Say Kunjani!

As we drove up Blumberg Drive along the Bottelary Hills route on a beautiful day recently, this striking, contemporary wine farm greeted us, a sight that is hard to miss from the road.

In contrast to many historical wine estates in the area, the modernness of Kunjani creates a lasting impression, boasting a vibrant setting that favours new designs, funky interiors and signature artworks by local artists, Krisjan Rossouw and Peter Pharoah.

The inspiration behind Kunjani.. A love story of course, and we just love those! During our stay, it became apparent that this same love and passion is evident in everything that owners, Pia and Paul do but I am getting ahead of myself now..

Our aim for the trip.. To simply enjoy a relax, eat good food and drink some sensational wines after what has been a crazy 2020. An aim that I take quite seriously and thanks to Kunjani, we managed to do just that without even having to leave the farm.

On arrival, we were greeted by owners Pia and Paul, it was not long before we were checked into our equally modern, self-catering Villa, ‘Stolen Chicken’, complete with panoramic vineyard views and all the modern comforts that one could ever dream of.

Hungry after our travels, we soon headed upstairs to the restaurant’s beautiful deck overlooking the vineyard itself, to enjoy the first of many meals by Head Chef Lamek Mnisi during our stay at Kunjani.
The menu itself is comprehensive and as such, offers you a choice of food to suite any taste, expertly plated and paired (should you so wish) with Kunjani’s award-winning wines.
During our stay, we got to experience so many of these delicious meals ranging from braised duck spring rolls to their vegetarian butternut Tortellini, each one showcasing precision, innovation and creativity.
Chef Lamek prides himself on only using fish from the green list of South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) and fresh vegetables from the restaurant’s own vegetable garden, a fact which made our meals here that much more enjoyable.
After just our first meal at Kunjani, I enjoyed it so much that I was practically a ‘fan girl’ by the time that Chef was able to come out and greet the tables (after service).

Chef Lamek’s story is not the usual story that you would expect, and he has come from nothing, defying all odds with the determination to be able to stand where he is today at the helm of the Kunjani restaurant. Whether it is the running of the kitchen or mixing up their seasonal menu, since its opening in 2017, everything that you will experience during your visit to Kunjani restaurant is part of his carefully curated vision.

When staying in a luxury, self-catering Villa at Kunjani, the beauty is that any time of the day, can be wine o’clock, which I adore, but we also enjoyed the fact that for only R60, we had the option of attending Kunjani wine tastings which are hosted seven days a week (between 10am and 5pm daily). For me, a lot of the enjoyment of drinking wine is hearing the story behind it all, the inspiration, and to be able to do this in such a relaxed environment, made Kunjani all that more memorable during our stay!
There are few more magical places, for me to spend an hour in than a wine cellar (aka my happy place), but Kunjani has managed to take their cellar’s décor, design and interiors to new levels. Think laser-cut staircase and wine display, graphic wallpaper, bright red accents and dramatic lighting. Add award-winning wines to that mix and you have a truly innovative cellar to enjoy an afternoon in.
Kunjani’s portfolio includes a Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Rosé, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and last but certainly not least my favourite from the range, Kunjani’s elegant tannin-structured Shiraz.

For me, if I had to choose, the mornings from our spacious villa were probably the most special during our stay. Experiencing farm life in full swing with the noise of the farm tractor as it makes its way through the vines nearby and visits from Arthur, Martha and Debbie (the estate geese), cup of coffee in hand had an almost cathartic effect.

For a much needed break from the world, in the heart of Stellenbosch, you cannot go wrong with a stay at the latest, brightest and boldest addition to the Bottelary Hills route!

What are you waiting for?