South Africa

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  • Day73

    Stellenbosch - Day 2 - Wine tour

    February 5, 2020 in South Africa ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    It was a hot night and I slept fitfully in the dorm room with fellow travellers Phil, Bro, Brian and Lauren. I got up a 7.30am which felt like a lie in. We went to a nearby restaurant for some breakfast and I was served with one of the largest omelettes I've ever been served with and one of thr best with feta cheese, tomatoes and mushrooms.
    We started our planned wine tour at 9am and drove with our guide, who was a nice enough but slightly strange character, to the first vineyard on the outskirts of Stellenbosch. The vineyard was founded in 1692 and had a large, thatched main building and a very plush restaurant for the wine tasting. This part of South Africa is very well developed and has a strong western, developed feel to it. We were given several very nice white wines to taste along with a very nice bread and cheese platter. The blue cheese on the platter tasted like heaven as I haven't eaten real blue cheese for many years. I had to be very careful though because both white wine and cheese are both asthma triggers for me, and after my cheesy omelette in the morning, I was only able to have small bits of cheese and small sips of the wine, which was a little frustrating. After this wine tasting, we moved on to another vineyard with beautiful views over the surrounding mountains. One of the best features of this wine tour was the chance to see the beautiful mountains and scenery in the wine growing regions around Stellenbosch. We tasted some Chardonnay white wines in the very modern and minimalist wine tasting bar, and also had some rose wine. All the wines were very nice indeed to drink, even though white and rose wines are not usually my favourite to drink. We then drove a bit further up the mountains to a restaurant for lunch. Again there were fine views of the surrounding mountains and I had a nice glass of red wine with my summer salad lunch. After lunch, we drove to another winery where we sat in a back room of the restaurant surrounded by bottles of wine, and were served some wonderful red wines, including two Pinotage wines and a Shiraz. The Pinotage wine matured in oak barrels was particularly wonderful and confirmed that red wines are by far my favourite wines to drink. We then drove to our final vineyard, just down the road from the previous vineyard, and sat outside where we were served more red wines and a red and a white port. Both the ports were very smooth and lovely to drink. This vineyard was originally owned by a rich dandy who used to take his many mistresses to a specially made room at the vineyard which was open to be viewed.
    With the very good wine tour over, we drove back into Stellenbosch through the rush hour traffic, and back to our hostel.
    After a quick rest at the hostel to let the tiring affects of the wine tasting pass, I went for a pizza meal with Irish Brian and Monica and then returned to get an early night at the hostel. I was exhausted and went off to sleep quickly despite the dorm room being very hot again.
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