Piecing together an experience in the Cape Winelands is like the stitchings of a fine tapestry, weaving the silk threads together that encapsulate elegance, refinement, taste and luxury. It’s not only about the vines and the beautiful, rolling landscape that they occupy. Or the robust blends of their grapes that you spend long, languid hours tasting. Or the handsome grounds that you get to explore, steeped in history and architectural grandeur. The fine culinary pairing in their restaurants, the art on their walls and the amusements that accompany the quaffing. It’s also about the story of the estate and the message it would like to convey. The ethos of its soil, its sentiment on sustainability and symphony with nature.
Set on 100 hectares of vineyards, indigenous gardens, equestrian paddocks – with a world class indoor training arena and its avant-garde stables – and three freshwater dams, at the foot of the Helderberg Mountains, Cavalli Estate harnesses all of these attributes, with a discerning nod to lifestyle, in all of its luxuries. Adjacent the equestrian arena – Cavalli Equine – and embedded into the burgeoning indigenous gardens, overlooking the paddocks, the dams, and all the way up to the magnificent mountains, sits Equestrian House. Three spacious ensuite bedrooms and a study flank the grand open-plan kitchen, dining and living space, that opens out onto a long wooden deck with a long outdoor dining table and loungers, an outdoor fireplace and weber. Natural light floods through the high apex ceiling windows and tall glass sliding doors, allowing the spectacular views of the landscape to permeate the contemporary interior spaces. Layered in equestrian regalia with subtle textures of leather and velvet, the open living space is separated from the corridors by beautiful oak cabinetry displaying some of the estate’s prolific literature, photography, boardgames and an enticing liquor shelf. Soft, earthy neutrals are emblazoned by a signature palette of gold, black and a rich African Violet purple. Even the bathrooms are adorned in golden mosaic tiles.
Equestrian House has become the perfect appendage to Cavalli Estate, that has long been revered as a seamlessly stylish estate to visit. Not only for its high calibre wines and outstanding culinary experience in its voguish 100-seater restaurant and 350-seater banqueting hall, but also for its inimitable art gallery, beneath a skylit ceiling, exhibiting poignant pieces by both contemporary and classical local artists. A luxury boutique, showcasing a range of South African products occupies space next door to the rather sexy tasting room that effuses elements of a rockstar’s studio with its impressive collection of musical instruments. Some of which have been autographed by the Greats of Rock ’n Roll. There’s a sports museum, too, displaying signed rugby attire and sporting equipment encased in glass frames or hanging on rails as they would in a locker room. It all adds to an ongoing sentiment of history, patriotism and passion, with a lot of fun.
With all of its unique qualities, incessant luxuries, life-changing dining and tasting experiences, and aesthetically pleasing elements, the most abiding attribute of Cavalli Estate, that makes this such a special place to visit, is the owners’ integral role as custodians of the soil it sits within. Located in the Cape Floral Kingdom – a Unesco World Heritage site – Cavalli’s gardens are consciously considered, with a focus on indigenous species and nurturing sustainability. With that comes the prolific birdlife and an ecosystem that is as inspiring to witness, as it is necessary. The farm has a greenhouse tunnel where seedlings are propagated and then transports to the organic vegetable garden for the chefs to forage for your forks. A philosophy that’s at the helm of their menu and palpable in every dish. You can taste the love, the passion and the commitment in every mouthwatering mouthful at their restaurant. It’s the pickled peppers that have been blistered and the creamy, citrusy grilled chokka. The braised wagyu short-rib and sweet, honeyed-grapefruit raddichio. It’s the horseradish, the frilly mustard, the sage and the chillies of the harissa that’ll keep you lingering on the restaurant’s deck, overlooking the dam, watching the resident Blue Crane sauntering through the gardens, for hours on end.
Such is the tapestry at Cavalli Estate. As you and your favourite people occupy Equestrian House and venture out into the gardens, followed by a dip in the dam, a sip on the deck, a snooze on the lounger or a game of backgammon at the table, as you watch ‘Fancy Guy’ – the Cremello Palomino – prance around the paddock, together with all of the other American Saddlebreds. Then to the tasting room, the gallery space and restaurant deck for some more feasting and birdwatching. Its silk threads are the very essence of its ethos. Woven into each unforgettable experience.
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Reviewed by Colleen Ogilvie
Servicing from Monday to Saturday included in the rate. Full days on Monday – Friday and a half day on Saturday. If servicing Is required on a Sunday, this could be arranged in advance and may be at an additional cost.
Check-in 2 pm
Check-out 10 am