Premier South African winery Haskell Vineyards celebrates its 20th anniversary as a benchmark producer of luxury wines. For this auspicious occasion, the Stellenbosch estate unveils a glittering showcase of its wares – a series of special winemaker dinners to get underway at the end of this month.
“We are very excited about marking this 20-year milestone,” says Haskell Vineyards winemaker Rudolph Steenkamp. “It has been an exciting journey and we’re overjoyed about shining a light on the evolution of our wines, but also those of dear friends and colleagues too.”
The dinners will take place at the winery’s popular Longtable Restaurant with the theme being to cast light on different terroirs, regions and wines.
“The idea for the dinners was born last year, during a very well-attended tasting masterclass at Haskell, which was hosted by Croatian-born oenologist Matija Leskovic, founder of Basewent,” says Rudolph. “If that was any indication, early booking for the upcoming dinners is certainly recommended.”
The first dinner takes place on May 26 with subsequent occasions to be held once a month to October.
A variety of wines will be showcased alongside those of Haskell Vineyards, with the highlighted wines being available for purchase on each night.
Dinner dates and collaborating wines and wineries are:
- May 26 – Villiera, the family-run winery in the Stellenbosch region that specialises in Cap Classique. It also has a strong reputation for Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
- June 24 – Rickety Bridge, the Franschhoek winery with a long history of winemaking. A fresh era for the winery began in the late 1990s with the construction of a new winery. Taking responsibility today for the broad range of wines, including Cap Classiques, are cellarmaster Donovan Ackermann and winemaker Mari Kotze.
- July 28 – Illimes Wine, whose name hails from the Latin word for clarity – the heart of winemaker Lucinda Heyns’ production philosophy. Lucinda worked as viticulturist for South African wineries, refining her skills in California and Italy.
- August 25 – Eenzaamheid, the Agter-Paarl winery. It is here that seventh generation farmer Janno Briers-Louw produces award winning, handcrafted wines from old dryland vineyards.
- September 29 – Kat se Snor, the passion project of winemaker Gerhard Smith. His boutique wines are crafted from small parcels of fruit in pursuit of elegant, terroir-driven wines from sites on the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge.
- October 27 – Migliarina Wines, founded by Namibian-born Carsten Migliarina in 2002. A former sommelier, Migliarina earned his winemaking stripes in South Africa, Germany and Romania. Grapes for his wines are sourced from around the Western Cape.
The first dinner on May 26 is to be prepared by Haskell Longtable Restaurant head chef Ryan Zaayman and his team. On the menu is a hearty tomato and basil soup, followed the perfect meal for a wintry evening – lamb shoulder, served with pomme puree. A melt-in-the-mouth chocolate brownie concludes the sublime line-up.
A star-studded 20 years of Haskell Vineyards
It was at an auction in 2002 that American property tycoon Preston Haskell IV spotted the potential of Dombeya Farm, situated in the South African winemaking heartland of Stellenbosch. He renamed the farm Haskell Vineyards, and the central focus became the creation of unique, terroir-driven wines that would be recognized amongst the finest of their style produced in the country.
Early groundwork was done by winemaker Rianie Strydom and its first wines produced under the Haskell label came from the stellar 2007 vintage. Since this time Haskell Vineyards have been awarded the prestigious 5-star accolade by John Platter, South Africa’s most significant wine publication. It was also chosen as the first ever South African winery, since the inception of the Tri-Nations Challenge, to win Best Syrah, Best Red Wine and Best Wine of the Show in the 2009 competition, where the finest South African wines are pitched against the best Australia and New Zealand have to offer.
Rudolph took over from Rianie as winemaker in 2018 and together with CEO, Barbara Mackenzie, Haskell Vineyards is going from strength to strength, fast becoming a must-visit star destination in the heart of Stellenbosch’s Golden Triangle.
Dinner and information details
Tickets to the winemaker dinners are R475pp and include the three-course meal with six wines. Each event gets underway at 18h00 for 18h30.
Reservations must be made via Quicket on https://bit.ly/3lAoOz3
Follow Haskell Vineyards on Facebook and Instagram (@haskellvineyards). Long Table Restaurant is also on Instagram as @longtablerestaurant.
Haskell Vineyards is situated off Annandale Road, between Stellenbosch and Somerset West.