It was some time ago that I visited the beautiful country of South Africa with my folks… and what an amazing experience it was!
We saw many stunning places, but the one that stood out the most for its scenic beauty and landscape was the Winelands. It being the first leg of our journey, we were still a bit jet-lagged and didn’t want to run the risk of driving around on our own. So we opted for a seat-in-coach day trip visiting South African wineries and wine tasting in South Africa that turned out to be quite economical and gave us the chance to meet new people as well.
The day started with our guide picking us up from our hotel, the Southern Sun Waterfront Cape Town, which was located in the City Centre along with an elderly Belgian man, and a lively couple from the USA – Robert & Kathy, who even told us the story of how they met. We also had the option of staying at the Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge which was pretty nice too. But a friend had recommended the Southern Sun after having stayed there previously. However, when it comes to Cape Town, most of the hotels have quite a good reputation.
Our first stop was Stellenbosch, a beautiful small town in the Western Cape province. Here we visited the peaceful NG Kerk or Moedergemeente and rambled through some shops and art studios. Moedergemeente is South Africa’s second oldest church and can be described in just two words. Simply beautiful!
Carl Otto Hager, the infamous German architect from Dresden designed the church. There is no altar. Just a wooden pulpit that was first designed by Adam Albertyn. The church was designed with the vision to be a river of living water to community around, which is why the scroll on the pulpit reads ‘n Rivier van Lewende Water’.
The pipe organ is magnificent mahogany and the stained glass windows leave you speechless. Leo Theron, the artist who designed the stained glass windows was a pioneer in the field of using colored glass with concrete.
Anura Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa
We then headed towards the Paarl Valley, for a cheese and wine tasting at Anura Wine Estate, nestled at the foothills of the Simonsberg Mountains. Anura is beautifully positioned with a vast variety of soils and a beautiful range of wines, with a passion for reds. We were given a tour of the distillery, cellars, and vineyards, and were shown how wine is made and stored.
Then on to the wine tasting where the aromas of different wines tickled your senses and pampered your palate. The 5 different varieties were accompanied by creamy Bries and earthy Camemberts, all feasted upon with amazing views of the vineyards and ponds.
I’m not certain which farm I took this pic at, but the grapes were lovely.
Franschhoek for a bit
After this, we did another wine tour of Remhoogte followed by a cheese starring lunch, but we concentrated too much on the South African food and wine to take any pictures. Later that afternoon we stopped for a bit at Groot Drakenstein Prison where Nelson Mandela was released in Feb 1990.
Then continued to Franschhoek. Did you know there’s a wine tram in Franschhoek? It’s an experience.
We then headed to the vineyard for our tour and met with the owner who walked with us the distillery, cellar and vineyard. We tasted lip-smacking wine on a picnic bench under a group of tall shady trees near an old vintage car.
The other thing unique to this vineyard was its resident Ostrich, staying as a pet, and not for food. He loved his grapes!! My dad did get the opportunity to feed him some, but I didn’t want to, since I was afraid of losing my fingers. 🙂
We then headed back to Cape Town, but not before leaving with a few bottles of wine to keep us going the rest of our stay. On reaching Cape Town, we said our Good Byes and were dropped off at our splendidly South African hotel near the waterfront.
I must say that the day ended with everyone in high spirits and after 15 glasses of wine, why wouldn’t it! 😉
About the Author Sarah
Sarah works in travel and specializes in Africa. She loves music, wine, food, and travel. Her love for nature and wildlife makes her work even more enjoyable and satisfying. Armed with her Canon, she likes to take photographs and write stories that inspire you to pack your bags and take off around the globe.
Since travel hasn’t been as possible of late, Sarah is now spending more time photographing food and showcasing her community’s traditional recipes.
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Sarah has worked in travel for 11 years and specializes in Africa. She caters to clients looking to travel to niche destinations across the globe, whether it’s climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, rafting on the Zambezi River, viewing seals and penguins in Antarctica or walking Safaris in Africa…..
She loves music, wine, food and travel. Her love for nature and wildlife makes her work even more enjoyable and satisfying. Armed with her camera, she likes to take photographs and write stories that inspire you to pack your bags and run off to a faraway destination.