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“Great tasting room and views”
Review of Stark-Conde Wines

Stark-Conde Wines
Ranked #4 of 150 things to do in Stellenbosch
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: This boutique winery is picturesquely nestled in the Jonkershoek Valley, just 3 kilometres outside town in Stellenbosch. The setting is simply overwhelmingly beautiful - hence, the name of the Postcard Cafe. What was intended to attract more feet to the tasting room; a little cafe linked to the winery, has now become the winery linked to the Cafe instead. The winery is intensively family-run; German father, Japanese-German daughter and Cuban-American husband co-own the winery with their two daughters working weekends to help in the fully booked cafe. Winemaker and co-owner, Jose Conde hand-crafted his first-ever Cabernet Sauvignon vintage in a store room of the winery at the time in 1998. The four barrels aged gracefully and received five stars by John Platter -evidently Jose had been destined to be a winemaker and not a graphic designer. Adding to the talent, the farm's higher elevations and finely textured soils (perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon), made it a painless career change. 2013 celebrated Jose's fifteenth vintage with Old Mutual (South Africa) and won Stark-Conde the acclaimed trophy for Most Successful Producer in South Africa, Trophy for Best Cabernet Sauvignon and Trophy for Best Shiraz. Steep alterations in vineyard elevation make for a range of sites with distinct characteristics. Combined with the tremendous winter rainfall in Jonkershoek, (3 times more rain than Stellenbosch) these qualities ensure a more than suitable terrain for growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Syrah and Pinotage. Jose firmly believes in traditional winemaking - hand-picking, careful hand selection of the grapes, manual punch-downs, open-tank fermentation, basket pressing, and patient maturation for 22 months in French oak barrels. With only 6000 cases produced annually, wines are not sold commercially and the proverbial 'word of mouth' is solely relied upon for advertising. Not that the scenery should not be enough of a reason to visit - a charming, small Balinese tasting room floats on its own little island in the middle of the dam surrounded by mountain peaks, vineyards and tranquil valley vegetation. Tastings are personal and intimate, with attention paid to the finer details of each wine. Stark-Conde has three different brands. The Three Pines range is a single-vineyard, flagship estate selection while the Stellenbosch wines are blends from different vineyard blocks on the estate. Stark-Conde Field Blend is the only estate white wine produced and is compiled from a single block of three different cultivars grown together namely Roussanne, Chenin Blanc, Viognier and Verdelho. This wine is elegantly balanced with richness and aromatics from the Roussanne and Viognier, combined with fruit and acidity from the Chenin Blanc and Verdelho components. Stark-Conde Postcard Series are from selected vineyards outside the farm.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Excellent wines with a top class tasting room and staff.
Grounds were beautiful and the restaurant looked and smelled amazing.

Thank smassey1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"postcard cafe"
in 14 reviews
"pinot noir"
in 10 reviews
"tasting room"
in 20 reviews
"small lake"
in 5 reviews
"prawn salad"
in 2 reviews
"beautiful setting"
in 11 reviews
"tasting area"
in 7 reviews
"takes place"
in 3 reviews
"service was great"
in 4 reviews
"bought wine"
in 3 reviews
"lovely lady"
in 2 reviews
"delightful experience"
in 2 reviews
"great wine"
in 8 reviews
"jonkershoek nature reserve"
in 2 reviews
"tasting experience"
in 4 reviews
"top class"
in 2 reviews
"cape town"
in 7 reviews
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1 - 5 of 188 reviews

Reviewed 26 February 2018

We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of both food and drink at this estate, considering that none of our party had ever heard of the place! I have visited the Jonkershoek valley before and blissfully passed this hidden gem!
The restaurant was completely full at 1:30pm on a Sunday yet they were able to find seating for us, after a wine tasting. The wine turned out to be exquisite, with very good value for money offerings, notably an excellent house Pinot Noir.
The menu is inventive with fresh Asian offerings alongside European style options.
The outdoor tasting area is currently under renovation but the informal tasting in the cellar was informative and fun. We were served by a lovely Lady called Letitia during the cellar tasting, who gave us plenty of information about the Estate and their activities. She is the type of enthusiastic passionate staff that is always a credit to their employers. Thank you.

Thank kombuis777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2018 via mobile

A Very nice wineyard in a beatiful landscape. Feel like you are in a painting.
Good wines. Recommend.

Thank MiNGsRJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2018 via mobile

Stark-Conde produces fabulous wines, for me the best Cabernet Sauvignons in Stellenbosch. We‘ve been there on every visit to Stellenbosch and their normal wine tasting area in the lake (currently not accessible due to renovations) is perhaps our favourite spot in the area.

This time we felt a bit let down though. We were excited to go despite knowing of the renovation work but didn’t want to miss out on the wines. Like many estates in the area you now have to select from a predefined tasting menu, we prefer it if you can just select 6 wines from the whole list. The prices for the tastings are expensive up to 130R for 3 wines but the tasting portions are generous, enough to share. So we decided for 2 different options.

I don’t mind paying for tastings as it reduces the pressure to buy, but most estates waive the fee when you do buy. Not here, we ended up paying 180R for the tasting despite buying 3 bottles! This was the only estate in S.A. where this happened and it leaves a bad taste for our next visit.

1  Thank HolidayMaus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 November 2017 via mobile

We're done lots of wine tasting around Stellenbosch so this review is based on our feedback following an extensive wine tour.

We didn't feel as welcome here as we did in other places as the member of staff that was running the wine tasting for us, didn't look like she enjoyed her job. I now wish I noted her name but sadly I didn't. She made me feel uncomfortable for asking to move seats (because I wanted a better view of the place) even though it was empty.

Just something to note that the wine tasting is conducted away from the main building which it itself is a disappointment. It's on the side of the building. So you don't get a good view of everything which is a shame. We go for the wine tasting and the beautiful views.

You would get a great view if you're eating lunch so if it's a view you want - get booked in for lunch in advance. We didn't need lunch as we were eating elsewhere.

There's also lots of open land so you can have a wonder around.

The wine itself was lovely and we picked a selection of wines from the packages on offer. We also brought some wines too so no complaints there.

The water that you see in the pictures was empty - maybe due to the draught so just keep that in mind.

Thank kanddhanson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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