When most people think about traveling to Africa, they think about going on safari. Or, lounging on the white sand beaches soaking up the sun. It’s not the kind of place that people really think about when they think “fine wines”. With all the culture of the Pyramids in the groups of people that have made that continent famous, not many people come for the vineyards. Which is good if you’re connoisseur. If you go join the right time of the year there is practically no traffic, and you have all of the fantastic wine country to yourself.
One of the best places to visit first is Table Mountain. Nestled in nearby Cape Town, it has all the splendid beauty of the beaches and forests which make for a very romantic hideaway. The vineyards here are very old compared to some of the more modern layouts of the West. The history here is fascinating and there’s so much to learn in one visit through the fields. They keep with some of the more traditional equipment, shying away from more modern technology to hold onto their rustic heritage.
One of the most amazing routes to take is through Wellington. This trip offers some of the best wine tasting you will ever come across. They pride themselves with sharing their crop with as many visitors as they can get. After the tasting is done for the day, they put out a huge spread of food for all who wish to stay and visit with the families that work there. It not only offers a chance to sample many fine wines, but gives visitors a feel of the people behind every vintage that goes into a bottle.
Even though many of these older farms fight to hold onto their tradition, they are slowly being forced to modernize in the name of health and safety. Much of the older equipment is faulty, and the materials in the vats are being found to create large amounts of mold which damages the wine. The wine farms of Stellenbosch are some of the first to bring builders and machinists on site to help improve their process. While the beautiful vintage wineries of South Africa are splendid to visit, they must keep up with the times to some extent to remain competitive in the market.