wine tasting in the Western Cape, South Africa

Monday, June 23, 2014

Today I'd like to introduce you to Camila of The Things I Am Crazy For, who has kindly offered to take over my blog while I'm going crazy in Tokyo (oh yeah). Camila blogs about all things life - being an expat in the UK, travel and her love of literature. She even has a reverse bucket list - which I love. We should all celebrate and enjoy the things we've done.

Today Camila is going to tell you all about her experiences wine tasting in the Western Cape of South Africa - and I have to say I'm a little jealous. Who wouldn't want to do a wine and chocolate tasting in such gorgeous surroundings?

So Camila over to you...

Hi! I'm Camila and it’s my pleasure to be taking over Claire’s blog today to bring you a travel post. I really like Claire’s blog and her photography - so hopefully this will be at the same level as her posts ;)

The first thing you need to know about me is that I love travelling. The second thing is that my best friend T lives in Cape Town. You put the two together and you have me juggling with the idea to go spend an extended vacation in South Africa. The opportunity came last autumn when I was homeless in the UK between finishing my degree and graduation. The choice was easy! I booked a flight and a few weeks (and a few jabs) later I was flying to go meet T! Just like that! I won’t have time to tell you about all the wonderful things I saw and experienced while I was there, but I wanted to share one of those things with you - wine tasting in the Western Cape.

View Hillcrest - Western Cape, South Africa

South Africa is known for many things and one of them is its fabulous wine. We had the opportunity to be at the heart of the Cape Winelands for a whole week as we house sat for one of T’s friends who lives on a vineyard in Stellenbosch.

Tasting room Tokara - Western Cape, South Africa

We were both on vacation, so we took the opportunity to really enjoy ourselves and go for lots of tastings! We ended up going to eight different farms in the surroundings. On one day we went to grab tea and dessert at La Motte, on another lovely day out we had a lunch at the Hillcrest Berry farm and tasted goat’s cheese at the Fairview Cheesery (I was also unaware this was a word). On one of our last days in Stellenbosch we also had lunch at Tokara and visited the Waterford Estate. All wonderful memories - there really is something for everyone out there. Gosh, so much to tell and not enough time I'm afraid! On today’s post I wanted to share my two favourite tasting experiences with you...

All-round favourite: Spice Route

A friend of T had recommended Spice Route because she said the prices were affordable and there was something for everyone. So it was actually our first outing of the week and perhaps the most diverse and interesting...

Spice Route - Western Cape, South Africa

We started with the chocolate and wine tasting and it was great! The generous portions of chocolate were from everywhere in the world and paired perfectly with South African wines. If you've never wine tasted before they will let you know exactly how to get the best out of the experience. It’s pretty basic and delicious:
  • Step 1: taste the wine. 
  • Step 2: take a bite of chocolate 
  • Step 3: take a sip of the wine again. The experience really shows you how different the wine can be when paired with food.

Spice Route wine - Western Cape, South Africa

Afterwards we adventured ourselves in the rest of the property. Spice Route have pretty much everything you might want to get your teeth into! In addition to the wine tasting, you can taste biltong (cured meat that resembles jerky), Ostrich, beef or game meat, their beer, visit their brewery, and even go stuff your face with more chocolate at their roastery! I really liked the whole experience because there was a bit of everything - and we definitely spent a lot of time there.

Spice Route chocolate - Western Cape, South Africa
Spice Route, Paarl. ZAR 75, per person. (approx.. £4)

Champagne tasting: JC LeRoux

When T told me that JC LeRoux did a sparkling wine tasting, I was so excited. When I learned it could be paired with marshmallows my excitement level went through the roof! On October 31st, instead of celebrating Halloween (which, I was told, isn't really a thing in SA anyway) we headed to JC LeRoux for some bubbly...

The whole experience was superb. We waited patiently in a fully hot pink room (which I loved) for the server to set up our booth and lay out our champagne flutes and pairings.

M&M tasting - Western Cape, South Africa

There were five different wines and three of them were paired with marshmallows and the last two with meringues. I can’t describe how amazing this all tasted. My sugar levels were probably through the roof. Usually at tastings, you don’t drink the WHOLE thing, but I drank every last bit of bubbly that was in front of me. How could I waste such delicious wine?

Camila with bubbly - Western Cape, South Africa
JC LeRoux , Stellenbosch. ZAR 60, per person. (approx. £3.5)

On a last note I just wanted to say that my week in Stellenbosch was absolutely wonderful. There are so many beautiful things to see in the region and the landscapes are gorgeous. Getting to see those landscapes from a tasting room with a glass of wine in your hand, even better!

Wine tasting - Western Cape, South Africa

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  1. Mmmm! paired with chocolate and marshmallows! How awesome

    1. I know right? Very jealous/hungry!!