Opened in 2013, Cavalli Estate has quickly become a recognised and respected South African ‘lifestyle’ experience with the estate’s development on the R44 being widely regarded as a significant event for Stellenbosch and the Cape Winelands. As a ‘destination brand’ for both locals and tourists, the estate is now renowned for its wine, cuisine, design, architecture, indigenous landscaping and art and Cavalli has developed a very loyal following of discerning patrons. The contemporary and distinctive aesthetic of the estate, which is threaded throughout the Cavalli experience, is something that has been widely lauded as a progressive step for a South African wine estate.
Indeed, the restaurant at Cavalli Estate is the first Green Star rated restaurant and exhibition space in the country and was recently awarded its 4-star rating by the GBCSA. Designed by the Architectural Team of Lauren Smith and Bouwer architects, this project was awarded the sought-after Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism award for Architecture and Landscapes in Bilbao. The passively designed building uses a Geo- exchange system incorporating the dam to heat and cool, Solar Energy and a waste water treatment plant to recycle 93% of the estates water along other initiatives to encourage sustainability.
THE RESTAURANT AT CAVALLI
The restaurant at Cavalli, which over looks a serene dam set against the backdrop of the magnificent Helderberg mountain range, has become a favourite among discerning foodies and is now firmly established as a premier dining destination in the Western Cape.
Headed by Calum Anderson, Cavalli describes its approach to cuisine as ‘modern, global cuisine’, inspired by a focus on heritage as it draws upon the fresh produce of Southern Africa. Their menu really does take one on a gastronomic journey, touching on points of nostalgia and it’s inspiring to see Calum and his team forage daily in the heirloom vegetable garden, which they believe translates to superior flavour. Cavalli offers its guests the opportunity to experience a delicious relaxed winelands lunch or a fine dining dinner – there are few views like it – paired with an expertly crafted wine list, craft beers and an impressive selection of whiskeys.
The restaurant at Cavalli has also set a new benchmark for stylish winelands dining, and was the proud recipient of the coveted 2014 Style Award at the Eat Out Mercedes Benz Restaurant Awards.
Located in the foothills of the Helderberg region of Stellenbosch, cooled by summer breezes off False Bay and combining with the other terroir elements, this region known as the Golden Triangle is where Cavalli’s renowned winemaker Craig Barnard produces Cavalli wines and brings a fresh outlook to the brand along with an innovative approach with regards to style. He believes firmly that picking fruit early produces wines that are fresher and fruitier with strong ageing potential.
Craig strongly upholds the concept of sustainable viticultural practices, integral to the Cavalli ethos, and as such manages and oversees the development of the vineyards in such a way that only the best quality fruit is produced. “Great fruit can only produce great wine if nurtured and cared for meticulously”. 100% Vititech motherblock plant material is used on the farm – resulting in virus free vineyards and optimal growth, producing outstanding wines. Extreme attention to detail from soil preparation to bottling, through a hands-on approach secures grapes of the highest quality.
The premium range includes the 2016 Peoples choice Award winner for Best Label in the country: ‘Warlord’ a blend of Cabernet Sauvigon/Shiraz along with ‘Cremello’, a blend of Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay/Verdelho, ‘Vendetta’ Viognier/Verdelho, ‘Valkyrie’ Malbec/Petit Verdot and ‘Nightmare’ Shiraz/Grenache with ‘Capriole’ a Blanc de Blanc MCC in the pipeline.
The ‘Passions’ Range portfolio includes ‘Black Beauty’ Shiraz, award winning ‘White Knight’ Chenin Blanc and ‘Pink Pony’ Grenache Rose’ which are sure to be formidable contenders in the entry-level market, bringing a modern product and a high level of quality to the table at a price any top-end, boutique producer would struggle to beat.
Cavalli Equine at its foundation is centered on a respect and admiration for the “exquisite beauty, power and harmony harnessed by our enduring companion, the horse” says Smith. The private stud accordingly aspires to breed and train the finest Saddlebred horses; horses that singularly embody these qualities of Beauty, Power and Harmony.
Due to the incredible public interested in the horses and stables, Cavalli now organizes stable tours on Saturdays at 11am where guests can witness these magnificent animals in the context of this world class facility. Wine-Tasting on horseback is now also available to experienced riders – something not to be missed.
Cavalli’s environmental agenda is to conserve the endangered ecological zones of the Cape Floral Kingdom-A Unesco World Heritage site and home to 90% of South Africa’s Wine industry. Our love for the environment motivates our drive to rehabilitate the footprint of the land by planting thousands of plants and hundreds of mature trees with a focus on indigenous species in a bid to encourage the return of birds, insects and other wildlife to the farm and in so doing contributing to the botanic Biosphere of the Cape floral kingdom.
Currently the count of bird species stands at 60 spotted on the estate including the national bird the Blue Crane, to which the estate is home to several breeding pairs. Cavalli are also proud ambassadors of the Endangered Wildlife Trust and sponsors of the International Crane Foundation. The landscaping of the gardens was undertaken by Keith Kirsten and Ray Hudson as the clients directive was that the gardens should become an ‘evolving tapestry’ of colour throughout the year.
Cavalli is contributing substantially toward the Botanic Biosphere of the Cape by literally planting thousands of species which will attract and feed more birds, butterflies, chameleons and other wildlife species endemic to the Cape Region and Floral Kingdom.
CAVALLI ARTS AND DESIGN
Cavalli estate aims to encourage the local arts through its platforms of public sculpture spaces and a public art gallery. Their themed contemporary exhibitions are presented at regular intervals in the 600sq m main gallery space allocated on the below ground level. An innovative stretched translucent ceiling backlit with LEDs illuminate the impressive space to simulate daylight. The Cavalli Private Collection of South African Masters is frequently rotated in the portico situated within the main gallery and two memorabilia rooms allocated in close proximity showcase a remarkable collection of rugby and sports memorabilia.
Cavalli’s boutique has also proven incredibly popular, showcasing a range of South African designers, curated for the collection for their synchronicity in design ideals and the pursuit of quality through passion for their particular craft including Henriette Botha Jewellery; Trebene Cashmere Scarves; Tammy Frazer Bespoke Parfum and Yswara Luxury Tea to name but a few.