Drinks, food

A fresh take on winemaking tradition at Kunjani Wines

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kunjani wines Boutique winery Kunjani Wines recently opened its bold and contemporary new tasting room, which is situated just outside Stellenbosch – and if you love fresh twists on winemaking traditions, this is the place to find them. Kunjani began in 2011 when a chance encounter between Paul Barth, a German entrepreneur, and South African businesswoman Pia Watermeyer resulted in a vision for a cross-continental wine label. With Pia as (a new) winemaker, mentored by the award-winning Carmen Stevens, and operations manager Lydia Afonso – who has more than a decade of experience in all facets of the wine industry – on board, the winery has developed fast and in November 2017 launched its new range and tasting room on the estate outside Stellenbosch. Launch wines include a summery Sauvignon Blanc 2017 that features notes of passion fruit, cucumber and freshly picked coriander, kept fresh with a dollop of lime zest, and a tropical-style Chenin Blanc 2017 with ripe papaya fruit on the nose and a biscuity finish. Also excellent is the Pia Noir 2017 Rosé, also known as ‘The Stolen Chicken’ in honour of Watermeyer’s young son James, who very sadly passed away in 2016 – but leaves behind an inspiring legacy of ‘being silly… caring… and adventurous’. The striking tasting room was conceptualised by Watermeyer and top South African designer Haldane Martin, and features stylish yet soulful contemporary interiors with pops of bold red and orange. Its custom fittings and furnishings (including one of Martin’s gorgeous Songololo sofas) are combined with luxurious finishes, and artworks by local artists Krisjan Rossouw and Peter Pharoah. As well as wine tastings (R75 per person for five different wines) Kunjani also offers a selection of tapas-style small plates and a variety of pizzas, burgers, platters and desserts – all designed to create a fun and easy-going culinary experience that matches the wines and ambience. And if you’re looking for somewhere charming yet contemporary (with wonderful views from their patios) to stay in the winelands, consider Kunjani’s luxurious cottages. The four self-catering cottages on the estate each either sleep two or four people, and prices range from R1 900 per night. Kunjani Wines’ trading hours are Wednesdays to Sundays, 11am to 5pm (they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays). Find Kunjani at Farm 90/20, Blumberg Drive, Devonvale, Stellenbosch, and for more information, visit kunjaniwines.co.za.