After Cape Town, we spent two days in Stellenbosch and one in Franschhoek, two quaint towns in wine country. Sounds like a lot of wine time, but one of the Stellenbosch days was largely taken up by travel and cheetah visiting, and the other spent touring a township between Stellenbosh and Cape Town.
But we did have some time for wine and scenery.
The two towns are maybe 30 minutes apart. Stellenbosch is a university town with a bit more bustle to it, and has many wonderful wineries and vineyards on the outskirts of town. We spent an afternoon at Warwick WIne Estate, a family-run (and family-friendly!) winery and vineyard that’s been around since 1771 (putting them only 200 years ahead of the “boys up north” in Oregon’s wine country). In addition to great wines, they have lovely picnics and even couple playgrounds for the kids!
I insisted on going to Fairview wines, which is probably not the best winery in South Africa, but it’s one of the ones that ships its wine as far as the US, and they have goats! And cheese! If you like wine, you may have had opportunity to drink their Goats Do Roam (their take on a Cotes du Rhone) or other tongue-in-cheek wines that are made in the style of famous wine regions. Scott humored me, and we got to have wine, cheese and goat viewing.
Franschhoek (pretty sure I spell that differently each time I write it) is dutch for “French Corner,” as it was settled by Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in France. It’s a ridiculously cute town that’s known for its restaurants. We’d lucked into renting a gorgeous two bedroom villa with an amazing view for the night we were there, making us wish we were staying longer.
We also enjoyed the shopping there, and picked out a painting at an outdoor market. We’d planned to do some further wine tasting in the area and take the area “wine tram,” but as we often learned on this trip, the days get away from you and you never fit in as much as you expect.
But sitting at a sidewalk cafe eating french food in South African wine country isn’t a bad way to waste a day.