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Plating Up the Perfect Stellenbosch Wine Farm Picnic with Head Chef Jack Coetzee

Escape to best picnic spot in Stellenbosch with  a luxury picnic courtesy of  Gåte Restaurant

Quoin Rock Wine Estate is nestled in the beautiful Knorhoek Valley in Stellenbosch. Known for award-winning wines, world-class architecture and breathtaking views, the new winery is also home to the accolade-accruing fine-dining restaurant, Gåte. It is also one of the best picnic spots in Stellenbosch.

 

Gåte Restaurant is often praised for its unique approach to molecular-gastronomy and it’s luxury Stellenbosch wine farm picnic experience is no different. Marrying together an extravagant gourmet meal with maximum privacy, each of the eight custom-built, fully equipped picnic pergolas at the new winery is spaced at least 10 metres apart, creating the perfect, intimate setting.

 

The private pods have earned themselves a space amongst the best picnic spots in Stellenbosch, and the family-owned wine farm creates the ideal backdrop for a once-in-a-lifetime gastronomical experience.

Sustainable Ingredients

Jack Coetzee, Gåte restaurant’s newest Head Chef, believes in creating dishes that are inspired by the unique flavours of their surroundings. With the abundance of fresh herbs and vegetables available on the wine estate, it is no wonder that the picnic menu is a celebration of all things local.

All of the picnic dishes include at least one ingredient that has been grown on the Stellenbosch estate, and a vegan or vegetarian picnic feast is available upon request. Seasonal and local ingredients are prioritised as they are fresher, healthier and more sustainable, and Coetzee is committed to sourcing his ingredients from local vendors, situated as close to the new winery as possible.

Chef Coetzee chatted to us about the work that goes into creating the picnic experience for his guests and revealed that they had a lot of fun designing the menu.

 

“I truly believe that just because the offering is placed in glass jars in a picnic basket that no less care has been taken,” explained Jack. “We spent a lot of time finding the best local cheese and charcuterie suppliers to work with, and the dishes that are in the picnic could, in a different presentation, find their way onto the menu of Gåte. It is incredibly important to us that we take the same philosophy that we have in the restaurant and share it across to the picnic. It has turned out to be a refreshing platform to express ourselves and provide a beautiful picnic in an incredible setting.”

Stellenbosch Wine Farm Picnic Menu

The picnic menu is seasonal, and typically includes a freshly-baked French baguette with roast tomato butter; rocket pesto, Dalewood cheese selection, Jewels meat selection, a variety of salads, beef fillet and a delicious dessert. Unlimited still or sparkling water is also included in the price and award-winning Quoin Rock wines are available to order – the ideal picnic accompaniment.

Five Star Service

 Every single detail of the Stellenbosch wine farm picnic experience has been carefully curated, and each pergola is serviced by an experienced waiter. This ensures that guests are never without ice, their wine glasses are kept full and espressos are offered after the meal.

 

All of the guests are also given their own cutlery and glassware, in keeping with health and safety regulations. Walkie-talkies are used to communicate with the waiter – a special detail that points to the respect for intimacy and privacy afforded to each pergola.

A Family Affair

 A picnic menu for children is also available. It includes macaroni and cheese, chocolate milkshakes, seasonal berries, sun-dried fruit Lindt chocolate and cookies.