Monday January 19th ~ Stellenbosch, South Africa
A day trip to Stellenbosch was an optional add-on that we decided to do at the last-minute. Neither one of us are big drinkers, and certainly not wine experts, but an opportunity to see some more of the beautiful countryside swayed us to tag along.
Stellenbosch is just over 30 miles from Cape Town and is the second oldest European settlement in South Africa. Filled with pristine white washed Cape Dutch style buildings, it was a refreshing change from the harsh areas we had visited the day before.
The hilly terrain and mediterranean climate made this an ideal location for growing grapes, and with the fertile ground, a booming wine industry sprang up. In fact, the South African wine industry produces about 1,000,000,000 litres of wine annually!
After a short walk through town, our first tasting stop was at the Fairview Winery.
Somehow Tesse managed to get us a “premier” tasting experience where their top wines were each paired with a different cheese offering. The wine pours were very generous, fragrant and flavorful, but it was the local cheeses that I enjoyed the most.
Massive sunflowers were growing in the gardens in front.
Back on the bus we headed to our next stop, but along the way Tesse was so excited when she spotted a bird on the endangered list – in fact two adults with two young chicks.
De Villiers artisan chocolates was our next stop. We were offered six different dark chocolates to try. Each one was a little more intense as we moved from Uganda and culminated with the Venezuela Rio Caribe selection.
Fanciful African paintings covered the interior walls.
On to lunch at Terra Mare Restaurant which was fantastic! While we waited to be served, Tesse entertained us by demonstrating how to open a wine bottle by cutting off the top with a knife.
The day was definitely one of decadence and over-indulgence, but we really enjoyed our company, conversations and seeing the fertile countryside.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for talented chefs that can prepare a meal such as we were served at Terra Mare. Each bite melted in my mouth. It was fresh, flavorful and one of the best meals I have had in some time.
Many sincere thanks to all of you that are following along with us. It means a great deal! Please feel free to share and leave us a comment.