Sunday Special – South African Wineries

Last week I highlighted Brooklyn as a good friend was visiting there. Well the second leg of her journey is to South Africa (Cape Town area) so I find it fitting that we focus there today. She has gone to a few wineries so today is South African wine day! I need not tell you that these days wines are found in abundance from regions around the globe far and wide. Gone are the days of only expensive aged wine. These days it’s selection in every price range. South Africa’s wine making history dates back to the 1680s when Jan van Riebeeck was set with the task of setting up vineyards by the Dutch East India Company. They wanted to ward off scurvy in their sailors and wine and grapes were the way to do so as the climate was suitable.

Despite it’s long history, today South African wines are considered “new world wines” with increasing quality over the past ten years. Chenin Blanc is possibly the most popular varietal coming out of this country and pinotage being considered its signature grape. Most of the country’s vineyard are in the Western Cape.

I could list any number of wineries and tours around the Cape Town area that are very popular, however, personal choice of everyone prompts me to leave this and let you do your own search. I will, however, talk a bit about two of the wineries that T has already visited. I’ve been following her postings on Facebook and our WhatsApp conversations so I will just steal her locales (Thanks T!!).

Established in 1997, Paul Cluver Wines is family run. The estate itself has been in the Cluver family since 1896. It is located in Elgin, outside of Cape Town. Along with producing a variety of wines there is cycling paths and the Paul Cluver Forest Amphitheater on the grounds where picnics and artist venues can be booked. The winery also houses a highly rated restaurant called Fresh at Paul Cluver, where T dined (it looked fabulous!)

T travelled twenty minutes from Cape Town to De Grendel Winery. Located on Tygerberg Hill this winery claims exquisite views of Table Mountain and adjacent lands. A farm that has been in the Graaff family for centuries, it is now recognized for its wines. It is also a member of the Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trade Association (WIAETA).

 

vineyards_in_franshhoek

Franshhoek Wine Region, South Africa. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons – Taken and owned by Sara Atkins

vignobles_en_coteaux_c3a0_stellenbosch

South African vineyards. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – Photo taken and owned by warrenski

vignes_sur_sable_c3a0_stellenbosch

Vineyards in Stellenbosch region, South Africa. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons – Photo taken and owned by Scrignari

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