When the north-wester gales and driving rains of the Cape winter arrive, the temptation is to baton down the hatches and stay indoors until the sun returns. But, this is the perfect time of year to go on a cultural retreat.
Wine forms the elegant centre of Cape culture and no cultivar more so than Pinotage. Pinotage is South Africa’s very own grape creation, made by South Africans for South Africans and as much a part of the South African psyche as melktert and braaivleis. ‘
Pinotage grapes were first created in 1925, by a South African scientist named Abraham Izak Perold, who was Stellenbosch University’s first viticulture professor. Perold created a hybrid of the Pinot Noir grape and the Cinsault grape (then known locally as Hermitage, giving Pinotage the latter half of its name).
Lanzerac first Pinotage in the world
This proudly South African cultivar is finally enjoying its moment in the sun, and Lanzerac is proud to have been the first commercially available Pinotage in the world.
To this day, Pinotage enjoys pride of place under the Lanzerac label. So, may we suggest a Pinotage pilgrimage this winter? You can visit for a day or book in to the gracious, historic Lanzerac hotel for a few nights.
Designed by Con van der Colff from Creative Transition, the 53 rooms and suites are a perfect blend of antique and modern, each uniquely and exquisitely styled – fit for royalty.
Settle in, then prepare yourself for a sophisticated wine experience in our tasting room and deli. It is open seven days a week and offers its patrons the opportunity to explore the estate’s range of acclaimed wines in a relaxed atmosphere, whilst surrounded by the breathtaking views of the Stellenbosch valley. Guests are invited to enjoy a selection of tailor-made tastings in the comfort of the well-appointed tasting room and deli.
The Jonkershoek Tasting
Seeing as this is your Pinotage pilgrimage, choose the Jonkershoek Tasting where you select five wines from the Jonkershoek range to explore, including the Pinotage and Pinotage Rosé. You may want to pair it with a selection of artisanal chocolate truffles, specially created to complement the Jonkershoek range. And don’t forget to join a guided cellar tour and explore the rich heritage of the estate further. Our knowledgeable team are always on hand to discuss Pinotage and its history further.
Enjoy five-star fare
The next phase of your Pinotage pilgrimage must surely be to put this fine wine to the test. Enjoy the five-star fare curated by Lanzerac’s chefs in either the Taphuis or Manor Kitchen – and order a bottle (or two) of Lanzerac Pinotage with your meal.
Where better to enjoy the wine than in the very place that it was cultivated and nurtured? Lanzerac has established itself as one of Stellenbosch’s top gourmet destinations and your waiter will be able to suggest the perfect pairing from the menu. Pinotage goes well with venison, lamb, beef and other hearty, winter-warmer dishes.
You are bound to want to add a case or two of Lanzerac Pinotage to take home with you to share with friends and family. Joining the inspired wine enthusiasts, known as the Lanzerac Wine Club, will assure you a handsome discount on that purchase, so ask the team for further information.
Visual arts are part of the winter cultural retreat
The visual arts are, of course, all part of the winelands winter cultural retreat experience. Lanzerac itself has a rich history, having been established in 1692, and you’ll enjoy looking around at the many paintings and antique furniture that grace the hotel. Sadly, the over 100-year-old building, which housed the Governor’s Hall restaurant, Taphuis and hotel reception since 1959, was gutted by a fire in 2017, leaving only the ancient walls intact. Irreplaceable antiques and paintings were lost.
Extend your cultural experience to the historic town of Stellenbosch, which has earned the reputation as a world-renowned art destination. The town boasts a variety of galleries such as SMAC Art Gallery, Marzé Botha Art Gallery, iThemba Craft Art Gallery – the list goes on. You can also step outside and immerse yourself in a living exhibition of art – keep your eyes open and discover a wealth of hidden treasures as creative sculptures surprise you on street corners.
Enjoy a Gentleman’s Tea
Could a cultural retreat be complete without afternoon tea? Tea is usually something we associate with prim little ladies, but not at Lanzerac. Here we host a Gentleman’s Tea, complete with beef sliders, pork belly cubes and lamb bobotie pies, to mention but a few of the delicious treats on offer.
This all happens in the Craven Lounge with whisky tasting and live sports action completing the manly affair. By the way, if there’s not a man among you, we do also offer an equally sumptuous Afternoon Tea in the Manor Kitchen every Saturday afternoon where loose leaf teas and Lanzerac MCC accompany savoury dishes like smoked salmon, caviar and potato blinis, as well as sweet treats like almond profiteroles with rose water cream and buttermilk scones.
Should the rain ease for an hour or two, pull on your wellies and enjoy a bracing walk around the estate and up on to the spectacular mountain slopes. Take a deep breath – your body will appreciate the fresh, crisp air, and recognise that it was worth venturing out of your own living room after all.