Along Bottelary road towards Stellenbosch on the right you will find the Hartenberg wine estate. As you leave the M23 onto the property the extended driveway to the estate is very long and takes you deep into the countryside. (tarred all the way).
A relaxed lunch on a Thursday was the order of the day. Friendly staff met us at the entrance to the restaurant and Andrew showed us to a lovely table under some reddish coloured vines. Very pretty surrounds for an outdoor lunch experience.
As it was 12h30 we decided to do the wine tasting at the table where we were seated to have lunch. From a wine list of five whites and six reds, we were asked to select six wines of our choice for tasting. The Riesling at R80 was excellent, but I could see this estate specialises in red wines. 2008 Gravel Hill Shiraz is their showpiece but as the price was on application I’m not sure what the cost was per bottle. The 2012 Stork Shiraz, although sold out was R545 per bottle so that will give you an idea. From the Premium range you can select a Merlot for R16o or Doorkeeper Shiraz for R75. Lovely fresh bread was served half way through the tasting which helped clear the taste buds.
Onto the food choice…. You can select the food and wine pairing menu of three courses for R195 or four courses for R245, each accompanied by the appropriate wine.
Another menu is offered if you only want to have one or two courses without wine included. The Braam burger at R95 looked really good as the guy at the next table to me had that and he rated it a 7 out of 10.
However we decided to do the three courses food and wine menu. First up was the pulled pork tortilla which was served with the Riesling. Presentation was good but maybe a bit too much coleslaw mixed into the pulled pork took away some of the taste of the meat. 6 out of 10.
Next was the roast duck served on polenta and grapes and the house merlot. Nice combination although the duck was a little over cooked, should have been served more on the rare side. 5 out of 10.
Lastly the dessert, honey semifreddo which was ice cream and marinated berries. I asked if the ice cream was home made but unfortunately it was bought in so a little disappointing. The wine this time was the noble late harvest which was really sweet but correct for a dessert wine. 5 out of 10.
All through the time we spent at this venue, the service from the wine and food waiters was above expectation and we also got a visit from Kobus, one of the owners who came to chat to us at the table. 10 out of 10 for the service.
In summary the venue setting, wines and service were excellent, but the food quality was really average and not at the standard of the Clos Malvern wine estate I reviewed a few weeks ago.
Still worth a visit, with three course and three wines for R390 per couple, reasonable value.