Exploring the Stellenbosch Valley: Day 2October 30, 2015 / bynatalie / Categories : Food & Wine, Uncategorized
In case you missed it, I shared Day 1 of our amazing visit to the Stellenbosch Valley here. If you’re looking for an awesome itinerary for the Stellenbosch Wine Route, look no further. Between Day 1 and Day 2 of our #seeStellenboshValley itinerary, you’re basically sorted. It combines wine tasting, beer tasting, unique wine pairings, amazing views, brandy and chocolate pairing, a stay at a gorgeous Country House, blending your own wine and a traditional South African braai.
After such a beautiful Day 1, we were really excited for Day 2 of our adventure into the Stellenbosch Valley, which stretches from the Papegaaiberg across the Stellenbosch Hills, all the way from Zevenwacht then south to include Meerlust, Spier and the farms along Baden Powell Drive ( theR310).
The Perfect Stellenbosch Valley Itinerary
Breakfast at JC Le Roux, beer tasting at Stellenbrau, wine blending and boerebraai at Middelvlei Wines and a night at Wedgeview Country House & Spa. Read more here.
Breakast at Wedgeview Country House & Spa
After a relaxing night at Wedgeview, we started our day with their huge breakfast spread. I was still full from dinner (and lunch and wine pairings the day before) so I just had a plate of fruit and a few slices of parma ham. The weather was stunning and the view was perfection.
Salt and Wine Pairing at Fleur Du Cap
As far as unique wine tastings go, this one probably wrote the book. Die Bergkelder is a beautiful wine cellar built right inside a big old mountain. It was originally built to protect the wines from the hot Stellenbosch summers, so it’s deliciously cool inside and it feels very special to be inside a mountain cellar.
We tasted four unfiltered Fleur du Cap wines, paired with four salty tasters by famed chef, Craig Cormack. We also paired the wines with four different salts from all over the world. I’m talking pink salt and black salt and lava salt and river salt. A very fancy array of salts.
This truly is a unique and awesome wine tasting and it makes for a really great Stellenbosch experience. You can’t believe how salt on your palate can influence the flavour of wine. It’s science!
Wine Tasting at Stellenbosch Vineyards & Lunch at Bistro13
It was my first time tasting wine at Stellenbosch Vineyards. The tasting room staff are super friendly and chilled and we had a nice tour of the cellar with their winemaker before we tasted a few of their wines. I particularly liked their Credo Chenin Blanc and a new sparkling Shiraz. I can’t wait to bring my family here the next time they visit.
After the tasting we sat down for lunch at the restaurant on the premises, Bistro13 which is actually one of my favourite restaurants in the winelands. The food is clean and delicious and well-balanced. The service is amazing – probably because the restaurant is owner-managed by a couple, Roxy and Chef Nick. This food is beautiful in its simplicity, like my favourite dish on the menu; asparagus with the perfect Hollandiase sauce. I could have eaten five portions of this dish.
Bistro13 is open every day of the week now, so book your table for summer.
Brandy & Chocolate Pairing at Van Ryn’s
Even if you don’t regularly drink brandy, a visit to Van Ryn’s should definitely be on your itinerary. The historic distillery is beautiful and a tour includes a demonstration by a traditional Cooper. These artisans have been hand-making the big barrels brandy is aged in for years and years and watching their art is mesmerising.
The brandy and chocolate pairing is educational and delicious and really showcases Van Ryn’s award-winning brandies. Did you know that South African brandy (known as brandewyn in Afrikaans, which translates to burned wine) is made in exactly the same way as French cognac? It’s made from grapes in the same way as wine, then distilled in copper potstills before being aged in French oak for a minimum of 5 years.
The Stellenbosch Valley has lots to do and see and taste. It’s basically got something for everyone, which is why I’ll be visit with my family as soon as possible.