Avontuur, owned by the Taberer family since 1984, is a beautiful estate situated between Stellenbosch and Somerset West and set against the Helderberg mountains. Beautiful white roses line the driveway and numerous steeds majestically promenading about because, aside from making wine, they also “make’ horses and if you visit now, you’ll see beautiful foals frolicking in the fields – it’s enough to melt even the coldest of hearts.
A horse only races for a brief amount of time, it’s best age being 3. After that, the mares start breeding and the stallions start living the lives of a bachelor. Avontuur currently have (and the number changes) 2 Stallions, around 40 mares, about 20 yearlings and 12 foals born to date.
Below is Orotario and he’s a stud. Yes, like a stud muffin but the real deal. He gets paid to “ride”. And it’s not pocket change. His male companion and an equally as impressive specimen is Var, both are award-winning steeds and both get to meet a lot of mares in their lifetime as their bloodline is considered to be highly desirable.
Look at him giving me side-eyes. What a flirt!
Aside from strolling around the paddocks, Avontuur welcomes you into their tasting room and restaurant where you will be met by their friendly and long-serving staff. Their wines are traditional, classic if you will, and winemaker Jan van Rooyen is a fantastic character with whom you could happily share a bottle or two with.
When I eat out, I have to choose dishes that a) can’t really make at home and b) which will leave me satisfied. Avontuur seem to know this and thus their dishes are full, voluptuous and oh so giving – you will never leave the restaurant not feeling comfortably full. Run by Melanie Paltoglou and Zunia Boucher-Myers, they have always envisioned it to be your home-away-from-home and strive to only use seasonal, local and organic produce.
I was not eating meat on my visit with the Zomato SA team but I have experienced their duck before and it’s phenomenal, Route 44 seems to have dibs on making the best duck dishes. You really have to try it.
Their apple and walnut pie with ice cream was just what the doctor ordered and evoked memories of Autumn walks and Grandma’s cooking.