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Photo Friday: Stellenbosch, South Africa

Whenever anyone heard I was going to South Africa, the immediate response was: “You have to go to Stellenbosch.” But I couldn’t have been less interested.

stellenbosch, south africa, africa, travel, photography, wine  country, oenophile

After all, Stellenbosch is South Africa’s big wine country, but—you may have heard—we have a Wine Country that’s second to none just an hour outside of San Francisco. I spend a lot of time there. Not to mention, we had but six days in one of the most fascinating cities on the planet. Why did I need to channel my (faux) oenophile while halfway across the world when I could be soaking up the Cape Town culture or coastal atmosphere? Here’s one reason:

stellenbosch, south africa, africa, travel, photography, wine country, oenophile

WOW would be the word I was looking for. We actually only ended up there in the first place due to these two:

stellenbosch, south africa, africa, travel, photography, wine country, oenophile

(At which point I can finally answer all your questions and say that yes! Much to Mom’s and my delight, this is my sister’s new boyfriend, Richard. She’s visiting his family in Virginia at the moment actually. We think he’s the bee’s knees.)

You see, Richard was dead set on visiting Stellenbosch, so while Mom and I were busy learning to cook roti and curries on our Cape Malay cooking safari, he hired a driver to take Kari and him all over the wine region, which is conveniently just 45 minutes outside of Cape Town.

stellenbosch, south africa, africa, travel, photography, wine country, oenophile

At the end of the day, they needed a way home, which is where we came in. The drive there was nothing to take lightly; soaring mountains emerged from among the vines, and my mom was thisclose to popping yet another Xanax. One thing that blew my mind was how fancy-pants the wineries in ‘bosch are. I was expecting rustic, family-operated vineyards; nothing like this:

stellenbosch, south africa, africa, travel, photography, wine country, oenophile

While I wasn’t drinking (responsible driver here), I could have been content hanging out on the porch or in the lounge at Delaire Graff Estate all day long.

stellenbosch, south africa, africa, travel, photography, wine country, oenophiles

Someone else felt the same way. (She was sampling the goods, however, in case that isn’t drastically obvious.)

stellenbosch, south africa, africa, travel, photography, wine country, oenophile

Now, I’m a big fan of California’s Wine Country—specifically, St. Helena, Yountville and parts of Sonoma—but nowhere do you see as vivid colors as you’ll find in Stellenbosch.

stellenbosch, south africa, africa, travel, photography, wine country, oenophile

Nor will you find a tribal treehouse-type restaurant where they paint your face upon arrival and sing and dance until the cows come home. (The food, an unlimited buffet, was pretty awesome, too.)

stellenbosch, south africa, africa, wine country, travel, photography, oenophile

So when next you find yourself in South Africa? Don’t listen to this idiot here, and get thyself to Stellenbosch, stat.

stellenbosch, south africa, africa, travel, photography, wine country, oenophile

*All photos taken with a Canon T1i, 17-85mm lens, housed in a LowePro SlingShot.

**For more Photo Friday fun, visit Delicious Baby.

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Comments ( 14 )

  1. Yay! Thank you for loving my city and country so much! As you would have gathered, we’re gearing up to World Cup Fever (just under a month!!!) and it is SO AWESOME to see CT (and Stellies) through someone else’s eyes. So, so, so stoked you loved it here. Hopefully we can give a whole lot more soccer-travellers a fabulous time too! (Apologies for the over-prevalence of exclamation marks, but you just keep giving me the warm’nfuzzies, and nothing can express my grin quite as well as an exclamation mark… !)

  2. a lovely part of the world I’ve yet to see in person. thanks for sharing your trip. like the sound of those cooking classes too.

  3. What gorgeous scenery and photos – and I absolutely adore your sister’s dress!

  4. So beautiful! Those photos of the mountains look like they could be paintings.
    (And way to pull off the denim jacket without looking like you ought to be chewing on hay. Very cute.)

  5. Thanks for the input! We are going to SA next year. BTW, you will have to remind your sister that if the internet had not persuaded her to go on the cruise, she would not have met her new bf. As a VA girl, I can assure you they are 100% southern gentleman! Good luck on the wedding!

  6. I’ll second the ‘woohoo’ for Virginia boys :)

    Man – all these South Africa posts are bumming me out I couldn’t convince the hubby that’s where we should have gone for our big ‘pre-responsibility’ trip. It is definitely on the ‘must visit’ list!

    As always I love viewing the ‘world’ through your eyes and words :)

  7. Another place I missed on my too short visit as it wasn’t high on the list. Next time, as I keep saying. Although I’m not a big drinker I’d certainly be willing to sample a little in this breathtaking countryside. Will you be My designated driver? ;-)
    Happy for your sis. What a cute couple they make.

  8. So glad you loved it – can’t wait to go back!

  9. It does look stunning. I would have been tempted to skip it too, so thank you! Not that a trip to South Africa is currently on the cards but you never know.

  10. Mister Sister May 14, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    you have really outdone yourself with this one sis! thanks for the snoring pic… OBVIOUSLY this blog post couldnt do without that one.. love you!

    oh, and to all of you readers out there — Richard IS quite the catch! it is OK to be jealous! :)

  11. You had me chuckling the whole time reading. Love the way you wearve your family into your adventures. Makes it so …friendly! It is indeed a lovely and interesting spot. I, for one, had no idea about wine there. Quite a revelation. Loved your photos. Great post.
    Oh, and congratulations to your sister and Richard. They are BOTH the “bee’s knees”.

  12. Great images, especially the last one! I’ll pass on the wine though, and climb that mountain :)

  13. wow! the scenery is just gorgeous. every single person we talked to recommended the wine tours to us as well, but we don’t drink so we thought it wouldn’t be worth it.

    are you planning on putting up your kruger photos?! congrats again on your marriage!

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