Coun­try Chef

In an area be­twixt and be­tween more es­tab­lished des­ti­na­tions, Wolse­ley chef Fran­cois du Toit of Waver­ley Hills is mak­ing a state­ment and bring­ing in the crowds

South African Country Life - - Sumario - WORDS TU­DOR CARADOC-DAVIES PIC­TURES DANIELA ZONDAGH AND SUPPLIED

Chef Fran­cois du Toit of Waver­ley Hills gives the tra­di­tional a very spe­cial twist

Stand­ing on the bal­cony of the restau­rant at Waver­ley Hills wine es­tate, man­ager and head chef Fran­cois du Toit is look­ing out at a pretty im­pres­sive view. We are in the foothills of the Witzen­berg moun­tain range above Wolse­ley, just be­fore Michell’s Pass, be­tween Ceres and Tul­bagh.

There’s a front­line of fo­liage as an en­tire, an­cient, fyn­bos bio­sphere merges into plant-based bat­tle with vine­yards and other farm­land in var­i­ous de­grees of har­vest. The plant life is per­fo­rated by trenches of cold-run­ning, clear streams and rivers that tum­ble from the Cape Fold Moun­tains be­fore join­ing forces in the mighty Breede River in the sad­dle of the val­ley.

Wolse­ley is one of those good old­fash­ioned spots of nat­u­ral beauty and coun­try ways. In the sec­ond-home boom of the 90s and noughties, yup­pies threw their money at places like Clan­william, Fish­er­haven or

Stand­ford. Sim­i­larly, pinki­fi­ca­tion passed by

TOP: Waver­ley Hills is best known for its or­ganic wines but, with chef Fran­cois du Toit at the helm, the restau­rant is mak­ing quite a name for it­self. ABOVE: The splen­did view from the wine es­tate, out over the in­dige­nous-fish pond to the Breede River Val­ley.

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