Monday, 15 April 2019 09:24

Indonesian Cooking Class at Vondeling Wines

Indonesian-born Connie Snow will be presenting an aromatic, interactive and informative cooking class at Vondeling Wines on Saturday 2 November 2019, in which she will teach guests how to cook a few exotic Indonesian dishes.

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Over the years, Connie has consistently delighted diners with her wholesome authentic Indonesian cuisine. Foodies will be delighted to know that her cooking is a celebration of the best of Indonesia, each dish offering a journey into the region’s rich variety of exotic flavours, exquisitely crafted to satisfy the most discerning palates.

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Vondeling’s Viticulturist, Magnus Joubert, is working his 7th vintage at Vondeling this year. This gentle giant grew up on a wine farm in Stellenbosch and as a result, wine grape growing runs in his veins. He obtained a qualification from Elsenburg Acricultural Training Institute in 2000 and has been working as a viticulturist in the wine industry ever since. Magnus lives on Vondeling with his wife, Ciska, and their two daughters, Mia and Lisa. When he’s not tending to our vineyards, he loves to spend time away in rural Transkei where the people are friendly, and the coast line goes on forever.


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Chocolate and wine, biltong and wine, nougat and wine, ice cream and wine....we've had them all. But how about a SAVOURY CHEESE CAKE & WINE PAIRING!

On Saturday 27 April Vondeling Wines in Voor-Paardeberg, Paarl, will be bringing fans a one-day tasting event in which 4 different savoury cheesecakes will be paired with 4 of Vondeling's most well-loved wines, including our signature white blend, Babiana, and signature red blend, Monsonia.

There will be two sittings to choose from:
11h30 - 12h30: 20 seats available
13h00 - 14h00: 20 seats available.
Bookings will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

These savoury cheesecakes are made with 4 different types of cheese, including cream cheese, parmesan, mozzarella and cheddar cheese.

Included in the tasting are the following pairings:
1. Salmon & Spinach Cheesecake with Vondeling Sauvignon Blanc
2. Free Range Chicken & Peppadew Cheesecake with Vondeling Babiana
3. Salami Cheesecake with Vondeling Baldrick Shiraz
4. Biltong Cheesecake with Vondeling Monsonia.

Guests will be treated to a Vondeling welcome drink and some light snacks on arrival before the tasting commences.

DATE: Saturday 27 April 2019
VENUE: Vondeling Wines Tasting Room, Voor-Paardeberg, Paarl
COST: R150 per person, bookings essential
BOOKINGS: Essential and can be made with Mariaan Harris on 021 869 8339 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Guests are welcome to linger longer at Vondeling on the shaded terrace or lawns with a bottle of Vondeling Wines, or pre-book a delicious cheese & charcuterie platter for two at an additional R165 per person to enjoy after the cheesecake and wine pairing. Biltong will also be available to purchase.

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Vondeling’s white flagship Babiana isn’t only a celebration of 360 years of winemaking in South Africa (the first wine was made in 1659 at the Cape of Good Hope), but it also celebrates the rich diversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom, one of the world’s greatest centres of terrestrial biodiversity.

This chenin blanc-driven white blend pays homage to a species that is endemic to the Paardeberg Mountain, the home of Vondeling Wines. The wine is named after the Babiana noctiflora, an endangered species which is conserved at Vondeling. This wine producer from Voor-Paardeberg in Paarl continues its commitment to conservation of the Cape’s unique biodiversity under the banner of the WWF – the Wold Wide Fund for Nature – as one of only 38 ‘Conservation Champion’ wine farms.

The Babiana’s delicate, pale creamy-yellow tubular flower with sky-blue stamen, which belongs to the Iris family, releases its scent in the evenings to attract a very rare moth, the Syngrapha Circumflexa, for pollination. The name Babiana is derived from the Dutch word baviaantjie which means little baboon as these primates were frequently seen eating the corms of these plants.

The Cape Floral Kingdom is recognised as one of the most special places for plants in the world in terms of diversity, density and number of endemic species. It is one of the world’s 35 biodiversity hotspots, and while it only covers about 0,5% of the area of Africa, it is home to nearly 20% of the continent’s flora.

Chenin blanc has evolved from a reliable and highly versatile “workhorse” of the wine industry to being a true thoroughbred, capable of producing wines of distinction. Not only was it one of the first wine grape varieties planted in South Africa, but still is the most planted. Vondeling’s Babiana is a blend of chenin blanc and three Rhône varieties: roussanne, grenache blanc and viognier. The first vintage was produced in 2005 with the 2017 being its 13th vintage.

“The Vondeling Babiana is predominantly made from old chenin blanc vines planted in 1986,” explains Julian Johnsen, Managing Director. “Their age and low yield ensure consistent quality and concentration, which is why it forms the backbone of this blend. The fullness of the chenin is tempered by the verve and high aromatics of the grenache blanc, viognier and roussanne.”
Senior Winemaker Matthew Copeland says all grapes are hand-picked at optimum ripeness and refrigerated for 24 hours before being processed.

Says Copeland: “The chenin blanc is whole-bunch pressed and no sulphur is added to promote wild yeast development. The unsettled juice is then quickly transferred to barrels for natural fermentation, which lends structure, complexity and longevity to the wine. The grenache blanc, roussanne and viognier grapes are destemmed and cold-fermented for 8 days on the skins before being basket-pressed directly to barrel to complete the fermentation process. The wine then undergoes full malolactic fermentation and left on the lees for 10 months before being racked, blended and bottled.”

Copeland describes Babiana’s colour as pale-yellow with a bright green hue. “The nose gives great tension and poise, brimming with roasted almonds, sweet cashews, lime zest, apricot and orange marmalade, wild honey and pineapple. It has a fresh, vibrant and textured palate with weighted density and length, layers of rolled oats, white pepper, floral jasmine, mint, ginger and creamy lemon meringue, well supported by subtle and reserved oak.”

He suggests the wine be enjoyed with a rich and aromatic dish of chicken tagine with Turkish apricots and roasted almonds, as well as simple Asian dishes or rich seafood.

Vondeling’s Babiana boasts quite an impressive list of awards and accolades received over the years, including Top 100 SA Wines, Double Gold at the Five Nations Wine Challenge, Gold at the Michelangelo International Wine Awards, Platter 5 stars, 92/100 in Tim Atkins’s SA report, 91/100 in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, 90+ in a Decanter Panel Tasting and a Six Nations Wine Challenge Trophy.

The recommended retail price is R215 per bottle and is available from Wine Concepts, Caroline’s, Norman Goodfellows, Ultra Liquors, selected TOPS at Spar liquor outlets and online or at the Vondeling tasting room.

For more information, contact Vondeling at +27 21 869 8595 or visit

Published in Wines

Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Roasted Almonds


Serves 4-6

10 pieces of free-range chicken, preferably thighs
3 Tbsp butter
Glug of extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
20g tagine spice (see recipe below)
40g honey
80g dried, soft Turkish apricots
80g pitted dates
2 medium red-skinned sweet potatoes / yams, cut into large chunks
500ml chicken stock
50g tomato paste
1 lemon, juice only
100g flaked almonds, roasted

For the tagine spice mix:

2 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp coriander powder

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Heat butter and oil in a large frying pan and brown chicken pieces on all sides. Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and set aside.
2. Add the onions and garlic to the pan, cook until lightly coloured. Add in the tagine spice and fry for a couple of minutes.
3. Add the honey, apricots and dates and cook for a further couple of minutes.
4. Pour in the chicken stock, tomato paste and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, season to taste.
5. Place chicken and sweet potatoes into a suitable ovenware dish and cover with the sauce. Cover with a lid and place into a preheated oven and cook for 1 hour until sweet potatoes are soft.
6. Remove from the oven and finish with the roasted almonds. Serve on jasmine rice.

Serve with Vondeling Babiana 2017.

Published in Events
Wednesday, 13 February 2019 07:36

In Full Flight! 2019 Vintage 

Greetings, Vondelingers

Due to bucket loads of sunshine, the 2019 vintage here at Vondeling is well under way. Some very nice Chardonnay was picked to begin with, followed by Sauvignon Blanc from vines planted in 1981 and 1983, giving some tremendously juicy and sumptuous flavours.

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Friday, 18 January 2019 10:18

Paardeberg Country Wine Tasting Experience

Happy New Year, Vondelingers

I hope you had a great festive season and got some juicy Christmas presents. We are now preparing for harvest and the grapes are looking reasonable. We will probably pick Chardonnay for the Rurale, our sparkling Methode Ancestral, next week. Already this January we have bottled 2018 Chardonnay and we will be bottling 2017 Bowwood and 2017 Philosophie on January 30th. So its all systems go.

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Riki joined the Vondeling team in June 2015, lending a helping hand in more areas than just the tasting room and now manages the Vondeling Wine Club. She studied Cellar Management and Viticulture at Elsenburg and although she loves the inside of a cellar, she prefers the inside of the tasting room. “I love people. And I love sharing my knowledge of the journey from the vine to wine with visitors”, says Riki. When not behind the tasting room counter or sending wine to loyal Vondeling fans, you will find Riki listening to her diverse collection of music, spending time with friends and family, or being outside with camera in hand.


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Thursday, 18 October 2018 06:38

"Vondeling Walks Away with Pinotage Trophy"

Hello there, Vondelingers!

Spring is in full flow here and everything is exploding all over the place, especially the vineyards. And if you are unlucky enough to be susceptible to hay fever, then sneezing and spluttering becomes a common occurrence. My youngest child also turned 20 on October 1st, which I have secretly found alarming! Where does all the time go?

Oct Newsletter Pic 1

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Vineyards have always intrigued Emile. Growing up in the Northern suburbs, Emile and his brother took it upon themselves to visit as many wine farms as possible. This vinous education saw him in good stead, and a passion was ignited to learn more about what makes wines from diverse regions taste so comparatively different. Emile married his wife, Hilani, in our St.Clement’s chapel and their first pink foot, little Anna, made her appearance earlier this year. The trio lives happily on the farm with their two brown border collies.

Emile Blog Photo


What has been the highlight of your career in die wine industry so far?

A:        Being able to travel and drink exceptional wine will always be one of the best things about being in this industry. Road tripping down the East coast of Australia was one to remember. I love that you ask “so far” …


How long have you been working at Vondeling, and what do you love most about the brand?

A:                  I have been winemaker since December 2011, so almost 7 years. There are various aspects I love about working for Vondeling. I think that being such a tightly-knit team and being able to be involved in almost everything that makes a wine farm tick is what makes us great. Being part of it and making awesome wine is what I love.


With which cultivar do you enjoy working the most and why?

A:             There are not many grapes I don’t like working with. I love receiving cool, green-glowing Sauvignon Blanc grapes very early in the morning during harvest. The smell as it comes arrives and the aromatics as it goes through the stages of fermentation are simply amazing.


If you could have dinner with any winemaker, who will it be and where would you take them for dinner or what will you cook?

A:      I often braai with my winemaker friends and I am content with that. Nothing beats a “skaap tjoppie” (lamb chop) on the fire and a local Chenin in my glass.


What is the biggest challenge the South African wine industry is facing currently?

A:              Making world class is relatively easy and South Africa proved that we can do this and beat many other countries on quality. The challenge is selling it to the world at the prices it deserves and being sustainable in growing global awareness.


Which varietal, do you think, will South Africa become best known for in five years from now?

A: Pinotage and Chenin Blanc will always form part of our heritage and future.


What do you enjoy most about living on Vondeling?

A:      Zero traffic and being able to walk home for lunch and have a dip in my pool or spend some time with Anna is pretty neat. Obviously, it is jaw-droppingly beautiful and tranquil too.


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Wine Tasting: Monday to Friday, 10:00 to 17:00
Weekends and Public Holidays by appointment (for groups larger than 8)
Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 17:00

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Telephone: +27 (0)21 869 8595

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