Imagine sipping on an ice cold, crisp Pinot Grigio while watching the golden-red sun setting over a pool full of yawning and grunting hippos. Or enjoying a perfectly grilled Botswana beef fillet accompanied by a full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. What about a lusciously smooth port around the fire after dinner?
At Zarafa Camp, the food and beverage sector is a stand out addition to your luxury safari experience. South Africa is one of the top wine growing countries in the world, so naturally we choose all our wines to be brought in from our neighbouring country.
Great Plains Conservation is first and foremost a conservation company and therefore the wines we offer our guests have been handpicked from wineries who share the same passion for conservation. So while you lie back in your romantic bubble bath, sipping on that delicious glass of Graham Beck Brut, take a second to think about the fact that Graham Beck have dedicated nearly half of their estate to conservation. This game reserve has allowed indigenous animals such as Eland, Leopard and the Bat Eared Fox to flourish. But only take a second because you must get back to relaxing amongst all those bubbles.
Another species in serious need of our help is the rhino. Poachers have killed at least 5,940 African rhinos since 2008 and something has to be done before it’s too late.
Great Plains Conservation have partnered with &Beyond in an attempt to relocate 100 rhinos from South Africa to the safety of Botswana in the Rhinos Without Borders project. But we can also help rhinos through wine. Zarafa stocks the Rhino Run range, top South African wines which are aiding the battle against rhino poaching through raising funds for education and conservation. Van Loveren Family Vineyards make a donation towards the Player Ntombela Foundation for every bottle sold. Read more here: https://www.royalrhino.co.za. The Rhino Run Chardonnay is superb with a grilled bream and vegetable risotto and the pinotage perfectly complements a beef fillet.
Zarafa’s award-winning 5 star cuisine is delicately prepared by Executive Chef, Pierre van Zyl, while the wines for every dish are paired by Manager, Antoinette van Zyl. We asked Antoinette what she enjoyed most about this part of her job:
“I love extending the boundaries with wine and food pairings, getting to know the different characteristics of the wine and how they evolve when paired with different flavour profiles. My husband, Pierre, and I are both passionate about food, wine and conservation, so we love working together in creating unforgettable dining experiences for our guests, and since all the wine we serve at Zarafa support conservation in some way, it’s a great platform to educate and talk about conservation.”
Do you have a favourite among the wines you offer at Zarafa? “That’s a tough one as they are all uniquely delicious! I have grown to love the Cederberg Bukketraube, it’s a well balanced wine with a delicate sweetness and a crisp acidity. There are only 77 hectares left in the world so it’s a rare cultivar. Being passionate about conservation myself, I appreciate all the great work Cederberg is doing, such as their conservancy and the Cape Leopard Trust to name a few.
I’ve recently discovered Painted Wolf’s Rousanne, a medium bodied wine with citrus and white peach and a slightly lower alcohol of 12.7%, giving the wine a grace which is not always experienced in South Africa wines. Painted Wolf are doing so much for the conservation of the endangered African Wild Dog so of course we support them fully.”
So, while at Zarafa you can expect to eat, drink and be very merry about all the thought and and added benefits that your glass of wine will bring.