Friday, March 13, 2009

Day 6 - Wine Tasting

Lacking a car, and thus unable to visit the surrounding wineries, I decided to join the "Easy Rider Tour", an inexpensive backpacker wine tour. This tour took us to four wineries in Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek (dubbed the "culinary capital of South Africa" due to its establishment by French immigrants).

The first winery we visited was Simonsig. We went on a cellar tour, observing humongous vats and barrels that were used to separate, store and ferment. When it came to wine tasting, our guide used a sword to chop off the head of a bottle of Cap Classique (as the sparkling wine in this region is called).

Next, we headed to Fairview. We noticed the herd of zebras and springbok across the vineyard upon entering. The front of this winery had a few goats on a tower, apparently symbolising their label "Goats of Roam" (a pun on the French varietal Cotes du Rhone). The highlight of Fairview was its cheese bar, with scrumptuous selections such as cheese with tomatoes and herbs.

We then stopped at another winery for lunch. While dining on another round of bobotie and sipping red wine, I was savoring the view overlooking the vineyards.

I admit that after lunch, I wasn't able to discern between different wines as it was just too much. The last two wineres, Dieu Donne and Boschendal, had gorgeous views and Cape Dutch architecture.

I was somewhat surprised when I got back to Richard's that he and his girlfriend Liezl wanted to take me to another winery (!) - Asama. This place had the best views, with lake, mountain and vineyards all together in a portrait.

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