Yes you read that right, a safari where you can indulge yourself in fine wine! There’s also scrumptious chocolate and the pleasure of being surrounded by the incredible landscapes of South Africa’s Winelands. Sian, a Travel Consultant at Scott Dunn, tells us all about this unique tasting experience.
Waterford Wine Estate is beautifully nestled in the Blaauwklippen Valley. You drive up on a gorgeous winding, tree-lined road and as you round the corner, the main building made of locally quarried stone faces you. Little tables are dotted around outside under the shade of large umbrellas, with guests chatting and laughing while enjoying their delicious wine. We were here to experience the Wine Safari followed by the Wine and Chocolate Pairing, this could be seen as a day of over-consumption, but we were game for it! We met our safari guide, Matt, who led us to one of the tables where we met the rest of our group. After getting to know each other over a glass of bubbly, we were shown around the production area of the estate and given a perfect little taster at each stage of how the wines are produced.
Shortly after, the ten of us boarded our safari-style land rover and started our bumpy but beautiful drive around the estate. Matt was incredibly knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna and we were told to keep our eyes peeled on the soil because as it changes, the variety of grape does as well.
Then it was time to really settle in. We spread out at a long table under the dappled shade of a large tree on the banks of a lake. The table was decorated with local delicacies paired with a mixture of Waterford wines; two white and one rosé . I myself am more of a red wine drinker and would never choose a rosé , but it was so delicate and delicious I could have stayed there all day.
We drove further in to the estate up to the highest point where we had our red wine stop. This was on a wooden platform, again under necessary dappled shade and with the most outstanding view over the whole estate. On good days you can see as far as Table Mountain and on even better days you can actually see Cape Point. The wines were incredible, a special mention for their signature wine ‘The Jem’ which was my favorite. Matt was incredibly informative about the wine, before each one we would get a little brief of what to expect and which food paired best with it. Afterwards, we were then free to taste and chat amongst ourselves whilst looking out at the spectacular views.
We had a lovely group of people on our safari and after a couple of wines everyone was so chatty and comfortable that the two hours flew by and we had to be forced to get back in the safari car to go to our Chocolate and Wine Pairing. It did not disappoint; three glasses were lined up and paired with the chocolates made by an in-house chocolatier. I have previously done wine and food pairings but nothing that really brought out the individual notes in the wine in such a remarkable way. It really was a fantastic experience and I highly recommended it.