On our around the world journey, we’ve been doing our homework in the category of wine. From the Malbecs of Argentina to the Sauvignon Blancs of New Zealand, we’ve been sipping our way around the world, tasting our fair share of wine and visiting our fair share of wineries. And when the scores have all been tallied, there’s little to debate. The South African Winelands take the cake.
The Boland, which stretches inland and upwards from Cape Town, is South Africa’s most famous wine growing region. Grapes grow in abundance here in the vineyards resting along the fertile slopes of the surrounding mountains. A scenic two hour drive from Cape Town, brings you to the heart of the region, to the wine mecca of Stellenbosch. Tree-lined streets provide shade to the stately colonial architecture housing innovative restaurants and boutique hotels.
Unfortunately the budget couldn’t afford any of the swish accommodation, but it really didn’t matter where we laid our heads. We were here to pave our way through the vineyards.
We made the rounds to a handful of wineries with Fairview winery, proving to be a favorite. Its rustic, country charm and artisanal cheeses were a huge hit with this group and the perfect accompaniment to our mid-morning tasting.
We did, however, save the best for last. Our final stop was at Ernie Els Winery. Didn’t ring any bells for me, but the golf-inspired winery gave it away. Ernie Els is a famous South African golfer. I can’t tell you anything more about the guy except his wines are divine and the grounds of his winery even more spectacular. Sitting out on the veranda with a glass of Pinotage in hand, we enjoyed magnificent views of the afternoon light falling over the vineyards. Bottoms up!