It’s 08h30 in the morning and we eagerly approach De Krans wine farm, toothpaste is still lingering but this does not deter our fearless launch into port and wine tasting for the day.
My eyes widen at the row of bottles laid out before me as our host shares her vanilla scented dream stories. She is wonderfully animated and convivial; I still blame her for the R 460 we spent on wine and port that morning. Ice cold pink port glides down my throat and Amy hums as she swirls their Red Stone Reserve, anticipating her next sip. Our splurge at De Krans does nothing to dampen our enthusiasm and we take a short drive around the corner (literally) to the Boplaas Family Vineyard to try lose that pesky toothpaste taste again.
Even more rows of bottles greet us and the slightly uninterested assistant casually informs us that the best way to taste them is to start from one end and go all the way. Luckily this is not our first wine tasting, I mutter (with a slight light-headed smile), so I pick out a few choice varieties and leave satisfied, a bottle of their dreamy, caramel smooth Cape Tawny port under my arm.
“Time for crackers” Amy announces and I oblige by purchasing some cream crackers from a corner cafe (pronounced kafy) in this part of the world. It is already 31°C and my innovative sister is sitting holding slices of cheddar cheese in front of the aircon vent to try keep it from melting. Our light-headedness abated we set off for Montagu.
As we head through the mountain passes and along the back roads the heat continues to climb and we start planning activities where we can stay in the car. This doesn’t last long as I have some crazy need to visit a questionable Angora Rabbit Farm and see rows of poor long-haired bunnies panting away in a hot shed. They farm them for their fur, and Amy suggests we leave when I start calculating how many of them would fit in the car. This was not a memorable stop for us and we decide to stick to places where they sell food or booze, or both. Next stop Ronnie’s Sex Shop.
Hanging on to our hats as the Karoo wind sandblasts us, we take the obligatory ‘we were here’ photo and duck in under the unsettling underwear ceiling to order some much-needed refreshment. Friendliness abounds all around us and while Amy greets an old friend I sneak off to write on the wall…as one does.
Our journey continues through the searing Southern Karoo and we veer off to explore windy passes, purchase piles of cheese in Ladismith and stop for a picnic lunch (of cheese) under a much appreciated BIG, SHADY tree. After our lunch we stumble upon the Joubert Tradouw vineyard by chance and are lucky enough to have our tasting with the young, dishy winemaker himself. It wasn’t entirely by accident that we stopped, it was in fact because they had a picture of yummy foodie things, like salami, olives and cheese (yes more cheese). What we took home was a bottle of their astonishingly smooth Chardonnay and a brown bag of freshly picked nectarines. In fact we didn’t even get to the salami. Next stop, Montagu.