If you live in the Western Cape, if you interested in wine, art, architecture and good food, Spier is a destination you need to put on your Bucket List. If you come down to the Western Cape on holiday Spier should be amongst the first places you visit. I have known Spier since 1966 when it was first owned by the Joubert Family, patriarch Neil was one of the founders of the Stellenbosch Wine Route in 1971. For some years now Spier is owned by the Enthoven Family and is experiencing a ‘golden era’ in terms of its wines and its hospitality offering.
Spier is one of the well-known Stellenbosch Wine Estates, with a formidable winemaking team under Frans Smit as Cellar master, each winemaker concentrating on a specific part of the ranges this much awarded Wine Estate has on offer. The modern easy drinking Spier Signature Collection which offers evenhandedly priced wines, both in varietal style and blends. The Creative Block is a series of blended wines, No 2 being Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, a Bordeaux White blend, so popular in Australia and here. No 3 is a Mediterranean blend of Shiraz, Mourvèdre and Viognier. No 5 bring together the Bordeaux ‘Big Five’ in a superb blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec.
The farmstead of Spier has 21 gables on the various buildings. Appropriate therefore that Spier has a range of important wines named 21 Gables, an awarded Chenin Blanc, a Pinotage, a Sauvignon Blanc and a Cabernet Sauvignon. The Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2016 earlier this year received the prestigious International Wine and Spirit Competition’s 2018 Chenin Blanc Trophy – beating all other Chenin Blanc wines entered into this competition to be crowned the world’s best. There are two premium blends, Spier Flagships and in limited edition, a white and a red labelled Frans K Smit – superb wines, I love them both. There is a range of Méthode Cap Classique wines and a charming sparkler called Secret.
The Spier Tasting and Sales Room is well worth a visit as are the number of eating places on the Estate. Eight Restaurant, which has been open for some years now, uses fresh produce from the food garden where they are grown without the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides or artificial chemicals. The fillet, sirloin and sausages come from grass-fed cattle reared on Spier’s pastures, along with delicious eggs laid by happy hens that scratch around freely in the fields. Both the chickens and cattle are raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones. There is a special children’s menu for children and lots to do before and after lunch, playing on the rolling lawns and wooden jungle gym outside or discovering the secret bamboo forest nearby. The Spier award-winning wines compliment the menu, along with freshly-squeezed vegetable and fruit juices and a selection of craft beers and artisanal sodas.
The Spier Picnics are huge fun with any number of places for guests to eat their picnics, on the Werf lawns or by the side of the Farm Dam. They come as seasonal and vegetarian and are prepared using local, natural and organic produce wherever possible. Collect your Hamper from the Spier Farm Kitchen where you can stock up your shopping basket with goods to take home.
The Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery offers dishes that embrace and showcase the quality of ethically and locally sourced ingredients. PJ Vadas’s passion for cooking with fire and smoke takes centre stage with a delicious range of pasture-reared meats (many of which are supplied by Spier’s Farmer Angus). The meat is smoked low and slow – at a low temperature for a long period of time – and this method allows lesser known cuts of meat like beef brisket, pork neck and lamb shoulder to be used.
There are delicious organic vegetarian options too. The restaurant overlooks the rolling lawns and ancient oaks of Spier’s meticulously restored Werf – perfect for the kids to run wild on. It is self-service: guests order from the bar, and the food is brought to the table soon after. Sharing is encouraged, with family-style platters that can be ordered for the table.
The bakery produces slow-fermented, fresh sourdough breads as well as a selection of seasonal fruit pies and pastries baked daily. A new parking area will allow easy access for people collecting orders.
Should you wish to stay over, or go back for a weekend, the four star village style Spier Hotel is surrounded by vineyards, tranquil gardens and historic farm buildings. With comfy and spacious art-filled rooms, a Kids’ Clubhouse and several pools, the hotel embodies the warm hospitality of the Cape Winelands.
Read more about Spier – CLICK HERE