17 Feb 2016
Hidden Valley is true to its name. A hidden, “gem of a place”, with the greatest location imaginable, offering a wine, dine and art experience of exceptional quality.
New owner Riaan Stassen, who has had connections with the wine industry for many years, prior to his remarkably successful banking sojourn, bought the farm in June 2015 and is transforming it into the unique experience, that this special location deserves.
Even though he has ambitions to evolve the range of wines into top quality, premium contenders, he has recognised the need to combine informality and casual social interaction, with a premium food, wine and art experience, which is affordable.
The winery and restaurant have an informal, welcoming feel that encourages the visitor to sit back, relax and enjoy the spectacular views over Stellenbosch, Simonsberg Mountain and all the way to Table Mountain.
The facility is flexible enough to cater for the every-day diner, wine taster or enthusiast or for the formality required for a gala event. Capacity is adequate for functions to range from business events to wedding receptions or birthday parties. Catering defined by the client is the norm for these events.
Since arriving at Hidden Valley, Stassen has implemented various projects and upgrades to further enhance the consumer experience at the estate. An example of this is his gourmet picnics, specially prepared by Overture restaurant, which combines the casual informality of the beautiful surroundings and nature on the farm, with an affordable yet special food and wine experience.
Another project he has embarked on is to create an icon for the brand – one that consumers will identify and immediately associate with Hidden Valley.
Being a lover of fine art, amongst other things, he approached well-known sculptor, Willie Botha, with the idea. This idea was translated into a story which became the inspiration behind the classical art fragment that has been placed at the entrance of the estate. This will form a collective experience for visitors in the future. This icon was the start of a process that has led to a complete facelift of the wine range. As a result, the Hidden Treasure has been developed in a Theos shaped bottle, imported from France, which is both unusual and visually appealing. Winemaker, Annalie van Dyk, comments: “In this dry rosé, expect strawberries, rose petals and candyfloss on the nose and bright summer fruits with mouthwatering cherry and pomegranate flavours on the palate.”
The new vintages of the flagship Bordeaux blends in the range, the Hidden Secret and Hidden Gems, have also been given a new face. The Hidden Secret will be released in an Anassa shaped bottle and the Hidden Gems, in a Constance shaped bottle, both also imported from France.
In the quest to create a truly unique experience for customers at the estate, a new sculpture studio opened its doors in December 2015. Visitors can look forward to admire the latest creations by Willie Botha, in this tranquil space.
The longstanding relationship with Chef Bertus Basson at Overture Restaurant will be continued and the expansion of the restaurant is already in the conceptual phase to further cater for events and functions.
The estate is rapidly gaining traction as a unique winelands destination, for every day experiences or events. Sweeping views over Stellenbosch and the peninsula, breathtaking sunsets over Table Mountain as well as exclusive catering by award winning Overture Restaurant, all contribute to the unique experience.
Riaan comments: “Memorable experiences are what I have pursued all my life and are the inspiration behind my return to the wine industry at Hidden Valley. My vision is to leave no person unimpressed when they experience the hidden gems we offer, in every respect.”