Upon arriving in Stellenbosch, around lunch time, eager to make our way to a winery for the afternoon, we quickly discovered we had actually left our passports back in the safe at the last hostel – 1 hours drive away! So instead of living the life of luxury, sampling various wines, we had to make a mad dash back to collect our passports and back again! Not a great start to our winelands experience!!
So unfortunately our wine tasting didn’t start until the next day. In a way, this worked out quite well as we met some South Africans who gave us some ideas of which vineyards to go to! Our first port of call was Waterford Estate – renowned for their chocolate and wine experience! We sampled 8 different wines, it the last 3 paired with a chocolate to bring out the tastes. The chocolate and wine combinations were pretty unusual, but certainly brought out the fruit and floral tastes! The last one actually tasted of pot pourri!!!
Next stop was Morgenhof for lunch and more tasting. With lunch we received complimentary wine as well! Then we went on to try 5 more wines, including their own version of champagne. By this point, I (Becky) had to pour away some of the wines, while James supped all of his!
In the evening we headed out to our last winery, Spier. Probably the most commercialised of them all, it had restaurants, a hotel, gift shops, horse riding and more! Our restaurant for the evening was inside a huge tent, with a central stage for traditional performances. We had our faces painted with white African patterns and were given blankets to cosy up in!! The food was a huge African style BBQ, with chicken, beef, sausages, springbok and oxtail! Some of it was very tasty, while others were a bit ‘different’!!!
Having tried and tested numerous wines, we actually discovered we both preferred the ‘simpler, easy drinking’ (and luckily, cheaper) wines compared to the more ‘complex’ wines!