When in Stellenbosch

with Inga kommentarer

So if you happen to have a couple of days in Stellenbosch, here a few things you must not miss. The list is not long and of course there is so much more to see and taste and experience, but here are some of my favorites:

Reynike wines: I met Johan Reynike at a wine tasting in Stockholm last summer and fell completely in love with not only the elegant wines but also Johan’s philosphy and approach to life and wine making. Here’s a farm that is run according to biodynamic principles, or has Johan simply puts it – working with nature, not against it. http://www.reynekewines.co.za/ I URGE you to go there for a tasting…

Johan Reynike
Johan Reynike

This means he has cows that grace on the vineyard in the winter to feed the soil, in summer, they clean up and fertilize new areas, eat the leftovers from the pressing which then becomes new soil for the vines.

Keepers of the vineyards
Keepers of the vineyards

Ducks happily meander along the greenery and eat the snails that harm the plants.

Paperworms, that live in big oak barrels (what else…its a winery!) chew shredded office papers and transforms it into beautiful soil.

Paper worms working hard to convert paper into soil
Paper worms working hard to convert paper into soil

The staff has comfortable housing and their kids go to school. Johan believes that ”sustainable” is not just about being organic and pesticide free. It’s also investing in and creating opportunities for others to pursue their dreams and flourish in their profession.

It means to not overwork yourself and your staff to the point of exhaustion, to not let yourself be fooled by the hunt for money, fame and fortune. Please do not miss a visit here and do plan for a wine tasting in the stunning tasting room.

A great opportunity to sit and philosophize on life and soil.
A great opportunity to sit and philosophize on life and soil.

 

Look for these! They are extra ordinary!
Look for these! They are extra ordinary!

While in there, take a look at the collection of over 250 000 year old stone tools that were found here in the soil. A true time warp to hold them in your hand…

Ok, next:

If you are looking for the perfect loaf of bread, a fantastic cup of coffee, a relaxed lunch, coffee and a pastry, home made ice cream or a wine tasting of the wines of the district. Or perhaps you want to just go someplace where you immediately at home and welcome – then Schoon de Companje is the place to go, http://www.decompanje.co.za/ Entrepreneur and baker par excellence Fritz Schoon and his equally creative wife Chanelle, who is a Pastry chef started out in a tiny space where they just fit the oven and a small bakery, in a place they rented ”dirt cheap” as Fritz puts it. Now, only less than three years later, the small place has expanded to a big, two stories haven with coffee roastery, wineshop, ice cream parlour, coffee bar and restaurant. The secret behind the quality? Organic.

Fritz works together with an organic farmer who supplies him with traditional, indigenous South African grains, which is milled daily in the bakery. All is served with love and enormous care.

http://www.decompanje.co.za/

I coule live in Stellenbosch just so I could go here every day for coffee and just…hanging out. And I would, as often as I could, enjoy the Chocolate tarte with berries…

IMG_3953

And here a very badly lit photo of me and Fritz…

IMG_3908

Really really Good Coffee
Really really Good Coffee
Coffee worth a detour...
Coffee worth a detour…

For more coffee: Try The Blue Crane & The Butterfly – also a good spot for breakfast and / or lunch. Good wi-fi ; ) https://www.facebook.com/TheBlueCraneandTheButterfly/

And take a few hours to enjoy Stellenbosch Botanical Garden:http://www.sun.ac.za/afrikaans/entities/botanical-garden/Pages/default.aspx?lang=en

Well, that’s about all I had time for, and a lunch at Tokara…http://www.tokara.co.za/

More soon!

 

Lisen

 

My heart belongs to the Western Cape

with Inga kommentarer

My heart has expanded beyond the limits of my chest and now resides happily by this wild, magnetic coast of The Western Cape. I shall miss it when I go back to Sweden…my heart I mean. Guess this must mean I’m home right here!

Lions Head, Cape Town
Lions Head, Cape Town

i have so much to tell, so many people I want to introduce to you that live here and do amazing things, and I will, one a time – I am lagging behind with my blog posts since my computer decided to crash (well, battery died – didn’t like life on the road as much as I do) but now it has been restored. I am very grateful. SO, in my spare moment I shall introduce you to lovely Fritz and Chanelle Schoon who founded the Schoon de Companje in Stellenbosch, the most profoundly sustainable bakery I’ve ever come across.

 

I will let you met Johan Reynike at Reynike wines who produces beautiful, elegant wines by working with nature and let biodynamic farming. Among his colleagues you’ll meet cows, paper worms and snail eating ducks.

Johan Reynike among his thriving vines.
Johan Reynike among his thriving vines.

You will meet dear Pieter du Toit at Cederberg wines – another thrilling winemaker 1000 m above the sea, in the red, dry and captivating Cederberg mountains.

Wine tasting at Cederberg. Like drinking fermented spring water, sunshine and nectar.
Wine tasting at Cederberg. Like drinking fermented spring water, sunshine and nectar.

 

You’ll be meeting Kobus van der Merwe who has a restaurant, Oup ve Koup in Paternoster. He forages plants from the dunes and the ocean and cooks the most…I mean…his food is pure poetry!

A lunch that lingers on the palate for a long long time..
A lunch that lingers on the palate for a long long time..

Oh, and you must meet Suzy Holtzhausen, famous Chef and one hell of a lovely person and cook with focus on local, seasonal, sustainable produce, also based in Paternoster.

Lovely Suzi Holtzhausen
Lovely Suzi Holtzhausen

But til then, must go for coffee and breakfast at Schoon…before I hop in to the car and drive to Elgin and Cluver wines and check out their winery…More soon. And please, if you haven’t been…do come here! South Africa is, despite all its problems, a place full of generous, warm, passionate, creative and life loving people!

Lisen