Quoin Rock: Lasting impressions ...

Wednesday, 20 February, 2019
wine.co.za - Trudie Webb (Editor)
6 Years ago I was still a Stellies student, looking for the cheapest wine tastings, unaware of the drama surrounding Stellenbosch winery, Quoin Rock. After landing in the hands of the Gaiduk family, they took on the task of rebuilding the property and brand. December 2018 saw the rebirth of Quoin Rock and it was worth the 6-year long wait.

Taking the winding Knorhoek road to Quoin Rock, I expected to find old ghosts and shadows of the estate's troubled past lingering. There were none. Reaching the steps approaching the venue hall, a sense of wonder hit. The venue hall is an architectural masterpiece, skillfully designed to reflect natural light and imagery of the surrounding landscape. It's a theme running through the property, bringing harmony between the architecture and landscape with unmatched elegance.

If you are re-launching on the busiest wine route in the country what do you do? You give visitors something completely different. “We’re surrounded by amazing wineries, so we knew we needed to create something different,” explains Julia Gaiduk, lead architect on the revamp of the estate. “We realised that the devil is in the detail!” Quoin Rock's edge? The state of the art Gåte restaurant with an impressive 16-course tasting menu prepared by acclaimed chef Rikku Ò’Donnchü.

The food is a  dialogue between art, culinary tradition and technical craft. “The menu at Gåte is about playing with the senses as much as possible. I don’t want this to be just a meal. It should be a complete experience for all of your senses,” says Ò’Donnchü. Having a 16-course tasting menu is nothing short of daring, but part of the magic that makes this restaurant one of the most exciting ones to hit the winelands in years. 

The food at Gåte will leave even the most articulate person searching for words to describe it. Our team calls it a "feast for the senses" with courses that included molecular noodles, Nitrogen frozen fruit flavor yoghurt spheres, edible balloons made with beetroot juice - tricky but fun to inhale. The menu is at times pure trickery, reconstructing familiar foods and concepts into something new. This is art. It stays with you long after your visit, a lasting impression on your senses.

Apart from the architecture, decor and food, Quoin Rock is first and foremost a wine producer. They didn't forget this with no compromise on the quality of their wines. A lot of energy was poured into improving the vineyards after they had suffered some neglect. Jacques Maree heads up their winemaking team and has a clear vision of what he wants to achieve with the Quoin Rock range. With beautiful wines in the collection, including an MCC and Chardonnay that impressed, it was their red blend that stood out.

The attention to detail and beautiful co-existence between wine and food makes Quoin Rock a bucket-list worthy stop. Our resident wine snob would want me to write another whole paragraph on the Schott Zwiesel wine glasses used at the tasting hall, calling them "crystal brilliance" but I think I've swooned enough. Now it's your turn...

For bookings: info@quoinrock.co.za   |   t +27.21 8884740

The Daytime Experience is available from 12 - 2pm, cost R650. With wine pairing R950

The Night Experience starts at 6pm with a choice between the Tasting Menu, cost R1050 (with wine pairing R1500) and the Gourmet Menu, cost R1450 (with wine pairing R2150).









The winemaking team
The winemaking team

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