Stark-Condé & The Postcard Cafe

Words: Crush

Nestled in the charming Jonkershoek Valley lies the boutique winery, Stark-Condé – a mere three kilometers outside of Stellenbosch. Stark-Condé is intensively family-run. German father Hans Schröder, Japanese-German daughter Marie, and Cuban-American husband, José Conde co-own the winery with their two daughters working in the café at weekends to help. The beautiful setting inspired the name – the Postcard Cafe. What was intended to attract more feet to the tasting room; a little café linked to the winery, has now become the winery linked to the Postcard Cafe run by the talented Marie Conde instead.

Starke-Condé is ideally located for the production of Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varietals, thus it was only a matter of time before award-winning Cabs would emerge from the cellar. Winemaker and co-owner, José Conde handcrafted his first-ever Cabernet Sauvignon vintage in 1998 in what was a storeroom of the winery at the time. The four barrels aged gracefully and received five stars by John Platter – evidently José had been destined to be a winemaker and not a graphic designer. Adding to the talent, the farm’s higher elevations and finely textured soils (perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon), made it a painless career change.

Steep alterations in vineyard elevation make for a range of sites with distinct characteristics. Combined with the tremendous winter rainfall in Jonkershoek, (three times more rain than Stellenbosch) these qualities ensure a more than suitable terrain for growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Syrah and Pinotage.

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With so much room to play, winemaker José Conde is able to craft only the finest wines – each made with great consideration and patience. Stark-Condé has three different brands. The Three Pines range is a single-vineyard, flagship estate selection while the Stellenbosch wines are blends from different vineyard blocks on the estate. The Pepin Condé wines are non-estate premium wines from vineyards outside of the farm.

José firmly believes in traditional winemaking – handpicking, careful hand selection of the grapes, manual punch-downs, open-tank fermentation, basket pressing, and patient maturation for 22 months in French oak barrels. Because of this approach, unlike commercial wineries, only 6000 cases of wine are produced annually.

Apart from the beautiful setting and award-winning wines, a visit to their tasting room is well worth taking a drive out to the farm. The unique tasting room, housed in a small and intimate Balinese wooden structure – built on its own little island – is the perfect spot for visitors to enjoy the spectacular view of the surrounding mountains, natural vegetation and vineyards. Tastings are personal and intimate, with attention paid to the finer details of each wine.

Tasting room:

Open 10:00–16:00 Monday to Sunday

Follow on Twitter @StarkCondeWine

021 861 7701

The Postcard Cafe

The Postcard Cafe’s menu at Stark-Condé Wines is comprised of simple and unpretentious dishes for every palate. The beautiful setting under the trees is sure to encourage any visitor to kickback and enjoy a bottle of the wine from the farm together with some delightful sourdough bread from De Oude Bank Bakkerij. Vibrant plates with the freshest ingredients emerge from the café’s kitchen. Antipasti plates of marinated mushrooms, mozzarella with roasted peppers, assorted cheeses, homemade pork terrine, salami, toasted nuts and greens are always a winner and can be shared between either 2 or 4 people. The pan-fried fish of the day with homemade tartar sauce and couscous salad comes highly recommended – especially if yellowtail is available. For the meat-lover, there is a not-so-traditional Teriyaki beef burger served with a sweet soy-ginger sauce and rice, which will certainly hit the spot, without the extra carbs. They also make their own fresh juices and sodas – expect drinks such as refreshing raspberry lemonade to quench your thirst.

Well-known for their delicious desserts, the Postcard Cafe offers an array of freshly made cakes and bakes. Each dessert is perfected to Marie’s liking. The red velvet cake recipe has been tried and tested to perfection – Marie sampled cakes from numerous restaurants and cafés to find the perfect balance of sweet and spongy, velvety amazingness.

The café offers breakfast, lunch and tea. Visitors are encouraged to make a reservation to avoid disappointment.

Open: 09:30-16:00 Tuesday to Sunday

021 861 7703

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