Perched high on the steep northern slopes of the Helderberg, Hidden Valley’s imposing sandstone walls look like a fort, and what a great lookout post it would make because the view of the valley spread out below is stupendous. A beautiful fynbos garden greets you as you arrive and silvery olive groves surround the winery.
The tasting room looks through glass walls into the winery and inside, tasting takes place around a long table. There is a fireplace for winter days, but if the weather is remotely reasonable, most people sit outside on the wide pebble stone terrace to enjoy the memorable views.
The tasting consists of four wines followed by an olive tasting of the Calamata and Noccelera de Belice table olives and delicious olive oil, all farmed here. And yes, there is a chocolate tasting too, with chocolates selected to bring out the flavours in the wine.
Chef Bertus Basson’s highly awarded and very popular Overture Restaurant presents a contemporary take on traditional recipes. Quirky sounding dishes like Boer pampoen lasagne and Kudu tartar sandwich celebrate traditional South African fare in new and delicious combinations. We enjoyed grilled squid and asparagus starters followed by perfectly cooked entrecôte, and Sweetwell Pork belly. The lunch menu is a set three-course menu with choices, but it is pricey. So if you are looking for a light lunch, rather pre-book one of the picnic baskets, or order a cheese platter.
There are some very pretty picnic spaces dotted around the dam, and a well-kept fynbos trail will give you just enough exercise to justify a second glass of wine on the terrace.
Update: In 2015 Hidden Valley changed hands. The new owner, Riaan Stassen, has installed sculptor Willie Botha as artist-in-residence and his works are on view in the gallery. As you enter, you will see a large sculpture of a face and this same image now graces the wine labels.
Update no.2: In March 2017 Bertus Basson opened a second space, The Deck, which is exactly that…a deck built out onto the dam, with a self-service counter. It’s casual with a very limited but very tasty menu and a superb view of the mountains. It will only open for lunch during the summer season.
Wine tasting Mon - Sun 9h00 - 18h00 (summer) 9h00 - 17h00 (winter)
Overture Restaurant Lunch (à la carte Menu) Mon - Sun from 12h00
Dinner Thurs - Sat from 19h00
Hidden Valley Wines (Wine Tasting & Restaurant), Annandale Road, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa, -34.020794, 18.85378300000002