Editor’s Note: Today’s guest blog continues Richard Luck’s vivid accounts of his 110-day voyage around the world aboard the MV Explorer. Richard takes us to South Africa and as the sleet and snow begin to fall outside my window, I am particularly captivated by the warmth and sunshine these images exude!
On my way to South Africa, I had prepared myself for the rugged outdoors and plenty of wild animals. Little did I know that I was going to be pampered and dazzled by the luxurious vineyards of Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch, which has views that put California’s Napa Valley to shame and unique wines that rival France and Italy’s best, is a short forty-minute drive north of Cape Town.
Stellenbosch is home to hundreds of vineyards making it a vineyard hopping paradise. I visited four over the course of my day and had ample time at all of them. Stellenbosch offers vineyards ranging from small, quaint and intimate to large, contemporary and luxurious. I had the opportunity to experience both.
The Warwick Estate sits atop the rolling hills of Stellenbosch. Its white stucco Cape Dutch style buildings with huge wood shutters make it a memorable place. It was the perfect place for a picnic and a wine tasting.
We then made our way over to the Delaire Graff Estate for yet another wine tasting. The view from Delaire is unlike any other. It is nestled in the valley with huge mountains surrounding all sides. You could not pick a better setting for a relaxing afternoon with fine wines and plush sofas.
South Africa has one wine that is uniquely South African, the pinotage. A pinotage is a red wine that has a smoky, full-bodied earthy flavor. If you are fortunate enough to visit Stellenbosch, a pintoage will undoubtedly be waiting on you. So if you ever have the opportunity to travel to South Africa, don’t forget to leave a day for Stellenbosch. I can guarantee that you won’t regret it.