Theatre of Wine
Our tasting consists of Three Acts featuring The Black Countess (our professional actress).
• Four White Legs: New World white wine blend
• Pieter Erasmus – den Deen: Cape blend
• The Black Countess: Rhone-style blend
With 15 different varietals on the Estate, our blends are truly the stars of the show. These different varietals have different, yet very unique qualities and if put together, produce a composition which is more complex, richer, finer, more finessed and more unique than any cultivar on its own. We frequently quote Fabrice Langlois: “A blend is much like a symphony orchestra where you have all the various sections … the crisp woodwinds, the solid brass instruments, the rhythmic percussion and the elegant strings … on their own they are instruments, but together under the hand of the conductor, a symphony.
Once the wine has been explained to our guests, The Countess delivers the stories behind the names of each wine dressed in her full Victorian garb. The Four White Legs is a ghost story that captures the pioneering spirit of the first explorers of South Africa’s hinterland. The Bainskloof pass that borders VDC was opened in 1853 as a toll road revolutionising access to inland. Legend has it if you had a horse with four white legs you could pass toll-free. Many people tried to abuse this loophole by whitewashing their horses’ legs. The toll keeper would curse these cheats and the sound of their horse’s hooves can still be heard in the pass…
Pieter Erasmus was the first owner of our farm back in 1699 and also produced the first wine in 1702. He was quite the ladies’ man and his zest for life comes through strongly in this story of his first harvest. This Bordeaux blend hints at our French Heritage but the use of Pinotage makes it truly South African. The Black Countess pays homage to the first person of colour in the British realm. Daughter of a freed slave, Martha met and married Harry Grey and English remittance man who went on to become the first Earl of Stamford. Scorned by the aristocracy Martha returned to our valley where she used the money from the estate to build farm schools for children regardless of gender or colour. A philanthropist ahead of her time!
With visitors to our tasting room, coach groups and four and five-star guests, the concept has been so successful that our scripts are now translated into French, Italian, German and Flemish. The Theatre can also be arranged for private functions, allowing guests to dress up too. The combination of the rich traditions, natural beauty of VDC and technology, produce not only wines but an experience for our guests to remember.
Prices are subject to change E&O excluded.