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.
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:
WOW would be the word I was looking for. We actually only ended up there in the first place due to my sister, the eternal troublemaker in the family.
Her boyfriend 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.
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:
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.
Someone else felt the same way. (She was sampling the goods, however, in case that isn’t drastically obvious.)
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.
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.)
So when next you find yourself in South Africa? Don’t listen to this idiot here, and get thyself to Stellenbosch, stat.
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… !)
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.
What gorgeous scenery and photos – and I absolutely adore your sister’s dress!
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.)
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!
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 🙂
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.
So glad you loved it – can’t wait to go back!
What a gorgeous place!
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.
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! 🙂
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”.
Great images, especially the last one! I’ll pass on the wine though, and climb that mountain 🙂
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!