South Africa Tour, Visiting Winelands

Today we visited South Africa’s renowned Cape winelands of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch.  Less than an hour from Capetown, these lands are really relatively small valleys ringed with mountain ranges.  It is immensely picturesque, even if a person is a tea-totaller!

We visited Fairview first, where Dierdre, our delightful host, introduced us both to the history of this region and the grapes that have done particularly well here.  It was especially interesting to hear of varietals that have been cultivated to accommodate global warming.

For our noon meal, we went to the Boschendal Winery for a picnic lunch (photo above), though more upscale than your average picnic basket.  Boschendal dates back to the period of Dutch settlement with its beautiful Cape Dutch gables.  A final highlight was the chance to wander for an hour in the old Capelands village of Stellenbosch—all white-washed buildings and tree-lined avenues.

We then made our way home after one more winery.  Tonight it is peaceful in Cape Town except for a brisk wind blowing outside.  Table Mountain was cloaked in cloud as the sun set.  Come morning it may still be, even as it will still be magnificent.  And tomorrow our final full day on this most wonderful trip will begin.

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