A Day in the Stellenbosch Wine Country

I’m going to keep this post deliberately short. You don’t want to sit at your computer and listen to me talk about drinking wine… Not because it would be boring, or because it wouldn’t do the experience justice… but because it simply isn’t fair. Stellenbosch is absolutely gorgeous and you’re just surrounded by amazing wineries. Go to your local wine store and look for some good South African wines. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Before we get to the wine, however, we have to talk a little bit about some animals. A cheetah conservation organization set up shop on the property of a popular vineyard in order to attract tourists who might support its cause. The cheetahs they keep are all hand raised from birth and are never meant to be introduced to the wild. Instead, the cheetahs are actually used to raise money to provide Andalusian Shepherd dogs to local farmers. The dogs are natural protectors and will keep predators away from livestock. By chasing away predators naturally, it stops the farmers from shooting cheetah and thus protects the cheetah population.

At the conversation center (which has now moved to a new location), you can see a number of different wild cats and even have the opportunity to get up close with adult and baby cheetahs. Since I had already had my lion walk, I convinced Beth that we should meet a cheetah. This was a much more contained experience, but it was still neat to be so close to the animal.

We were smart enough to high a local guide to take us around to the wineries for our day of tasting. This meant that we didn’t have to drive and could thoroughly enjoy and imbibe the experience. All of the wineries we visited were smaller “boutique” vineyards which suited our tastes well. At the smaller places, you get  much more personal service and they owners are willing to take time with you. We got to sample probably 6-10 wines everywhere we went and there was hardly one we didn’t like.

Go straight to you local wine store and see if you can find any of the following labels:

  • Backsburg – www.backsberg.co.za
  • Bilton – www.biltonwines.com
  • Clos Malverne – www.closmalverne.co.za
  • Jordan – www.jordanwines.com
  • Peter Falke – www.peterfalkewines.com
  • Uva Mira – www.uvamira.co.za
  • Adult Cheetah
  • Cheetah Making a Funny Face
  • Reclining Cheetah
  • Vic and Beth with a Cheetah
  • Vic and Beth with a Cheetah
  • Cheetah Close-Up
  • Vic and Beth with a Cheetah
  • Owl on a Lady's Shoulder
  • Serval Cat
  • Caracal
  • Some Kind of Fox
  • Black-Backed Jackal
  • Black-Backed Jackal
  • The "Guard Dog" at Backsburg Estate
  • Bilton Estates' Vineyard
  • Uva Mira's Wine Estate
  • Uva Mira Close-Up
  • Stellenbosch Valley from Uva Mira
  • Beth Enjoys a Peter Falke Wine
  • Mountains Around Peter Falke Estate
  • Beth at the Peter Falke Estate

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