The other day I got whisked off to Robertson to visit the new Four Cousins tasting room, @FourCousins. (While it’s connected to Van Loveren, it’s a totally separate venue.) Getting there means a two hour drive from Cape Town but this wasn’t an ish as the lovely PR, Mira, had organised a shuttle so I could literally lie in the back seat of the van and catch up on my secret shame, The Bachelor. (I even brought a pillow!)
For those who don’t know, Four Cousins is Van Loveren’s wallet-friendly line that launched in 2000. I’m quite the fan of their Skinny Wine (low cal, low alcohol) and Tangled Tree offerings. The latter is packaged in plastic bottles so they’re fabulous for travel.
Upon arrival I was impressed by how big the winery is. We’re talking double volume ceilings, huge floor to ceiling windows and light spilling in everywhere. There wasn’t a Dutch gable to be found – everything was clean, airy and mod.
Aside from the tasting room itself, you’ll also find several bar areas, one that serves their craft beer on tap right next to the brewing tanks (yep, Four Cousins now make beer! And whiskey too!) as well as a restaurant and shop.
After a quick tour, I was thrilled when our super charming host, Rensche Schwartz, brought out all the tastings they offer. I was especially interested in tasting the Boet beer and whiskey and really, really liked the former, particular the Boet Beer Lager and Weiss as they were nice and light but full of flavour.
Of all their nine tastings (one is non-alcoholic for the kiddies), the one I enjoyed most was the Family Pairing. It features five of the original Four Cousins wines paired with nostalgic treats like an Iced Zoo biscuit and Licourice All Sorts specifically chosen to make you hark back to the days of your childhood. Like all the other adult pairings it costs just R55.
Something else you should know? Four Cousins stock and use Olyfberg olives and they’re amaaaazing. The fleshiest, meatiest, yummiest dudes I’ve eaten in a while. If you’re an olive fan like me, please don’t leave the farm without adding the Olyfberg tasting to your table. It features the olives, tapanade, olive oil and balsamic vinegar paired with the Four Cousin’s Singles range.
After stuffing our faces with a zillion treats you’d think we’d be too full for lunch but noooo. I’d smelled the most delicious pork ribs (R170 for 400g) while walking past the restaurant so deciding on what to order was easy.
I liked that the meat fell off the bone, they weren’t too fatty and they weren’t shy with the sticky BBQ basting. I also got to pick from a side of either salad, oven roasted veggies or fries and opted for the latter which were nice and crispy.
Another dish that deserves major props is the beef chateaubriand (R195) served with bone marrow. I didn’t taste it myself but it looked amazing and fellow guest Roxy AKA The Witty Wine Woman (@witty_wine_ZA on twitter and @the_witty_wine_woman on insta) said it was a serious winner.
By this point, I told everyone there was no way I could squeeze in a dessert but then proceeded to pick away at the cheese platter (R145)…
…and wolf down half of Mira’s sticky toffee pudding (R50). It was huuuge and didn’t come with just sticky toffee sauce – it also boasted a cognac crème anglaise, kind of like a brandy-infused custard.
If you’re in the Robertson area or planning on making a weekend of it (highly recommended – read this post for help on planning your stay), consider putting the Four Cousins tasting room on your tasting pit-stop itinerary and, if you eat just one thing in their restaurant, make it the sticky toffee pudding.