity blends comfortably with old-world luxury and opulence. Hazendal is a bespoke crafted sensory experience aimed at celebrating creativity, art and culture, fine cuisine and wine. Situated on the slopes of the Bottelary Hills bordering Stellenbosch, Hazendal’s history dates to 1699. The land from which the farm flourished was acquired by German settler, Christoffel Hazenwinkel, from the then governor, Willem Adriaan van der Stel. With its population of hares at the time, combined with its founder’s title, the name, Hazendal (Valley of the Hares in Dutch) was a natural fit.
The estate’s historic buildings have been restored and merge seamlessly with the new buildings that were added. Here, authentic Russian tea ceremonies meet local South African fare and fine dining sits alongside picnics, meandering bike trails rub shoulders with an interactive edutainment centre, premium award-winning wines feature alongside hand-crafted vodka, Russian art interacts with South African sculptures, state-of-the-art conferences are presented, and wedding ceremonies celebrated.
Visitors will be well advised to set aside a day to truly experience this unique property. Fine dining at Avant-Garde Restaurant draws inspiration from Russian cuisine and fuses it sublimely with local flavours and produce. Book a picnic and stock up on delicious traditional deli fare at Babushka Deli or treat yourself to a Russian High Tea – the only such experience in South Africa.
Hazendal’s Marvol Gallery offers audiences a window into the richness of Russian culture through its religious icons, paintings and other works of art. It also aims to provide a platform for contemporary Russian and South African artists to explore their synergies, to engage in dialogue through art, to exhibit their art and to host talks and other events.
Designed to be fun for bicycle riders of all ages and abilities, the MTB Family Park has a variety of track options and features to hone riding skills.
An interplay of nature and sleek architecture, the Pavilion is a striking setting for exchanging vows, for small group private functions or live music performances. It floats with effortless grace in the centre of a pond offering picture-perfect views.
The Grand Hall conference and function venue provides guests with a beautiful, modern space that is fully equipped for all function requirements. With the help of Hazendal’s expert events coordinators, various décor options can be explored, and events are tailored according to exacting specifications, interests, needs and budget.
But it’s the wine that’s centre stage. The wines produced include the easy drinking and whimsical Christoffel Hazenwinkel range, consisting of white and red blends, as well as a blanc de noir. The premium Hazendal range has been raking in awards. Wines can be tasted in the newly designed grand Wine Tasting Lounge where wine lovers can embark on a sensory journey.
An exciting imminent addition to Hazendal’s premium offerings will be the new vodka range. It will be the result of the team’s creative and forward-thinking approach to blending South African and Russian traditions.