Heading out along the N2 to Stellenbosch on a sunny Friday is hard to beat.
So back to those sunny skies…
The lodge at Kleine Zalze feels welcoming and homely for such a grand estate, with neat, white walls and timber-and-vine trellises providing shaded parking. But that’s where the similarities between the lodge and home (at least, my shoebox flat) end. I could have done cartwheels across the plush carpeting of my superior room, with its king-sized bed, complimentary bottle of Chenin and French balcony with a gorgeous view of the surrounding mountains.
After checking in, our party retired to the pool terrace to sip G&Ts overlooking the golf greens, as flocks of guinea fowl careered about dodging golf balls from the plaid-clad crew on the 12th hole. I couldn’t resist diving into one of the mountain peaks reflected in the infinity pool’s still waters either.
You can’t spend the night at a wine estate and not partake in a tasting (that’s written in the Rules of Life somewhere). Kleine Zalze is known for its Chenin Blanc (which was, of course, delicious) but I’d have to say the Vineyard Selection Barrel-Fermented Chardonnay was my outright winner.
Dinner at Terroir is just something else. Michael Broughton needs no introduction for local foodies, so suffice it to say he’s one of Cape Etc‘s favourite chefs. I could happily have had his signature prawn risotto starter for mains and dessert as well, but then, that would have meant missing out on the wonderful Angus beef and never-eat-another-chocolate-ever-again chocolate bar, another signature.
All in all, if you’re looking for a Winelands getaway that has all the creature comforts to recommend it, along with a very quiet sort of relaxed elegance, Kleine Zalze is the spot for you.
Where Die Boord, Strand Road (R44), Stellenbosch
Cost From R1 510 per night (click for full rates)
Contact +27 21 880 0740, www.kleinezalze.co.za
(Let’s quickly address the elephant in the room. Yes, Kleine Zalze has received some less-than-ideal press lately as a result of the mysterious circumstances surrounding the deaths of three members of the Van Breda family. But we’d like to point out, as sensitively as possible, that the terrible tragedy occurred in a private residence on the adjoining golf estate of the same name, and not on the wine estate nor at its lodge.)
Photography Jade Taylor Cooke