No. 27/800 – Cavalli, Stellenbosch

What an experience!

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Meet wine farm 27/800 – Cavalli in Stellenbosch. #DoStellies.

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I have rated this wine farm experience 5 star.

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OVERALL RATING WINE SERVICE FOOD LOCATION
89% 79% 96% 90% 90%

What an exceptionally modern farm with fine dining, wine and even an art gallery.


CHILD FRIENDLY? 

This venue is not really for children however I did see a few older children sitting in the lounge area outside playing on their Ipads.

ACTIVITIES and OTHER AMENITIES: 

  • Wine tasting, R35 or R50 per person, with service
  • Fine dining with open kitchen
  • Wine Sommelier who recommends wine and food pairing
  • Art Gallery
  • Function venue

BOOKING:
Booking is essential!

Restaurant bookings: (021) 855 3218 (9am – 5pm) Monday to Friday or e-mail: restaurant@cavalliestate.com

WHEN TO GO:

 Summer or winter, the venue caters for all types of weather.
LOCATION:
Situated about a 40 minute drive from Cape Town on the R44 road.
OTHER RATINGS: 

View other ratings on Trip Advisor:

TripAdvisor

https://www.tripadvisor.co.za/Restaurant_Review-g469396-d5888844-Reviews-Equus_Restaurant_at_Cavalli_Stud_and_Wine_Farm-Somerset_West_Western_Cape.html

Click HERE to view the ranking of this farm against others I have already reviewed.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: 

Visit Stellenbosch wine routes for more information on Wine farms in Stellenbosch.

http://www.wineroute.co.za/

Here is my experience:

The entrance to the estate is opulent!

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Cavalli is also a stud farm so if you are a lover of these four legged friends, then this is just the place for you!

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There is plenty of parking right outside the restaurant. The architecture is super modern and the gardens are immaculate!

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Equus restaurant is the ultimate modern, fine dining experience.

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What I really think is unique is that the chairs can all swivel 360 degrees much like that of an office chair. I wouldn’t mind having my meetings here 🙂
Plus, just so that the table is not cluttered, each table has a side table. It was marvelous to put my cell phone and camera on them.
You also don’t need to put your jacket on the back of the chair, oh no, there is a special coat hook stand for that.

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Click HERE to view the menu. There are three courses from which you can choose from.

And click HERE to view the wine list.

Equus restaurant is the first Green-star rated restaurant in South Africa. They truly treasure the beauty of natural heritage.

In the menu you will read, “Our cuisine manifesto is hinged on local and sustainable ingredients. We partner with local, like-minded producers to source produce with the very best flavour, colour and texture. We simply believe in eating delicious, fresh, whole foods prepared in a way that honours the seasons. We want our food to be the kind that people enjoy not just once but again and again, the type of food that people come back for.”

I know that I will certainly go back!

Cavalli’s restaurant has also received numerous awards:

  1. The Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards 2014, Style Award
  2. The Best of Wine Tourism, Great Wine Capitals award of excellence 2016
  3. The Best of Wine Tourism, Architecture and Landscapes 2016

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The exceptional meals are prepared for you by Executive Chef: Calum Anderson. You can read more about him here.
As you can see from the photo below, the kitchen is completely open plan and you can watch your food in the making.
Great care is taken with every meal. Boy these guys are super busy and somehow time the meals just right – nothing takes longer than 15-20 minutes to arrive.

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To get the taste buds going, we were given a glass of the Cavalli White Knight and some freshly baked bread with gourmet butter (herb and tomato infused butter to be exact).
Delicious!

cavalli-bread

The Cavalli White Knight is 100% Chenin Blanc and is extremely light yet full of flavour. On the nose, you will experience hints of fresh pears and grassy undertones.
On the palate, you will enjoy that it is unwooded. A light, vibrant fruit structure with a good balance of acidity which makes your mouth water but not to the point of your eyes watering. No, this is more of a “I want some more” finish.
R125 a bottle or R35 a glass.

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For starters, I ordered the Courgette & Parmesan Soup. That little ball at the top of the plate in the picture is a bundle of courgette spaghetti/noodles (pickled) with grated Parmesan. It was so entertaining for me to mix that little ball into the soup. This creamy soup was  oh so smooth and the courgette spaghetti/noodles really created a great texture.  Every now and again, between enjoying the creamy, green soup, a burst of compressed apple added just the right spike to your palate.  The soup was decorated with drops of olive oil, parsley, micro greens and almond crumble. Just too divine at R65.

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For those slightly warmer days, this beetroot and poached plum salad will cool  your palate with a taste sensation.
The leaves sit on a spread of creamed goats cheese and on top it was finished off with walnut soil and honey balsamic.

R80 a dish.

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cavalli-beatroot-salad

For mains I enjoyed a truly South African Springbok steak. Whenever I eat red meat, I immediately look for the salt and pepper but there wasn’t any on the table. So I tucked right in and then realised why. The flavours were out of this world! The Springbok loin was cooked medium-rare to perfection and was crusted in Coriander spice. The patty looking roll to the right is, now wait for your mouth to water, a slow braised Springbok shank which had been braised and slow cooked. It literally melted in your mouth!

The Springbok was resting on a bed of wilted spinach and an incredibly tasty jus. To the left were three rolls of rosemary gnocchi and to the right was red cabbage purée and apricot chutney. To top it off, some micro greens. Absolutely delicious at R220 a meal. It is totally worth it!

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The Springbok paired very well with the Cavalli Cheval D’or Warlord 2009. It has won an IWSC and an IWG Gold medal. The back label dedicates this wine to the unnamed horses who served in battle so I thought this photo would do it better justice than seeing it next to the food :).
A very good blend of Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz/Pinotage/Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot which is very unique to South Africa.
Deep plums and cassis on the palate with hints of licorice and eucalyptus. R250 a bottle and it was marvelous!Look at that dark ruby colour!

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My friend, Laetitia, had the Pasture-raised (100% grass-fed beef), Flat Iron steak & short rib for mains. Also medium-rare and topped with some incredible yellow mustard. To the right of the plate is the short rib which had crackling on the top and was incredible juicy. Laetitia could hardly keep her excitement “wow, it melts in your mouth!”

The dark plates really helped the estate carrots and carrot purée to pop off the plate. What an incredible colour. There were also some mini potatos and shiitake mushrooms on the side, placed upon a star anise jus. R195 a meal.

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The wine that paired well with this meal was the Cavalli Night Mare 2014 Shiraz/Grenache blend. Such awesome packaging.
It is quite a spicy, full bodied wine – which I like to call dry with exceptional round flavours. Just bursting with berry flavors. R250 a bottle.

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What incredible stories on the back of these red wines:

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In the below photo you will see the outside area which overlooks a dam. The Cavalli Vendetta white wine is a blend of 73% Viognier and 27% Verdelho.
I could smell peach and florals on the nose which was delicate so I had to breath in in for a while to pick it up but once I did, the notes were very clear.
On the palate it is fresh, dry, cold and fruity with a mid-palate of peaches and pears.
The acidity in this wine was incredible, no heartburn for me, it was as smooth as silk. 1,3g/L sugar and 13.18 % alcohol.

R195 a bottle.

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Marvel in this incredible piece of copywriting:

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What a whimsical sight! Flying horses and pink macaroons – YUM!
The Cavalli Valkyrie was my favourite because it contained Malbec (50%) and Petit Verdot (50%).

Firstly the colour, an intense purple which is almost black. Violets and lavender on the nose which is then followed by dark berries and woodiness. On the palate, dark cherries, herbs and spice which was exceptionally well balanced. I loved it! Very berry with a kick of spice! R250 a bottle.  2.7g/l sugar and 13.45 % alcohol.

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Ok so onto dessert! Strawberry cheesecake topped with Rose Geranium jelly – it really smelt like Turkish Delight. On the side I enjoyed the shortbread biscuit topped with syrupy strawberries and champagne sorbet 🍾 R85

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It is these small touches that makes this dessert so incredible.

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My friend, Laetitia, chose the pistachio sponge with hazelnut anglais, aerated dark chocolate, crushed honeycomb and hazelnut ice cream.
Guys, literally, those dark pieces are chunks of the best aerated chocolate you have EVER tasted.  It was as smooth as butter and just melted instantly in your mouth.

Totally worth the calories! R85 a plate.

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Once we finished dessert, I was excited to see the tasting room downstairs. Art is everywhere, even on the staircase!

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Cavalli has a great gallery too!

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I think this is the best photo I have ever taken. I really would love this painting in my house.

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Here is the tasting room. It was warm, dark and yet inviting. Every wall housed exceptional wines and even a secret whiskey and sports collection by the owner.

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On the entry level wine list there are these rather fun wines at R74, R74 and R85 respectively:
White Knight, Pink Pony and Black Beauty.

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I really loved the set up of the tasting room. You can literally sit anywhere and the service was exceptional.

It is R35 or R50 per tasting depending on the range that you would like to try.

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So we moved around a bit 🙂 hehe

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This is the Flagship range in the tasting room. The Warlord and Vendetta is not available for tasting unfortunately. Go on, just buy a bottle 🙂

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We took a walk in the vineyards afterwards to take some of these cool photos. Great photo ops!

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Rosé wines are always great this time of year. Refreshing and thirst quenching. It is a Grenache Noir wine made in a very fresh style. Raspberries, with earthy notes and a touch of honeysuckle. A beautifully crisp mouth-feel and refreshing finish. R125 a bottle.

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Some photos of the garden, it is so beautiful this time of year. Guys, Cape Town is the best place on the planet!

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And these quirky statues were a fun photo op too 🙂

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Thank you Cavalli – what a great experience!

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