Roar Africa

Exploring Africa Since 1688

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Private Wine Tour: Behind the Scenes with ROAR Africa

South African wines are stirring up a lot of excitement these days as more wine experts give rave reviews on their elegance, power, and value. Join us for an exclusive two-day private wine tour in the spectacular Western Cape conducted by Richard Hilton, Roar Africa’s wine expert. Richard has had nearly 20 years of experience in the wine world, learning the business from the ground up in France and in South Africa. He has picked grapes, trod grapes, worked in cellars and bottling lines, pruned vines and marketed wines. Today he has his own winery in Stellenbosch, producing a limited production of fine wines which he sells to top restaurants in Cape Town as well as exports to Europe and New Zealand. Fortunately for us this means he can show us behind the scenes and there is almost no question concerning wine that he cannot answer.

Day 1- Trail of the Vine: Get ready to follow the historical path of the vines themselves right from your hotel in Cape Town, the mother city. You’re first stop will be in Constantia, the oldest wine region in South Africa. There, you will visit Groot Constantia, founded by Governor van der Stel in 1685. The next stop will be Klein Constantia, producer of Vin de Constance, a favorite of Napoleon Bonaparte and Nelson Mandela, amongst others. Now following a 300+ year old grape trail you’ll head east towards Stellenbosch town and Vergenoegd (“satisfaction has been achieved”), owned by the Faure family for six generations.

Lunch at 96 Winery Road, a mecca for South African winemakers and producers, followed by a visit to the celebrated estate of Vergelegen ("remotely situated"), established in 1700. The night will be spent at luxurious Klein Genot Country Estate and Spa in Franschhoek, the French Quarter of the Cape. This five-star boutique lodge is nestled in the Franschhoek Valley.

Day 2- Stellenbosch: On the second day, we’ll wend our way over the Helshoogte Pass to Stellenbosch meaning "(van der) Stel's forest" after the founder Simon van der Stel (1679). We’ll will visit the beautifully designed Tokara Winery and Olive Grove, the Rustenberg Estate, and the Waterford Estate to be treated to a wine and chocolate pairing. Lunch will be at the Ouverture Restaurant at the Hidden Valley Winery. The architecture of this popular restaurant is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The last stop of the day will be the golfing/wine domain of Ernie Els Winery before heading back toward Franschhoek through the historic Boschendal Estate.

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