South African wine region Stellenbosch is known worldwide for offering good wine, food and magnificent views. Situated about 50 minutes via the N2 from the Cape Town CDB, the region is perfect for a weekend gateway or just a day of wine tasting, sightseeing and a lazy brunch and lunch. The latest edition to the wine estate route is Kunjani Wines, a stylish spot that is beautifully decorated. What's makes the place extra special is the love story of it's founders German Entrepreneur Paul Barth and a South African Businesswoman Pia Watermeyer...do ask them for the backstory when you visit.
Conceptualised in 2011 by Pia and Paul when a chance encounter between a birthed a vision for a cross-continental wine. A team was quickly assembled to make Kunjani Wines a reality. Pia is a new winemaker, with Carmen Stevens as her mentor. Carmen is an award-winning winemaker from humble roots. The Operations Manager is Lydia Afonso, with more than a decade of experience in all facets of the wine industry.
The Kunjani hands on the wines represent a greeting between friends. “Kunjani” means “Hi, how are you?” and that is exactly how great relationships start. A simple greeting and a great glass of wine between new friends.
Kunjani offers a selection of great-tasting and carefully crafted wines, including the;
*2017 Sauvignon Blanc with beautiful & enticing summer expression that exhibits passion fruit, cut cucumber and freshly picked coriander, kept fresh with a dollop of lime zest.
*2017 Chenin Blanc with a tropical and a fusion of ripe papaya fruit served with a squeeze of lime on a biscuit crust
*2015 Red Blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec. Expect ripe, red cherries and tobacco notes with a lush mid-palate.
*2015 Dry Riesling with tasting notes to follow.
*2014 Shiraz that can only be described as spicy, meaty, with notes of blackberries and ripe plum.
* This is my favourite that is on offer...a 2017 Pia Noir, also known as The Stolen Chicken. Perhaps a personal favourite amongst the staff, this wine was crafted in honour of James and his mom, Pia. It encapsulates the story of the boy who stole the chicken, but tried to convince his mother that he had found them. Who leaves chickens on the side of the road? Imagine a bowl of beautifully ripe straw and raspberries served with a sinful drop of toffee apple syrup.
James passed away on 5 June 2016, and as a way to honour his legacy and let his spirit live on, Pia and Carmen developed this rosé- a blend of our Shiraz, Cabernet and Merlot. Seeing as pink was James’ favourite colour, Pia felt it fitting to put his face on their prized rosé. Enjoy this incredibly special wine whilst you laugh with your friends, dance with your partner, discuss the meaning of life with your family - just as James always did. And when you drink this wine, remember to be silly, to be caring and to be adventurous- just as James always was.
Kunjani Wines’ interior was created by Pia Watermeyer and the iconic Haldane Martin. As a designer, Haldane has been instrumental in the emergence of a new South African design language and identity. He successfully transformed Pia’s concept and brand essence in to an innovative, stylish and soulful interior with a unique character. This included custom fittings, luxurious finishes and custom-made furniture paired with selected artworks by local artists, Krisjan Rossouw and Peter Pharoah.
Kunjani’s delicious wines and breathtakingly beautiful interior is best paired with their carefully curated menu - designed to be a FUN dining experience. Enjoy a variety of dishes and tapas on their set menu, including the Asian Braised Crispy Pork Belly; served with baby onions, apple puree, baby carrots and a red wine dressing. Another favourite is the Mushroom Ravioli, with pan seared spinach in a tomato and basil sauce topped with parmesan shavings. There are a variety of pizzas, burgers, platters and desserts to choose from. The prices range from R85.00 – R160.00 per dish, and Wine Tastings are R75.00 per person, which includes a selection of 5 wines.
Kunjani also offers elegant and luxurious cottages on their estate. The cottages all feature a patio with a view over the Kunjani vineyards and Stellenbosch mountains. The four self-catering cottages are aptly named: Shiraz (sleeps 4), Merlot (sleeps 2), Cabernet (sleeps 2) and Stolen Chicken (sleeps 4). Prices range from R1900.00 – R3500.00 per cottage, per night.
I visited the wine farm the evening before it's official opening with a group of invited VIP media. We arrived there at golden hour, just as the sun dipped on the surrounding mountains, bouncing off the vineyards, casting a illuminating glow all around. I loved the modern and minimalist architecture building. The red and grey colour theme is carried out on the exterior and interior.
Kunjani Wines’ officially opened it's doors on November 17 and trading hours are Wednesday to Sunday: 11:00 – 17:00, and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
* Find Kunjani at Farm 90/20, Blumberg Drive, Devonvale, Stellenbosch. Tel: +27 87 630 0407
Enquiries: [email protected] Wine Sales: [email protected]
Social Media: @KunjaniWines and #KunjaniWines on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.