Today, and much to my chagrin, we left the beautiful city of Cape Town behind destined for the Winelands of South Africa. I didn’t have nearly enough time in Cape Town and I’m constantly having the romantic notion that I should lease my condo in West Hollywood and move here–all caution to the wind. I liked the city that much. I truly did. But the rest of the trip is dedicated to the more rural parts of this wonderful country. Here we go!
We were promptly met by our driver for the day, Tarek, in a shinny and new Mercedes E Class and we hit the road. Along the way we asked Tarek who has coffee colored skin and dark hair what his family heritage was he answered without a flinch “Scotland.” Such is this crazy quilt of mixtures of blood lines in this part of the world. Even more confusing is the way these peoples of mixed blood view themselves. Although apartheid is supposedly long dead, the terms black, white, and coloured are still frequently used and folks still find their place socially based on the color of their skin. Tarek was not ashamed to call himself coloured despite his “Scottish” heritage. It provides for an interesting study in humanity.
With Cape Town in the rear view mirror we quickly made our way to the Wine Country. The beautiful landscape made for a quick drive to our first wine and cheese pairing at Fairview Winery in Paarl. It was about 10:00 a.m., an indication this was going to be a good, but long, day. The setting is serene, the mood relaxed, and the commentary by the sommaliers informative. This turned out to be the case in the following wineries we visited.
The next stop is Rickety Bridge Winery near Frannschoek. It was in a lovely setting and the little town by the same name (which means “French corner” in Dutch) was a bucolic little village that can easily be strolled from end to end in about 45 minutes. We had a light lunch there before heading to our final stop of the day at Lanzerac Wine Estate in Stellenbosh. It was here that we experienced the decadence of wine and chocolate pairing. It turned out to be a great way to have dessert and Joan was very pleasantly surprised with the winery’s top-notch reserve wine, “Mrs. English.” We had a little nip of that too, of course, even though it was not on the tasting menu.
Now we’re at the Coopmanhuis Boutique Hotel and Spa in Stellenbosch for the evening. Another quaint little town that begs to be strolled on a Sunday morning with camera in hand. Later today we will leave for Swellendam and our drive along the Garden Route for the next couple of days.
South Africa ALWAYS has more to offer at every turn it seems.