Stellenbosch Wine Festival

August 3, 2008

One of the great pleasures of living in the Western Cape is that while I am occassionally immersed in a reality suggestive of the very banal, platitudinous understanding most have of this diverse continent, I am often also treated to an alternate reality, one of affluence and delightful new realities the likes of which challenge any experience I’ve had in Europe or lovely United States.


This weekend in particular offered some of the best of Stellenbosch, in the form of a world renounced wine festival!  Two huge halls full of local wines, brandys, juices and samples from local restaurants, and a big tent with stands from the local slow food movement market (every Saturday, hooray!).

My camera died about three pictures in, which is a bummer because the place was pretty fancy.

I believe at the end of the night I had tried wine from about 25 different wine estates.  A lot of red wine here is very smokey, wooded… meat-like.  That’s primarily because South Africa’s own wine variety is Pinotage, bred in the 1920s and characteristically deep and smoky.  I did find a couple types that were less harsh, though, and are likely candidates for the pretentious tastings when I get home. =)

There were also amazing truffles made by a German chocolatier, five varieties of amazing fresh pesto (Mom, the lady said it wouldn’t last for the flight home. Because of all of the perishable ingredients in pesto?  Psh.) the best veggie spring rolls I’ve ever had and homemade rusks.  Rusks are also traditionally South Africa.  They’re basically twice baked, really hard bars made out of some combination of wheat, oats, barley and bran and were designed to withstand the heat and weather.  Sounds disgusting, right?  They are so awesome.  The ones I got are “Bea’s All Bran Health Rusks”, locally made and super delicious with sunflower seeds and honey.  I can already tell I’m going to miss them when I’m gone so I’ve started looking up recipes. I will definitely share!  Also food related but not from the wine festival specifically: naartjies.  They’re kind of like oranges, but a little more wrinkly, way brighter in color, and about 10x as delicious.

Boring pictures are better than no pictures, right?


8 Responses to “Stellenbosch Wine Festival”

  1. Martha-her mom! Says:

    Love the first paragraph-very well phrased (I think!) Bet the truffles from Germany would make it back to me! Truffles beat pesto hands-down anyway.

  2. Kathy Says:

    Yeah, Truffles sound good! I agree!
    What is your email address so I can write to you?

  3. Bill Says:

    Hey Jessie,

    Sounds like you are busy as a beaver over there. Did you ever hook up with Desere and Rachel??? If so, tell me all about it!

    Things are boring back here, you are not missing anything!!


  4. patti Says:

    your pictures go from breathe taking to deplorable, but I’m sure your learning lots from this experience. Keep your chinny chin up!! love you lots… Patti

  5. (Re: YFC)Your mom will explain!

    What a great blog and unique experiences you are having Jessie! And what a way you have with words! Keep up the good work. I’ll share with some of your other relatives!!

    You are a pioneer in the family. I’m proud of you!

  6. Cousin Jane (Kania) Schulte Says:

    Jessie, Your Dad called me today and gave me your blog site address. What a treat! I would never have had the courage to experience what you are, but I am glad to be able to hear about Africa through your wonderful words. The pics are great, and you have a great way of giving an individual the feeling they are “right there” with your writing. Stay safe! I look forward to your next blog. ~JANE

  7. Kathy Fatheree Says:

    Just checking in to see what new you have written.
    How are your classes going??

  8. Casey Says:

    Ok so i havent figured out your site entirely so i left a comment on the wrong you are half way across the world and i cant even figure out a web page..IMA LOOOOSA! Ok well i have been waiting patiently…and now i must ask..where’s all the pics of the hot guys? Hmm answer that one missy!!! xoxo love you and miss you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s