SA's wine industry has taken a beating over the past year of pandemic-induced alcohol bans, and if any region in the country deserves a bit of staycation support this winter it’s the Cape winelands.
While there’s certainly no shortage of rustic farm cottages and charming guest houses on offer, we suggest you add a little luxe with a stay at these glorious manors.
Brookdale Manor House
You’ll find 67ha of scenic social distancing at Brookdale Estate in the Paarl winelands, where the Rudd family has transformed a once-neglected property into a showcase of new winelands energy.
At the heart of the estate is the gorgeous Manor House, sleeping up to 12 guests across six elegant bedrooms. Built in a contemporary Cape Dutch style, you won’t be short on finding a quiet corner: the manor offers a spacious lounge, an intimate library, entertainment room and private study. Secluded terraces offer wonderful views of the surrounding winelands and Klein Drakenstein Mountains, while the separate pool house is perfect for warmer spring days. The Manor House can be rented on a self-catering or fully inclusive basis.
The estate is also surrounded by vineyards given a new lease on life under talented young winemaker Kiara Scott. A graduate of the Cape Winemakers’ Guild protégé programme, Scott is already turning out acclaimed chenin blanc from a 36-year-old vineyard block. It’s the only parcel that wasn’t pulled up and replanted when the Rudd’s bought the property, and the replanting programme offers plenty of future potential. Keep a close eye on the exciting “field blends” in the pipeline, with up to 20 cultivars interplanted in a single vineyard.
It’s not the only project taking shape on the estate either. Alongside the replanting of vineyards, there’s a sparkling cellar and tasting room under construction too, with opening planned for this summer.
The Homestead at Hazendal
Hazendal has seen a dramatic rejuvenation over the past few years; a once-tired estate given a thorough overhaul to become one of the most multifaceted destinations in the Stellenbosch winelands.
Part of that evolution included reimagining the original homestead, which dates to 1790. That’s the date on the signature rococo-style gable, and the entire property has been sensitively restored to reflect the charm and elegance of this prosperous period in the farm’s history.
Rented on an exclusive-use basis, The homestead offers five luxury en suite bedrooms on two floors, with the décor and furniture blending contemporary luxury with a touch of history. Look carefully and you’ll find antique gems and artworks from a number of SA Masters.
It also offers a modern fully fitted kitchen, but why self-cater when there’s a private chef available? Or, make use of the estate’s handful of restaurants and culinary journeys, including the unique Russian Tea Ceremony or contemporary bistro cooking in the Babushka Deli. Overnight guests enjoy a host of extras, from complimentary wine tasting to kids’ entertainment.
Quoin Rock Manor House
Quoin Rock is another Cape estate enjoying something of a revival after the Gaiduk family bought the farm in 2012 and spent six years renovating and rebuilding, and replanting the vineyards.
That manor, resting on a hilltop amid manicured gardens. With the Simonsberg as a backdrop the views are jaw-dropping, the perfect counterpart to the stylish accommodation indoors. There are five en suite bedrooms giving onto elegant lounge and kitchen spaces, while another two suites enjoy the privacy of a stand-alone guest cottage. Wherever you lay your head, guests all enjoy use of the 15-metre pool, private gym and sauna. There’s a helipad too, if you want to arrive in style. The manor can be rented on an exclusive-use basis, or as individual rooms on request. It’s a particularly fine destination for foodies, with chef Jack Coetzee turning heads with his seasonal menus at Gåte, the estate restaurant nearby.