I have recently been on holiday with a group of girl friends to Plettenberg Bay, and thought it only right to share with you a fabulous food & wine experience, tucked away in the Crags! It was a perfect afternoon, you have a wonderful cool breeze coming over the little lake in front of the dining area and can watch the runner ducks with much amusement!

Lodestone is a newly established wine and olive estate located in the Redford area of The Crags where Jon and Ingrid Tonkin have planted sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot noir and semillon together with a number of varieties of olives…

The area was already home to some of the best vineyards in the newly established Plettenberg Bay wine of origin district. It also has similar geographic and climatic characteristics to those of the famed Marlborough area of New Zealand, known in particular for its sauvignon blanc, pinot noir and sparkling wine.

It is a beautiful, fynbos-covered property nestling in the foothills of the Tsitsikamma Mountains at an elevation of 250 metres, close enough to the Indian Ocean to feel the cooling influence of its sea breezes. An added attraction was that steps had been taken to establish a small vineyard on the property with three varieties, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir, although it had been abandoned and, with the rest of the farm, had been sorely neglected.

A view of the vineyards nestled in at the foothills of the Tsitsikamma Mountains.

An olive orchard was planted, using in the main olive trees transplanted and relocated from Elgin. In all, six varieties of olives have been planted, all of which are suitable for olive oil production. An olive press was acquired and 2016 has seen the first production of olive oil at Lodestone and in fact in the Plettenberg Bay region.

An olive orchard has been established at Lodestone from scratch with a number of olive varieties, including leccino, frantoio, coratina, mission, koraneiki and FS 17. These varieties have been specifically chosen because of their suitability for olive oil production rather than table olives. Blending of the various oils will allow different styles of olive oil to be produced.

Lodestone has acquired its own olive press which was commissioned for production in early 2016. It is the only olive press in the greater Plett area and as a result Lodestone has pressed olives for other local producers as well.

The olive plantation at Lodestone.

The serene view from the dining area overlooking the waterlilies and ducks.

 

Sourdough bread with the most delicious Lodestone Olive Oil – simply served, amazing flavor and yes, we ended up ordering TWO lots!

One of my favourite things to eat, although tricky to find when it’s this fresh! Seared tuna served with avocado and coriander soy, ginger and lime dressing – truly sublime! The chefs at Lodestone were extremely accommodating, when my friend asked for her’s to be slightly more cooked – and it was as delicious!

Salmon hot-smoked served with a fennel and baby spinach salad, horseradish crème fraiche

Blackened chicken breast served with a classic salad and chilli mayo – this side salad was packed with heirloom tomatoes and fresh leaves and very refreshing!

Although I don’t have a sweet tooth, this vanilla cheesecake with whipped Chantilly cream definitely had to be tasted!

During lunch, we tasted all the Lodestone wines which is a great thing to do – then you can decide on which you really love and have that as a glass or a bottle! Rebecca the manager was extremely helpful and her knowledge of the wines very good. The Lodestone wines are as follows:-
Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Blend 2016 – this was my personal favourite!
Stonechat Brut Rosé MCC 2015
Chardonnay 2014 & 2015
Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Strandloper Sauvignon Blanc 2015
The Jimdog Red Blend 2014
Stoepsit Rosé 2015

I always know when a restaurant / vineyard is great, as you arrive at 13h00 and can’t actually be phased to move on to the next place due to relaxing, laughing and quaffing good wine and eating delicious food.

If you’ve been to Lodestone, please let me know your thoughts!

Filed under Cuisine Travel Wine

About the Author

Anna Ridgewell

Executive Chef

A lodge like Londolozi, although famous for its wildlife, is about far more than just that. The superb culinary experience which awaits every guest at Londolozi is thanks to the continued efforts of Anna, who has been instrumental in the development of new ...

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