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Wine and Dine in South Africa

In the summer of 2023, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. Although what is sometimes called the 'Rainbow Nation' is known for its stunning views and vibrant culture, there lies a hidden gem: its wine industry. After visiting around a dozen wineries and vineyards, I listed my favorite places I recommend for travelers who want to experience all of what South Africa has to offer!

Beaumont Family Wines, located in Bot River, was built in 1974 and is one of the oldest wine farms in their area. As soon as I stepped into their restaurant I instantly felt at home. The outside of the restaurant resembled a ranch-style home with picnic tables and a bakery sitting next door where customers are greeted with the comforting scent of freshly baked cookies. Owner Jen Beaumont says that each wine has their own personality, such as their syrah which she describes as “proud but not arrogant.” As a newfound dessert wine lover, I recommend their 2018 Cape Vintage.

Sitting between Cape Town and Hermanus, Benguela Cove was one of my favorite venues in the Western Cape. This estate features beautiful artwork from vibrant paintings and lavish furniture to enormous sculptures and a beautiful view overlooking the lake. Their wines are placed in ultra-thick bottles which indicates their exceptional quality and ensures that the contents last longer by protecting them from heat and sunlight. Although their Syrah 2020 was barreled for 18 months and won a Platter’s sticker, I recommend their 2020 Noble Late Harvest.

Offered at Creation Wines is a unique experience to indulge in a six-course meal where each dish is paired with a wine to enhance its flavors. My personal favorite pairings included the duck confit that was beautifully plated with their pinot noir and the fig brownie and peppercorn gelato that packed a bit of spice paired with their Fine Cape Vintage. In addition to their tasty menu, guests can enjoy astounding mountain views secluded in the region of Walker Bay.

At Fairview Vineyards Stellenbosch location has more to offer than just wine. Before entering the establishment, guests are greeted by a tower of goats who are more than open to being fed snacks, preferably leaves. Inside, there is a restaurant, a wine-tasting section and a store that sells a variety of fresh food, from meat and cheeses to bread and jams. If you happen to stop by, don't leave without doing a wine tasting where each of their cheeses is paired with a selection of their wine; the La Beryl Rouge dessert wine was a clear winner for me.

Out of all of the wineries I visited, Oldenburg had the most breathtaking view. Located just outside of Stellenbosch in Banghoek Valley, this winery's location gives its wine a unique upper hand as its grape varietals are affected by multiple elements from the ocean, soil, and wind. Do not leave without trying their Merlot 2017 which has notes of chocolate and rose petals.

At Seven Sisters, guests are treated like family. Self-taught entrepreneur, owner and one of the sisters, Vivian saw an opportunity in South Africa’s wine industry and took a chance with her family to grow their business. Their brand ties in personal elements such as the inspiration for their logo that came from a photo of the sisters dancing on the beach, and each wine varietal representing a different sister. Pairing their Pinotage 2020, which is a varietal only found in South Africa, with their lamb shank was an enlightening experience I advise everyone to try!

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