In celebration of an illustrious 2016 and to kick 2017 off with style, the staff at Cybercellar recently decided to take an afternoon off. After a chaotic festive season, we all thought that we deserved to put our feet up and enjoy some time in the sun. We couldn’t think of a better way to spend this than at the gorgeous Hartenberg Wine Estate in Stellenbosch. So, at around midday on a hot and windy Wednesday, we rolled down the warehouse door, packed our bags and made our way to the rolling lawns, awaiting us at the estate.
We arrived to the friendly staff at the estate greeting us and showing us down to the picnic area on open, green lawns. Our chosen theme was “Mad-Hatters Tea Party”, and our area under the gorgeous acorn tree was decked out in colourful pom poms hanging from the branches, and playing cards flapping in the wind.
We settled into our afternoon as soon as the first bottles of wine were cracked open, and as glasses were filled, we all took a moment to breathe in the fresh, warm air. While some chose to laze under the umbrellas dotted on the grass; others chose to take part in the lawn games provided by the estate. While a highly competitive game of bowls was taking place in the sun, others were challenging to keep the giant jenga tower from toppling.
The estate offers a picnic package including a ‘basket’ for two people to share as well as a bottle of wine. The picnics are served in large, beautiful wooden boxes; however, being such a large group, ours was served buffet style. This meant that we could sample a bit of everything, and we were certainly not disappointed! With the piles of sandwiches and stacked up quiches, we settled back into a lazy afternoon of eating and drinking wine. The wines that we enjoyed on the day were the Hartenberg Occasional Chardonnay as well as the deliciously sweeter Riesling .
The picnic menu consists of three options of sandwiches, quiches and salads as well as a selection of pates, cheeses and bread. The choices for sandwiches include Pastrami, Plaaskaas, Rocket, Caramelised Onion; Chicken Caesar with Garlic Aioli or the vegetarian Baby Marrow, Pesto, and Chevin Cheese. The delectable quiches include the vegetarian option of Fig & Blue Cheese; Bacon, Caramelised Onion, Fresh Thyme or the unmissable Smoked Salmon, Capers, Fresh Dill. To compliment the quiches, you can choose one of the following salads: Seasonal Grilled Greens, Feta and Brown Rice; New Potato, Dill, Red Onion, Capers, Vinaigrette or our favourite; Asian (Shredded Carrot, Cucumber, Coriander, Peanuts, Sesame and Rice Noodle in Asian Dressing.
A picnic simply would not be a picnic without an assortment of dips and nibbles, and the estate has included a scrumptious combination of Pates, Charcuterie, Brie & Huguenot Cheese, Snoek Paté, Hummus, Tomato Pesto and fresh, home-made Farm Bread in the picnic. The desserts disappeared almost as soon as they were served and it is unsurprising once you see what the selections are. You have the impossible choice between Strawberry Cheesecake in a Jar; or the Peanut Butter & Chocolate Dessert in a Jar. I can guarantee you that it will be the toughest decision to make of the whole day.
The Great Feast over, our afternoon resumed with the formalities of a prizegiving and speeches and as soon as that was over, we all happily laid back on the blankets to bask in the Cape sun. We even decided to do the Mannequin challenge to celebrate the occasion and had two Hartenberg staff join us for it! Go check out the video here!
Being in the wine industry, we couldn’t let the chance of a good wine tasting pass us by. Our incredible Merchandising team whipped out some incredible hidden gems to taste and gave us a great education on each. We were treated to: Testalonga, Sweet Cheeks; Botanica, Mary Delany Chenin Blanc; Mother Rock, Liquid Skin; City on a Hill, White and our firm favourite, Springfield, Life From Stone.
A huge thank you to Hartenberg Estate for hosting us, and to everyone at Cybercellar for a great 2016. Here is to an incredible 2017!