We left home bright and early one January and made the trip to Stellenbosch. One of my friends were visiting from Pretoria and he wanted to go to as many wine farms in 1.5 days before flying back.
First stop Fairview, Paarl. We did the cheese and wine tasting. Their La Capra wine range is a nice every day drinking wine that won’t hurt your pocket too much. And you can never ever go wrong with any of their cheeses. I often buy their traditional Chevin and the low fat cream cheese black pepper log. The Camembert and White Rock (there are 4 different flavours) are also some of my favourites. They also have a restaurant next to the tasting room where we have had breakfast a few times and are well worth the visit. It can however get busy during the summers as this is a popular stop for tour buses.
Up next… Simonsig, Stellenbosch. This has become one of my favourite wine tasting farms as I went to University with one of the owners’ daughter who happens to go to school with my husband (we found out at their 10 year reunion). They were the first wine estate in South Africa to produce a Methode Cap Classique, the equivalent to French Champagne. And they even chop the MCC bottle’s neck with a sword every now and then. I must admit I have not been to their restaurant to date, but have heard great reviews from my friends.
From there we went to Tokara, Helshoogte road Stellenbosch. This is also a rather popular wine farm. Especially in my student days, mostly because the wine tastings was free. I must admit they have some of the best views. They also have brandy and a full olive range. They have since opened a deli, which my sister enjoyed. There is always an art exhibit on as you enter the tasting room/deli building and one of my friends mother did a painting as her art class project using nothing but their red wine. I was really impressed when I saw it.
From there we headed to Asara, Stellenbosch. This is also one of the better views you will find for a tasting room. We had a table right next to the dam looking towards the Stellenbosch mountain. They also have a deli, bistro, bar and hotel. If I have to critise them it won’t be for their wine or venue.
My friend’s one requirement was that we visit Van Ryn’s Distillery, Stellenbosch. It was my first time here and I must say for a non brandy drinker I enjoyed it. On arrival they hand you a cocktail consisting of their 5 year old brandy and some juice which is quite enjoyable. I did the mall tasting as I am not that big on brandy. The guy that assisted us, was a student from South America that really knows his stuff. Which helped with the experience also, he sat down next to us at the table and talked brandy the whole time, big thumbs up!
Our last stop for the day was Peter Falke. Mostly because they only closed at 7pm. I skipped this one as it has already been a long day, but we did good and tasted some amazing wines.