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Cape Town Winelands: Everywhere a Vineyard

We saved our last full day in Cape Town for our trip to the winelands.

Our first stop was at KWV Wines, a 90 year old brandy and wine emporium located in Paarl, one of the three popular wine regions – Stellenbosch and Franschhoek being the other two. We did a tour of the cellars followed by a wine tasting, then a brandy and chocolate tasting. I don’t like chocolate so that pairing was lost on me but Sandra and Judith enjoyed it. Overall, we had a blast at KWV (I’m sure Manfred is still talking about us.) and came away with several bottles of wines and brandies.

Wine country

Lunch was a relaxing affair at the Seidelberg Wine Estate, a winery, restaurant, glass studio also in the Paarl region.

Seidelberg Wine Estate

Before we left the U.S., we had identified a black owned vineyard, M’Hudi, that we wanted to visit. Since we were running late, Ian called ahead to let them know we were on our way. He also suggested that we visit Victor Verster, the prison that Nelson Mandela was released from, that was on our way.

Statue of Nelson Mandela at Victor Verster Prison

Signs outside Victor Verster

By the time we arrived at M’Hudi, they had completed their last tour for the day but we were met by Diale (Oupa) Rangaka, professor turned viticulturist, who gave us a tour and explained the history of his family’s business.

According to daughter, Lebo, local marketer of M’Hudi Wines, her father had been an armchair farmer — she says she couldn’t remember a time when farmers’ magazines were not around their house.

Oupa and the M’Hudi label

When the time came, the family looked for a cattle farm. They got a vineyard instead. Literature lovers, they decided to name their new farm, M’Hudi, after the book by the same name written by South African writer, Solomon Plaatje.

Lebo with a copy of M’Hudi by Solomon Plaatje

They didn’t let their lack of experience growing grapes stand in their way. Six years later, under the guidance of matriarch and CEO, Malmsey, M’Hudi wines were selling in Marks & Spencer in the UK and available in the US.

With Lebo Rangaka

M’Hudi Wines have won several awards including the 2010/2011 Emerging Tourism of the Year Award.

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