It would be hard to find a better spot for a cozy winter lunch than the vaulted, stone-walled and fire-lit tasting room of Haute Cabrière, just on the edge of Franschhoek. Cut into the Hottentots Holland mountains, the subterranean cellar is reminiscent of a catacomb. Except, thankfully, it houses row upon row of maturing wine casks instead of old skulls and general spookiness.

Westley Muller (left) and Nic van Wyk
Westley Muller (left) and Nic van Wyk

The estate’s eponymous pinot noir or chardonnay, or Pierre Jourdan bubbly, are reason enough to visit this bacchanalian eyrie.

Throw in a long Sunday lunch at the Cellar restaurant if you still need convincing.

The kitchen has put together a special Sunday feast menu for R370 a head — and it’s certainly worth the money. We were inundated with offerings from the set menu: soup and homemade bread, followed by heaving plates of baked fish, venison cottage pie, impossibly creamy cauliflower cheese and tomato salad to share. All of this was accompanied by excellent wine. Utterly delicious sago pudding and ratafia (dessert wine) added the finishing touch.

If you’re in that particular vineyard-laced neck of the woods, you should definitely book for this spread. But here’s the kicker: even if you’re not near Franschhoek, you can still get in on the action.

In July and August, Haute Cabrière chefs Nic van Wyk and Westley Muller will be doing a series of pop-up dinners across the country. We recently tested their six-course menu at Joburg’s Peech Boutique Hotel, and can attest to its excellence.

There was a pea soup with chorizo (exceptional), calamari with black tomato sauce and scallops, line fish, and venison ragu — and chocolate torte to end with. Each dish was, of course, paired with wine.

In addition to the Peech dinners, there will be events featuring the same menu in Ballito, George, Pretoria and elsewhere in the City of Gold.

For dates and venues visit cabriere.co.za/country-wide-pop-up-dinners/

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