Monday, April 10, 2017

Breakfast at South Hill

We needed to have a good breakfast in Elgin on Sunday morning and Nicky Wallace had recommended South Hill for breakfast the next morning and she was so right, it was superb. Owner Kevin King was on the farm that morning. He joined us for breakfast and gave us a tasting of some of their wines
John was up early and caught the dawn and the birds stirring
Flowers from a wedding the day before. South Hill is a very popular wedding venue. When we saw the accommodation available we understood why
The tasting room recovering from the wedding, and the shelves were being refilled
This is also where we had breakfast, admiring the beautiful vineyard views
The restaurant, which has a larger room through those doors, is also full of art by South African artists, all for sale
The menu
John's cheese omelette topped with bacon
Lynne had the Eggs Benedict with salmon. It was quite splendid. The eggs were perfectly cooked with the yolks runny, the white firm, the Hollandaise perfectly seasoned with just a little bite of lemon. It came on a slice of ciabatta, topped with well seasoned spinach and was accompanied by crisp slices of wild mushroom. The best in a long time
With breakfast comes toast and preserves. We also had lots of black coffee and were impressed, as they had a water problem and sorted it out so that the coffee machine worked. Kevin joined us for breakfast as did his son Ben and Ben's wife. Kevin unexpectedly and very generously paid for our breakfast
The King of the Hill, is a single barrel 2015 Chardonnay made for Kevin by winemaker Matthew van Heerden (previously of Uva Mira, now at Grande Provence). This is made from best terroir Elgin grapes
South Hill wines are made by their wine maker, Sean Skibbe. We tasted the 2015 South Hill Syrah; light berry fruit and wood with warm tea, black pepper and garam masala spice, it is smooth, subtle and sappig. Then the Kevin King 2014 Pinot Noir called the Bazza (named after Kevin's father) Soft and sweet fruit with a tang, vanilla oak on the end. It has layers of cherries and mulberries. Age this
Then the Kevin King 2015 BBK Malbec named for Benjamin Barry King, Kevin's son. A savoury meaty nose, incense wood, its intriguing with some maraschino cherry on the end of the nose. Soft licorice with salt, this has great fruit concentration of dark berries and some herbs, chewy chalky tannins, this is made for rich meat dishes and stews
The Mica red blend of Shiraz (50%) Mourvedre (25%) and Barbera (25%) is a Southern Rhône style blend, a full on warm berry fruit attack, with herbs, vanilla and coffee mocha wood, wildness from the Barbera, very satisfying.
One of the family dogs enjoying Sunday morning
Kevin and his son Ben
The vineyards on the hill
Cape honeysuckle loved by sunbirds
We went on a short tour of the accommodation with the family and the dogs
The South Hill logo spears in the chef's vegetable garden
A trellis made with old vine stocks, just waiting for the climbing beans and peas in winter
South Hill do have a popular wedding venue. The wedding party had just moved out of the Guesthouse, which is a five bedroom, en suite luxury villa which can be hired. It has room for the bride and groom and for several guests. They can entertain themselves in the lounge and the kitchen. As the beds had not yet been made, we didn't take photographs of the bedrooms. They also have Pumphouse Honeymoon Cottage
A spiral staircase in the house separates the bridal pair from the rest of the party
An outside braai at the Guesthouse

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