REVIEW – ERNIE ELS WINES, STELLENBOSCH: best burgers, wine and service.

Those of you who know me, know that I’m not really a fan of chainstores, or places and things that are common and commercial. Ernie Els probably seems like the most commercial of them all, but actually, over the past year or so, it has become one of my firm favorites!

Although it’s technically “Stellenbosch” as it’s on the Stellenbosch wine route, Ernie Els Wines is situated only 10km from the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West. The view over the Winelands from the seating area outside is absolutely beautiful, and there is seating inside too if it’s a bit chilly. The decor is golf-inspired (surprise surprise) and there is loads on display to look at in terms of trophies, awards, medals etc.

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Every single time I go, I think to myself how friendly and accommodating all the staff are. You are always greeted warmly upon arrival, and are even given a complementary tasting of their excellent Sauvignon blanc. I always look forward to my visits at Ernie because their 2016 Big Easy Rosé is one of my favourite Rosés ever, but their Sauvignon blanc really impressed me with its fruitiness. In the end, I actually fell head over heels in love with their 2016 Big Easy unwooded Chenin blanc – which is definitely saying something since I generally don’t even like Chenin!

My absolute pet hate at wine farms is tasting room assistants who don’t take us seriously. It drives me insane when it’s assumed that just because we’re young girls, we don’t care about the wine! I can say without a doubt that every single time I’ve been to Ernie Els, the young men working in the tasting room have conducted a really good, well-informed, comprehensive tasting, offering us all the relative information right off the bat, rather than me having to request it.

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The Winter Menu at Ernie Els Wines includes your usual cheese and meat platters, but it also has some awesome winter warmers to choose from. We both chose the burger: a huge 200g beef patty topped with mushrooms and bacon; the generous serving of melted tangy white Edam cheese really hit the spot! I asked for salad instead of chips, which wasn’t on the menu, but they gladly made a salad for me, and it was a nice big helping and lovely and fresh. The meal was on the expensive side, at R155,00 for the burger and chips, but their white wines and Rosé by the glass are only R20,00 each! Also, the burger was probably one of the tastiest burgers I’ve ever had in my whole life.

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To round off a gorgeous afternoon of awesome wines and a really good lunch, the tasting room staff even gave us a golfing tutorial (which as you can see, we very desperately needed!)

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A very big thank you to my special friend Megan, and to the tasting room staff for looking after us so well.

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