It was a social call I’ve been meaning to make for a few months now. A visit with Tretchikoff’s Chinese Girl at Delaire Graff Estate. She was a gracious hostess, it’s not often that a multimillion rand painting waits for you in the foyer!
Despite being one of Vladimir Tretchikoff’s most reproduced paintings, Chinese Lady is still worth quite a pretty penny. In March last year Laurence Graff paid £982,050 (around R17 million) in auction for the painting and instead of hiding it in a safe he has made it available to the Tretchi loving masses. What a nice guy.
That said, Delcaire Graff Estate is the most out of reach places I have ever visited. Not that I felt unwelcome, quite the opposite. From the moment we passed through the gates and the security guard introduced himself, the security guards in the parking lot with ear pieces that make them look like secret agents who gave us friendly directions down to the doorman opening the dauntingly huge doors and receptionist happily pointing us to The Chinese Lady next to her desk.
In the end we found a way to get a little closer to the restaurant by ordering the Elements tasting which consists of 4 canapés paired with wine from the estate. As out server Randall explained, the goal is to create a completely new flavour, 1+1 does not equal to 2, it’s 3.
The first taster was the most exquisite, an oyster in a delicate tomato extract paired with Sauvignon Blanc. The next two followed the principle of “oaky pairs with smoky”. An oaky chardonnay was paired with smoked carb with roasted potato while the heavy red Botmaskop enhanced the flavour of pork with beef dust topped off with prune puree. Both good pairings but it had nothing on number 4, dark chocolate macaroon with Cape Vintage. Divine.
For a few glorious minutes I thought about saving up and spending the night at one of the 4 accommodation options on the estate. The Plus One smashed this dream when he looked up the going rate… R10,000 – R30,000 a night. I’ve never been much of a saver anyway.
A day at the Delaire Graff Estate is like buying a Hermes keychain when you really wanted the Kelly bag. As much as I love my prints, nothing quite beats an original Tretchikoff.
Address: R310, Helshoogte Pass, Stellenbosch
Telephone number: 021 885 8160