The Delaire Graff Estate Lodges & Spa in Stellenbosch are on the crest of Helshoogte on the slopes of the central peak named Botmaskop.
Since the start of Delaire Graff Estate, Laurence Graff’s singular vision was to transform it into one of the country’s premier wine and hospitality destinations, aimed at thrilling the most discerning of clientele. Delaire Graff Estate is where the sentry would give his signal, Franschhoek farmers would know to begin creating their produce to the harbour. Besides their crop-growing skills, the French Settlers also brought with them knowledge of winemaking.
In Delaire, the gardener has pulled out all the stops to create an uncompromisingly spectacular display of local flora 365 days a year – both as a feature in itself, as well as an impressive florid backdrop to the Estate’s art, architecture and ambience. In the redevelopment of the Estate and over 300 new indigenous plants, shrubs and trees have been planted.
Helshoogte Mountain Pass is high with excellent soils and cooling sea breezes. Delaire is producing great, expressive, world-class wines. Red wines have essential, multifaceted structures, combined with soft tannins and elegance; while the white wines capture the freshness of the harvest.
The estate’s vineyards have undergone an extensive replanting programme over the years. As Morne Very, Delaire Graff Estate’s winemaker explains, “Capital investment alone cannot guarantee excellent wines. The farm has created the best possible platform for the art and science of winemaking to co-join in a display of divine magic.” After completing his studies, Morne started his career as assistant winemaker at Hazendal Wine Estate in Stellenbosch for five years before going to Europe in 2002. Morne believes that the Delaire Graff Estate, with one of the most advanced cellars in the southern hemisphere, makes some of the best wines in South Africa. The winery equipped with every appliance imaginable will transform the hard work in the vineyards into world-class wines. The Wine Lounge is a critical area of the winery where visitors experience the last tasting. The wine bar stays open later in summer for a sundowner experience with a musical accompaniment and an enticing canapé menu.
The Delaire Graff Restaurant offers available excellent food with fresh and vibrant flavours. The restaurant, headed by Executive Chef Christiaan Campbell, has created accessible and approachable excellent cuisine with fresh and robust flavours. Indochine, situated at the Lodge & Spa offers Asian Fusion inspired cuisine from organic farms and the on-site greenhouse. Characters are lively, aromatic and robust while still maintaining a style of cooking that is synonymous with vitality and healthy living. Interiors offer a comfortable yet elegant ambience, and the intimate dining area allows for a unique experience of tranquillity and privacy.
Outside decking provides the option of a significant al fresco setting overlooking majestic views of Table Mountain and the valley below. The Vinotheque is an ideal setting for smaller events and can accommodate a maximum of 18 guests while the Delaire Graff Restaurant can be made available for exclusive use events. The Vinoteque is an intimate private dining and wine tasting room. A series of red and gold embossed leather-clad columns frame the vaulted barrel space.
The hotel in Stellenbosch offers a unique luxury spa experience within a genuinely awe-inspiring setting and provides a holistic approach to health. The Spa is a place to refresh the mind, revitalise the body and enliven the senses within a breathtaking oasis of natural beauty. Stellenbosch or, as it is known, ‘the town of Oaks’ was founded in 1679. Today visitors to Stellenbosch can enjoy cultural and historical heritage, exceptional cuisine and award-winning wines. Equally engaging is Franschhoek, known as South Africa’s Provence boasting excellent eateries and vineyards. Paarl, Wellington, the Helderberg and the Overberg are also favourite places to visit and within comfortable driving distance.
All chalets feature double volume ceilings with exposed timber trusses and custom-designed furniture created exclusively for Delaire. The lodges take advantage of the views over the local hills and vineyards, and to Cape Point. Walking through the grounds of the estate enables one to view a collection of paintings and sculptures. Acclaimed artists, many of whom are African, such as: