Charmed by Cape history

Historic Meerlust Estate was established fifteen kilometres from Stellenbosch in 1693, thirty-four years after the first South African grapes were crushed for wine in Constantia. Original proprietor, German Henning Huising, named the estate “pleasure from the sea” for its proximity to False Bay. Meerlust is classified as a National Monument and today home to eighth generation Hannes Myburgh.  It is the oldest remaining impressive Cape Dutch

Cape Dutch style architecture at Meerlust
Cape Dutch style architecture at Meerlust

homestead in the Stellenbosch area and has an oak and palm lined driveway leading to buildings that inspired Gawie Fagan’s interpretation of Cape Vernacular architecture.

Entrance to the tasting room is via an unassuming typical wooden garden gate and belies the surprise on the other side. A black board listed the four wines offered on the day and the price of R30 per person. All was cleared on arrival to allow for some bewilderment when stepping into the converted cowshed now serving as a tasting room. This room is much different to the modern facilities on surrounding wine farms. An eclectic display of photos and aged art prints provides an interesting diversion between tastes.

Meerlust Wines
Meerlust Wines

All the wines are made from fruit grown on the estate. The iconic Bordeaux blend – Rubicon – is produced with more than 70% Cabernet Sauvignon. If the vintage does not yield sufficient quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon then the Rubicon does not make an appearance. Therefore you won’t find a 2002 or 2011 Rubicon but rather a Meerlust Red that is Merlot driven.

A crackling fire, knowledgeable staff and superb wines made for a memorable wine outing.

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