It’s the beautiful memories we have that make life colourful. Stay in tune with Akintunde Marinho as he recalls his travel experience in South Africa and his deep connection with her wines and winelands.
– By Akintunde Marinho
Travelling has always been about adventure, and for me, adventure is not complete without experiencing the beauty that the area has to offer. I went to South Africa and apart from the beautiful sights and culture that made my journey worthwhile, I also experienced the peculiarity of the country. One of my remarkable experiences had to do with the wine in South Africa. A lot of people think Italy or even California when the subject of vineyards and wine regions come up, but South Africa also amazingly boasts of some beautiful wine regions that you will be sure to enjoy.
Vineyards are usually the go-to place for wine tasting but in South Africa, I was privileged to come across restaurants that have found their way into wine tasting. I visited restaurants such as The Table, Franschhoek Kitchen, Fryndraai Restaurant and Readers Restaurant among others and had the opportunity of tasting good wine.
They also, however, have vineyards for wine tasting, such as Tokara, which prides itself on making wine that are specific to three wine producing regions and Jordan Wine Estate, that offers wine tasting packages and experiences, including sips from Chameleon range wines, Estate varietals, Reserve wines, Bradgate, Jardin label and so much more. And if you want a taste of wine produced in South Africa, then I will recommend Methode Cap Classique, a sparkling wine similar to Champagne, and the Pinotage, a red wine made from a grape that is a mix of Cinsaut and Pinot Noir.
My experience with wine was not limited to tasting as I also had a great time having a wine picnic. I discovered that picnics were becoming quite popular amongst the wine farms. Boschendal Wine Farm boasts of being one of the best picnic spots. They recently launched two picnic experiences that are fun to be a part of – the Rose Garden Picnic and the Werf Farm Picnic. The Rose Garden Picnic provides amazing views of the mountains, exhibition vineyards and picnic baskets that contain food made from the natural farm produce and the Werf Farm Picnic allows guests the opportunity to bring their blankets, chairs and tables to enjoy acres of scenic gardens. The child care service provided by the Werf Farm Picnic is a major attraction that you would particularly enjoy if you are travelling with little ones because it allows the children to create their own memories away from the adults. And if you are partial to the countryside, then you should visit Budmarsh Country Lodge in Johannesburg, equipped with all you need to have a great time in the country.
Additionally, just in case sitting around is not your style, I would recommend the wine tram tour. The Franschhoek Wine Tram tour is one of the best ways to enjoy Franschhoek Valley with its scenic vineyards, breath-taking scenery, warm hospitality, world-class cuisine and fine wines. Franschhoek, translated as “French Corner,” is located in the Groot Drakenstein Mountains and the wine route is regarded as South Africa’s gourmet capital. The early French beginning of the area is largely obvious in the region, even in their production of wine. Therefore, touring the area in an open-air tram accorded me the opportunity to view some of South Africa’s oldest and most distinguished wine estates.
Another fun experience with wine that South Africa has to offer is the food and wine festival. Attending the festival was really a life-changing occurrence for my taste buds. There were different kinds of meals ranging from cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables, karoo lambs, seafood and venison to hundreds of the country’s finest and tastiest wines.
Luckily, the festivals are seasonal and usually happen all year round in different cities. However, the most popular festivals are the RMB Wine Festival in Sandton and Summer Wine Festival in Johannesburg which occur 25th to 27th of October and the 4th of November respectively.
I was able to take something home from my experiences with the wine of South Africa. Apparently, there are tips to having a wonderful wine tasting adventure – book tasting beforehand, be open to trying new wines and in order not to ruin the taste of wine, do not drink coffee, lemon water or chew gum right before wine tasting.
My adventure in South Africa is not one I can forget easily, and you should really check their wines when you have the opportunity.
Don’t just travel. Explore. Create unforgettable experiences.
Akintunde Marinho is a is a seasoned entrepreneur with 8years experience in diverse industries including finance, marketing and technology. His work experience spans over various sectors of the economy including finance, international trade and advertising. He is also a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, London England. Akintunde Marinho is the founder and CEO of Utopia Media Limited.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the Spark magazine. Find the magazine here to read more articles.