Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Baby owls at Steenberg with great wine and food

It was extremely exciting and quite moving to be able to stand one metre away from a just fledged downy baby owl. We were invited to a tasting of Steenberg's new wine range and were served a superb charcuterie platter with the owl perched on a branch just above us.
After you get through the extremely impenetrable security at the front gate you find yourself in an oasis of green and calmness. We met Caroline van Schalkwyk, the Marketing manager, on arrival and she first took us on a short tour. Steenberg has taken over the running of the Spa, the restaurant and the accommodation and if you want a wine tasting with nibbles, a platter or a meal, you head to Catharina’s restaurant.
At the Steenberg Spa. Relax in the lounge before and after your treatment
Lots of choices of things to drink: fruit water, bubbly and teas and fire for chilly days
Farm Manager Johann De Swardt
The enchanting baby owl which has left the nest, still covered in downy fluff and not yet confident enough to fly, but practicing
The Werf at Steenberg. The lawn was previously covered by Hydrangeas but they have now been removed to return it to the originally historical layout of a werf (farm yard)
The Farm Platter is very, very good value at R150 for two people. (This one is slightly larger being for 3). The chicken liver pate is unmissable and the curried vegetable piccalilli adds a real Cape flavour to the food. You can have this on Mondays to- Saturdays from 11am - 5pm and sit and enjoy the lovely peaceful ambience as well. Our platter consists of locally sourced cheese, cured meats & house made, paté, breads & other fresh accompaniments. Enjoy this with one of the selected wine flights of three wines each: a Bubbly flight (R100 pp), Klein Steenberg flight (R60 pp )or HMS flight (R90 pp). And of course you can also enjoy lunch at Catharina’s Restaurant
John, our waiter, bringing us the first tasting which was wines from the Klein Steenberg range. We then followed with the other two tastings
The first flight of our tasting: the three sparkling wines
Lynne and Caroline at the table under the oaks. The baby owl can just be seen above Lynne on a niche in the tree
Executive Chef of Catharina’s restaurant, Garth Almazan, whom we always maintain is one of the best in the Cape
More of the owl. Its mother is still in the nest in a tree just a few metres away. There is another but it was not in sight that day
Looking balefully at us but it does not seem stressed and we are sure will soon be able to fly off
Catharina’s Restaurant
The bubbles available to taste. The first is not an MCC and is made of Sauvignon Blanc. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are both MCC's
The very reasonably priced Klein Steenberg range. Lynne liked the Sauvignon Blanc so much - it is a typical crisp green Constantia sauvignon – that she bought 12 for summer drinking
The third flight we tasted is known as the HMS Battle of Muizenberg (7th of August 1795) flight (the wines are named after the 3 Royal Navy battle ships that took part: HMS Rattlesnake; Sphinx and Echo
The lunch menu on a blackboard is for the day and changes regularly according to food availability. Many dishes can be ordered as a starter or a main
We made a trip up to the Bistro 1682 and the tasting room and met an old friend Jennifer Holmes, who is now working there
People enjoying lunch in the Bistro
Wonderful glass grape mobile over the tasting counter. This is where you come to buy the wines to take home

© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015

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