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Oldenburg Vineyards Unveil Their Dramatic and Modern New Cellar Door Building

At the end of a winding gravel road and nestled in amongst the Jonkershoek and Franschhoek mountain ranges lies the new home of Oldenburg Vineyards. The Cellar Door building which houses the tasting room, vinoteque and offices was designed by Cape Town architect Simon Beerstecher (the architect responsible for the equally dramatic and beautiful makeovers of Glen Carlou and Rustenberg). It is a modern building, yet it is also rooted in its natural surroundings and African heritage, with a combination of wooden beams forming a central apex for the thatched roof and intricate lighting design illuminating the entrance pathway of trees, elegant fountain and large ceramic planters.

Entering through the automatic sliding glass doors, you immediately come face to face with one of the limited edition photographs by celebrated artist Nick Brandt hung above a dual-facing fireplace (perfect for winter wine tastings). Stepping aside to enter the main room proper, it is as if you were walking into the very mountains themselves, as full height glass windows and doors draw your gaze up and over the fynbos garden, past the rows of vines to the very top of Rondekop hill and into the stern peaks beyond.

It’s a dramatic and breathtaking welcome, and one which prepares you for the quality of the wines to come. On either side of the central window are two small stoeps with tables for summer tastings and cheese platters which you can enjoy as you relish the views.

It is all too easy to become distracted by the impressive sweep of hillside before you, but when you turn to look around the inside of the building, you see an airy, light and irrepressibly modern world. Designed by renowned interior designer, Kelly Hoppen (Cape Town-born but now based in London), the immediate impression is of dark and light working together to create a harmonious and relaxing atmosphere. The creamy limestone floors, light curtains and pale walls are mingled with dark, almost black, wood either in the form of the lacquered-oak bar counter to the left, the richly-textured planks of wenge wood which break up the pale floor or the ribbed wooden doors which echo the pattern of the floor. This mixture of contrasting shades, all of them expressed in natural materials, reflects the Oldenburg label and illustrates the philosophy behind the wines.

Kelly Hoppen’s brief was to create a comfortable and homely interior using exclusively African products and furnishings. So there is also a relaxing lounge to the side of the main space with sofas and leather ottomans surrounding a large stone fireplace. Upstairs lie the offices and downstairs is the vinoteque which boasts one of two impressive, recycled Bubinga wood tables (the other is in the main tasting area), each one weighing over 1,000kg and seating 14 people. Here, owner Adrian Vanderspuy can entertain local and overseas VIP’s, at the same time creating a library of Oldenburg’s wines which can be enjoyed for years to come.

The Oldenburg Cellar Door glows with confidence and quality, with everything finished to the very highest standards and perfectly illustrating the amount of thought, effort, energy and imagination which Adrian, Simon and Kelly have put into the building.

But it is still a building for people, and whether you are sharing a welcoming smile from office manager Marietjie, enjoying a tasting in the Vinoteque with Adrian or receiving a warm and enthusiastic lick from winemaker Simon Thompson’s Jack Russell, Toby (who has his own cushion in the corner – colour-co-ordinated to match the rest of the furniture of course!), Oldenburg Vineyards and their new Cellar Door will make you feel so much at home, you’ll never want to leave.

The Oldenburg Vineyards Cellar Door is open for tastings Monday – Friday, 10h00 – 16h30 and on Sat & Public Holidays by appointment only. They are closed on Sundays. The tasting fee is R25 for tasting all 5 wines.

For further information on Oldenburg Vineyards call (27) (21) 885 1618; email cellardoor@oldenburgvineyards.com or visit www.oldenburgvineyards.com