South Africa Tour heads to Paarl

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Our route on Wednesday was very different to Tuesday as we headed inland towards Paarl – perhaps one of the best known and most historic wine regions In the whole of South Africa. The huge state cooperative KWV used to be based in Paarl and the famed Nederberg wine auction takes place here.

The family owned Scali winery was our first stop and we were warmly welcomed by the owners Willie and Tania de Waal into their beautiful traditional Cape Homestead.

Willie took us for a walk through their certified organic vineyards and gave us a wonderful insight into their organic philosophy.

Their elegant dining room also doubles up as their tasting area and we sat and admired the pictures of six generations as Willie took us through the family history.

A fabulous tasting then ensued as we explored their entry level Chenin Blanc and Pinotage and an amazing sparkling Chenin made in the method ancestrale which involves sealing the bottle when it reaches 30gms/litre of residual sugar and then letting the natural CO2 from the rest of the fermentation create the sparkle. A terrific white blend and some serious Pinotage and Syrah rounded off this super occasion.

 Half an hour later and heading back towards Stellenbosch we stopped at an even more historic estate – Joostenberg. Their thatched house dates back to 1736 and owners Tyrrel and Annet Myburg detailed a fascinating history of pigs, cows and wine backed up with stories of illicit distillation, disgruntled employees and tax evasion from yesteryear.

Under a little bit of time pressure, we rattled through a superb lineup of Chenin Blanc, Syrah and Cabernet blends and an unctuously gorgeous botrytised Chenin.

From there it was a seven minute drive to the bistro run by his sister.

The afternoon is a bit of a blur but we tasted everything else the estate produces including a Rhone white blend, a Touriga Nacional and a pure Cabernet Sauvignon.

Another great day of contrasts.