What? Wine in Africa?
1, There are over 700 wineries, the sheer volume of wineries means that it’s more likely that you will find something that you would enjoy!
The main grape variety planted is the Cabernet Sauvignon. It is important to note that while the main focus of wine production in the winelands was quantity and not quality in the past, many have shifted their focus to quality today. As a result, you can find some internationally recognized brands in South Africa as well.
The tasting culture in South Africa is a little different from the tasting culture in other parts of the world I have been to (Margaret River, Barossa Valley, Rioja), I suspect it stems from the fact that there is an university nearby and they don’t want students to take advantage of the wine tasting system. To be fair, if I studied there I would totally go to all 700 wineries for a “tasting”. Unlike Australia, tastings are NOT free but are available for a token amount of ~2USD. Alternatively, if you buy a bottle at the winery, the tasting would be free. This is quite amusing because the wine itself wasn’t very expensive; so, my guide, Lesley went around buying a bottle of wine at every stop we went to. At the end of our 2 day tour I was quite sure that she had acquired 5 bottles at least.
It is also different from Rioja where most of the tasting experiences come with a tour an you have to pre-book in advance, making it extremely difficult to do plan a wine tour on your own. In South Africa, it is possible to go on your own, we did decide to pop by some wineries last minute as well. I also went for a “guided” tasting in Waterford estate where they took me around the different plots to have a look see, really amazing stuff!
The cellar in Waterford estate is certainly something as well.
I remember being to about 10-12 wineries in the Winelands during our 2 day tour but unfortunately, none of the particular wineries stuck out.
Many of the wineries are passion projects of really rich people so they are beautifully decorated. For art lovers, I think there were many places where we spotted paintings which called over 1 million in auctions. I remember Lesley telling me a joke “How do you become a millionaire?” “Well, you first become a billionaire and then buy a winery”.
2, The views are simply SPECTACULAR.
We went in autumn and the leaves were in brilliant hues of red, orange and brown.
What’s more, the mountains in the backdrop make the winelands absolutely incredible.
Look at that.
Nature is a wonderful painter.
Some of the wineries that we visited had unique views of their own as well.
Stark-Conde wines had their tasting room in the middle of the lake. They also have a café (The Postcard Cafe) which is a great stop for lunch.
What a wonderful place to spend with you love ones and contemplate about all the good things in life.
3, The food is amazing. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures (other than drunk pictures of myself which really shouldn't see the light of day) but I do remember that the Tasting Room was something extraordinary. Pa and Ma had a wildebeest fillet which was kinda traumatic but interesting at the same time. I didn’t have it though, yay animal rights. Another restaurant we went to was Overture (for lunch) and they took ridiculously long to server 3 courses (2 hours), but it was also where I had the best souffle of my life. So. I guess good things come to those who wait.
4, I was too drunk to take down any other details. Which is also the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th reasons why you’d love it. Imagine. Wine, beautiful scenery, amazing food. What’s there not to love?