To complete our Asara experience, we naturally had to sample their wines – and, what better way to do so then with winemaker, Danielle le Roux, in their chandelier-lit cellar? Coming in from a scorcher of a day, the cool cellar offered us a welcome respite from the heat – as did the chilled Chenin Blanc and MCC we’d start with.
We started with the not-yet-released 2014 MCC, before moving on to my wine of the day, the 2015 Chenin Blanc from the Vineyard Collection. Lightly wooded, with an amazing lingering vanilla finish, it offered fresh crispness for summer, but also enough body to allow it to stand up to a rich meal.
As Asara is located within a valley, the estate benefits from two very different soil types, which allows Danielle greater freedom in the styles of wine she creates. This was evident when comparing the crisp Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin against the Bell Tower from their Speciality Collection – a sumptuous Bordeux-style blend of Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. As my recent journey through white wine has taken priority over the past year or so, it’s been difficult for a red wine to impress me – but, the Bell Tower definitely left its mark. I highly recommend getting to know their wines for yourself – you can find out about wine tastings here.
After our comprehensive tasting with Danielle, it was time to head to Sansibar for lunch – because, as much as we try, we cannot exist on wine alone. Walking through shaded courtyards with views across dams, vines and endless mountain ranges, it was easy to forget that we were only 35 minutes from home.
The team at Asara kindly invited us to spend the night with them – obviously anticipating the wine indulgence – so, we might have headed back to our suite after lunch for a nap to help digest lunch. It didn’t last long, as the call of the pool and stand-alone bath was too much.
While I spent some time poolside, Luke made the most of our private balcony and got stuck in to a book. After what felt like barely enough time to properly digest lunch, it was time to see what dinner had to offer. Supper was at the newly-launched Mise en Place, where we enjoyed a romantic dinner before heading back to our air-conditioned suite for the night.
We awoke, well-rested, to another gem of a Stellenbosch day. Heading to breakfast with our swimming costumes under our clothes, we started the day with a strong coffee and pastries, before getting into the serious business of Eggs Benedict. Perfectly seasoned Hollandaise sauce, served with ham and bacon for the Mr, we were adequately fuelled for another session at the pool before we had to head home.