Pongracz flows at the Skybar, upstairs from The Piano Bar
Marianne Wine Estate: From Lofts Among Trees To A Luxurious Seven-Bed Villa
Plus, it’s a beautiful setting for a wedding or corporate retreat
The winelands is not short of wine farms with beautiful views, but when you stay over at Marianne Wine Estate, you’ll enjoy some of the finest scenery that encompasses some of the finest accommodation options in the area. The estate is set at the foot of the Simonsberg Mountain between Paarl and Stellenbosch, so just imagine waking up to a 360° view of the vines and mountains in the valley.
Then there are the wines: Marianne’s very first vintage of its flagship wine, Floreal, was served at Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday party at Buckingham Palace, a nod to its good character.
ACCOMMODATION IS A ROMANTIC ESCAPE OR FAMILY GETAWAY
There are four lofts, a manor house with five rooms, and another with seven on the estate. The airy lofts have an African theme (think reds and oranges), but are uniquely decorated – you might see a paper buffalo on the wall, an African trinket here and there or an animal skin rug.
The pitched ceilings give the loft a tent-like feel, and the warm coloured walls and parkay flooring make it cosy. All are en-suite with a living room and each has a balcony; a lovely spot for morning coffee, surrounded by trees and birds. A buffet breakfast is served on the tasting-room deck, and there's a communal pool for those toasty Stellenbosch summer days.
The manor house and L’Hermitage are good for families or groups. The manor has five bedrooms, including a family apartment, a chapel, swimming pool and two terraces with panoramic views, plus it’s a five-minute walk from the cellar and tasting room. L’Ermitage villa is set among the vineyards and has seven uniquely-decorated bedrooms, as well as a lovely swimming pool and braai area. After a day of wine experiences, each accommodation venue is ideal for sitting back and reminiscing, perhaps over one more glass. And talking about the wine.
THESE CAPE VINES HAVE A FRENCH ACCENT
Owned by Frenchman Christian Dauriac, the estate was established in 2004 with the aim of treating some of the Cape’s most famous fruit to a bit of Bordeaux pampering – Dauriac’s family owns three wine estates there.
So Dauriac and his friend, winemaker Michel Rolland, set about creating a blueprint to produce French-style wines that pay homage both to the terroir of the Cape and the Bordeaux’s 2 000-year-old winemaking heritage. The result is a range of rich, nuanced wines that have excellent ageing potential.
South African winemaker Jos Van Wyk took over from Rolland, and continues to produce characterful and beautifully balanced wines that are released a minimum of three years after the harvest, and have bottle-ageing potential of at least 10 years.
VINEYARD DRIVES AND A GLASS OF WINE AT SUNSET
There are various experiences at Marianne’s stylish tasting room, including the popular Wine and Biltong and Madiba tastings. In the former, three red wines and two whites are lined up and paired with beef, kudu and springbok biltong. The latter experience introduces four vintages of Floreal.
Marianne will pull out the stops for bespoke experiences, including vineyard drives, a winemaker experience, wine-blending experience or barrel tastings. The centre has spectacular views: to the north, the craggy Simonsberg rises up, vineyards spread in every direction, and to the south-east is an unusual corner view of Table Mountain, splendid at sunset.
And because Marianne’s tasting room is open until 7pm every day of the week, sampling wine at sunset is an attractive proposition considering the farm is just 35 minutes from Cape Town.
HOST YOUR EVENT AT MARIANNE
Marianne Wine Estate is an excellent choice for corporate functions and seminars, and it’s gorgeous views make it an ideal setting for the romance of a wedding. Functions can be held either in the tasting room, on one of two decks, at the villa or in the beautifully landscaped gardens. The estate can accommodate up to 150 people and can cater for all needs. It has accommodation for up to 43 people.
THE RESTAURANT IS A SHORT STROLL AWAY
In a shady, cool spot alongside a pretty lily pond is the farm’s restaurant, Floréal Brasserie. It looks like a cosy cabin, especially in the evening when warm light emanates from its windows.
Note: There are weekly Sunday wine sets at Marianne Wine Estate: fun-filled Sundays with wine, tapas and music from 3pm – 6pm. R100 entrance, which includes three tapas. For more information, phone +27 (0)72 973 5740 or e-mail email@example.com.
By Daryn Wood
SA and SADC residents get a 20% accommodation discount at Marianne.
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