On our way to Wine Country!
It really was as beautiful as this.
We joined a tour group to spend the day visiting Stellenbosch, Franschoek, and Paarl. They are sort of the Trinity of wine country around here. It was amazing how much it reminded us of Napa!
With the vineyards criss-crossing the hills with grapes, and small town streets filled with boutiques and cafes, it reminded us of another very fun memory.
The grape varieties aren’t exactly the same. Stellenbosch is particularly proud of its Pinotage, and I must say with good reason because it’s my favorite wine from South Africa. Other common grapes are Cabernet, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Chenin Blanc. In general, as a “newer” wine region, they buy used oak barrels from the France after the French are done with them. I would say that is pretty smart. Because the wine is pretty good!
There were also a few other twists. At the first stop, we were given a typical pairing of Wine and Cheese:
But at the second place, it was Wine and Biltong:
Biltong is South African beef jerky, although not made from beef. It’s made from Kudu or Springbok… sort of like Antelope Jerky. It’s okay, but I prefer a good Teriyaki or Hickory Smoked jerky. Good thing we had the wine to wash it down!
If Stellenbosch was Napa, then Franschoek was Yountville. We went to Franschoek for lunch, and could easily see why South Africa’s wine country is such a destination.
Our tour group was wonderful. There were 6 couples; 2 from France, one from Bolivia, one from Norway, one from Australia, and us. We all agreed that South African Wine Country was fun!
By the end, they were giving us champagne and we were starting to feel the wine…
I think if we were to come back to South Africa, we would stay in Stellenbosch. Cape Town is wonderful, we would stay there again too! But being out here in wine country reminds me of so many lovely things. Paul and Jaclyn’s wedding, wine tasting with Kim in Santa Barbara, our wedding in Woodinville. Such a perfect place for a 10 year anniversary!
Even with rain and biltong, and recycled barrels from France.
My Honey makes everything magic, anyway.