A day trip to Stellenbosch for wine and chocolate tastings

Monday January 19th ~ Stellenbosch, South Africa

Wine grapes on the vine

Wine grapes on the vine

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.

Church and bells dating from 1840

Church and bells dating from 1840

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! 

Every building has white-washed walls

Every building has white-washed walls

Fertile, hilly land with an ideal climate for growing wine grapes

Fertile, hilly land with an ideal climate for growing wine grapes

After a short walk through town, our first tasting stop was at the Fairview Winery.

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One of the premier wines of the region

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.

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We had 8 different “tastings”

Massive sunflowers were growing in the gardens in front.

Giant sunflower with bubble bees

Giant sunflower with bubble bee

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.

Blue heron?

Blue heron?

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.

Dark chocolates from around the world

Dark chocolates from around the world

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.

My lunch was perfection on a plate...

My lunch was perfection on a plate…

By this point in the tour we were beyond full, but we had one more stop to go for our sparkling wine and nougat tasting at Villiera Wines.

Champagne and nougats

Champagne and nougats

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.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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2 Responses to A day trip to Stellenbosch for wine and chocolate tastings

  1. Janna D says:

    Looks delicious. Food and drink are one of my favorite parts of humanity. I love seeing all the diversity they have in different regions/people groups. I think it tells a lot about the culture (even if these were indulgences and not the norm)

    Like

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