Toasting its award-winning Idiom wines, Bottega Family Wines has embarked on a novel sensory experience. Set in the beautiful Helderberg mountains on the outskirts of Somerset West, the new Idiom Restaurant and Wine Tasting Centre is truly special.
The new Winelands attraction invites visitors to not only experience the stellar selection of wines, but also a restaurant and tasting room with magnificent panoramic views. The granite mountains, rolling fynbos-clad hills, close proximity to the cool Atlantic Ocean and windswept, low-yielding vineyards all combine to define the terroir.
The building, designed by architect Thomas Leach in close partnership with Idiom owner Alberto Bottega and his son, Roberto, mirrors South Africa’s unique positioning in the world of wine; a composition of New World modernism on a base of Old World support.
‘It fuses Old World, classically-styled Roman arches and stone porticos with a New World timber pavilion and concrete wine tasting cube to impart a contemporary yet timeless feel,’ explains Thomas.
Roberto expresses his vision, ‘The concept at Idiom was to achieve a dialogue between the modern and traditional, bringing together our family’s South African and Italian heritage. The fusion of styles means that the building constantly surprises and looks different from every angle.’
The Bottega family invited journalists and food and wine writers to a grand opening, complete with a four-course lunch in the upstairs dining area. From a panko crusted Mozambican prawn amuse bouche, to a trio of venison as a starter and chargrilled beef fillet as a main (and let’s not forget the exceptional rooibos pannacotta set on an almond genoise sponge) paired with Idiom wines, it was a delicious and inspiring afternoon.
With Chef Irwin de Vries at the kitchen’s helm, Thomas Leach behind the magnificent architecture and Lionel and Anton Smit responsible for the art and sculpture, the collaboration between artist and manufacturer, designer and winemaker and the execution of culinary and vinous skill is exemplary.
Photographs Courtesy Words Lisa Wallace