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  • Delaille Raubenheimer

Discovering Vergenoegd Löw

A tranquil, luxury retreat in Stellenbosch

 

After nearly a decade of meticulous heritage restoration and revitalisation, Vergenoegd Löw The Wine Estate in Stellenbosch has brought to life the vision of imaginative investor, Prof Dr Dr Peter Löw.

Vergenoegd Low

German entrepreneur, philanthropist, specialist historian and heritage advocate, he acquired the property in 2015, immediately recognising its cultural and heritage value as one of South Africa’s oldest working farms with a history dating back to 1696.  He is also the founder of the and chief curator of the European Heritage Project (EHP), a portfolio of privately-owned luxury hospitality properties in Germany, Austria, Italy and Malta. 

Vergenoegd Low

As the newest member of the prestige EHP collection, Vergenoegd Löw has been transformed into a quiet cosmos, a world away from daily pressures. Rich in natural beauty, the setting offers visitors the opportunity and space to relax, refresh and reset in luxury and privacy with a range of fine boutique hospitality, wine, culinary and spa experiences.

 

The property now operates as an intimate wine tourist destination in an authentic, self-sustaining farm environment that honours the past but presents its rich Cape Dutch heritage in a contemporary way. Its selection of accommodation options focuses on detailed comfort and knowledgeable but unobtrusive service.

 

Heritage chef, Bertus Basson has conceived two restaurants. Each quite different, they both re-interpret local taste traditions, source from the farm itself or from nearby small-scale suppliers.

 

Gardens have been landscaped with indigenous flora and punctuated with bold Dylan Lewis sculptures. Guests can amble, walk or jog along the glorious trails and delight in the open skies and views of the mountain.

 

Vineyards have been replanted after detailed soil analyses, matching each grape variety with its optimal soil type.

 

Vines are grown regeneratively in a mixed farm environment but with access to top-flight technology, so that in the cellars, intervention can be kept to a minimum. 

 

Wines



The Vergenoegd Löw collection of wines reflect a balanced, mouth-filling flavour of fruit and an echo of the sea that’s satisfyingly refreshing.

 

Elsenberg-trained Vusi (Mvuselelo) Dalicuba, assisted by Tamsin Valentine, makes the wines under the leadership of veteran vineyard specialist Corius Visser, managing director of the estate.



Their way of winemaking is to “follow the grapes”. The grapes themselves determine the vinification. That’s how the team creates wines of freshness, perfume and graceful elegance, but also fine-structured longevity. Many of the red wines in the range are named after the children of Prof Dr Dr Löw. 

 

Cellar-door tastings at the Homestead Wine Lounge



The full range of Vergenoegd Löw wines can be sampled in the 1773 Homestead on the estate. One unique and very popular option is an indigenous tasting intended to showcase the wines in a whole new light. Wines from the range are offered with local heritage flavours like bokkoms (salt-cured dried fish), biltong (spice-cured meat), amasi (fermented milk, similar to buttermilk) herbs, spices and homemade onion marmalade. 

 

Two Bertus Basson restaurants

Bertus Basson, who celebrates local culinary heritage and produce, has conceived two restaurants on the farm: 

 

Geuwels

Geuwels is a casual eatery serving breakfast and lunch daily and featuring heritage items and local ingredients such as roosterkoek, (griddle cake) sour-fig jam, traditional stews and chutneys, bokkoms (salt-cured dried fish) and local tarts, cakes and confection, not to mention duck eggs. These are familiar, well-loved tastes amongst most South Africans, but they have been reimagined in fresh and original new ways.



 Clara’s Barn

The restaurant is named after Prof Dr Dr Löw’s wife, Clara. It is housed in what in all probability is the oldest building on the farm and is thought to pre-date the 1773 manor house. Clara’s Barn has a daily five-course menu. Here the focus is on nose-to-tail dishes, foraged herbs and mushrooms, vegetables and fruit grown on the farm or by small-scale farmers in the area. The food is also based on inventive re-interpretations of local heritage dishes. All courses can be paired with wines from the farm.



The Vergenoegd Löw Boutique Hotel & Spa



The intimate-scale luxury boutique accommodation has been designed and appointed to inspire a sense of contentment and replenishment. The accent in these varied rooms, suites and cottages is on comfort, ease and privacy, whether catering to couples or families.

 

An exclusive spa, housed in what was once the dairy on the farm, offers a range of wellness treatments, including the hallmark milk bath experience.

 

The famous Indian Runner ducks



At 09:00 and 12:00 daily, you can watch the Indian Runner ducks keep the pests away. See them waddling across the werf on their way to work in the vineyards. They and the Dexter cattle that eat the weeds, keep pests away and fertilise the soils naturally, form part of the farm’s integrated crop management.

 

Stellenbosch pedigree and regenerative agriculture



The estate forms part of Stellenbosch, the country’s best-known wine district, and belong to the Helderberg Wine Route.

 

After extensive soil analyses, new vines have been established, beginning in 2017. Capitalising on the proximity to False Bay (just over 4km as the crow flies) and the relatively cool climate (some 3ᵒC cooler than average for Stellenbosch) the team has planted over 50ha planted to reds (75%) and whites (25%). Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Semillon are the leading varieties. As the farm lies on an ancient marine bed it is dense with sea fossils. Unusually for Stellenbosch, some of the soils are rich in lime.

 

The estate is a WWF Champion, recognised for eco-sustainable farming and conservation of indigenous habitat.

 

Central location


Vergenoegd Löw is centrally located and within such easy access of the wealth of local attractions and amenities yet, so deeply nestled in a tranquil, spacious enclave, suffused with the fragrance of fynbos and other indigenous flora, salty notes from the nearby ocean and the sound of birdsong. It’s just 22km from Cape Town International Airport; under 40km from the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, and less than 90km from the celebrated seaside town of Hermanus.

 

 

Visit https://vergenoegd.co.za/ for more information, https://vergenoegd.co.za/bookings/ to make a booking

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