I can hear the slow crescendo of a kettle starting to boil. The large fluffy blankets indicate Kunjani Wines are well aware of the bitter cold Stellenbosch winters, but it’s taken us by surprise. Our attempt to get the aircon to blow warm air has failed – clearly not our strong point as South Africans! But the wall panel heaters are working to full capacity to dim the icy chill and we’re excited for the weekend away.
Having arrived after dark, we weren’t sure what we were looking out on or how exposed we were on the farm, but the estate is very secure and the twinkling city lights across the valley were a comforting sight.
With a 10pm lockdown curfew in place, we were saved by the snack platter the Kunjani team so kindly left for us. Pickled veg, cured meats, rich cheeses and sour dough were promptly turned into pan-toasted sammies, in the self-catering kitchen, as we hunkered down in front of Netflix for the evening.
A Weekend at Kunjani Wines
The Kunjani villa consists of 3 apartments: Cabernet, Merlot and Shiraz. We stayed in the Merlot apartment on the ground floor, which includes an open plan kitchen, lounge and en suite bedroom.
Initially, we couldn’t understand why the TV was so tiny! Then the sun rose the following morning and showed us where our attention really should lie. The Kunjani apartments, with its open plan kitchen, tiled floors, vine wrapped trellises and sweeping views is made for hot summer days in Stellenbosch where outdoor living is at its best.
Self-Catering Apartments for Couples
All the apartments are self-catering with kitchens kitted out with high quality furnishings that includes a full sized fridge, coffee maker (with rusks), microwave, electric stove/oven as well as a double sink. The galley shape makes navigating the kitchen easy while the lounge is small, but functional.
Bird photography adorns the walls, which echoes the beautiful sounds of the vineyard’s birdlife. From seeing a guinea fowl nesting in the vegetable garden, sugar birds and finches in the vineyard, the Kunjani estate’s bird life is like a live orchestra bringing life into the apartments.
The lounge centers around the television, which has DSTV although we couldn’t get it to work. Luckily there was also Netflix so we relied on that (the farm is in the process of upgrading to fibre for improved internet reception).
Merlot Suite at Kunjani
The Merlot suite usually has a double bed, however, singles are an option which we opted for as we have a king size bed at home and find it tricky to sleep well if we downsize while away. The extra blankets kept us toasty in our beds and we slept well during the night.
With plugs next to the bed and built in bedroom desk, we had enough space to charge our equipment. There are also large bedroom cupboards if you need to hang wedding dresses/suits, etc.
Breakfast at Kunjani
As it turned out, those wall heaters WERE working over time as it was one of the coldest weekends in the Cape! With a huge amount of snowfall on the mountain, this was an unexpected surprise that launched us into Saturday’s activities, just after breakfast at the Kunjani restaurant.
Best Eggs Benedict at Kunjani
Having “missed” dinner the night before, we were keen for something hot and tasty. With eggs Benny on the menu, my choice was easily made. What I didn’t know, is that they would be the best eggs benedict EVER! So good, in fact, that I went back on the Sunday to have it again (food was for our own account so I am literally putting my money where my mouth is!).
A typical plate up, but exquisite execution. Sourdough bread (I ordered extra), poached eggs (without the gross water residue that so often arrives with the plate) and the most balanced hollandaise sauce I’ve ever had. I love a hint of vinegar to leave the palate clean and offset the buttery goodness. Sublime. The extra balsamic vinegar was unnecessary, but I understand it’s produced from the estate and a good way to sneak in a taste. Either way, I will be back!
The fun, modern dining hall is composed of a number of proudly South African talents. The signature chair is created by Haldane Martine and is known as a “Songololo Sofa” (a songololo is a type of centipede). The bold wall paper print is created by Robin Sprong wallpapers and included by Kunjani designer Sarah Ord Interiors. It reminds me of the No Doubt Rock Steady album cover.
Our Experience at Kunjani Wines
Saturday saw us venture out into Hell’s Hoogte to try capture more snowy pictures. We ended up having dinner at Majeka House in town, which had a wonderful fireplace and proudly South African female chef. We enjoyed our dinner and headed back to the apartment on the outskirts of town.
The bathroom at Kunjani was so cold that I couldn’t bear to shower and just climbed straight into bed. On Sunday morning I headed straight back to the restaurant for breakfast before lounging around on the garden charis listening to the symphony of birds in the vineyards. The colours were so beautifully bright and vibrant, I can only imagine the venue in full bloom.
The views from the villa and restaurant at Kunjani Wines are vibrant and calming. The service of the staff is also excellent, some of the best restaurant service I’ve had in Stellenbosch to date.
Pia, Kunjani co-owner and hostess, waited for us to arrive on Friday evening and was very welcoming even though it was dark, cold and after work. She was extremely funny and down to earth, which really kicked off our stay on a great note.
In comparison to the area, Kunjani is on the higher end of the cost spectrum. There is a 2 night minimum stay resulting in a compulsory R4 600 spend (which doesn’t include breakfast or wine).
Kunjani currently has a 30% discount, which significantly reduces the total cost to R3 220 or R1 610 per person for 2 nights. This is a fantastic offer and is available until the 28th of February 2021, but only if you mail the venue directly. For more information, please mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in touch to claim the discount.
Thank you very much to Kunjani Wines for having us. We will definitely be back for the spectacular breakfasts, views and wine during summer when the weather is a little milder.
We were invited as guests of Kunjani but all images, thoughts and opinions are our own.