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