South African favourites paired at Yonder Hill


SEEING something in a photograph – even a huge one that takes up most of a wall – and seeing it in real life can be quite surprising. The stunning photos taken by Yonder Hill co-owner Daniel Naudé on display i the tasting room still don’t quite prepare you for the herd of Ugandan Ankole cattle grazing at the entrance to the farm, with their massive horns.

Known as the “cattle of kings”, Ankole cows are and remain a status symbol, and they are considered one of the best gifts for special occasions (my birthday is in November). Our president Cyril Ramaphosa is an Ankole stud breeder, first becoming interested in them when he visited Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, in 2004. Now you know. Those sweeping curved horns can grow up to almost two metres and they really are a marvel to behold.

The Ankole lend their name to a rather tasty craft beer at Yonder Hill which is served with tomatoey meatballs (frikkadelle) in the new traditional South African summer food and wine pairing. (In winter the farm does a delicious soup pairing.) It’s been pretty popular because when we went last week, the beer was sold out and one bottle had been kept aside specially for us. Fret not, more is being made. You need to book for the pairing anyway, so check availability when you call.

A little bobotie with sambals is paired with the Yonder Hill Merlot 2014, and roosterkoek with snoek pâté keeps good company with Yonder Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2019. Our favourite was unanimous: the utterly luscious malva pudding with its rich, crisp edge and soggy saucy bottom, and a dollop of cream. The Danilo Rosé 2018 is divine as well; there’s a bottle in my fridge right now.

The favourite!

The summer heat was sizzling but the tasting room is pleasantly air conditioned. For braver souls, or when it’s a few degrees cooler, there’s outside seating under umbrellas with gorgeous views of the Helderberg mountains.

The pairing, which was created by Elmarie Berry (who did the soup as well) and is beautifully prepared to order by Allison le Grange, costs R165. For more info and bookings, call 021 855 1008 or click here. A full five-wine tasting is R60 (including olives, tapenade and biscuits), R40 for three, and R25 for two. Wines are also available by the glass or bottle, as well as a selection of of hot and cold beverages.



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