Food and Wine, Restaurants André van Rensburg, Anglo American, Barlow Family, bucket list, Camellia Garden of Excellence, Camphor Trees, Camphors at Vergelegen, Christo Deyzel, DNA, Don Tooth, Eikestad, Frieda, Lady Florence Phillips, National Monuments, Nirvana, PJ Vadas, Reflection Garden, Royal Oak, Sir Lionel Phillips, Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch Wine Routes, Vergelegen Estate, Willem Adriaan van der Stel, Yellow Wood Garden 1 Comment
What would you do if you received the following invitation: “The Stellenbosch Wine Routes might be considered a golden oldie with its pioneering winemaking legacy spanning over more than four decades, but with all its hot and happening tastes, flavours and characters, this legend/old faithful still manages to fuel all the senses. This winter we invite you to re-discover the enviable Stellenbosch Lifestyle and enjoy old and new attractions in an around our historic Eikestad. It is simple – you send us your Stellenbosch Bucket List and we make it happen”?
The first item on our “bucket list” was to visit Vergelegen Estate, taste some of their super premium wines and experience their fine dining restaurant, Camphor. What we got, was so much more!
A bit of history: Vergelegen was an outpost when the freehold land was granted to Willem Adriaan van der Stel, the new Governor of the Cape. He was a visionary who transformed an utter wilderness into a flourishing Estate to rival Europe’s finest. After Willem Adriaan van der Stel was forced to return to the Netherlands in 1706, Vergelegen went through a succession of owners until 1917 when Sir Lionel Phillips purchased the property for his wife Lady Florence Phillips, who transformed the dilapidated Estate into a floral and cultural treasure trove.
After the deaths of Sir Lionel and Lady Phillips, Vergelegen and its contents were sold by auction to the Barlow Family in June 1941. Cynthia Barlow was as devoted to Vergelegen as Lady Phillips had been and maintained the Estate’s tradition. When Anglo American purchased the property in 1987, extensive investments were made in viticulture and in restoring the Estate’s historic core.
We felt like true explorers, wondering around the Estate gardens, sipping its fine wines and tasting the delicacies prepared in one of the two restaurants. Our pictures will tell you more than words can ever do…
We spent more than 5 hours at Vergelegen, drinking in the 300 years of history, savouring the new in the excellent food and wines produced. After tasting all the wine, eating the gorgeous food and gawking at the magnificent gardens we’ve come to the conclusion that the Estate’s greatest asset lies not in it’s sprawling beauty but in its people: They are passionate about the Estate, they love what they do and they do it well.