Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Stellenbosch, South Africa - 2016

Wine Tasting in Stellenbosch

We took Linda took the Cape Town International Airport and said our good-byes. It had been a tremendous experience to share with her - Amsterdam, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. But now it was time for her to return home.

Diane and I spent the night in the city of Somerset West, a sort of suburb to Cape Town. For us a served as a stop over to Stellenbosch. We left the following morning, after breakfast.
We arrived in Stellenbosch by mid-morning and checked into our B&B, the Batavia Guesthouse. We then proceeded to do what the area is known for - wine tasting. There are over 350 wineries to choose from. The first one we visited was Neethlingshof Estates. The grounds were spectacular as were their wines. 

Next door to Neethlingshof was Asara - The meeting point of African Gods. How could we go wrong with a name like that! Indeed, it too proved to be a producer of fine wines (both white and red).

The Bell Tower proved to be my favorite - a Bordeaux blend of dark berries with just a hint of oak.

Back at the B&B, the weather being cool, the proprietor came knocking on our door to provide us with a "kruik" for our bed, a rubberized container filled with hot water to stuff in the bed to keep us warm during the night. This is typical Dutch and it's something I hadn't seen since I was a child. 

In the morning, our B&B provided us with a healthy breakfast of fruits, cereals and eggs. The odd looking fruit on the top left is passion fruit - a delicious, tangy fruit found all throughout the region.

In the morning we visited Kleine Zalze Estate. These folks not only had a winery but their property included a restaurant, a golf course, a hotel and a housing development. 

The coup de grâce of the wineries visited, was the winery of the well known South African golfer Ernie Els - a beautiful winery situated atop a hill overlooking Stellenbosch. Good wines too.

Our last winery we visited was Jordan Winery. With beautiful scenery and very decent wines.

After a full day of wine tasting, it was nice to come home to our pied-á-terre in town. Yet the comforts it offers in our little room have a contrasting wall just feet away, that warns of lurking dangers. We're walled in by electrified wires and warning signs to potential intruders. Keep out!!! 

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