Treat yourself and book an evening (or two) at the Devon Valley Hotel in Stellenbosch. This hotel has been acquired by the Louis Group, revamped, and now exudes a country-comfy feel. Think French doors that fold open to vistas of mountains and autumn coloured vineyards and a huge outside terrace in a lush garden setting – and even with the French doors shut tight against the cold, there is still plenty of appeal. A visit to the hotel this week for a gastronomic food and wine pairing in the hotel`s restaurant, Flavours, hinted that a stay over at the hotel has lots of lighten-up appeal for those suffering from seasonal-affective-disorder.
The restaurant has a big fireplace and equally big windows – allowing the sun to filter in on those balmy winter days. Dishes are prepared by Austrian-born chef Markus Schwemberger, and judged on the five-course dinner prepared for the event, this chef has a very mindful, albeit a bit conservative, approach to meals – which does not mean it wasn`t appetising!
Plates were matched with the (boutique) SylvanVale wines, produced by winemaker Mark Carmichael-Green. The Pinotage ‘04, produced from some of the oldest vines in Stellenbosch (45/46 years in age, reveals Carmichael-Green) was the preferred wine on the evening and intrigued with its slight hint of mintiness – attributed to the row of bluegums that were uprooted shortly after the wines were put in bottle. The old Pinotage block on the property will also be uprooted soon, which means that old-vine Pinotage for SylvanVale will sadly become something of the past.
Given the acclaim Rosé received from judges that concluded tastings for Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show this week, it is comforting to note that SylvanVale also grows a Cabernet Sauvignon block dedicated solely to producing grapes for its Dry Cabernet Rosé – much needed individual attention in the rumoured rise of the Rosé.
Other wines in the SylvanVale series include SylvanVale Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2008 (R42), SylvanVale Family Reserve 2004 (R77) and Shiraz 2004 (magnum only) R125.
The SylvanVale Pinotage 2004 sells for R49 and the SylvanVale Dry Cabernet Rosé 2008 for R35.
Call 021 865 2012, www.devonvalleyhotel.com
Published in Wine Magazine