In Their Words
Kunjani History & Location
Situated a mere 30 minutes from Cape Town overlooking Devon Valley, Kunjani is the latest addition to the Bottelary Hills wine region just outside the beautiful town of Stellenbosch.
The Estate’s owners, husband-and-wife team Paul Barth and Pia Watermeyer, have created a contemporary and soulful winelands establishment that reflects cross-continental influences like no other. Paul grew up between his father’s Riesling vines in Germany’s beautiful Rheingau region, however had been dreaming of his own winery in South Africa. Paul met South African Pia by chance and together their mutual love for wine and people soon lead them to looking for the perfect farm to call home – and they soon fell in love with Kunjani. After two years of planning and building, the tasting room and restaurant were finalised and this magnificent and striking building is the perfect representation of Paul’s German precision and Pia’s South African soulfulness.
Kunjani means ‘Hi, how are you?’ in Zulu and that is exactly how friendships start. It is here where good food, fine wine and luxurious accommodation combine to truly reflect the good life … and the true character of this spectacular place where love and passion are reflected in every creation. We look forward to welcoming you at Kunjani.
Kunjani Operating Hours
Wine Tasting: open daily 10am-4pm.
Restaurant: open daily 8.30am-4pm.
Gift Shop: open daily 10am-4pm.
We are open on most Public Holidays however all times, prices and facilities listed are subject to change. We recommend checking latest details directly with the farm and pre-booking experiences wherever possible, to avoid disappointment.
Kunjani Wine Tasting
At Kunjani we take a slightly different approach to most things, including winemaking. In addition to the vineyards on our own Devon Valley property, we seek out the areas where our favourite cultivars do best and we personally select the best vineyards to source our grapes.
We favour the Devon Valley in the Bottelary Hills of Stellenbosch for our red wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and our award-winning Shiraz. South African Chenin Blanc is considered amongst the best in the world and we source our Chenin Blanc from 38-year-old bushvines in our neighbouring Bottelary Hills area. Some 40 kilometres south of our inland location, the mountainous but ocean-influenced cool-climate terroir of the Elgin Valley is producing some of South Africa’s most distinctive white wines, and this is where we source the grapes for our Sauvignon Blanc and Stolen Chicken Rosé.
Wine tastings are conducted daily in our wine tasting venue and restaurant, offering guests the opportunity to explore the 6 wines in the Kunjani portfolio in a relaxed atmosphere. We also have a popular Kunjani Loyalty Club, which is free to join with exclusive benefits.
Wine Tasting Prices
Wine tasting costs R80pp and includes our Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Rosé, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. We welcome wine clubs, wine tasting groups and tourist groups (pre-booking recommended). In addition to a full a la carte menu, a selection of cheese and charcuterie platters are also available, from R145 for one person or R265 for two.
From relaxed dining inside our contemporary designed restaurant to al fresco meals on the deck, Kunjani’s superb gourmet cuisine boasts the very best of local and seasonal ingredients, taking diners on a culinary journey which encompasses both European and African influences.
Menus & Pricing
The menu at Kunjani is curated under the watchful eye of Head Chef Michael Huni. His philosophy is to only source seasonal ingredients and the very best fresh produce.
At breakfast, expect staples such as Omelettes, Eggs Benedict and a full farm breakfast: ‘Plaas Ontbyt’. At lunch, starters include Crispy Prawn Wontons, Vegetable Bhaji and Prosciutto & Pear Salad. Main course favourites include Wood Fired Pizzas, Leg of Lamb with a Rosemary Jus, Biltong-Spiced Sirloin and Truffle-Infused Mushroom Risotto. A selection of desserts, platters and sides are also available. Mains from R165pp.
Kunjani Tours & Activities
Currently Kunjani do not offer organised farm or cellar tours however visitors are welcome to browse the private wine cellar. There is also a small deli for takeaway items and a curio shop selling art works, candles, glassware and other gifts.
Whether you want to host a birthday party, year-end function, anniversary, product launch, corporate workshop or bridal shower, Kunjani is the perfect venue, with a seating capacity of 60 for sit-down or 80 for more informal cocktail functions. In addition to the restaurant and outside shaded veranda which boasts breathtaking views of the Bottelary Hills, smaller business meetings and lunches can also be hosted in the exclusive and private wine cellar. Contact the Estate for more information.
The Kunjani self-catering Villas are synonymous with the Stellenbosch Winelands’ allure and our restaurant’s modern design. They complement the Estate’s boutique charm and boast an eclectic mix of elegant finishes, sophisticated designs and local art.
Our Merlot Villa and Cabernet Villa sleep 2 guests each, whilst our Shiraz Villa and Stolen Chicken Villa sleep 4. Villas can be booked individually or as one 12 guest party, perfect for family or friends. Each villa is fully equipped with a kitchenette, dishwasher, coffee machine, washer dryer, plus Egyptian cotton linen, complimentary WiFi, Smart TV and outdoor braai on a private shaded veranda with exquisite views of Kunjani’s vineyards. Breakfast is available on request at the restaurant, for an additional fee.
Prices from R2100 per villa per night for the Merlot or Cabernet Villa (room only, for 2), or R3400 per villa per night for the larger Shiraz or Stolen Chicken Villas (room only, based on 4). For live pricing, availability and specials, please refer to www.kunjaniwines.co.za/villas/.
When Lucy Visited
Fun, funky and FAB-U-LOUS! I absolutely loved my visit to intimate Kunjani, where I enjoyed a personalised wine tasting, amazing meals and a restful overnight stay in their 2 Bedroom ‘Shiraz’ Cottage. Kunjani may be small in size but it packs a real punch, completely standing out from the crowd. Simply don’t miss a visit!
What Makes Kunjani Stand Out?
Once spotted, never forgotten! It goes without saying that you can’t really miss Kunjani, as it stands proudly with its modern charcoal grey and red exterior, against a backdrop of green vines. I think it really works, especially when you venture inside and can appreciate the contemporary finishes which complement the space such as statement drop lights, colourful artworks, sleek leather couches and metallic accents. Couple these funky design elements with an elevated panoramic balcony overlooking the lush vines and the stage is set for you to relax in style, soaking up that wonderful view.
But… it’s not just the view that sets Kunjani apart. Owned and operated by South African/German couple Pia and Paul, Kunjani oozes warmth and although it can get busy, the staff go out of their way to treat guests like family. My host Ayunda was absolutely lovely. The staff seem like a very close, tight knit team and this spirit of teamwork really shone through throughout my visit, as I watched the staff interacting with guests. The food is also excellent – rustic and hearty but elevated with the unmistakable touch of a talented chef. When washed down with their soft and approachable wines, I simply didn’t want to leave (so I didn’t… I stayed overnight! More on that later).
The Location and Set Up of Kunjani
Situated 15 mins from Stellenbosch and 45 mins from Cape Town CBD, tiny Kunjani occupies just 3. 5 hectares of land, close to the Devonvale Golf Estate in the popular wine growing area of Bottelary Hills. You will need a car (or taxi), however it’s an easy journey via the M23, with several other wine farms within a 10 min drive should you wish to ‘wine hop’.
Translating from Zulu as ‘Hi, how are you?’, Kunjani is the brainchild of owners Pia and Paul, who met just over a decade ago. In spite of the fact that they could only say hello in each other’s languages (hence the Kunjani name, a meeting and connection between cultures), they fell in love and bought the land on which Kunjani sits. The farm then underwent a complete renovation, with the existing farm buildings completely updated and the modern Tasting Room / Restaurant being erected in late 2017. Pia spent months (if not years) meticulously co-designing each element of this central feature and her passion and eye for detail really shines through. Talk about wow factor!
In summer, guests will be drawn to the elevated balcony which overlooks the gorgeous vines below. Here you can enjoy breakfast or lunch, or a tutored wine tasting. There are also couches and long tables for different group sizes. Note due to Kunjani’s size, I would always pre-book if you can for the smoothest experience..
Inside, they’ve done an incredible job bringing the tasting area to life. I was struck by the colour and warmth of the relatively small space, which has been cleverly utilised to showcase their handpicked selection of luxurious fixtures and fittings. Each corner is brimming with glamour, expect dramatic lighting and graphic statement wall prints – so photogenic. I just loved the welcoming ambience and diverse mix of clientele (mainly aged 20-50, from all over the world) which added to the convivial vibe. No facilities for kids except free wifi, so do bear this in mind.
As you walk around the tasting area, you notice there are beautiful artworks everywhere, plus a fireplace for the cooler winter months. Kunjani also has a small deli where you can purchase cheese and meats amongst other things, plus downstairs there’s a cute curio shop stocked with lovely gifts. On this ground floor you’ll also spot a private tasting area, with sultry mood lighting and incredible local art. For visitors using wheelchairs, Kunjani also has a glass lift, so you can access all the facilities easily.
Finally, if you fancy staying overnight, Kunjani also boasts 4 very comfortable villas with a shared pool, herb gardens and even wandering ducks! For more information on the villas, please refer to the Accommodation section below.
Wine Tasting at Kunjani
With just 2. 5 of their 3. 5 hectares under vine (and to Cab Sav, Merlot and Shiraz only), Kunjani work carefully with a select number of other vineyard partners to source grapes, both in the local Bottelary area and in highly respected Elgin. It’s actually a very charming story, as Pia explained they wanted to produce all of their favourite cultivars (not just what they grow themslves), so they visited areas best known for their favourite varietals. They then completed a series of ‘blind’ tastings to find their favourite wines from those areas, approaching the winners to purchase their quality grapes. It’s certainly paid off as Kunjani produce 6 main red, white and rose wines, of which I thoroughly enjoyed all 6! Bravo!
At the time of writing, tasting all 6 costs R80pp and you are walked through each tasting step by step (in lovely branded glasses), which allows your host to explain the stories and background behind each one. And goodness, are there stories! I don’t want to ruin it but suffice to say, the inspiration behind the beautifully light and elegant ‘Stolen Chicken’ Rose was incredibly touching. I also enjoyed listening to Pia lovingly explain about their premium ‘Anna’ Sauvignon Blanc, sourced from Elgin (not included in the tasting but available to purchase by the bottle), which was named after her courageous late mother in law.
Overall, I was wowed by consistently soft, supple and smooth wines, glass after glass. They use quite a bit of older oak and leave the wines on the lees for longer periods, which mellows the overall finished product. So no heavy tannins for the reds and the whites were rich, fruity and zesty. Great options for palates which prefer elegant wines with gentler round edges, yet still packed with flavour. Mostly priced for between R110-R250 a bottle, with 1 tasting fee waived for each 6 bottles purchased. I do understand there will be a new winemaker for Kunjani moving into 2022 so I’m looking forward to seeing how they influence things moving forwards.
Dining at Kunjani
Moving on to the food, I enjoyed a 2 course lunch, a mixed charcuterie/cheese platter in the evening in my villa and then breakfast the next day – so can say for sure that their style of cuisine is to elevate humble ingredients to something pretty special. Inspired by global cuisines, expect bursts of colour and rich flavours, with options for vegetarians and vegans too (and simple pizzas, if that’s your thing). This is hearty comfort food but the portion sizes were perfect and I was really impressed. Definitely worth the trip for the food alone and I thought good value for the quality on offer.
Kunjani is open for breakfast and lunch, however for overnight guests they can arrange platters for the room, or you can cook for yourself in the kitchen or on the braai (bbq) – or the closest restaurant is around a 5-10 min drive. I had a delicious platter filled with a variety of specially selected meats, cheeses and preserves, which was perfect. Overall, really well done to the relatively new chef Michael Huni who very much understands flavour and taste combinations. I’ll be back.
Staying on a wine farm affords you that wonderful luxury of simply walking to your accommodation after a relaxing afternoon filled with wine and good food, so what better way to indulge yourself then with a stay in one of Kunjani’s very comfortable modern villas? 3 are situated in the renovated older farm buildings just a couple of minutes’ walk from the main area, close to the shared pool, whilst the Stolen Chicken Villa sits directly under the main tasting room deck, enjoying close up views of the vines from the covered porch (no one upstairs can see you btw, it’s quite private). Views from the other villas are also lovely towards the vines, and they feature 1 or 2 bedrooms plus kitchens, modern bathrooms, verandahs and braais (BBQs).
I stayed in the 2 Bed Shiraz villa which is larger than my house! I believe the villas were completely renovated just a few years ago and you can expect all the usual mod cons, including air con, smart TVs, free wifi etc. The interiors of the villas are more muted and pastel than the Tasting Room, but I do think that’s in keeping with this older part of the property. For couples, solo or business travellers, your best option is the Merlot or Cabernet villa (1 beds), whilst the Stolen Chicken and Shiraz are great for two couples travelling together (2 beds). Families are welcome, just bear in mind there are no dedicated facilities for them at Kunjani.
Kunjani is a wonderful breath of fresh air – with an intimate tasting room/restaurant that is bold, beautiful and bursting with modern charm. They’ve spent a lot of time on the little details, so do yourself a favour – come for a tasting of their delicious wines, stay for a lunch which will linger on your palate long after they’ve cleared the plate away, then stay overnight to experience the utter tranquillity of this little piece of paradise. Absolute bliss.
When you exit Kunjani, turn right (instead of left, which would normally lead you to the main road). Around 100 metres up, the forest clears and will bring you to a really spectacular viewpoint, offering panoramic views across neighbouring vineyards to the mountains beyond. Stunning!. Grab some photos then turn back around to head home.