Next on our Cape Town adventure was a wine tour. The designated day happened to be Ryan’s 22nd birthday, and what better way to celebrate it than to drink all of the free wine he wanted.
Almost a year ago Thom and I visited Cape Town for a conference. One day while Thom was conferencing, networking, drinking, sleeping, or doing whatever they do at such things, the Ndibongo sisters (Lulama and Inga) took me on a wine tour. Apparently, the wineries close to Cape Town and in Stellenbosch charge for tastings. So, the dynamic duo found an alternative tour near Hermanus, about an hour-and-a-half away, outlined in their most recent issue of Wine Magazine (a South African periodical). The title of this route was Heading Heavenward (click on that title to read the article).
If you read the article, you’ll see that they recommend you go on a Saturday, and make your first stop at the farmer’s market, where you can eat breakfast paired with the wine of your choice. Unfortunately, the day we did the tour with Ryan and Eric was a Friday, so the market wasn’t open, but just so you can see how fabulous the market is I’ve posted some photos below from last September, when I went with Lu and Inga.
Farm fresh cheeses of all kinds:
Fresh baked breads (with plenty of samples):
Locally pressed olive oils (and olives):
Jams, jellies, pickled veggies and chutneys:
Samosas, on-the-spot cooked crepes (they call them pancakes; they call American style pancakes crumpets), and super yummy pumpkin fritters:
There were even fresh oysters:
And, of course, freshly ground coffee:
We were in foodie heaven!
Okay, back to the present. On Ryan’s birthday we walked to Avis and picked up a rental car. As you can see below, some things never change…
Instead of the farmer’s market we stopped at this roadside shop for great espresso and a few home made goodies.
Our first stop was the Hamilton Russell vineyard.
Absolutely gorgeous setting (though it was freezing!).
Our next stop was Bouchard Finlayson.
See the ocean in the far background?
Normally Thom and I prefer red wines, but the whites here were fantastic. We bought a bottle at Bouchard Finlayson.
Our last stop was Creation Wines, which had a small restaurant with (as par for the course) stunning views. It wasn’t quite lunch time yet so we ordered a large cheese and cracker plate and the hostess then offered at least half a dozen wines and explained which cheeses went with each wine.
See the silver bucket in the back? That’s the spittoon. As you probably know, you’re not supposed to drink all of this wine or you won’t be able to walk. I was the only one who used the spittoon, however, so I was elected to drive after this winery.
After a wonderful morning in heaven (it really is one of THE most beautiful places in the world, honestly!), we drove back to the oceanside town of Hermanus, where we had lunch at a seaside restaurant. Hermanus is known as a whale watching mecca. Next time we come we want to spend a few nights here.
We got back to Cape Town after dark. This was the boys’ last night in Cape Town as they were leaving the next day to go home. Thom gave them some rand for dinner and then he and I retreated to our room.
Ryan and Eric said they were a little skeptical when we left in the morning as to whether or not they would like the wine tour. They were worried it would just be a bunch of driving. But, they both said that they were really surprised how much fun they had and how stunning the scenery was, and that they would totally do it again…like totally!