Everything You Need to Know About Going Wine Tasting at Hazendal Wine Estate

As no visit to Hazendal would be complete without a wine tasting, we thought we’d compile a handy list of everything you need to know about wine tasting at the estate specifically to ensure your visit is perfect from start to finish. So get ready to ...

by: By Hazendal on: April 6, 2021

A brief (and interesting) history of the Hazendal Wine Estate

Hey there, you discerning wine lover, you! We know you like to dig into the history of the wine farms you visit before you head out to sample its oenophilic wares, as any true-blue connoisseur is wont to do. 

Hey there, you discerning wine lover, you! We know you like to dig into the history of the wine farms you visit before you head out to sample its oenophilic wares, as any true-blue connoisseur is wont to do. 

As such, we thought we’d dish up a little bit of a historical howdy-do on Hazendal Wine Estate to whet your appetite before you arrive to wet your whistle. So, without further ado, here is the story of how modern-day Hazendal came to be!

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Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away (well actually, not too far away, only about 35 km from Cape Town), Hazendal Wine Estate was little more than a verdant expanse of land that lay fellow along the undulating reaches of the area that is known as Bottelary Hills today. 

Back then, it was home to droves of Cape hares, which was slightly prophetic, since the gent who would first take official stewardship of this piece of land was none other than one Christoffel Hazenwinkel(which means something along the lines of 'rabbit shop’ in German - quite literal folk, the Germans). 

Of course, we know that rabbits and hares are different creatures, but the similarities in terms of fluffy tails and long ears are there, and so it transpired that one of the prettiest parts of the Cape became known as Hazendal, or ‘Valley of the Hares’ around 1699. Hazendal Guy Du Toit Hare Sculptures

This happened the same year that the people of Rotterdam held a strike over the high cost of butter (we totally get that!) and Tsar Peter the Great ordered that the Russian New Year should be changed from September 1st to January 1st. It’s not related in any way: we just thought you'd like to revel in some fascinating historical titbits about the turn of the 18th century while we’re at it ;) 

But we digress. Back to Hazendal we go!

After Mr Hazenwinkel had bestowed his name upon the estate he also planted its first vines. As such, when you come to visit, you will find that the man himself is the inspiration behind the eponymous Christoffel Hazenwinkel wine range, which is a nod to this innovative founder whose signature on the original deed of sale is now evident on the bottle. Also check out the copy of the deed that hangs in the Hazendal Wine Lounge. 

Hazendal Copy of the deed

After Christoffel took his leave, the farm then proceeded to change ownership quite a number of times over the course of the next three hundred years or so, and each owner added their little something-something to the mix. 

This included the Van As family who took residence throughout most of the 1700s, and left us the lime-washed kraal wall that encircles the Pivnushka Beer Garden today, as well as the glorious Jonkershuis that houses the Marvol Gallery. Oh, and The Homestead, of course! Very prolific builders, the Van As family. 

The Homestead was definitely their crowning achievement. They really went all out when they put it up in 1790, and as a tip of the hat to their great architectural prowess, the current owners restored it to its former glory and filled it with rather lovely period furniture and striking art pieces.

Plus, you get to stay there if you want! If you want to get up close and personal with Hazendal historic vibes, you can totally book a stay at the exclusive-use guesthouse, which features five bedrooms that can accommodate up to 10 guests, and offers an intimate and luxurious home-from-home experience in the Cape Winelands. Much fancy.

Hazendal Homestead Dining Hall

The 19th and 20th centuries flitted past and then, in the early 1990’s Hazendal came under the custodianship of Dr Mark Voloshin - a Russian-born businessman who saw the estate as a jewel just waiting for a polish, and set about doing so with gusto. He poured his passion and resources into the project and went all out to modernise and rejuvenate the estate. 

His vision was to make it a family-friendly destination filled with multi-generational experiences and all the makings of inspiring cultural encounters. Today, the Marvol Gallery and regular jazz events speak to the Voloshin family's love of culture, and their commitment to sharing beauty with the world.

Delightful food and wine options abound as well, harking back to the lingering family meals that are central to the Russian family home. Not to mention Wonderdal, which was inspired by a desire to provide fun, educational activities for kids that are interesting enough for the grown-ups to join in, or have the option of dropping off their kids to be edutained while having an hour or two to spend on their own. 

The entire property was closed for the upgrade in 2016, and when the gates were rolled open late in 2018, Hazendal emerged bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. 

Today, Hazendal is a place of wonderment that celebrates the history and culture of its Russian owners, as well as its rich South African heritage. This proud synergy of culture, cuisine and tradition is the golden thread that binds together the myriad attractions that Hazendal brings to the table. 

The End 

(or should we say The Beginning…?)

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There you have it - the short and sweet version of how Hazendal Wine Estate as we know it today arose from the verdant hills of sanguine Stellenbosch. Pretty inspiring right?

Come visit us soon so we can show you all of our great attractions! Hazendal Wine Lounge, magical Wonderdal, Babushka Deli, and so much more await...

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