As a connoisseur of fine wines, you enjoy touring wineries as often as your work schedule and budget allow. This definitely includes the many vineyards of South Africa; the country boasts a number of outstanding wineries with delicious varieties of wines.
To help make your next winery-themed vacation as enjoyable as possible, it’s important to do some homework ahead of time. The following tips will allow you to take your South African winery experience to the next level:
Work on Your Palate
Even the most experienced winery visitor may need help improving his or her palate. This will allow you to evolve your tasting skills and truly enjoy and appreciate the often subtle nuances in different varieties. Prior to your trip, practice swirling a glass of wine before you sniff it; this will release its aromas by adding oxygen to the liquid. Then hold it to your nose and inhale deeply — this will allow you to smell and experience the wine’s bouquet as thoroughly as possible. To boost your palate even more, practice sniffing other foods like different fruits, veggies and herbs and spices that can help you identify specific flavor notes in the wine.
Know What to Pack
While some wineries limit their tours to the main buildings and tasting rooms, others allow you to tromp through the vineyard and grape plants. Pack either sturdy walking shoes or boots with slip-free soles and, depending on what time of year you go, plan for different types of weather including sun and rain. Layering your outfits will ensure that you will stay comfortable as you tour each winery, checking out their particular vintage of grapes. Also, be sure to bring along a cutting-edge smartphone that will help make your visit to each winery as top-notch as possible. The Apple iPhone 7 is a terrific choice; for example, its 4K video recording will allow you to capture footage of each winery, and it carries an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance, so if the phone tumbles into a winery fountain or gets dirt blown on it during a windy tour it should continue to work just fine. If you wish to bring your fave wines home with you, you can also use the iPhone 7’s Apple Pay feature to easily purchase the bottles with your fingerprint and it’s Touch ID technology.
Suggestions on Where to Go
There is no shortage of amazing wineries in South Africa. The heart of the country’s wine production is situated around 45 minutes from Cape Town in the Cape Winelands, along with hubs like Paarl and Stellenbosch. Outstanding wineries can also be found in the Swartland Valley and Hemel en Aarde. If you love a winery with tons of history behind it, you can’t go wrong with Rust enVrede in Stellenbosch. For over 300 years, the winery has produced a number of rich red wines including Merlot and Cabernet. If hunger strikes while you are there, have a meal in the winery’s restaurant, which has accolades of its own and ranks in the nation’s top 10 places to eat. Mullineux Family Wines in Riebeek Kasteel is also a top choice for wine connoisseurs; it was opened by a native of San Francisco and her local husband. The small winery produces award-winning Syrahs that you can sample in their lovely tasting room.