This Shiraz-producing wine estate in the Robertson Wine Valley offers stylish wine-tasting and fun wine blending experiences, along with showcasing local art in their underground wine cellar.

Where is it? 
Zandvliet Wine Estate is part of the Robertson Wine Valley and you’ll find them just outside Ashton.  

Why go there?
They’ve undergone a revamp and it’s now a very stylish, but still affordable, experience. You can do wine pairings, blend your own wine, tuck into cheese and charcuterie platters and see art by local artists in their cellar. Not to mention their wonderful award-winning Shiraz! 

How much am I going to pay? 
ClemenGold and Zandvliet wine synergy experience R75 per person, tutored wine blending experience R100 per person, cheese & charcuterie platter for two R165, cheese platter for two R135.  

When is it open? 
Monday to Friday: 09h00 – 17h00
Saturdays and Public Holidays: 10h00 – 17h00
Closed on Sundays, Good Friday, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

Contact details 
Telephone (023) 615 1146,

The first thing everyone thinks of when you say “Zandvliet” is Shiraz and quite rightly so as they are famous for that! But did you know that Zandvliet was also famous for its racehorse-breeding stud and produced the famed racehorse Pocket Power?

I bet you also didn’t know that Zandvliet has really upped their game when it comes to a wine-tasting experience in their new Kalkveld Lounge, along with a cellar that is now home to local art and a fun wine blending experience.

Let’s start with the Kalkveld Lounge, which was designed by Philip Pikus, who believes in sourcing responsibly, ethically and locally and everything you will see there is proudly made in South Africa. You can’t miss the magnificent 8 meter long custom built chandelier made from recycled wine bottles that hangs above the two long wooden tables, but look out for other interesting items that have been cleverly up-cycled, such as the lamps along the walls. There are also chairs that have been custom-made using Zandvliet wine barrels and the ceiling is also curved like a wine barrel. Plus there’s a fireplace making it a cosy winter affair!

The ClemenGold and Zandvliet wine synergy experience will see you pairing Zandvliet wines with ClemenGold marmalade, chocolate, biscotti and panforte. My favourite pairing was the biscotti dunked into their Zandvliet Muscat – so much so that I bought a bottle. I am still toying with the idea that this could be a great way to start the day – you could replace the biscotti with an Ouma rusk, making it a true breakfast of champions! Be warned, Leslie Sipambu, Kalkveld Lounge Manager,  will give you some wicked ideas while taking you through a pairing!

If you choose to do a tutored wine blending, prepare to make a lot of mess while you have a great deal of fun! I could barely read my notes by the end of my wine blending experience thanks to spilling most of the wines on it while trying to pour exact amounts into the measuring cup (perhaps it was the wine tasting beforehand to blame). Once you have got your blend to your liking (this may take a few attempts), you bottle your blend, cork it and wax seal it. Leslie was incredibly helpful and had a great sense of humour to add to the experience. (I bet he’s tasted some really bad wine blends in his time so he needs one!)

I was hosted by Zandvliet as part of a media group and we were treated to a smorgasbord of tasty treats for lunch, including charcuterie, cheeses, grapes, crudites and breads served with a range of delicious sauces and preserves. Vegetarians and vegans will be pleased to know that Zandvliet can cater for you too if you let them know your dietary requirements beforehand.

I really enjoyed all the wine and food (as always) but the best part for me at Zandvliet was visiting their underground cellar that has been turned into a rather interesting art gallery. You don a hard hat and get taken downstairs into  their giant wine vats which no longer store wine, but are now adorned with paintings. Walking through rustic archways you are met with room after room of art. It was delightful and I could’ve happily spent hours there! When I visited, the local artists included painter Marina Blight, who “travels to out of the ordinary places” (no wonder I liked her work so much) and sculptor, Bradley James Flynn (who also had some interesting pieces fashioned out of recycled metal). Featured artists will change every few months, so you can be sure to find something new each time you visit.

Lastly, while you are there you can purchase Zandvliet wines (their Shiraz starts at an affordable R110 a bottle), bottles of ClemenGold gin (they also have miniature ones if R360 is too steep for your budget), ClemenGold Marmalade, ClemenGold Honey, ClemenGold Panforte, ClemenGold biscotti and ClemenGold dark chocolate. It’s very unlikely that you will leave empty-handed!

I left Zandvliet Wine Estate with a very full tummy, a new South African artist to follow and a bottle of my own blended wine, complete with my very own signature wax seal. Thankfully Leslie said my blend was one that could be opened within a few weeks because it isn’t going to be on the wine rack for much longer than that! Although I do still have my bottle of Zandvliet Muscat…. *runs to the shop to buy rusks.

Inside information
It’s not advertised, but when I enquired about them being pet-friendly, they did say that dogs are welcome to join you outside. However, I would check beforehand.

Published May 2018