With a dreamy, almost silly smile plastered on my face, I stared outside the window and looked at the same old clouds floating lackadaisically in the sky. I sipped on my Spier Sauvignon Blanc and I couldn’t help but feel all giddy inside. I had intentionally selected a Spier wine because I remembered seeing “Spier wine farm visit” somewhere on my Cape Wine tour itinerary and so I decided to give myself a head start before my intended destination. A couple of people had also previously warned me that flying SAA meant drinking some pretty good wine on board and at that point I couldn’t have agreed more.
I sipped, savored and smiled and my thoughts raced back to about 2 weeks before the trip. There I was, waiting in line with my documents in a folder prepared to spend the better part of my day queuing and answering question after question in detail about myself and my purpose for wanting to visit South Africa. Shock was upon me though because in 30 minutes I was done with the visa application process and on my way back to the office having made an acquaintance or two with the officials at the vfs global center after sharing laughs about my very many names that appear in my documents. I may also have left my new acquaintances a little green-eyed seeing as soon I would be heading off to the breathtaking Cape winelands to indulge in some good wine. To make my Visa experience even more flawless, my visa was delivered to me about a week later.
After just the first day in Stellenbosch (a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa ), I realized that I was in for the wine experience of my life. There’s need to acknowledge that South Africa has been described as the most exciting wine-producing country in the whole world and this is no mean feat. South Africans cherish and have wide knowledge of their vineyards and wines and I also realized that they are very confident in their lesser known wine varieties as well. The South African wine industry is thriving. In fact, Wine tourism contributes largely to South Africa’s overall tourism revenue. This was evident in the Cape wine trade fair that saw almost 300 wine exhibitors showcase their wines. Wine buyers, wine agents, wine writers and even wine enthusiasts from all over the world participated in the three day wine exhibition event.
Every day in the cape winelands brought a different experience. From visiting family operated wineries and lunching and wining with the winemakers, to tasting and drinking lots and lots of excellent wines, to visiting vineyards and other special places with breathtaking views, to listening to wine stories, learning about eco-sustainable wine-growing and winemaking, tasting some more award-winning wines and most importantly enjoying and taking in every minute of the South Africa Wines experience.
Every bit of the Cape Wine experience was worthwhile. Six days of hearing words like Tannins, Crisp, Aroma, Attack, Aftertaste , Dense, Balance, Earthy, Finish which are now part of my vocabulary. I didn’t mind that for 6 straight days I had a glass of wine in my hands for most of the day. 6 days of drinking and tasting amazing wines. In fact, I wouldn’t be alarmed if one day I woke up holding a glass of wine for I have been having dreams about wine and wine parties lately. I have also caught myself a few times just about to swirl my cup of coffee at breakfast which always sends people into fits of laughter. Who cares anyway, I just came back from Africa’s wine paradise.
PHOTO BLOG FROM MY CAPE WINE EXPERIENCE