As the sun was dipping into the wine valley, shedding a warm golden glow over the vineyards, a group of wine writers, food lovers and general enthusiasts got together at Kunjani Wines, the latest addition to the Stellenbosch Wine Valley.
Kunjani Wines was born from a love story between German Entrepreneur Paul Barth and South African Businesswoman Pia Watermeyer. In 2011 they dreamt up a vision of a cross-continental wine, built on the idea that good food and good wine can cross language and culture barriers.
For those whose Zulu needs some refreshing, Kunjani means “Hi, how are you?”, and that is exactly how you start any new relationship. I love this message, especially in a wine region that has so long been a bit, well, one sided. Let’s pour a glass, have something to eat and get to know each other.
The tasting room was designed by Pia Watermeyer and the iconic designer Haldane Martin, who was been doing incredible work in establishing a new South African design identity. They wanted to create a space that brought together Cape Dutch architecture and African flavour. The result is a strikingly beautiful, spacious and modern building that feels chic and also comfortable. Take a seat on their Shongololo sofa, outside on their plush sofas or at a table, and make yourself at home.
They currently produce 6 wines, with a Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Dry Riesling on the whites side, a Pia Noir (The Stolen Chicken) Rosé, and then a Shiraz and Red Blend to complete the package. Pia has a hand in the winemaking, mentored by Carmen Stevens, and exciting fresh talent who won Young Winemaker of the Year in 2015.
Their wines are largely exported to Germany so they are on the sweeter side, particularly the whites. I really enjoyed the Red Blend, with Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec, delivering notes of ripe, red fruit, tobacco and spices.
Naturally wine should go with some food, and if their dishes at the event are anything to go buy, we’re all in for a good time. Think Asian Braised Crispy Pork Belly; served with baby onions, apple puree, baby carrots and a red wine dressing. Or try some Mushroom Ravioli, with pan seared spinach in a tomato and basil sauce topped with Parmesan shavings (I had about four servings of this, it’s yummo!). They are also serving a variety of pizzas, burgers, platters and desserts. The prices range from R85 – R160 per dish, and Wine Tastings are R75 per person, which includes a selection of 5 wines.
If you’re keen to linger a little longer in Stellenbosch, go check out the cottages at Kunjani. They have four self-catering cottages sleeping between 2 and 4 people, with prices ranging from R1900 to R3500 per cottage, per night. We popped in during the evening and were instantly charmed by the modern, sleek, sophisticated interiors and finishes, and a porch that runs right into the vineyards.
Kunjani is officially opening on Friday 17 November, trading Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00 – 17:00. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
You’ll find them at Farm 90/20, Blumberg Drive, Devonvale, Stellenbosch. Drive to the Devon Vale Golf Estate and just keep on that road till you see it on your right.
For more info, visit kunjaniwines.co.za, follow them @KunjaniWines and #KunjaniWines on social media, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for wine sales.