The Constant winelands
Last Sunday was one of my favorite races in Cape Town. The Grape Run is a half-marathon (21.1k) race through the vineyards of the Constantia wine farms. The scenery is spectacular, and for a total elevation of over 420m, for a half marathon it’s a pretty tough run. Note I say run and not race. While of course you can race it, this is an opportunity to enjoy the route, take a few photos, and of course stop for the mid-race wine-tasting. Yes you heard correctly. There is a 10k wine table, serving Klein Constantia wines.
While you almost never get wine on a race, this particular wine-tasting is a Grape Run tradition, it wouldn’t be quite the same without it!
Running around one of the farm dams
At least the farm dams still have water, so if we run out of water in Cape Town we can still drink Constantia wine
Because its on the farm roads, there are almost no supporters, except for the occasional overprotective cow and calf.
This is how you get a carafe of wine in Aegina – a simple copper cup and a small glass. While the cup may not look very big, it holds a healthy 500ml wine. And the Greek wine is surprisingly good; very light and refreshing. And unlike South African wine the alcohol is only around 11% or so, not the crazy 14-15% of our red wines. I could get quite used to this wine!
On Friday evening, Lois and I went to the Taste of Cape Town festival. It was an amazing mix of great food, fantastic wines, and a massive selection of micro-beer. In short, a great evening!
I think that the best part of it was that most of the vendors were small independent companies making and selling great produce, and there was so much to choose from. Several restaurants were selling starter portions of their signature dishes, so both Lois and I filled up on a selection of small meals.
Fresh Spices from the Jewel of India; their curry was amazing. Lois had the vege and myself a chicken curry.
Some of the the beer from the Craft Beer Project; mostly sourced from micro-breweries. We shared a lovely pear and then apple cider.
French Onion Soup and Muscles.
The festival is spread out on a field at the Green Point Cricket Club, and you can park in the Stadium just across the road. This is the first time that we have been to the fair, but it was a lovely way to spend a Friday evening, and I am sure that we will both be back next year.
Yes there are loads of people, but it is so spread out that you hardly feel crowded at all.
Here are a few more pics.
Living in the Cape, you are surrounded by beautiful old Cape Dutch houses. This is the main residence at Buitenverwachting in Constantia. Imaging waking up every morning to that wonderful view of the Constantia vineyards?
Of course while you are there, visit the tasting room, and stock up on their wonderful wines. Or stay for a picnic or a meal in their excellent restaurant.
If you are lucky you might even be able to visit the cellar and see the wines quietly maturing in the barrels.
In the distant past, I was very lucky to make wine at Buitenverwachting wine farm in Constantia, so it was great to be back in the cellar at the weekend (even if just for a few minutes to collect some stuff ). While I was there I grabbed this photo of these barrels in the maturation cellar. Each barrel contains 225l wine. At a rough estimate, this room contains about 200 barrels, which is 45,000l wine.
That should be enough to keep anybody quiet for a few days.Buitenverwachting , which means “Beyond Expectation”, makes some of the top wines in South Africa. Get a bottle of the Christine if you can find one, truly amazing.