The wine region and golf were next on our amazing tour of Africa. Sampling award-winning wines, playing some great golf courses and being surrounded by traditional Dutch houses, vineyards and majestic mountain vistas was an awesome experience.
Our first round of golf was at Pearl Valley Golf Estates. This exclusive golf course has the mighty Berg river flowing through it and a setting of mountains, orchards and vineyards. We were faced with challenging water hazards, verdant fairways and 81 white sand bunkers, Melanie and Judy thought they were gardening as they spent a lot of time raking. Erinville Golf Estate was also very scenic with more mountain vistas and views of the Indian Ocean. The first nine wound its way through narrow fairways flanked by beautiful properties, blending in perfectly with the landscape and environment. The second nine flows into the foot of the mountain and a magnificent view of False Bay, surrounding vineyards, olive groves and the Helderberg Nature Reserve. DeZalze Golf Club was in Stellenbosch, the heart of the Cape Winelands. This course, which dates back to 1838, required accuracy as there was a river which came into play as well as well positioned bunkers. Again beautiful vistas and very enjoyable play, Kristy ran into a challenge here as we arrived and low and behold her golf shoes were not there. Thanks to our great driver, Chippa, he got her back to the hotel and back in time for her to not miss abeat. Our accommodation for this leg of our journey was the Erinvale Estate Hotel which was set in a garden setting with cobbled walkways, refreshing pools and shaded by oak trees. Our loft rooms were a few steps away from the 18th century Cape Dutch Manor House which housed three restaurants. As we know, no two golf courses are alike and this is also true of our wine tasting. In Stellenbosch we had the experience of tasting wine with chocolate, dark, milk & white, and experimented with different pairing. So much fun especially when it was 9:30am, but it was noon somewhere. This adventure was followed by a delicious lunch and another tasting at Blauuklippen one of the oldest wine farms in Stellenbosch. The next day we traveled over the mountains to Franschhoek, the French Corner. Boschendal Wine farm was a beautiful property, and our tasting took place in the garden where the bar was under a huge oak tree, such a pretty setting.
Haute Cabriere was different again and the tasting area was designed like cavernous cellars. This family owned wine farm has been producing Burgundian and Champagne varietals since 1694 and we really enjoyed the history told by one of the owners. The wine tasting was just as diverse as the golf courses and when you include visits to quaint historic towns, beautiful scenery and excellent restaurants, it is truly outstanding. When you get to share these experiences with a great group of people there is nothing like it.