Sunday, November 24, 2013

Stellenbosch, South Africa

Paul, Piper and I took a little trip to the Western Cape, and we have now decided that we would like to live there (if only USAID would move its offices there). In one word - Amazing! Actually you all know me, I can't just use one word, it was beautiful, awesome, fabulous, gorgeous, fun, etc.

We spent the weekend at a very nice little B&B in Stellenbosch, which is about 45 minutes east of Cape Town. Stellenbosch is the second oldest European settlement in the Western Cape and is one of the main wine growing regions in South Africa. I grew up in Northern California, I've been to Napa, it is beautiful, but Stellenbosch blows it out of the water!

The Stellenbosch church around the corner from our B&B, Walking around the town, Cape Dutch architecture with the mountains in the background

Our first day in Stellenbosch we arranged for a wine tasting tour. We visited 4 different vineyards: Anura Vineyards, Warwick Estate, Delheim, and Waterford Estate.

This was the theme of the day:

At Anura Vineyards we took a tour of the wine cellar and learned a bit about how they make their wines. They had a few oak barrels of Method Cap Classic (MCC), the South African version of champagne, in production and you could see the bubbles coming out through the clear little vents at the top of the barrels. They also had tons and tons and tons of wine aging in French and American oak barrels, it smelled so good!

At Anura we had a wine and cheese tasting, 6 pieces of delicious cheese and 6 delicious wines! As you can see from below Piper had a little too much to drink...just kidding mom! We ended up purchasing a case of wine from Anura to be delivered to our house in Pretoria. The wine here in South Africa is so very good and really quite inexpensive and we have a built in wine rack in our kitchen which is now full!

The views from the winery's were AMAZING! This is the view from the front of Anura.

Our second wine tasting of the day was at Warwick Estate, a beautiful winery situated on a small lake overlooking the mountains. Such a nice place to sit back, relax and drink some wine in the sunshine!

Warwick features a line of wine called 'First Lady' after the first lady wine maker in the area. It also features a fun little way of testing one of the wines. Story goes that a man wanted to marry a kings daughter and the king told him he had to design a cup which they could both drink out of at the same time with the daughter not using her hands. So he designed the cup below in the shape of a lady with a billowing skirt (pauls side) holding a cup above her head (my side). And we managed to drink the wine without spilling a drop!

Our next stop was to Delheim for lunch and a tasting. What a beautiful site!

Delheim had some very vintage wines on display including the "Goldenspatz", or bird poop wine, which was named after one of the original owners first attempts to make wine. The wine owner must have improved his skills since Goldenspatz went on to win the Best WhiteWine award in South Africa in 1974. Unfortunately it is no longer made so we didn't get to taste it.

Our last winery visit was to Waterford Estate for some wine and chocolate tasting. Entering Waterford Estate was like being in Italy. It was quite impressive!

As you can see I was quite pleased with the upcoming events, wine and chocolate, you can't go wrong!

We ended up buying a case of wine, and a box of chocolate from here as well. And now I am sitting at home on my couch drinking some of it while I put together this blog post! :)

Coming up - additional posts on our day trip on the Whale Route along False Bay where we saw the penguins, and our trip up Table Mountain in Cape Town.

1 comment:

Marie said...

Bird poop wine? Huh.

Other than that, it looks SO PRETTY! I loooove your pictures! And your daughter is a little lush. ;-)