Quoin Rock wine estate in Stellenbosch has to be the most luxurious estate I’ve been to. Set on Knorhoek Road in the Knorhoek Valley, the building is an architectural marvel.
Designed by architect and co-owner Julia Gaiduk, the glass structure has a 360º view of the vineyards and rolling hills. I was recently visited the estate to dine on their new menu and for a cooking master class.
On arrival we were treated to a refreshing glass of their Quoin Rock MCC and juicy “mermaid oysters”.
Dubbed “A Journey Around the World” , the six-course set menu is served at their Gåte restaurant. It features Saldana Bay oysters, a caffè macchiato from Italy, a piña colada dessert with coconut from the Caribbean and a lamb, cranberry and smoked cheese tuile from Austria, along with dishes from Namibia and Italy.
The master class entailed wearing a chef’s apron and hat and cooking in their kitchen, which was a treat. I learnt how to make the caffè macchiato and their signature edible cigar, complete with smoke and ash.
Their cooking aesthetic is meticulous and science meets fine cuisine. A dream for any forward-thinking creator, the kitchen houses a centrifuge, walk-in fridges, Pacojets, a glass freezer, Convotherm ovens, a Thermomix, tunnels for micro-herbs and more - a well-equipped playground for any discerning chef.The way each dish is presented is impressive, and attention to detail makes each a work of art.
My mouth-watering menu highlights included the espresso- sized caffè macchiato (it’s rich and creamy, making it the perfect start to the meal), the edible cigar bread (it’s crunchy and served with a tangy paprika mayo), and the lamb, cranberry and smoked cheese tuile. The set menu is designed to take you on a journey around the world, and does.
The dishes are paired with the estate’s exquisite wines, so prepare to be wowed.
Quoin Rock’s intercontinental flair has been fashioned by the Ukrainian Gaiduk family and is run by Julia and Denis Gaiduk, who bought the estate in 2012. Gåte’s adventurous new menu amplifies the Gaiduks’ all-embracing ethic with great artistry.
The Daytime Experience was devised by head chef Nicole Loubser, aided by a young and experienced team of chefs. The menu is a reduced option of a 14-course dinner menu.
Molecular gastronomy is introduced into the menu, but not the main focus.
Gåte: seats 45 guests
Daytime Dining: Tues - Sun, noon - 2pm, R800. With wine pairing R1200.
Night time: Tues - Sat 6pm - late. Gourmet 14-course menu R1600. With wine pairing R2250. Seven-course tasting menu R1000. With wine pairing R1450.
Quoin Rock Wine Estate: Knorhoek Road, Knorhoek Valley, Stellenbosch, 7600