Friday, 19 September 2014

Wining and Dining in the Cape

South Africa is famous for its wine growing heritage.  As an Australian even I know that. So, with a free day I organised transport first to visit one of the oldest wine makers in Cape town, Groot Constantia followed by a trip 70kms north to Boschendal and Backsberg estates.  Interestingly no one in the group really liked any of the wines at Constantia so with the rain coming down hard we headed out to check out the wines at Backsberg estate. These we found to be far more palatable, especially the shiraz.  Backsberg estate is part way between the Stellenbosch and Franshoek wine growing areas, and is surrounded by impressively jagged peaks - which were for the most part completely shrouded in mist. Still it was a beautiful location - Boschendal, another classic Cape Dutch winery with a beautiful manor house dating back to 1812 was both under renovation and inundation - there was both hail and rain coming down at the same time. We managed a few snaps before moving on to Franshoek, the tidiest wine town in the Cape.  And possibly the most expensive.  Like many tourist towns this place has a staggering range of small shops selling every possible kind of handicraft, food product and, yes, even wine. It's the place to come for a nice weekend away from Cape Town and, apart from the original Cape Dutch architecture and the mountain ranges behind the town, looks just like Leura or Morpeth! Still, it's a good place to visit as you are spoilt for choice on so many levels.

Before the storm: Groot Constantia homestead shot using infra-red
Classic Cape Dutch architecture at the Groot Constantia winery.
Another part of the old buildings and duck pond at Groot Constantia
Red wine barrels made from imported French oak
Fermenters at Backberg's winery. This place lacked the usual stainless steel vats preferring to use the ore traditional oak bins.
Much of the wine is stored in carefully designed rooms like caves with thick walls.
One of Backsberg's wine maturing rooms
Boschendal manor house after the rain. Canon EOS 5D MkIII, HDR.
This was the Dutch church in the main street of Franshoek highlighted perfectly against a stormy sky.

1 comment:

  1. Mmm. Lekker wyn. Backsberg is the best. At Boschendsl Dad had and I still do have a passion for Blanc de Noir. Could have given you winery and eatery addresses in Franshoek...

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