Quoin Rock Estate Takes Fine Wine And Dining To New Heights
Offering astounding architecture, incredible wines and fine dining too, Quoin Rock is a must-visit for every wine aficionado.
Being a lifestyle writer means I have the pleasure of visiting estates in the winelands quite often. The flip side is that at some point, these amalgamate into one similar experience – so it takes something quite extraordinary to get me truly excited. And currently, that truly special estate is Quoin Rock in Stellenbosch.
A fairly new brand in South Africa, the estate was purchased by Ukrainian family, the Gaiduks, in 2012. Managing director of Quoin Rock Denis Gaiduk says that they chose Stellenbosch because his father fell in love with the region when he visited South Africa.
They conducted major renovations and replanted the vineyards, and reopened in November 2018. And all that hard work has paid off. Quoin Rock is now a sophisticated estate designed to enable visitors to experience its fine offerings within a series of breathtaking spaces.
Quoin Rock: The Design
Overseen by Julia Gaiduk, Denis’ wife, the refurbishment of Quoin Rock was centred around framing the views of the Simonsberg mountain.
Even without the views, though, the building is stunning. When you walk into the foyer, you are greeted by massive bronze sculpture of a vine with water running down and around it. It is the first indicator that you are in a special place.
This leads on to the wine lounge and Gåte fine dining restaurant where you can easily spend a few hours admiring the bronze sculptures, while sipping on your wine.
The bar sits in the middle of the space and emulates the wooden 'eggs' in the adjoining cellar in which certain batches are wined are matured. This is all enclosed in glass partitions, so you can enjoy the spectacular views.
There's also a function hall that features a cigar lounge, and the Manor House – a Cape Dutch-style, opulent home that you can use as an intimate venue or a luxurious getaway. Think imported Italian furniture, crystal chandeliers, silk curtains and antique cabinets.
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Quoin Rock: The Restaurant
Not much can prepare you for having a ‘macchiato’, ‘cigar’ and ‘ashtray’ placed in front of you and being told you can eat it all.
They are in fact, tomato soup with sweet potato bread and dip. Gåte is all about representing various countries through molecular gastronomy – and the results are quite spectacular.
Headed up by Nicole Loubser, who has worked at La Colombe, The Test Kitchen and the Michelin-starred JAN in Nice, Gåte has a five-course lunch menu and a 14-course tasting menu at dinner.
You can also try a masterclass and tasting experience, during which you will enter Loubser's kitchen and learn how to make one of the dishes from her talented team, before sitting down and enjoying your meal. It is a fascinating experience that food enthusiasts will enjoy to the fullest.
Quoin Rock: The Wine
Whether you there for an exceptional dining experience or just want to sip on some wine while admiring the view, Quoin Rock has a wonderful selection of premium wines to enjoy.
Unlike many wineries, Quoin Rock ages their white wines before release. They also have great aging potential.
The reds and the MCCs are also aged for much longer before being released to market, sometimes for up to six years.
This is because Gaiduks, along with the estate winemaker Jacques Maree, are dedicated to creating the very best wines. And the results speak for themselves – Quoin Rock Shiraz 2015 has already been awarded in the Top 12 for the Shiraz SA Challenge and their 2018 Chardonnay is by far the best I’ve tasted this year.
There is also the more accessible Namysto range, which also showcases Quoin Rock's dedication and attention to detail.