The Traveling Steve's

Touring Franschhoek wine country with J.J.

In my last post I wrote about our wonderful accommodations and breakfasts we experienced at 21 Roux Street in Franschhoek, South Africa.  While we were there during the cooler and rainy time – (pre-Spring) we had a wonderful time touring thanks to our private driver and guide J.J.   J.J. has his own touring and chaffering business, and works exclusively with 21 Roux Street for their guest’s transportation and touring needs.  Best of all, J.J. chauffeured us around in a beautiful black Mercedes Benz; quite the height of luxury!

As we were staying at 21 Roux Street for five nights, we had no pre-arranged schedule except for two days previously booked with J.J. for touring some of the many area wineries.  As it turns out, we were the only guests at 21 Roux Street on three of the five days there, while the other guests had cars, so we booked J.J. every single day for a private tour, as well as evening transportation into town for dinner, a short drive away.

J.J. made sure each day was varied from the previous day, and was very flexible with our schedule such as spending more time or less time a certain winery, deviating a bit for lunch, and a couple days even going to a different microbrewery!  Unlike our trips to Napa Valley, or South America, each day wasn’t a back-to-back wine tasting experience; rather a multi-faceted range of sites visited, from farms dating back to the late 1600’s, to beautiful gardens, country shops with local spices and cheeses, quaint villages, and just overall a relaxing time of touring.  While most of the places had wine tasting as an option, many of the places always had cheese, chocolate, caramel, and olive oil tastings as well you could pair with wines or sample on their own.  As the rainy weather was a bit of a factor while we were there, J.J. would adjust the farms visited if necessary. In South Africa, what we would call vineyards back home, are called “farms”, as they harvest much more than just grapes, and in many case are huge estates many dating back over three hundred years.  Here is a selfie I took with Steve (DOS) and J.J. in the middle.

As we took so many photos on this trip, I’m attaching galleries below, broken up by the wine farm we visited.

The first winery we went to was Delaire Graff Estate in nearby Stellenbosch; definitely one of the fanciest and high end wine estates in South Africa.  The grounds were beautiful, and sculptures and artwork were in abundance throughout the property.  Having a family history in the diamond business, there are also jewelry boutiques and other stores, while a beautiful and priceless diamond is on display in the lobby.  Here are some photos of the Delaware Graff Estate:

Next we went to Boschendal farm and winery.  I mention farm as unlike Napa Valley and other wine regions worldwide, the South African wineries also have beautiful gardens hosting other crops as well as local cheeses, spices, crafts,  and more, all under a beautiful setting for the non-wine drinker with plenty of beauty to see.  Many of the farms such as Boschendal are over 300 years old, so they are quite established.  Here is a gallery of Boschendal:

The last winery and gallery shown for this post is Eikehof.  Here is a gallery of Eickehof.  We had a delightful time there meeting the owners, and thoroughly enjoyed our picnic-like outdoor setting.   Eikehof had the most wonder Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, which we bought to bring home with us.

So I will conclude this post for now; as you can see J.J. treated us like celebrities, and he went out of his way to make sure we had a wonderful time.  J.J. if you’re reading this you were awesome!  To be continued . . .

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