A few weeks back I was very privileged to be invited to the launch of Kunjani’s new wine label. For sometime now, I have been itching to make a visit to Kunjani. In just a few moments you will see why. This is THEE place to go, if you want to have a gastronomical experience! What an experience it was, not only is the food and wine extraordinary but the Kunjani team is self is absolutely fantastic. One of the few wine farms that make you feel right at home!
I also met some old friends and made some new ones. Everyone in the who’s who attended #SayKunjani launch. It was the perfect autumn afternoon, to be out sipping on fine wine and eating the most delectable nibbles all provided by yours truly, Chef Lameck Mnisi.
Kunjani Wines is a new boutique winery which opened its doors in November 2017. Only a few kilometers outside of Stellenbosch, situating high upon the Bottelary Hills, your adventure waits. It is here at Kunjani where you will discover the home of good food, fine wine and luxurious accommodation. It is no wonder this winery is a firm favourite among all foodie and wine lovers.
A sincere testimony that reflects the good life … and the true character of this spectacular place where love and passion are reflected in every creation.
“At Kunjani we are all about greeting guests with a warm welcome, and the hands on the label represent a greeting between friends. Kunjani means ‘Hi, how are you?’ and that is exactly how friendships start,”says Pia Watermeyer, Kunjani’s co-owner.
A simple gesture symbolizing a greeting between friends. This is a clear message on a wine label that invites everyone to enjoy the good life! And this wine friends is what Kunjani is all about.
A Stylish, New Look, Reflects Kunjani’s True Character
One is never too young to renew and innovate! This is exactly what Kunjani did. Kunjani is an award winning wine farm with a number of wine accolades under the belt. All reviews… can’t stop raving about the restaurant and the architectural design. It was here when a decision was made. Change the wine labels, so it reflects the upmarket standards of the venue!
The well-known design studio Haumann Smal was approached, after a few deliberating a new wine label was designed.
The brief was an easy one. Deciding on keeping the fist bump greeting, and incorporating the beautiful architecture of the wine center in the label design. The new label is now an upgrade to the existing labels, but in a more contemporary, sophisticated and timeless look.
The new labels is printed in charcoal with a glossy high build to contrast with the matt paper. The element of the two hands is transformed in a graphic line work style. The hands it is now placed in a small oval. This is now used on its own, part of the logo and brand mark.
The Owners of #SayKunjani
How did this latest edition to the Stellenbosch Wine Route come about? A chance encounter brought together a German entrepreneur, Paul Bath, and Pia Watermeyer, a South African businesswoman. Their relationship has proven that with fine wine and good food, even language and culture barriers can be overcome.
“We believe wine is a universal language,” “Nothing builds a relationship, and keeps friendships going, like sharing a bottle of fine wine and excellent food. And we offer both here at Kunjani.”Pia – Owner of Kunjani
Paul, however, is more than just an entrepreneur. He hails from the Rheingau wine region of Germany and both his father and grandfather were winemakers. As a child he helped with the harvest every year, so coming to South Africa and establishing his own wine brand on his own “piece of heaven” was a dream come true.
Winemaker of Kunjani – Carmen Stevens
The award-winning winemaker, Carmen Stevens, is responsible for creating Kunjani’s wines. Carmen graduated from the Elsenburg Agricultural College near Stellenbosch in 1995. She joined Distell as assistant winemaker for the Zonnebloem brand. Later she took on the role as winemaker for Distell’s new Tukulu brand, a black empowerment project.
Two award-winning top 10 Pinotages, a stint in California and representing Tukulu abroad was followed by a period at Welmoed for Stellenbosch Vineyards.
Then she spent 8 years at Amani where she won the 2008 Decanter Red Bordeaux Varietals Trophy for her Amani Cabernet Franc/Merlot 2006.
Today Carmen utilises Kunjani’s very own Shiraz grapes and sources other varieties used in the estate’s wines. “We are very meticulous about where and from whom we buy grapes,” says Carmen.
“Quality is of utmost importance as we strive to always put the best in every bottle of Kunjani wine.” The merlot and cabernet sauvignon vineyards adjacent to the property are managed by the team at Kunjani, providing a hands-on approach for all red wines in the portfolio.
Kunjani has only 2½ hectares under vine, all shiraz, while Carmen also has access to nearby cabernet sauvignon and merlot vineyards. The estate’s Riesling is imported from Germany’s Rheingau region.
Kunjani Restaurant’s menu is curated under the watchful eye of head chef Lamek Mnisi. He is has been at the helm of the Kunjani kitchen since it’s opening in 2017. Lamek is dedicated in finding the highest of quality ingredients, and is passionate in creating new innovative ideas for each seasonal menu.
Lameck absolutely loves mixing things up on the menu. This way, the “regulars” are kept on their toes as they never know what is on the menu for the day.
In line with Kunjani’s philosophy to only source seasonal ingredients and the very best fresh produce, Kunjani has streamlined their menu.
This is to reflect the passion for locally sourced, fresh, wholesome and healthier food options that are sustainable.
By sourcing only locally grown produce, the restaurant continues act responsibly towards our planet and its natural resources. Kunjani aims in reducing its carbon footprint. As a result, they only source fish from the green list of South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI).
Kunjani’s accommodation consists of four private, self-catering villas with stunning views – Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet and Stolen Chicken. Shiraz and Stolen Chicken can sleep up to four people. The Merlot and Cabernet each accommodates two guests.
The villas are conveniently close to Stellenbosch and Cape Town and surrounded by vineyards. Each of the rooms fully equipped and includes luxuries such as washers and dryers, coffee machines, wall-panel heating, air-conditioning, smart TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi and private, shaded verandas with braai facilities.
Architecture and Interior Design
To top it all, Kunjani has been included in Architectural Digest’s list of “Top 19 Best Vineyard Designs Around the World”. Architectural Digest Magazine is the online authority in design and architecture, providing an exclusive view into the world’s most beautiful homes and designs.
“The building’s design puts a modern twist on Cape Dutch architecture with its charcoal exterior and red sliding screens. All inspired by the patterns painted on West African mud huts.
The interiors are equally daring with a laser-cut staircase and wine display, graphic wallpaper, and bright red accents,” writes the magazine’s Alison Levasseur and Elizabeth Stamp.
Kunjani’s interior was created by Pia Watermeyer and the iconic Haldane Martin. As a designer, Haldane has been instrumental in the emergence of a new South African design language and identity.
He successfully transformed Pia’s concept and brand essence into an innovative, stylish and soulful interior with a unique character. This includes custom fittings, luxurious finishes and unique furniture as well as selected artworks by local artists Krisjan Rossouw and Peter Pharoah
Now do you see why Kunjani is a firm favourite!!
For more information, you can visit Kunjani’s website!
**All Images provided by Kunjani (Not a sponsored post!)