It is an ending and a beginning at the same time. The end of summer, and intense heat. The end of growth – in nature, that is. The end of having to swim or take cold showers three times a day to cool off. The end off lying awake at night, too hot to breathe.
The beginning of the slow glide into winter. The beginning of starting to wear cardigans, and long sleeve T’s. The beginning of taking an early bath and putting on PJ’s to spend the rest of the evening cozy on the couch. The beginning of a different menu – more stews, soups and other comfort food. The beginning of nature’s regeneration through winter.
No wonder it is so many people’s favourite season…
"No spring nor summer's beauty
hath such grace,
As I have seen in one autumnal face... " ~ John Donne
“And the sun took a step back, the leaves lulled themselves to sleep, and Autumn was awakened.” ~ Raquel Franco
I found this beautiful line on an Instagram friend’s post a few days ago, and it spoke to my heart. I subsequently discovered Raquel Franco’s writing and I love it. Mostly short and sweet, and very descriptive.
I said before that I love autumn. It is the slow turning of the leaves (it happens very slowly in South Africa), the gradual drop in temperatures, the shortening of the days that makes me so happy.
It is not a spectacular season here as in, say, Canada, but sometimes in some areas, it can be very beautiful…
I am planning to enjoy every moment of this changing of the seasons, and to get my home ready for the colder weather to come.
The estate I have chosen for today, unfortunately does not sell to international buyers on line. That nearly caused me to not add them to my WW team, but I am also promoting the Robertson Wine Valley and not only the wines.
Viljoensdrift Estate, has its roots in the 1800’s, when the first of the Viljoen family (Villion was the surname of the French Huguenots that landed in the Cape) started planting grapes for wine and brandy making. From 1968- 1998, the farm grew and delivered grapes to the co-op, but when dad Ben stepped down, brothers Fred and Manie decided to start producing their own wines from the excellent grapes they were growing on the farm. The rest, like they say, is history!
Alongside grapes, they also grow deciduous fruits, and they take conservation very seriously by trying to keep as much as possible of the unique natural environment intact as possible. They are committed to the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative, which aims to minimize the loss of threatened natural habitat and to contribute to sustainable wine production, which gives them five stars, in my opinion.
Aside from the fact that the farm is situated on the Breede River in beautiful natural surroundings, Viljoensdrift is well-known for the fact that they are the only farm in the area that does a ferry trip on the river, and it is well worth taking the time to enjoy drifting down the river. You can buy some ‘provisions’ 😉 from their deli on the premises – wine, cold drinks, cheeses, charcuterie, freshly baked sourdough bread, olives, pickles, and much more!
With your nibbles and drinks you can then get onto the ferry, and enjoy an hour or so of peace and quiet, listening and watching the abundance of birds cavorting in and around the water.
If you are planning a trip this way, please have a look at the Viljoensdrift website, to know more about their wines and what they offer you as tourist.
I hope you can begin to understand that should you ever be so lucky to visit South Africa, and you love wine, you cannot miss out on a visit to the Robertson Wine Valley!!!
PS. This is NOT a paid ad, nor am I in any way compensated for this or any of my other wine posts, I am merely trying to promote the area I live in and love!
To try and explain that – it is a special day, in terms of the ‘feels’. It is a clear day with blue skies. There is a slight bite in the air, but the sun is shining brightly. You can breathe deeper than normal, because the wind that blew yesterday, had gotten rid of all the filth in the air. You feel like dancing, but you don’t, so there is a special spring in your step. It feels like you can single handedly change the world. You feel happy and bouncy for absolutely no reason.
I know the picture (above) is not as crisp as the air was, but there is often a slight haze in the air close to the sea, but that does not detract from the beauty of the day.
Normally when I drive along this road (the N2, between Grabouw and Cape Town), I am focused on my destination. Today I just had to stop at the top of Sir Lowry’s Pass, at the look out point, to just take in the beauty before me, and of course, take a picture. When you stop there, you look back toward False Bay, and the town called Strand, with Muizenberg and Fish Hoek in the far distance. It is an iconic drive, and one you have to do when you come to Cape Town, along with Chapman’s Peak Drive, and the road out of Gordons’ Bay on the R44 past Rooiels, Pringle Bay and Kleinmond. Not to forget driving over the Du Toit’s Kloof Pass with endless views back towards Cape Town.
But, I digress. My point is – I’ve had a champagne day. A bubbly kind of day. Happy. Feel good. Do you know what I mean? Nothing special happened, I went to fetch my mom from my son’s place and drove straight back (about 300kms in all), but I just felt good, and the day was a beaut, and all in all I’m a happy old gal.
What a good way to start the weekend, don’t you think? 😀
I wish you a wonderful weekend, and a champagne day or two in your near future! 🙂
Normally, when I sit behind the laptop, an idea appears and I can start writing. Not this week… I have no idea why.
So, I’ve decided to do more pictures today than words. I’ve taken some pictures of what is going on in my garden about an hour ago, and spring is definitely here, except the weather is still not quite there – very windy with lowish temperatures, but I’m sure that we’ll soon be gasping for breath! So, without much ado, here is spring in my garden!
So there you have it, blog friends! A few pieces of my garden. I hope where ever you are, that you can find joy in your surroundings.
Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy and happy. 🙂