Imagine a world class stay-cation where you can enjoy more than just a bottle of wine and mountainous views. Spier Wine Farm and Hotel treated me to a weekend full of good food, wine and exciting outdoor activities. What sets this particular wine estate from the rest? Well, each and every aspect of this hotel stay – from the food, to the activities and down to the artwork – found its original roots deeply embedded on Spier’s vast Stellenbosch-based grounds.
To mark the launch of the brand new Travel With Karabo blog site, we explore five must-see, must-do things to experience this winter at Spier Wine Farm and Hotel:
Family over visitor: Forget 10th floor views and waiting a lifetime for the elevator – upon arrival, a hotel concierge was at the ready to welcome us with nothing but heart-warming smiles and a VIP-esque ride to our rooms on a bigger, fancier golf cart.
Entering our room, we were pleased to be greeted with what I can only describe as an up-scaled home away from home. I still remember how special I felt walking in and finding a gift on the side table, courtesy of Spier: Creative Block #3 – a personal favourite of mine – along with a lovely note welcoming me as their guest. Oh, yes, I felt super important.
Dinner/Lunch at Vadas: The best thing about staying at Spier is the manner in which everything is strategically placed in and around the estate for convenience. One such place is the Vadas Smokehouse and Bakery. Here, we were treated to a full course meal featuring what I reckon were the stars of the night, smoked pork belly with apple ketchup and Abalobi’s fish of the day.
Segway Tour: At first, I viewed this activity as the most extreme of our entire stay. Neither myself, nor my plus one had ever been on a Segway which made this even more of a true adventure given the warnings issued and the safety rules we had to abide by. Spier’s Segway tour offers an interactive tour of the wine farm on the two-wheeled speed-demons, taking you through their vineyards where you’re accompanied by a full view of the farm and its surrounding mountains.
Ultimately, this tour is worthwhile: enjoy conversations in open natural beauty with your group mates, or be like Michelle who proceeded to race along the terrain like she was born on two wheel and not two legs. The tour is best experienced in the summer and ranges between R295 and R700 per person.
Enjoy a basket full of fresh food from the Spier Farm Kitchen: When it comes to eating out I try my level best to dine consciously, especially considering how every little thing we consume impacts our environment and contributes to climate change in some way. So it’s refreshing to see how Spier positions itself to be as environmentally aware as possible, with the brand and its offerings aligning with being eco-friendly across all categories including the hospitality, their wines and the food. Spier Farm Kitchen is a prime example of the above.
You can craft your own sandwiches, enjoy salads or vegetable-based foods and meats sourced from Farmer Angus’ farm. I ordered myself a bowl of fresh veggie soup accompanied by a charcuterie platter of cold meats and trout, chicken liver pate and sourdough bread sourced by Vadas. See? Everywhere you look, Spier is self-sustaining, sourcing from one area of the estate and feeding into another.
Wine tasting: Now comes my favourite activity of any trip – wine tasting! Previously, I was invited to try their winter seasonal wine tasting featuring the brand new (and award-winning) Seaward wine. This time I was treated to their chocolate and wine pairing, starring Spier’s flagship Creative Block with a flute of MCC to cleanse the palate.
For the sake of good wine and conversation, I ignored my lactose intolerance to indulge myself in some chocolate and wine, where my love for the mellow but spicy Creative Block 3 blend developed. Sorry, Seaward shiraz! If you missed my blog post reviewing the Warm Winter Soup and Wine tasting, then here’s a refresher with which to familiarise yourself- Spier Wine Wonderland
If you’re looking for something more scenic take a walk on the premises, meander over the bridge that crosses the bubbling Eerste River and find yourself overlooking the grounds and vast landscape.
My visit to Spier was one for the books because not only I got an opportunity to rest and enjoy winter meals but I was surrounded by beautiful people who all have one thing in common- hospitality and service. Spier is currently running an awesome winter special in which you can enjoy a pre-planned package which includes the following:
- Wholesome breakfasts at the hotel, crafted by our chefs
- Spier’s renowned farm-to-table lunch
- A Signature wine-tasting at the Tasting Room
- A pampering treatment for two at the Spier Spa
- Two nights in a Signature Room at Spier Hotel
- Kids under 12 stay free
The Spier Winter package costs just R1 720 per person per night (for a 2-night stay) and is valid until 30 September 2019.
One thing I would recommend to Spier is making it a bit disability friendly for visitors- especially the entrance into the rooms but they have a pretty good start on being inclusive. Thanks to the Spier family, I am already counting down the days to summer for a visit.