Thursday, March 3, 2016

Franchshoek, South Africa, March 2, 2016

Franschhoek was settled in 1688 by 9 Huguenot families fleeing France from religious persecution.  Over the years, the French language has been replaced by Dutch which has turned into Afrikans.  

Homes are beautiful with colorful gardens-

I checked into The Tea House-

which I found on Airbnb.  It's a lovely place, complete with a pool in the back yard! 

I walked downtown and jumped on the bus/tram-

at 10 am to start wine tasting.  Nothing like an early start to get you going!  I visited 6 wineries that were all aesthetically different but with wine soooooo smooth!  Each one offers something different but always a choice between reserve and non reserve wines.  Reserve wines are aged in newer oak barrels and for longer as well as made from the best grapes.  Wineries are no longer able to call their bubbly wine champagne because it's not from Champagne department in France so it's called MCC- Methode Cap Classique.  

At La Bri -

I enjoyed wine paired with chocolate:  Merlot and Cranberry Delight, Syrah with mint truffle and a red blend with salted macadamia nut-

Chamonix reminds me of a typical French cave with heavy wood furniture and lots of stone-

Most wineries let you see their oak barrels and inventory-

It's also harvest time and the workers had just arrived from picking Cabernet Sauvignon grapes-

They put them on the conveyor belt where they are fed into a separator to remove the stems-

My  next stop was Leopard's Leap.  It felt like being in an airport- too modern for me but once again, the wine was terrific-

Maison not only had great wine but cool chandeliers-

Eikehof has 20 hectares of vines and 7 hectares of peaches.  They make 15,000 bottles/year and keep 15%.  They've only had 60% of normal rainfall but surprisingly the harvest has been good.  

Rickety Bridge Platform offered excellent wine too.  The views are stunning-

Supper was calamari and Guinness-

I'm not sure how I made it home but I did.  I do know I insulted a fashion designer.  This young girl was sitting behind me in the restaurant with a stack of books.  I asked her what they were and she said they were new fashion designs on their way to Italy.  She let me look at one.  Each page had a photo of a girl modelling either tops or bottoms with a description of the fabric etc.  I told her they looked like clothes from the 80s.  She said they did not.  I asked her how she would know because she wasn't even born in the 80s.  She said she certainly was and I told her she must have been about 2 years old if that was true.  That pretty much ended our conversation.  Note to self:  if drinking wine all day, do not speak to anyone!

Looking forward to more wine tasting tomorrow!  Is my 'check liver light' going to come on soon?

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