09 March 2017

Visiting Stanford Hills Winery, Stanford

I'd enjoyed Stanford Hills' Jacksons Pinotage in the past and, according to their website, their restaurant was open daily from 08:30-17:00 so while in Stanford we headed up hill a short way from the main road to have lunch.

Somehow I'd visualised a modern commercial winery and maybe a grand Cape Dutch house but what we found at the end of the dirt road was a collection of – historic is the polite word – collection of single story farm buildings and hand painted signs.

Tasting Room & Restaurant

We parked under a tree next to a vineyard and walked down towards a cottage with a covered area outside with seating and several people eating. This was the Tasting Room and restaurant.

We were greeted with a great big smile and warm friendly welcome to 'sit anywhere our heart desired'. The table was decorated with a pot of protea flowers. We heard they were grown on the farm and Veldfire Protea was one of the most popular and had been discovered on the property.

A chalkboard on a wall listed hot dishes of the day, there were also platters of tapas and meats and cheeses with breads and chutneys.

Springbok venison Burger

Jo had a salmon tart with a delicious looking salad and glass of Sauvignon blanc 2016 while I had a glass of Jacksons Pinotage 2014 and a Springbok Burger which came with a salad garnish and a tin cup filled with thin chips. Both meals were delicious, the venison tender, lean, sweet and flavoursome.

View from Restaurant

The views from the eating area are breath taking, with vineyards up to the foothills of mountains behind, and over a valley with, apart from a couple of dirt tracks, barely a sign of human habitation.

Pinotage Vineyard as seen from the Restaurant

The tasting counter is at the entrance to the restaurant, but the cheerful lady in charge brought a glass of their second label Veldfire Pinotage 2014 and Veldfire Cape Blend (65% Shiraz/ 35% Pinotage) 2014 to our table for tasting after our meal.

Pinotage Vineyard

The Veldfire is made in stainless steel with oak stave wood treatment and closed with screwcaps. The Pinotage was pleasant but I thought the Shiraz overbalanced the Cape Blend. I bought a bottle of the super Stanford Hills Jacksons Pinotage 2014.

Jacksons Pinotage 2014 spent 11 months in French and Hungarian oak barrels and came from the 4ha vineyard next to the restaurant, planted by Jackson, a previous owner. Altogether Stanford Hills have 12ha of vines planted on their 120ha property.

StanfordHills also make a Methode Cap Classique Pinotage/ Chardonny sparkling wine and a Pinotage Grappa (neither tasted)

It was a delightful place to lunch, pleasantly casual, very friendly with delicious food cooked to order, great views and lovely wines. We hope to return.

Peter and Jo at Stanford Hills

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