At the end of a recent trip to Plettenberg Bay, after a one-night stop in McGregor, my Parisian friend and I stopped for lunch and a wine taste at Nuy on the Hill, on the R62, between Robertson and Worcester, at the invitation of its Marketing Manager AC (Arthur Claude) Goodger. I have driven alongside it hundreds of times, on past trips to Plett and to Temenos in McGregor, but had never made a stop. We were impressed with the quality of the food and service, as well as the wines we tasted. 

The building is a combination wine tasting centre, and restaurant, and AC told us that while the emphasis was intended to be the wine tasting, it is the restaurant that is drawing visitors very successfully. It was established three years ago. The Nuy co-operative wine brand of thirteen producers, was created in 1963. The building is spacious, and I loved how the light comes in from the roof, with wood slats from barrels on the ceiling. The Nuy name is believed to originate from the Neuy River in the Netherlands. 

As we arrived, we were introduced to the waitress Charlene, who was to look after us, and she recited a near-perfect welcome in German. She had gone to school in Worcester, and learnt German there. She had used her German to communicate with tourists when she worked at Dash Restaurant in the V&A Waterfront, and other Cape Town restaurants. 

We chose a table with a view over the green Nuy valley, and were invited to taste the Nuy wines of our choice. My three choices were a Sauvignon Blanc sparking wine off dry 2018 (R45 per bottle), a Calcareo first fill Chenin Blanc 2017 at R140, a magnificent Copper Potstilled brandy at R220, and a Muscadel Barbieri Idro dessert wine at R220. The wine tasting is free of charge for the first five wines. My friend, being French, picked up immediately that all the back label information was printed in Afrikaans, meaning that she and other tourists would not understand a word. AC told us that the locals are Afrikaans, but that he is working on going bilingual with the labels. Tara Rabie was a friendly and informative ambassador for the Nuy wines. 

We were introduced to Chef Wilna van der Westhuizen, previously of Val de Vie, who described her food style as rustic and natural. She delivered on what she promised, with much more, in the food presentation being exceptional. She told us that she sources ingredients in the radius of Worcester, Robertson, Montagu, and Villiersdorp. The menu is extensive, with a range of breakfast options (from 9h00 – 11h00), tapas, light meals, salads, seafood, pizza (R123 – R138) with interesting ingredient toppings, burgers (R105 – R125), and speciality dishes such as pork ribs, beer battered fish, Surf & Turf, and chicken schnitzel, in a price range of R105 – R195).  Cutlery is by Fortis Hotel, with gauze serviettes. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar is by Willow Creek, just down the road, which we visited after lunch too.  At the tables are wooden benches and chairs with green plastic seating. 

My friend and I shared a tapas dish, and we ordered slow-roasted deep-fried mustard-rubbed pork belly nuggets, unfortunately for my taste crumbed, served with a sweet Asian BBQ sauce and balsamic caviar, and finished off with pea shoots (R85).  It was a massive portion. Other Tapas options includes beef carpaccio, smoked trout tian, Bobotie spring rolls, peppadew poppers, jalapeño poppers, bitterballen, creamy chicken livers, crumbed camembert, and trout fish cakes, all costing less than R100. 

I chose a Parma Salad (R115) for my main course, a delicious mix of Parma ham, apple slices, caramelized walnuts, a mix of herb leaves, and Parmesan.  As I was driving, I ordered a Nuy red grape juice, creating a memory of my youth, when we were spoilt with a sparkling apple or grape juice to accompany meals on high days and holidays. My friend ordered a surprise, being roosterbrood with grated cheese and biltong, which she loved. I ended off my meal with a perfectly made dry cappuccino. We did not have space for a dessert.

In the vast space shelving offers delectable Deli items, and I couldn’t resist bringing some preserves home with me. 

We were overwhelmed with the good and friendly service, and the generous meal. And spoilt with a gift pack of Nuy potstilled brandy and Sauvignon sparkling wine. I was delighted to hear that AC plans to walk the Camino, and arranged to meet him in Camps Bay the following day, to gift him my Camino book. 

Nuy on the Hill, R60, Nuy, Worcester. Tel (023) 347-0272 www.nuywinery.co.za Facebook. Instagram: @nuyonthehill2533 Monday – Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 9h00 – 17h00, Friday 9h00 – 18h00.

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein