Zandvliet Wine Estate, on the outskirts of Ashton in the Robertson Valley, plays an illustrious role in the narrative of the South African wine industry. Proclaimed as a farm in 1838, Zandvliet counts among the very first farms to bottle Shiraz. One of its distinguishing characteristics is a small range of low limestone hills on the southern outskirts of the farm, bringing the special magic to its kalkveld (calcareous earth) terroir. Their flagship Kalkveld Shiraz has now inspired the development of the Kalkveld Lounge, an intricately designed tasting room which will significantly augment the area’s tourism offering. “The opening of the Kalkveld Lounge is the first stage of a comprehensive re-design of the area surrounding the historic Cape Dutch homestead (this gabled architectural style is quite unique for this area),” says winemaker Jacques Cilliers. “The expansion will further include 4-star accommodation, a restaurant, and conference facilities – all elements sure to lure locals, tourists, corporates and couples planning the perfect wedding.” Interior designer Philip Pikus of Cape Town was contracted to handle the aesthetics. “The main inspiration behind the Kalkveld Lounge lies in the Zandvliet Estate itself,” he says. “I wanted to take the concept of a working farm and integrate that into the interior with elements of old and new in perfect harmony to produce an atmosphere of understated luxury.” Pikus’s approach to design resonates with Zandvliet’s passion to celebrate local talent. “I am all about sourcing responsibly, ethically and locally and I’m really excited that everything you will see there is proudly made in South Africa.” Upcycling is a strong theme and Pikus worked closely with his brother, Stephen Pikus who handcrafts luminaires predominately from recycled, repurposed and renewable materials. “We’ve, wherever possible used things from the farm to upcycle into something new and beautiful.” An 8-meter long custom built chandelier made from recycled wine bottles that hangs above the two long wooden tables in the main wine tasting area will warm the hearts of visitors. Zandvliet’s special relationship with Shiraz will continue as part of the estates wine making strategy. “We are currently planting more Shiraz on the farm: this year 4ha and next year another 15ha,” says Cilliers. “In order to produce a Rhone-style blend with Shiraz Mouvedre, Grenache, Carignan, Counoise and Terret Noir, we’ll also be establishing these cultivars during 2017. I’m also considering a planting of Chenin Blanc on one of our southern slopes where the wind blows almost continuously.” The development process has also brought the Zandvliet team into contact with Theuns Coetzee from Bonnievale who championed the “Beautify Bonnievale project”. His involvement at a local early childhood school, funded by benefactors from Luxemburg, has paved the way for Zandvliet to start a similar school on the farm as part of their corporate social investment plan. Opening hours: Monday to Friday 08h00 – 17h00 and Saturdays 10h00 – 14h00. For more information, visit www.zandvliet.co.za or contact the Kalkveld Lounge at Tel 0236151146.