A glass of wine.
Perched on the southernmost tip of the African continent, between two mighty oceans, at the base of the famous, flat-topped, Table Mountain, lies a rich, vibrant and colourful city - "The Mother City", Cape Town. A melting pot of cultures, languages, and beliefs from not only around South Africa but the entire planet.
Considered one of the 'wine capitals' of the world, the region is synonymous with being the home of some of the very best grape-based liquid love around. With its Mediterranean type climate powered by the ocean currents and its latitude of 34 deg south, winter rains and long dry summers; Cape Town is the gateway to the very heart of South Africa's Winelands.
For over three centuries grapes have been grown and the fruits of the vine used to make world-class wines across 5 wine regions which are divided into various diverse wine districts in the Western Cape. One of the most famous types of wine and one that is held quite dearly to local hearts is, of course, the Pinotage. Invented at Stellenbosch University in 1925, The Pinotage grape - a hybrid of pinot noir and cinsault - is the only grape that is unique to South Africa.
From grape to glass, through history and process, South African wines are steeped in the thrill of adventure and compliment the complex diversity of people and wildlife that make up a very special country.
They say that a sip of wine is like taking a thousand adventures. It is filled with a deep but delightful blend of uninhibited emotions, remarkable friendships, and delicate yet intricate flavours. They say you can taste notes of chocolate and wild berries, coffee or fresh, crisp fruit. They say that it is an entire story told in an instant.
Alas, not so to me. Although I do try to taste each of the remarkable flavours sloshing around in my wine glass, I find that to me a sip of wine is but a chapter and that with each new chapter the story develops further becoming more profound, engaging and nuanced. And what are stories if not to be read!
Taking a big sip of quality South African wine, I watch the sunset slowly, casting gentle hues of gold, red and purple across a breathtaking bushveld landscape. Surely, with the dust from another day on a walking safari still coating my shoes, my mind filled with more incredible memories and my camera SD card with even more photographs, I can't help but feel truly satisfied.