Wine Country

Trip Start Jan 30, 2009
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7
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Trip End Aug 01, 2009


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Flag of South Africa  , Western Cape,
Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Stellenbosch is the second oldest European settlement in the Western Cape Province, after Cape Town. The town was founded in 1679 by the Governor of the Cape Colony, Simon van der Stel, who named it after himself - Stellenbosch means "(van der) Stel's forest".  Maybe I need to name a town after myself someday!

Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek valleys form the Cape Winelands, the largest of the two main wine growing regions in South Africa. The South African wine industry produces about 1,000,000,000 liters of wine annually. The region has a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and cool wet winters. Stellenbosch lies at the foot of the Cape Fold mountain range (you can see from some of the pictures), which provides soil favorable to viticulture. Grapes grown in this area are mainly used for wine production, as opposed to table grapes. The region possesses a wide range of soils in the area, from light, sandy soils to decomposed granite. Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon is beginning to get a good reputation as a fine wine.

We went on a "wine tour" where you go to 4 different wineries to taste 5 to 6 different types of wine and a stop for a South African lunch. After all the drink and food, back to the hotel for a nap!
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