Fine food and culture does not have to exclude the children; Hazendal in South Africa caters for the youngsters, too
Most luxury wine destinations concentrate on their adult guests, for obvious reasons; but the beautiful winery of Hazendal in South Africa does not believe in doing the obvious. This is a venue that takes a different, more expansive and imaginative approach to hospitality that chimes with everything it does, from the way it grows no fewer than 11 varieties of grape over 12 hectares to its immersive edutainment space for children.
Hazendal is one of the oldest estates in Stellenbosch, and one of the most dynamic and multifaceted estates. It has a family-friendly five- star boutique hotel, a spa, several restaurants, a world-class Par 3 golf course, cigar room, beer garden and an excellent art gallery featuring work by local artists. It also has a fabulous collection of classic cars, including a rare 1936 Bentley 4¼-litre Drophead Coupé, a 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I, a 1956 Bentley S1 and a 1948 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith touring limousine. But this is a destination designed to satisfy all ages, so parents can enjoy fine wine and dining knowing their children are happy in their own pursuits.
“When Hazendal was acquired by the current owner, he had the vision to transform it into a leading wine destination offering an unparalleled luxury experience for multi-generational guests,” explains Shlomi Azar, Hazendal’s Managing Director. “He wanted the estate to be very family friendly but still luxurious, celebrating the history of the estate and the craftsmanship of wine and the finer things in life. Wonderdal, the space for children, is sophisticated and stunning. When you think of wine, whisky and vintage cars you don’t usually think of kids, but that is just one of the factors that makes us exceptional.”
Hazendal – the name means “Valley of the Hares” in Afrikaans – was established in 1699 by a German settler and has produced wine since the 1800s. The estate has a glorious setting and contains several historic buildings, including the 18th-century five-bedroom homestead, which is available to hire exclusively. The Hazendal, the estate’s contemporary 34-bedroom boutique hotel with gym, spa, pool and private cinema provides further world-class accommodation. The immaculate backdrop and luxurious setting ensures that Hazendal is a popular venue for weddings, celebrations, conferences, filming, photography shoots and product launches.
Then there is the wine. Although the estate has the capacity to produce up to 100,000 bottles, production is limited to maintain quality. Some of the estate’s greatest hits can be sampled in an underground tasting library. “We focus on premium wines,” says Simone Voloshin, Marketing and Sales Director. “Unusually, we grow a range of grape varieties. It’s not particularly economical, but it allows us to create exceptional wines that are complex and original, with lots of flavours. They are very elegant and very terroir-driven. We also produce our own vodka.”
The Wonderdal children’s edutainment space combines immersive education with traditional learning for exploring science and nature indoors and out. The space regularly hosts children from disadvantaged communities free of charge, and educational resources are distributed more widely as part of a commitment to educational outreach. Hazendal employs almost 300 people in the region, and a drive for sustainability has led to the installation of a solar farm and innovative approaches to water recycling.
“When you come to Hazendal, you have the best of everything,” says Simone, “amazing food, fascinating culture, exquisite wine, fantastic weather and wonderful people.”