Brenaissance – New”ish” Kids on the Stellies Block

February 12th, 2013 by karen

 Tom and Hayley Breytenbach have opened their little piece of Heaven on Earth – Brenaissance, creating a bit of a renaissance in the Devon Valley area. Tom has managed to amalgamate his three passions into this Wine and Stud Estate, those being his wife and family, wine and cattle. Though neither of them are from a farming background they have approached this project like a business with Tom using words such as strategy, specialisation and diversification.

The Breytenbach’s bought the estate in 2008. They spent the first two years getting the land into better shape, introducing as many sustainable practices as possible for the planting of vines and plums. Following this was getting the aesthetics of the buildings right. This included building a chapel for 200 people and a function centre for 250 people which was initially used for their own wedding:) They also built accommodation for 18 along with a tasting room on the estate. The Stud part of the equation refers to the Boran cattle which they have been purchasing over the past few years and at this stage own about 20 of the top 30 sought after cattle in SA. Finally they have opened a wonderful Blanc de Noir Cafe along the river offering a relaxed family friendly atmosphere with fresh produce for salads and pizzas.

Their is no cellar on the estate and never will be according to Tom. His primary focus is growing their own grapes, thereafter they select winemakers whom they believe to be the most passionate and capable in making a specific variety. Apart from offering some stylistic guidelines the grapes are entrusted to these chosen winemakers which at this stage include Jasper Raats at Longridge for the 2 whites, and Clos Malvern, Billy Marklew at Marklew and Nico Grobler at Eikendal for the reds.

Their range consists of 7 wines at present each with very small quantities as total production for 2011 was 35 000 bottles. Their is intent for the range to grow to include a Blanc de Noir and hopefully a bubbly in time for the celebration of the start of their family:)  Tom believes the valley does very well with Chardonnay and Shiraz and their Chardonnay (referred to by the owners as “Our Liquid Gold”) was certainly my favourite of the day. A bold yet well balanced wine offering butterscotch, granadilla and pine nuts which paired beautifully with the lunch as well. Their mind map wine tasting sheet is intriguing and the journey you take when tasting the wines is a wonderful experience. They really have their finger on the pulse with regards every aspect, right down to Hayley designing the labels for the bottles which all revolve around a pack of cards.

In my opinion Brenaissance are building their pack of cards on solid ground. Give them a visit to judge for yourself.
























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