Bells & Whistles is a monthly newsletter which aims to give a voice to the Asara team, and to celebrate good news in our own quirky way. At Asara we regard our staff as our biggest asset, and each department has wonderful stories to tell and many achievements to share and celebrate. So please enjoy this edition, and please remember to share your stories and ideas with us.
Sansibar is offering a number of enticing, hearty, special dishes to match the season.
Top of the list is the flavourful Springbok shank, slow-cooked in a Shiraz base and served with creamy Colcannon mash and a rich Shiraz jus.During June the dish includes a glass of Asara’s Vineyard Collection Shiraz as part of our ‘Month of Shiraz and Venison' competition, and everyone who joins the experience during June will receive 10% off the price of any purchases they make at our tasting room on the day, and be entered into a weekly draw for a chance to win a case of VC Shiraz valued at R690 (prize to be collected from our tasting room).
For Father’s Day on June 16 there's a succulent 350gm sirloin, cut on the bone, dry-aged for 30 days, and cooked in Sansibar's wood-fired oven with a garlic and herb baste. The steaks will be available after Father’s Day too.
And on the menu throughout winter will be a classic Cape Malay Curry, gently warm and slightly sweet, served with home-made roti, chutney and a tomato salsa.
Visit Sansibar for a delicious meal on a wintry day!
The safety and security of guests and staff on the estate is a number one priority at Asara. Security policies and practices are therefore under constant review, and daily routines are frequently changed so as to not become predictable.
In recent months dog patrols have been increased with up to three dogs used on any given day, and the number of on-site security guards has been increased. Communication between team members has been tested and improved, and training has been stepped up during the winter months.
Asara’s Head of security, Ernst Bester says, ‘Security at Asara is excellent, but we are determined to remain vigilant and proactive in keeping it that way.”
Biodiversity on the farm is vital to the health of the ecosystem, and we are passionate about conserving all aspects of our natural environment from the unique Renosterveld and fynbos, to the diverse wildlife to the prolific birdlife.
The latest reminder of our amazing bio-diversity is the new family of Egyptian goslings at the lower dam, with ma and pa keeping a protective eye on their offspring at all times. The family crosses the road a number of times each day to forage in the vineyards - so remember to drive carefully.
Visitors will find that there’s a calmer atmosphere to life in the winelands during winter. With less people about there’s also a relaxed pace in the tasting rooms, which enables visitors to enjoy a more contemplative tasting experience.
Winter scenery offers a stark beauty with crisp, clear rows of vines, bold colours and dramatic skies. Sunrises and sunsets are spectacular.
Visiting the winelands in winter also means cosy conversations next to a crackling fireplace while sipping full-bodied red wines. At Asara guests can enjoy the fires at Raphael’s, Sansibar and the Reception Lounge. Not to mention the great specials on offer for winter.
Come and discover your own reasons why winter in the winelands is such a pleasant surprise!
Wine of the Month - for our Month of Shiraz and Venison - is the Vineyard Collection Shiraz 2015, winner of gold medals at both the Vitis Vinifera and Michelangelo International Wine Awards.
An intense wine with a deep ruby hue and black cherry aromas with hints of black pepper, liquorice and dark chocolate. On the palate luscious wild berry flavours dominate, with well integrated toasty and spice notes from French oak combining to create an elegant, vibrant, full-bodied wine.
The perfect choice for a cold winter’s day, especially when paired with slow-cooked Springbok shank and a Shiraz jus!
Senior Receptionist Gisele Hoffmeester and Sansibar Manager Marc Gaiser are getting married on the 15th of June. Congratulations and very best wishes from all in the Asara family!
We were glad to welcome Mitch Valentyn from protel to assist with training in June. protel is a hospitality software programme that is used at Asara for everything associated with bookings and reservations. Reservationist Anel Lambert says: ‘We enjoyed the training, and it will enable us to assist guests more effectively.”
Asara has passed its Integrated Production of Wine audit with both the farm and cellar operations found to be in compliance with IPW standards.
IPW is a voluntary environmental sustainability scheme established by the South African wine industry to certify that members are in compliance with the environmental sustainability criteria established by various international bodies like the International Federation of Wine and Spirits. IPW certification is a guarantee of sound environmental practice and an essential requirement of the European wine trade.
We were delighted to welcome in June our deserving PureGin prizewinners, Peter and Angelique, for a weekend stay at Asara as part of the ‘best-dressed couple’ prize they won at our PureGin festival in December last year.
The prohibition-era theme of last year’s PureGin added greatly to the festive atmosphere, and will be the same again this year. It’s almost time for anyone planning to be at this year’s PureGin to start thinking about their outfit!
Asara Estate Manager Pete Gottgens recently completed a two-week trip to Asia where he spent time looking for new opportunities in South Korea and visited clients and conducted wine presentations and tastings in Japan.
Mr Gottgens says: “It is a long way to go but we are steadily establishing a following for Asara wines in Japan and in other parts of Asia, and if we want to build on those relationships, it’s essential to have face to face contact with our friends and business partners in that part of the world.”
The farm team has started pruning the vines and the first stage of Asara’s 3-stage pruning process - sometimes referred to as the ‘pre-prune’ - is almost complete. We’ve had excellent rains so far this winter with almost 100mm in the first half of June, and the forecasts are promising. The soils are well irrigated and the water situation is much improved. Farm Manager Alan Cockcroft says: “The work we are doing now in the vineyards is laying the foundation for a successful harvest. The wet and cold weather that we’ve had has put the vines into winter dormancy and everything is nicely on track.”
The Sansibar Gin Lounge at Asara is the home of gin adventure and discovery with over 500 local and imported gins to choose from and a range of gin tasting experiences on offer as well.
So it was only appropriate that we celebrated World Gin Day on Saturday the 8th of June in style at Sansibar with our unique 4 country pizza matched with a flight of 4 gins from the same countries. We also ran a competition where guests could win spot prizes as well as a Grand Prize to the value of R3 500.00 which was won by Sandy-Lee Hendriks.
A good time was had by all with lots of smiling faces to be seen!
All guests booking accommodation at Asara via Asara’s own website will receive a 15% discount on the best available rates. This enhances Asara’s excellent value-for-money offering, and makes booking through the Asara website the only way to go.
WEBSITE EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL - SAVE 15% OFF BEST AVAILABLE RATES In addition you will receive a complimentary 3 glass wine tasting (per person) as well as a 2 pack box (per room) of Asara Wine Estate’s unique Red & White Cabernet to enjoy at your leisure.
Please use Promo Code WEBDIRECT to apply the discount.
Your booking must be received via our website to qualify.
Only applicable to reservations received via Asara Wine Estate & Hotel’s web booking engine.
Not applicable via any other method of booking, nor any 3rd party website.
Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or any other rate type.
Regret existing bookings cannot be changed. T&C’s apply.