Founded on the values of family, community and sharing, the Von Arnim family of Haute Cabrière wine estate has been artfully harnessing the unique terroir of the Franschhoek Valley since the property was bought in 1982.
The Legacy Of Pierre Jordan
Custom in the Champagne Valley of France dictates that champagne created from the vines of the land is named after the landowner. True to this tradition, founder of Haute Cabrière, Achim von Arnim, named the first range of exceptional Cap Classique wines Pierre Jourdan after the original landowner.
This range remains the perfect ode to the original owner in South Africa’s ‘French Corner’, Franschhoek. Their portfolio has since grown to include two more wine ranges, Haute Cabrière, housing the iconic Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and the Haute Collection, their maverick collection of site-specific wines. Read about another legendary Franschhoek winery here.
Haute Cabrière Today
Today the farm is managed by the second generation of Von Arnims: Takuan is Director of Wine and his sister Tanja is Marketing and Operations Director. Tim Hoek was recently appointed as cellar master, but has been with the farm as winemaker for a couple of years. Tim says: “Our wines are a true celebration of terroir – the marriage of sun, soil and vine – together with man’s passion and fearlessness.”
Haute Cabrière has three wine ranges: Pierre Jourdan, Haute Cabriere (split into lifestyle and reserve wines) as well as the Haute Collection Range. The latest addition to the wine portfolio is the Arnim Family Réserve, Haute Cabrière Chardonnay Réserve, and Pinot Noir Réserve wines.
The farm spans 24 hectares and also boasts a restaurant overlooking the beautiful Franschhoek valley and a visit to the underground cellar that is carved from a huge boulder against the mountain, is a real treat. Book a sabrage (the art of removing a cork from a bottle of sparkling wine with a saber) under the experienced eye of Tim or Takuan. The wielder slides the saber along the seal of the bottle to the lip to break the top of the neck away, leaving the neck of the bottle open and ready to pour. The force of the blunt side of the blade hitting the lip breaks the glass to separate the collar from the neck of the bottle.
Currently it is all hands on deck for the 2023 harvest for the next couple of weeks, but wine tastings in the cool tasting room and the lovely summer menu can be enjoyed in the glass restaurant.
Roast Duck Legs With The Haute Cabrière Pinot Noir Réserve
Crispy duck legs roast with potatoes to form the best duck fat roast potatoes. The light orange gravy provides a delicious sauce to bring the dish together. Duck and Pinot Noir is a classic pairing because both offer moderate intensity, with gentle acidity in the Haute Cabrière Pinot Noir Réserve balancing out the fattiness of the duck. Since duck often cooks well with fruit, the rich red fruit notes in this Pinot Noir couldn’t be a better match.
This wine pays tribute to the versatility and history of Pinot Noir. A pioneering blend with rich color and intense red fruit and spice on the nose followed by hints of cedar from the 18 months in French oak barrels. The palate is layered with well-balanced tannins.
Prep Time: 45 min
Cook time: 100 min
Serves: 4 Guests
Roast duck legs with potatoes and a light orange gravy
Roast duck and potatoes:
4 duck legs
8 potatoes (about 1 kg) washed and cut into chunks
Fresh thyme strips
Splash of olive oil
2 smallish to medium onions, peeled and sliced
2 star anise pods
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
2.5 tsp flour
4 strips of thickly peeled orange zest
Juice of one orange
500ml chicken stock
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp marmalade
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Roast duck and potatoes
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat a non-stick frying pan, season the duck legs well with salt and pepper and brown them skin side down until golden on both sides. This will render out a lot of the fat–reserve one tablespoon.
Wash, dry and cut the potatoes into large chunks about 4cm big. You can leave the skin on. Add these to a large roasting tray and drizzle with the reserved duck fat and toss to coat. Ensure they are arranged in a single layer and there is enough space to add the duck legs. Season with salt and pepper.
Nestle the browned duck legs into the roasting pan with the potatoes skin side facing up. Tuck a few sprigs of thyme under the duck legs and around the pan. Roast for 90-100 minutes (1.5 hours) until the potatoes are golden and crispy. Cook for more than 1.5 hours if necessary and up to 2 hours.
Turn the legs twice during the cooking process. 30 minutes into the cooking time turn them so the skin faces down. Do not turn the potatoes. 60 minutes in, remove the duck legs and turn the potatoes over using a spatula.
Return the legs back to the pan with the skin facing up again. Roast for the final 30-50 minutes
Start making the sauce as soon as the duck goes into the oven. In a medium pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion with the star anise, thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Put the lid on to create some moisture. About 4–5 minutes.
When the onions are softened, add the flour, and stir for a few minutes until it has absorbed. Add a splash of stock to deglaze the pan. Slowly add the rest of the stock, orange zest and juice and cook for an hour over low heat covered.
Stir every now and again. Remove the lid for the last half hour allowing the sauce to reduce.
About 10 minutes before you are ready to serve. Strain the gravy through a fine mesh sieve and then return it to the pot. Add one tablespoon of butter, the marmalade and Dijon and whisk to combine.
Cook for a further 10-15 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
When the roast is ready, remove the duck legs and drain the potatoes on a paper towel to get rid of any excess fat. Arrange the potatoes on a platter with the duck legs and the orange gravy on the side.
To plate: Serve with a green salad or any steamed green vegetable of your choice such as beans or broccolini.