Let me start by saying that Vergelegen (the property itself) is a wonderful addition to a day out in the Somerset West area. The farm is enormous and offers a tremendous variety of activities from walks to historical sites such as the Manor house, the camphor forest and the library. One can spend hours just strolling around the immaculately maintained property.
BUT - the staff will disappoint you.
To start with - the service for the picnics is appalling. I think our waiter left half way through the day and no one bothered to tell us. Yes there are waiters for the picnics but I have no idea why.
The food was average and TOTALLY overpriced. I mention this specifically because I don't mind paying high prices for premium food but this is shameful. Though in fairness, the first time we went for a picnic at Vergelegen it was actually very nice. That is why we went a second time, but we will not be back again.
The coffee was cold when it eventually arrived. I genuinely think it would be better if they did not provide waiters at all. Just let the guests take care of themselves rather. It will cause less trouble.
The gentleman who brought us our tasting seemed to find the task of explaining the wines to 8 people far too daunting and then promptly told us that he was therefore not going to and that we should call him if there was any problem. Perhaps he had something more important to do than discuss the wines he is paid to promote at Vergelegen's own tasting centre. I implore the management to weed out such staff members. It reflects so poorly on the venue that I would probably not suggest the place to serious (or even beginner) wine tourists (either local or international). The worst of it was that the centre was quiet! It was almost empty in fact. I believe one should be patient with staff when a place is busy but this was disappointing to say the least.
The wine isn't bad but I didn't buy anything.
I recommend Vergelegen's property for a visit but there are serious service problems here that need to be addressed. It's just sad that so many small producers have so much less money to market themselves and therefore by default get fewer walk-ins than the big producers. The tasting centre (newly refurbished) is absolutely beautiful but what does that matter if the service is bad? I just hope that visitors won't think that ALL producers have such a poor attitude.
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