Harvest 2020 barrelling along!

“Can you believe it, we’re at the end of week 3 of this year’s harvest and we’re already more than 25% through with harvest 2020!” Jan van Rooyen, Avontuur’s winemaker seems a little bit surprised about the speed of things this year, especially as a few of the varietals seem to be in a race against time and ripening quicker than last year.

An example is the Viognier, which has come in two weeks earlier than last year. “It’s at the same ripeness and the grapes look very similar to last year’s,” he says. “But for some weird reason that block was ripe a fortnight earlier than in 2019.”  Another strange one was the Pinot Noir which was 8 days early – although harvested for the same wine and with the same end product in mind as the 2019 varietal.

“For the rest we seem to be on track and we’re currently harvesting beautiful Sauvignon Blanc, which will make that popular, crisp style that we’re so well known for,” Jan commented.

Now for the next 75%!

Valentine’s Treats at Avontuur

Friday, 14 February is Valentine’s Day and at Avontuur we’re enthusiastic about making it the perfect experience for all romantics on this important day,  but we also want to share our farm experiences with visitors for the whole month.


The Avontuur Estate Restaurant is hosting a Valentine’s Dinner featuring local muso Blair Taberer who will entertain with his original music and popular romantic songs from 7-9pm.   Combine this with an old-fashioned “Champagne Cocktail” as a welcome drink,  a 3-course romantic menu (with choices) and hand-crafted  Valentine’s biscuits afterwards, and you have an evening to remember. 

The cost is R450 pp, dress is smart-casual and couples can arrive from 6 pm to enjoy drinks and  sunset on the terrace. (Weather permitting).  Reservations are essential at +27 21 855-4296 and a deposit of R500 will secure.


From 10 February to 23 February we’re bringing back one of our most popular pairings,  but now featuring different wines and specially curated Valentine’s cake pop flavours.  This pairing offers 5 wines served with different flavours of cake pops and we invite visitors to taste and decide on their own favourites. 

Bookings essential at or +27 21 855-3450. The cost is R140 pp.


If you didn’t organise a romantic interlude for the two of you, make up by buying her a bottle of our Pinot Noir/Chardonnay and a box of Basilei hand-made marshmallows as a “peace offering” for  R130. 

Or grab a 2-pack of 2019 Pinot Noir/Chardonnay to enjoy at a venue of your choice with sushi or oysters for only R170. (Normal price: R200).  Valid from 1/2-29/2 2020.

Avontuur beats the odds at 1st 2020 yearling sale.

Avontuur’s “daughter of two champions”,  All that Jazz (Trippi x Val de Ra) was the top-selling filly at last week’s 2020 Cape Premier Yearling Sale and in another first, was also the first yearling to be bought for export to Australia via Mauritius and the UK. 

Another filly who did extremely well for the farm was Live My Life by Gimmethegreenlight out of Muamba.  She was sold for R1.1 million to European interests, but will be raced here first and do well we hope, before being exported.

Comments Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh, “Our horses looked amazing and I think the fact that they did, was our saving grace in a really hard market.  We had 10 different sires for all to choose from and due to that and our quality mares we had a good chance of doing well.”

The difficult economic situation was echoed by chief executive officer of Cape Thoroughbred Sales,  Wéhann Smith who said “Considering the economic climate, both macro and micro, we came into the sale with limited expectations. But all said and done, it’s still a significant amount of money (sales totalled R56,490,000) and we still see a R3-million colt and a R2.2-million colt and two fillies over R1 million, in trying times as positive. “

At this sale 232 lots were catalogued, after withdrawals 216 were offered and 173 were sold. The aggregate was R56,490,000, the average R326,531 and the median R250,000.  In Avontuur’s case, all 10 sold for an average of R585 000 which shows the quality of the group on offer.

Avontuur Estate would like to thank all buyers and trainers who supported us and we look forward to see them perform in future.  A special thanks to all the under bidders, without whom we would have fallen short.

Order new Luna de Miel online at a special price!

Avontuur Estate winemaker Jan van Rooyen was thrilled to announce the release of the 2018 vintage of this iconic wine on the Avontuur wine list.  “This is a Chardonnay for the Chardonnay lover,” he says.  “The wine has nuances of orange peel and ginger on the nose and it’s a full-bodied style with complexity from a tiny bit of Viognier and 80% new French oak barrel fermentation and aging. “

The wine retails for R200 per bottle from the tasting room and Chardonnay fans are invited to pop in to taste and buy the new vintage at the Estate between Stellenbosch and Somerset West.  Within a few weeks, the new vintage should be available too in selected liquor outlets in the Western Cape, KZN and Gauteng. 

Try it with a spicy Malay Curry or grilled seafood and fish, or do what the Avontuur Estate Restaurant does and serve it with roast duck.

If you are not in the Western Cape, have a look at our Cellar Direct Wine Shop offer which offers a discount on 6 bottles or more – and it’s delivered to your home or office anywhere in South Africa.  To order, click here:

The full low down on each CPYS 2020 Yearling!

“Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm has horses for every buyer at the 2020 Cape Premier Yearling Sale,” said Avontuur’s Estate General Manager Pippa Mickleburgh.

“Some time ago someone remarked to me that the so-called ‘small buyers’ don’t like to come to the major sales because the ‘big” buyers pick up all the best horses. But I’d like to counter that, because we always have yearlings in our draft that suits buyers of all budgets, and we value every client. Visit us at the Avontuur stand and see for yourself.”

The first Avontuur yearling to step into the ring at CPYS this year will be Lot 1, Master Of Law, a colt by Legislate from Jackie O. “He’s big strong and robust,” said Mickleburgh, who was happy to see a single Legislate runner in Gauteng finish second on debut just recently. Snooze and you lose!

Lot 16 is Mayenne, a filly by freshman stallion Rafeef from La Normandie, who has had four winners from four runners including Gr1 Golden Horse Casino Sprint winner Normanz. “She’s a big horse of high quality, if this is the type of filly Rafeef’s going to produce I’d be excited for his owners.”

Lot 29 is a filly sired by the well-performed Master Of Fate, named Call It Fate. She is from the family of Cold As Ice and Mickleburgh said: “She’s strong and correct, a good looking filly I’d place in the ‘smaller buyers’ league, she could be a value buy, well worth a look!”

Lot 32, Spielberg is a cleverly named colt, described as “hunky and good-looking”. He’s by Futura from the fast Gr3 winner Miss October, the sister to August Rush and dam of promising Spring Break. “We named him Spielberg after the famous movie director (of mostly futuristic films), and because in the Spielberg movie ‘Back To The Future’, they travelled to the month of October,” Mickleburgh explained. “Spielberg is an imposing third foal.”

Lot 37 is Live My Life, by Gimmethegreenlight from Muamba (Pure Prize), a five-time winning half-sister to 2016 Durban July runner Mambo Mime. “She’s a dark filly, athletic, highly attractive and from a winning Argentine pedigree. Our fillies are invariably excellent runners, and Gimmethegreenlight is a top stallion.”

Intrepid (Lot 46) is an eye-catching grey son of VAR and super broodmare sire Jet Master’s daughter Pan Amm, whose two foals so far are both stakes-placed. “He’s very pretty, a get-up-and-go type of horse who will run quick, he’s sound and precocious,” Mickleburgh said.

Lot 120 is the pride of Avontuur’s 2020 draft. Named All That Jazz, she is by Trippi from Champion sprinter Val De Ra, whose stakes-winning Frankel filly Miss Frankel was recently exported. “She’s big and scopy, she has her mother’s length, so to speak, and she’s no pushover. She’s big, with a nice barrel, and we all know how the Trippi fillies can run. We decided to put her on the sale, we believe we’ll get a good and deserving sales price for a yearling of this calibre, as we’ve done it successfully with similarly well-bred yearlings before.”

Quiz Master (Lot 123) is another likely to get the tongues wagging. He’s a son of the terrific Silvano and the VAR mare, Varsity Queen. Mickleburgh said this is “a proper horse”, one with the “wow” factor. “It’s hard to produce Silvano’s for the early sales. This one is medium-sized, his half-sister Operetta was bigger. But he ticks all the right boxes. He is strong and will develop into something special, a must-see!”

Stallion Captain Of All is doing the job, and his bay son Goodwill (Lot 131), like Lot 46, is from a Jet Master mare, this one Without Malice, who won eight races. “He’s an attractive, athletic colt with clean legs, another one I’d put in the ‘normal buyers’ league,” Mickleburgh said.

Lot 138 is the final Avontuur ‘baby’ through the ring. He’s West Point, an Oratorio full-brother to Gr1-placed Ancestry,  who was a first foal and Mickleburgh said: “He looks like Ancestry, but has more rib cage – a nice yearling from A Daughter’s Legacy, a good mare we expect to produce more good foals.”

Copy courtesy of Charl Pretorius.

January Wine Special perfect for Summer

January is always the “longest” month cash-wise as we’ve all had much too much of a good time over the festive season!  So, it’s great to have an affordable wine option as we move into the new year.

At the Avontuur tasting room, we have a 3-pack of our fresh, easy-drinking Sauvignon Blanc 2019 for only R250 (Save R50) and for red wine lovers, the always-popular Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2017 for R300 for a 3-pack. (Save R60).

If you can’t get to the tasting room this month,  contact Ella or Moerieda at +27 21 855-3450 or to place your order and arrange for a courier delivery to your home or work.

We look forward to welcoming you at the farm for a tasting or a meal in our restaurant this month.  Or just pop in for a relaxing visit on the terrace overlooking the paddocks, mountains and False Bay.


Cape Premier Yearling Sale 2020 planning in full swing!

It’s the last few days before our group of 10 yearlings leave for the Cape Town International Convention Centre for the 2020 Cape Premier Yearling Sale which is set for Thursday,  16 January. 

Pippa and her team plus the stars of the show – our elegant and athletic yearlings – will be on hand and ready to receive visitors from around lunch time on Monday the 13th.  We look forward to welcoming buyers, trainers, owners and interested parties to our stand, not only to view this year’s crop, but also partake in quality wine and snacks, and just in general have a good time!

We’re happy to share our list of yearlings.  All the info you need to make a decision is available and we’ve also got some pics to enjoy on our Stud Sales pages.

Click here to have a look:

For more info or to arrange a private viewing at the Estate before the Sale,  contact Pippa at



Festive Season Opening Times

Avontuur Estate will be closed on Christmas Day (25/12) and New Year’s Day (1/1) to give our staff time to spend with their families.

We are however open daily (except for those two days!).  Visit our tasting room for a tasting, to buy wine, for a pairing or one of our platters.  From 08h30-17h00 during week days or 09h00-16h00 during weekends and public holidays.  To find out more or to book for a specific event, contact Ella or Moerieda at or +27 21 855-3450. 

You are also welcome to join us on Friday evenings for Sundowners on the terrace till 19h00.

Our restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch daily and for dinner from Tuesdays to Saturdays.  Bookings are recommended at +27 21 855-4296 or

Dry Rose perfect for Summer drinking

Our 1.5 L Magnum of dry Rose is just in time for the holiday season!  It’s available in our tasting room for just R140 per bottle. It’s fruity but dry, and the slight wood component adds to the food friendliness especially grilled fish, salads or chicken.  But it works just as well drunk ice cold next to the pool, and the size is perfect for a party with friends or family.

If you can’t get to the Estate to purchase, order it from the team by contacting them at +27 21 855-3450 or and they can arrange for delivery.

New Sarabande paired with FREE recipe

Winemaker Jan van Rooyen is proud to announce the release the 2018 vintage of the multi-award winning Sarabande Sauvignon Blanc Reserve this week.

“Our vision is for this wine to become the flagship white wine of the Estate.  An iconic Sauvignon Blanc-driven “Great White” from Avontuur to show of the best of our terroir and its uniqueness.  Sarabande is not only the name of a stately Spanish dance in triple metre form, but also a tribute to an exceptional race horse and prolific broodmare called Sarabande, graced the pastures of  Avontuur Thoroughbred Stud Farm from 2005 to 2019”,  he says.

The blend contains a tiny amount of Viognier with the Sauvignon Blanc which adds to the full-bodied mouth feel and the flavours of pineapple and yellow grapefruit which is so prominent on the nose.  Ageing will bring out the minerality from the maritime influences on the vineyards and we recommend that some of the wine is stored and enjoyed after a few years.  After tank fermentation the wine was matured in 1st and 2nd fill barrels for 12 months, which makes it a perfect food wine and adds to the maturation potential.

As part of the launch, we are offering a free recipe to pair with the wine when you serve it at home.  The “Snoek Toastie with Citrussy Mayo, pickled Waterblommetjie and Charred Pineapple Salsa” was created by Marcelle van Rooyen, Food Stylist and Recipe Developer – and also the talented daughter of our winemaker! The recipe card can be collected from our tasting room when you visit to try the wine, or downloaded from our website.

Sarabande Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2018 is available from selected retailers, our tasting room at the Estate (Price:  R190 p/bottle) or from our SA Wine Shop at

Visit us this Summer and taste for yourself. The tasting room is open daily except on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.