One of the things that I love best about being a Cape Townian is our ease of access to the numerous quality fermented grape farms…and by fermented grapes, I mean a girl’s best friend…if you still haven’t guessed it, I’m talking about wine! I don’t really want to come across as an alcoholic because well, no one really likes to be labelled nowadays and also because I’m not, but as a student, there is quite a fine line between the two categories. I am quite proud, and I think my parents are too, of some of the grown up decisions that I have made within the past two years, the best yet, besides finishing my degree and receiving a signed piece of paper certifying me as a ‘qualified’ woman, is my transition from vodka to a substance more classy and lady-like, wine!
Here in Cape Town going to wine farms, or vineyards as others might call it, has become an inherent part of our culture. And why not? We boast great weather both for growing grapes as well as allowing us to have a great day out amongst the grapes, our wines are often of top quality and the settings in which majority of wine farms are located such as Durbanville, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek exude picturesque settings. With this novelty on our doorstep often taking no more than a 30 minute drive, I have decided to explore our numerous wine farms with the help of my friends in order to uncover the Cape’s amazing array of wine farms that it has to offer, and even better…I get to share my experiences with you.
Two weeks ago my fellow wine-goers Matt (SP), Ben and myself headed out to visit Cavalli Wine and Stud Farm situated just outside of Somerset West. Luckily for us Matt’s brother and Cavalli manager, Pawel, welcomed us at the pristine entrance of the estate’s restaurant, Equus. We were given a grand tour of the horses stables, which I might add, if I were ever to be a horse, whether it is in this life or the next, I choose these stables (Mom, Dad, are you listening?). After a quick little photoshoot in the stables pretending to be completely cool with these rather large and powerful beauties, our stomachs were grumbling and our thirst needed to be quenched. Naturally, we asked for some liquid to ease our dry throats and were treated to a wine-tasting session with a legendary man named John, who also gave us a breakdown of the South African cricket team’s performance in the recent World Cup.
We tried 5 wines, of which my personal favourite was a wine called the Cremello and as the name suggests it was a super creamy white wine as well as another favourite of mine, the Warlord. Lunch followed shortly after our generous servings of wine-tasting and was ridiculous in every sense of the word. Complementing these delicious wines was quality food from the Equus Bistro Menu which is South Africa’s first green-star restaurant. What is this and why is it a good thing you might ask? Essentially, the dining experience at Equus entails a lot more than just the food with a geoexchange system working within the pond over which the restaurant overlooks. This system works by heating and cooling the space in an efficient way and in conjunction with solar energy and a waste water treatment plant, 93% of the estate’s water is recycled.
Our ‘grape’ day out was finished off with a tour of the art gallery underneath the restaurant as well as visit to the estate’s far stables where we attempted another photo shoot. I would definitely recommend putting aside a day to visit this state of the art farm and restaurant, whether you’re a local or passing by. A big thank you to Pawel for making us feel at home, and thanks to Matt for driving…someone responsible had to.
All images were taken by Ben Brown. Watch his vlog below of our day out at Cavalli.