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The world renowned golfer, Ernie Els, is known as The Big Easy because of his stature, and the relaxed nature of his swing. His winery may not be that big, but it does have the same impact as its owner. You arrive via a splendid brick road that winds through meticulous gardens and manicured vines, and walk along a wooden path, past enormous granite boulders, and over a water feature with giant Koi. By the time you reach the huge entrance door you are suitably impressed…..and you haven’t even got to the wines yet.
Walk down the vaulted corridor, and you are in a delightful barn like structure dominated by a copper tasting counter. There are lots of lovely textures with brick, cement, rietdak, wood and glass all adding to the easy, yet sophisticated atmosphere. There are giant couches next to the huge fireplace and on the enclosed patio, and tables and chairs in yet another interleading space which has glass doors looking into the barrel cellar. There is also an outside patio with a wonderful vista down over a perfect putting green (or maybe it was just a very smart lawn, I’m not too sure) across the valley, even as far as Table Mountain , with the imposing Helderberg mountains as backdrop.
If you are a golfer, you will love the trophy room with its great photographs and legendary trophies. Even non-golfers can’t help be impressed…I loved the picture of Ernie with Nelson Mandela and that famous quote: “Sport has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.”
The winery serves light lunches, Tuesdays to Saturdays, from a small menu presented in a big leather folder. There is a cheese and charcuterie platter, beef burger, sirloin, and one or two other dishes, all paired with the excellent Ernie Els wines.
The golfers in your life will be happy to spend some money in the gift shop, while wine lovers will definitely enjoy the legendary reds.
Big Easy Red 2015
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Ernie Els Wines, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa, -34.014214, 18.847346000000016