Beaumont Family Wines celebrated the opening of their new Zest@Beaumont Deli by hosting an Open Day on Saturday, with guests coming from far and wide to enjoy this winemaking family’s trademark brand of country hospitality.

At Beaumont’s Open Day, winemaker Sebastian Beaumont treated guests to a tasting of several vintages of Beaumont’s classical wines.

The extensive renovations at Beaumont Family Wines, located in the heart of the tiny hamlet of Botrivier on the historic Compagnes Drift Farm, started with the new tasting room adjacent to the original barrel cellar, which was completed last year. Next up was the deli, where Zest Catering now operates from an expansive and modern open kitchen, while providing both indoor and outdoor seating for guests.

The deli was ready to open at the end of March – and then the lockdown was announced. Untold frustrations followed as functions were cancelled and the selling and export of wine was banned during much of the lockdown. So there was every reason to celebrate on Saturday and, despite the inclement weather, the Beaumont werf was a hive of activity throughout the day. The wheels of the beautifully restored 200-year-old watermill on the farm were turning, too, with visitors being treated to a demonstration of how Beaumont’s sought-after stone-ground flour is produced.

Beaumont Family Wines is home to the Bot River region’s oldest wine cellar, originally established in the mid-1700s by the Dutch East India Company. As a self-sustaining farm, Compagnes Drift supplied the garrison of soldiers stationed there, as well as travellers to the interior with fresh produce. By the time Jayne and Raoul Beaumont bought the farm in 1973, however, it had for many decades fallen into disrepair and its restoration was a labour of love that has been passed on to the next generation.

Nici Beaumont in the new farm kitchen of Zest@Beaumont.

In the early years, they set about planting fruit trees and replanting the vineyards. While Raoul concentrated on the management of the farm, Jayne revitalised the old cellar and started making small quantities of her own wine which she named after each of the three Beaumont children – the eldest, Sebastian, his sister Ariane, and laatlammetjie Lucien. Raoul passed away in 2008 but Jayne still lives on the farm and is still making her own artisanal Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, while Sebastian and his wife Nici have taken over the full running of the farm and its endeavours.

Sebastian, whose passions include fishing and surfing, honed his skills in the vineyards on the farm, working alongside Raoul. After studying viticulture and oenology he joined the family business in 1999, initially as viticulturist and assistant winemaker under the guidance of Jayne and winemaker Niels Verburg (who later founded Luddite Wines). Five years later, in 2004, he completed his first vintage and took charge of the winemaking. He soon established a standing as a Chenin Blanc aficionado. With eight 5-star Platter’s ratings for Beaumont’s wooded Chenin Blanc, named Hope Marguerite after his grandmother, Sebastian has earned the nickname, ‘The Chenin Dude’.

Andy Selfe, who was responsible for the painstaking process of restoring the mill over a period of four years, packages the freshly-ground whole-wheat flour.

His hands-on approach to winemaking is instinctive, believing that wine is made in the vineyards and that minimal intervention is needed. Ancient, low-yielding Chenin Blanc and Pinotage vines are honoured in the process, allowing Beaumont’s range of authentic cool-climate wines to be a true expression of the Botrivier terroir. Working at his side as a partner in the family business is Sebastian’s wife, Nici, a co-founder of Zest Catering who is involved with all things culinary, including the new Deli@Beaumont and catering for special events. Inspired by the seasons, ingredients for the deli’s daily offerings are sourced from local suppliers and the farm’s vegetable garden.

Beaumont Family Wines is a place of simplicity and charm, offering the quintessential Overberg experience. The tasting room and the deli are now open six days a week – Monday to Friday from 09:00 – 16:00 and Saturday from 10:00 – 15:00, offering delicious and wholesome home-cooked meals and platters to enjoy with your wine tasting. Don’t come without a basket, as there are plenty of irresistible treats and home meals that you’ll want to take home, along with a few cases of your favourite Beaumont wines. To make a booking, call 028 284 9194 or info@beaumont.co.za. For more information, visit www.beaumont.co.za.

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