Along with being environmental champions, Bartinney make great wines, a delicious gin and serve decadent cheese and charcuterie boards at affordable prices in a beautiful setting.
Where is it?
Helshoogte Pass, Stellenbosch
Why go there?
The views over the Banhoek Valley are worth it alone! Here you can enjoy a wine tasting, or a fynbos and wine pairing in a stylish, yet unpretentious environment where you are made to feel welcome the minute you arrive. Plus they do a delicious cheese board and their prices are very affordable.
How much am I going to pay?
Wine tastings are R50 for three estate wines, the Wine & Fynbos Experience costs R75, the Tempest Gin Tasting costs R85, gin cocktails from R55, glass of wine from R30, bottles of wine from R70, snacks and nibbles from R30 and the cheese / meat boards are R180.
When is it open?
Monday to Thursday: 12h00 to 17h00
Fridays: 12h00 to 20h00
Saturdays: 10h00 to 15h00
Public Holidays: 10h00 to 17h00
Telephone (021) 885 1013, www.bartinney.co.za
Stellenbosch is full of wine estates, but when I came across Bartinney Estate at Kirstenbosch Gardens while attending the unveiling of SANBI’s display for the Chelsea Flower Show, (Bartinney are one of the sponsors and provide proteas for the exhibit) and heard about their conservation initiatives, I knew I had to pay them a visit!
From the minute you arrive at Bartinney Estate on the slopes of the Botmaskop Mountain, you know you are on a much-tended and cared-for family estate. The owners dogs greet you with wagging tails and a good sniff-over as you walk towards the tasting room, while the smell of fynbos lingers in the air. The tasting room (or shed as it is known) is cosy and warm with old vines adorning sections of the walls and the ceiling. Downstairs has chairs and tables, along with a comfy couch, while upstairs has more comfy couches, and a balcony which is definitely the place to be on a fine sunny afternoon – the views over the estate and the Banhoek Valley are jaw-dropping!
I discovered the estate through a tasting of their Tempest Gin range, which you can also do at their tasting shed, along with a tasting of their wines, from bubbly to Chardonnay and a range of reds. For something unique, try their Wine and Fynbos Experience where you can have a tasting of the three estate wines, alongside native fynbos grown on the farm. Or simply order a gin cocktail, or a glass or wine and take in the view while nibbling on smoked olives and biltong or Droewors. If you are feeling hungry, I can definitely recommend their cheese board – it’s enough to feed four people!
In addition, they regularly hold intimate events, including the much-loved ‘Under the Stars’ and ‘Under the Roof’ live acoustic music evenings, where like-minded wine lovers celebrate the Friday ‘wine down’ in true style. Additionally, watch out for their popular ‘Vinyl Views’ nights where a resident DJ plays a selection of catchy tunes. Follow Bartinney Estate on Facebook to keep updated with their events.
If you really want to take some time out and enjoy all that this historical estate has to offer, Bartinney have various accomodation options available, whether you are alone or in a group. Their beautifully restored self-catering vineyard guesthouses boast contemporary, eclectic farmhouse charm and classic Cape features, along with Wifi and Netflix.
Bartinney Estate and the environment
Bartinney has been in the Jordaan family since 1953, with Rose and Michael Jordaan now tending to the 28 hectare farm. Their belief is that every aspect must work in harmony: agriculture with nature, people with animals, and sustainability with excellence. However, the holistic sustainability practiced at Bartinney is about more than preserving the natural environment, it includes the biosphere of Banhoek Valley as a whole. More than 7000 trees have been planted and fynbos endemic to the area re-established on 17 hectares of rehabilitated land from what was previously a pine and gum plantation. Rose started her own nursery growing indigenous water-wise fynbos to restore the neglected slopes, and provide habitats for a wide array of organisms.
Biological pest control rather than pesticides are used and no herbicide has been sprayed in eight years. This together with the planting of native fynbos corridors from mountain to river has brought back the birds in abundance and the porcupines and rooikatte (lynx), while a resident cape silver fox, honey badger pair and two leopards have been captured on the mountain camera. Meanwhile a buffer zone of proteas between the vineyards and the mountain discourages local baboons from raiding the grapes. However, birds and animals aren’t all that have come back – when the final blue gum was felled, a spring that hadn’t flowed in 40 years began to flow again. In addition to all of this, Bartinney is carbon neutral with a zero carbon footprint in both farming and wine-making having been achieved.
Their passion for the environment and their farm is very evident and for their efforts they are proud WWF-SA Conservation Champions, have held long-standing Champion status in the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative and are members of WIETA (Agricultural Ethical Trade Initiative).
Not only are Bartinney environmental champions, they also make great wines, a delicious gin, serve decadent cheese and charcuterie boards for affordable prices in a beautiful setting. What more excuse do you need to take a drive along the Helshoogte Pass?
Published June 2019 | Wine tasting and cheese board sponsored by Bartinney Estate