Saturday, September 19, 2009

Stellenbosch, South Africa

Franschoek was extremely enjoyable.......we are all yawning( we had a late night) ...... but we decided to make an early start this morning.......and continue with our winelands tour.........

We are going to Stellenbosch,( South Africa's second oldest town.

When Governor Simon van der Stel first visited the area in November 1679 he was much taken by its beauty.

The name Stellenbosch ('Van der Stel's bush') was given to t
he site of the governor's camp, and by the following year the first settlers had arrived from Cape Town.

It is situated 111 metres above sea level on the banks of the upper reaches of the Eerste River.

Here the river flows out of the mountains and into a shallow, alluvial and fertile valley.

Identified as a viable agricultural area because of the fertile soil and amenable climate, it was soon
the premier wine producing region in the country.

Stellenbosch has become known as 'the town of oaks' or "Eikestad" as these trees are
found everywhere.

Some of the oaks have been proclaimed national monuments.

Today Stellenbosch is the centre of South Africa's wine industry.

Did you know that the town has one of the most modern experimental wineries in the world, and the only viticultural and oenological department in the country at its university (

The Stellenbosch Wine Route is arguably the country's most famous and is home to 106 cellars, many of which are open to the Public

Stellenbosch's vineyards makes up over 18% of the total amount of land under vines in South Africa, approximately 100,200 hectares

The most planted variety in 2005 was Sauvignon Blanc (,
followed by Chardonnay (

The most uprooted variety in the same year was Cabernet Sauvignon (
/wiki/Cabernet_Sauvignon) and Pinotage (

Stellenbosch producers carry the honour of winning the most wine awards per capita / wine than any other region in the country!!

South Africa's oldest music school, the famous Stellenbosch Conservatoire, has its home in thi
s important cultural centre, and there is a collection of galleries and museums housing national and international art collections worth viewing.

Sita has gone to visit the VOC Kruithuis (Powder House) (1777) ( )

The V.O.C Kruithuis is unique in South Africa as it is the only remaining powder magazine in the country dating from the days of the Dutch East India Company (V.O.C) and it can almost be said to have become a symbol of this town's rich and varied architectural heritage.

Nopi has just visited The Burgerhuis (Burger house), one of a group of historical buildings that surround the village green, also know as the Braak.

Stellenbosch's village green was laid out as early as 1703 as a parade ground that today lies at the heart of the oak-lined streets, water canals and beautiful white-washed Cape Dutch style buildings that are the hallmark of this beautiful town.

The Burgerhuis is regarded as a typical dwelling of the more well-to-do citizen of the old Cape, and the museum captures the elegance of the 17th and 18th centuries most wonderfully.

The Burgerhuis is a fully restored 17th century home located in the heart of Stellenbosch.

building was designed with the characteristic Cape Dutch architecture found in many other historic buildings in the Western Cape.

The Burgerhuis was built in 1797 by a 3rd generation German immigrant named Antonie Fick.

The handsomely built yellowwood tables, chairs and cabinet work are fine examples of the type of furnishings found in the home of the wealthier citizens of the Cape.

The home is decorated with the finest Chinese porcelain dating from the Ch'ien Lung period.

Delft tobacco jars dating from the late 18th century hint of the elegant life-style enjoyed by the upper class.

The kitchen has also been fully restored with curious items and beautiful copper utensils, that would been used in the preparation of meals.

Stellenbosch is full of buildings of historical interest, particularly Dorp Street where one of the longest rows of old buildings survives, many of them run as little shops and restaurants.

Other places of interest are the Stellenryk Wijn Museum; the Oude Meester Brandy Museum in Old Strand Road, the Van Rhyn Brandy Cellar on the outskirts of town and even the University of Stellenbosch's campus, which has one of the most beautiful grounds that includes its Botanical

Wow, this is really a haven for those of us who have time to walk around and savour the atmosphere of this unique town with oak-lined streets and ater furrows.

Open-air restaurants and cosy coffee shops line the shady streets and secluded lanes, so we just sat there a while and observed the everyday activities of this bustling village.

Ok, enough history, art and culture for one day....I have a surprise in store for all of let's go....

Wow, just look at the ORIGINAL Cape Dutch Architecture (

Did you know that Stellenbosch is home to some of the finest examples in South Africa ( ??

Can anyone guess how we are going to end this tour??

Well, we are all going to soak like royalty in an outdoor Pinotage wine bath!!

Aaah, relaxing in this warm, anti-oxidant packed liquor, sipping estate wine and revelling in the beauty of's pure bliss , au naturel, of the highest order.

Baie dankie Stellenbosch!! Dit was baie lekker!

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