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Cape Town on Grape Thinking

Posts Tagged ‘Cape Town’

Caveau Wine Bar, Heritage Square, Cape Town

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Caveau Wine Bar Caveau is a good escape from Long Street’s chiaroscuro of either uber-pretentious or super-scummy dives… I swear I will never set foot in Miam Miam again but Marvel also grows a little old once you tire of becoming a human bolus being masticated against the gyrating bodies of every tourist and pick-pocket in Cape Town.

Caveau is a breath of fresh air for the city centre, with an urban-rustic feel to it, combining class and elegance with a laid back environment. The design, lay out and mood leave you feeling like you’ve stepped out of and discovered a more modern Franschoek. On the three occasions I’ve been there I’ve shared a bottle of their 2004 Spice Route Mourvedre. Accustomed to the Cape’s usual Noble varietals it’s amazing to see how well other cultivars benefit from the Cape’s rich soils. This is a nice big red that has a faint bloody-Maryesque note on the nose. It’s great to see how this Spanish has done – bring on Tempranillo!

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Great White Sharks… great white wines too

Sunday, July 8th, 2007

Blah blah blah… tourism. Yes, it is not for everyone. If you don’t have much leave and have a spirit of adventure – France is perhaps not for you. If I didn’t live so close to Europe, tourism in Europe would not be on my list of priorities. There’s so much to do in this world – Machu Picchu, the Pyramids, Petra in Jordan, Crac de Chevaliers in Syria and Deildartunguhverin Iceland – these are real destinations. Leave vineyards until you’re older and your heart wont handle adrenaline, you’re too tired to walk long distances or you’ve become conservative in your old age and don’t much trust what you term 3rd world. Australia is too far to fly really… and you get coral reefs much closer. And for vineyards or scenery the Pacific Coast Highway provides enough scenic beauty en route to some really impressive vineyard, and you can probably imagine what its like to be close to Ayers Rock. Also, if you want to be a wine ambassador, your photgraphs of trellised vines, portly wine makers and musty cellars with barriques stacked on one another aren’t going to much impress your non-enthusiast friends. What you really want for a perfect holiday is enviable adventure.

photo-copy.jpgNever fear fellow wine enthusiast! Wine and adventure are not mutually exclusive… well, at least in they’re not. If you drive to Hermanus from , which is just an hour away – during June and October, you will not only be able to do some of the world’s best shore based whale watching, you’ll also have access to some of the best seafood you’re like to experience to be accompanied by an array of cheap and excellent Elgin or Durbanville Hills Sauvignon Blancs. And if you’re up to it, you can book a day’s Great White Shark watching – where you’ll be taken out to Gansbaai by one of the few operators. If the weather is good enough, you’ll be treated to a champagne breakfast on the shore – before embarking on the trip. I can speak from personal experience and say that you’ll never treasure a flute of champagne more that when you have it in mind that you’re about to come into close quarters with one of our planet’s most fearsome predators. The next day – once you’ve upped the stakes of your life experiences… you can take a more chilled option by going on a wine route, and perhaps visiting the Hamilton Russell and Southern Right winery, which are less than 20 minutes away.
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South Africa is the only country in the world where you can drink their local great white wines before visiting the resident Great White Sharks. And the following weak, you can watch the sunset in a game reserve, washing succulent Kudu biltong down with a spicy pinotage whilst and marvelling over the Lion Pride you had seen that morning. South Africa is where wine and adventure meet.

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