You just have to try a lunch at Crown Restaurant in Meerendal because there is nothing like it in Cape Town. Enjoy your meal and glass of wine all whilst sitting on a swing! It is child friendly too. R30 a tasting which includes a FREE Vodka, Gin and Rum tasting.
I have rated this wine farm experience 4 star.
Crown restaurant and Wine Bar, the Durbanville Distillery tasting plus the MTB trails are the only reasons I gave this farm a 4-star and not a 2-star. The wine tasting area and Carlucci’s restaurant is in desperate need of an interior designer and service upgrade. That being said, here is my overall review…
ACTIVITIES and OTHER AMENITIES:
- Wine tasting – R30 per person for 4 wines or R50 a tasting for 2 “prestige” wines. Wine tasting is free if you purchase 6 bottles.
- Distillery (Vodka, Gin and Rum tasting) – free with every wine tasting.
- 2 x Restaurants (Kid Friendly)
- Weddings & functions
- Trail running and MTB tracks
WHEN TO GO: Keep the wine tasting area for winter because it is indoors. The restaurants are good for any season.
CHILD/PET FRIENDLY? Yes! This venue is fantastic for kids as there is a large jungle gym and outside area (sometimes there are jumping castles too)
LOCATION: About a 20 minute drive from Cape Town. Google Map
Click HERE to view the ranking of this farm against others I have already reviewed.
Here is my experience:
A lot has changed since I last visited Meerendal about 3 years ago. I arrived at 10h15 for breakfast at Crown Restaurant. I like to do trail runs here and have been for breakfast before. I often see that there is a jumping castle for kids on the weekends.
The decor is out of this world amazing!
And yes, these are swings that you can sit on!
The menu is simple and reasonably priced. We could get these meals for R86 each which were the expensive meals. There are cheaper options too, as little as R38.
The outside area is well covered for shade and is great for families with children playing on the jumping castle.
The farm is well sign posted and this sign got me really interested 🙂
Along the walk, you will see a beautiful boutique hotel <3 There are six lovely guest cottages on the farm.
Meerendal was established over 300 years ago! There are over 60 000 vines on the estate and the Pinotage bush vines has won some exceptional awards.
I really liked these places to store your bike 🙂
This is the entrance to Carlucci’s.
There is a small deli area which is quite sweet but rather empty at this time (11h30).
You need to walk past the restaurant to get to the wine tasting area. This tunnel was like walking through a wind tunnel! The wind in Cape Town is so bad. It would have been nice to sit on the veranda to do some wine tasting but the wind was just unbearable. I would love to see Meerendal open up the far wall of the tasting room with a balcony overlooking the views. The way the veranda is positioned now faces the garden where trees close up your view and all the children are playing.
This is the only view onto the mountains, and sadly it is less than 2m across, dedicated to a smoking area.
I had to hold my hat on tight but the views made for a pretty good photo! I had to move quickly though because others wanted to smoke there.
At first, the wine tasting area looked pretty cool with all the beautiful art. But when you look close, you will notice all the flaws in the decor. Plastic carpets, chipped/dirty chairs and wallpaper made to look like rock face. Even the bar is made from chip wood. I hope this room is just temporary because it does look like a quick fix. Perhaps there is something better in the pipelines.
Totally empty at 11h30, however the restaurants were FULLY booked!
The art was good to look at though.
Below are the four wines I tasted for R30. The service wasn’t great however as soon as my glass was empty the glass was filled again. That was good but in the end I felt rushed. The wine wasn’t explained much. I didn’t learn anything about the farm. We weren’t offered water, snacks or a spittoon.
The winemaker is the first female winemaker in the Durbanville area and has been crafting wine for Meerendal since 1998.
Below is the Unwooded Chardonnay 2014. It was quite dark yellow in colour and had a strong citrus scent. The taste lingered on your palate. R125 a bottle.
Next up was the Pinotage 2012. Meerendal is supposedly good with Pinotage as they have been farming this grape since the early 1950’s.
You can imagine my delight – tasting a 2012 in 2017! It had a typical taste of a Pinotage. High spice with dark berries and a dry finish. R125 a bottle.
The Merlot 2015 is R185 a bottle, matured in French oak for 12 months. This was my favourite out of the tasting. You could smell and even taste, distinct chocolate and cherry flavours.
Finally, I tried the Shiraz 2010! Now this is 6-7 years old and R170 a bottle. You could certainly taste the black peppery notes.
Overall, the wine for me wasn’t anything special and quite heavy on the wallet for this type of farm however, I do think that all of these wines are food wines and therefore it should be served as a food and wine pairing to bring out the flavours of the wine. Or at least offer a platter. It was special tasting wines from those vintages that were 4-5 years old. It was such a pitty that they do not offer a better tasting option. Let’s hope they do improve.
I was feeling quite flat and disappointed after the wine tasting and threw most of the wine in the spittoon due to the bad ambiance so when I heard I could try a FREE Vodka, Gin and Rum tasting as part of the experience, I was all over it!
What a cool place to taste some distilled spirits! And it’s made in Durbanville too!
Durbanville Distillery produces hand-crafted, small batch, cold-distilled spirits. It was very much like craft beer. I really don’t like craft beer so “craft spirits” got me really interested 😉
Behind me is “Eve”, a hand built, vacuum still!
“Inside Eve’s column, lies twice the surface area of copper compared to a traditional copper still.”
It is apparently one of three made in the entire world! My favourite was the Gin and Tonic!
The service was EXCEPTIONAL! I learnt so much about producing spirits of a fine quality. This is the Molasses used to make Rum before it is distilled. They really take care in explaining the spirits and I was totally intrigued!
You should really take a visit to try it for yourself.
I really enjoyed it!
You can buy a gift pack for R700 and you can even buy them ONLINE HERE for R250 a bottle.
I will take… this many boxes thank you! hehe 🙂
And all of this, whilst the kids have an absolute ball in the garden!
Not a bad day overall.
Sorry for the long post, here are some eggs 🙂
So which farm will be next? 🙂