Our two days in the Cape Winelands of the Western Cape of South Africa were not only educational but romantic. Once again, Natural World Safaris created a fabulous itinerary. Be sure to read the other posts South Africa posts: Three days in Cape Town and What I Wore in Cape Town and the Winelands, too.
After a relaxing morning at the Ellerman House in Cape Town, we departed for the 45 minute drive to our first destination in Paarl. The countryside outside Cape Town on the way to the Cape Winelands is so beautiful!
We started with a master wine tasting at Fairview Vineyard in Paarl. This gorgeous vineyard dates back to 1902 and was founded by Charles Back, a Lithuanian immigrant. Today, his grandson, is the most award winning winemaker in South Africa. They now produce a wide variety of wines with a variety of price points, as well as cheeses. Their red table wine is the popular, Goats Do Roam, that you can find in the US at Trader Joe’s. Don’t let the price point scare you. It is an excellent every day wine!
The Master Wine Tasting which included eight of their high-end master-crafted wines was paired with a house-made Fairview gourmet cheese. Our sommelier was excellent and so knowledgeable about their wines, the history of the grapes, as well as suggested pairings. Probably one of the most thorough wine tastings we have ever done. We loved the Fairview Stellenbosch Cabernet, Bloemcool Tinto Fino and Fairview Pinotage so much, we shipped home several bottles.
Next we drove about 30 minutes to the Delaire Graff Estate, the winery of the renowned Graff diamond family, in the Stellenbosch area of the Cape Winelands. This beautiful estate and vineyard had absolutely stunning views! While we were there, the leaves were changing into their fall colors. That paired with the clouds and sun made it feel as if you were a living within a Monet painting! DG also is home to the beautiful Relais & Château filled with gorgeous art. We did another self-guided wine tasting here and enjoyed anti-pasta for lunch with our wines. I loved their Cabernet Franc Rose and Scott enjoyed their Shiraz.
And then we were off to the stunning La Residence in Franschoek, our home for the next two days. We were greeted by their gracious staff and welcomed with their Rose and a bouquet of estate grown flowers. After a brief tour of the main house, we were escorted to our second-floor suite overlooking the La Residence Vineyard with another stunning view of the Cape Winelands!
Our suite was the Disa Superior Suite, filled with bright pinks and greens. The impressive, hand-carved king bed was lacquered lime green to match the gorgeous lime silk drapes and highlight the beautiful vineyard views.
After getting settled in our suite, we enjoyed more of the La Residence rose on our balcony just above the lavender field overlooking their vineyards. You couldn’t find a more perfect setting for an anniversary getaway or honeymoon. The beautiful suites create the feeling of being worlds away while maintaining the feel of a gracious home. Each decorated in a different color palette and filled with antiques, you feel like a very welcomed guest in someone’s private home.
We had dinner that evening in the main dining room, The Great Hall. The menu was designed for us by Chef Lennard Marais and the service was outstanding. Chef Marais focus’ was on fresh, local ingredients many of which were grown on the estate. Their sommelier helped us select the perfect South African wines to complement our meals.
Periwinkle Shirtdress / Similar Sandals / Basket Bag / Trench On Scott: Polo Shirt / Shorts / Quarter Zip Pullover / Grey Suede Belt / Suede SneakersRust Chiffon Maxi Dress / Jimmy Choo Sandals / Basket Bag On Scott: Dress Shirt / Quarter Zip Sweater / Lululemon ABC Slim Warpstreme Pant / Quarter Zip Sweater / Grey Suede Belt / Suede
The next morning, a peacock was waiting to greet us on our balcony. He as so majestic! We revisited the Great Hall for an amazing breakfast and chose from a wide selection of artisan pastries, fresh juices, house made granola and local cheeses. I could not resist their avocado toast with poached egg. I will be making this a lot this summer!
We took advantage of the foggy morning to relax and read by the fire in the main house. When things cleared up, Scott went for a run through the countryside as I made notes on our trip thus far.
After a lovely lunch, the concierge had arranged a driver for us to visit two wineries. The first was La Motte Wine Estate. Founded in the 1700s and purchased by the current owners, the Rupert Family, in 1970, La Motte is dedicated to sustainable farming, art, tourism, positive change in their community and producing fine wine. Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg, currently runs La Motte, and is an award winning mezzo-soprano. Her Hannaeli Rupert Missionary Trust, provides training for missionaries in South Africa. We loved their wine and knowing their hearts made it even more special. Our favorites were Peirneef Collection Shiraz and the Pierneef Collection Savignon Blanc. So, we of course, shipped some home! We will definitely be reordering.
Next we visited Moreson Winery. This winery’s beautiful and very large outdoor garden area and patio made it a place to spend the afternoon. We did a full tasting wines and MCC (South African sparkling wine). Award-winning winemaker Clayton Reabow creates truly wonderful wines. It’s easy to see why he was named South African Winemaker of the Year last year. Our favorite was the Widow Maker Pinotage, named after a F-16 from Desert Storm. It comes from a bold and delicious hybrid grape crossed between a Pinot Noir and Hermitage. Again, we shipped some home! Moreson actually has a large distribution warehouse in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Be sure to keep an eye out on menus if you live in the area, I know I will.
Before dinner, we enjoyed a glass of their wonderful rose while watching the sunset from the Library Loft. The photo above was the most popular of our trip and my favorite as well. What an amazing place to watch the sun set over the gorgeous landscape. Truly a moment I will never forget!
We then had drinks and hors d’oeuvres with a couple we had met sitting by the fire earlier in the afternoon. They were another American couple smitten with this beautiful area. So much so, they had purchased an adjacent property and were there for a visit. That is definitely a dream!
Next was on to dinner at La Petite Columbe. This is the outpost of the award-winning La Colombe restaurant in Cape Town. Each table is invited up to the chef‘s table near the kitchen for the very special amuse bouche treat before dinner arrives. A very special experience!
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at La Residence and truly dream of returning. The next morning we were off to Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge for our first safari. You won’t want to miss those details. I’ll be sharing them next week!
Cheers to amazing experiences through travel!
Thank you to Natural World Safaris for arranging our trip and to La Residence for hosting us in Franschoek. All opinions are my own. Photos of La Residence interiors are via La Residence.
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