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About Mondays and staying sane.

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Walking on the Excelsior Wine Estate in the Robertson district of the Western Cape.

The weekend is done and dusted.

Monday, in other words.

Today I am seriously going to start getting ready for the ‘building’ that will hopefully start happening on the 22nd of this month, to divide my guesthouse into two units. I need to have a meeting with the builder to make sure we are on the same page, I need to get the quote back from a cabinet maker, and I need to go and look for some hardware. I also want to go and have a look at wallpaper that a friend has (she used to renovate houses, and she has some rolls of wallpaper left over) because I think that it will make a room a lot more interesting than just painting it.

My real estate job is a serious bust at the moment, but thankfully the guesthouse has been doing very well, so I am really hoping that having two units will make it even better.

As I’ve told you before, I do like time on my own, but I am not quite hermit material yet. Although, in all honesty, I do find it more and more difficult to leave my house, even for grocery shopping… There comes a time when I’ve had enough of being alone, and that time has come. It helps a lot to know that my SO is coming down here in two weeks’ time! Happy days! Now all I have to do is try and hold onto my sanity for another 10-12 days…

To get through the weekend, I took Daisy for a nice long walk on Saturday, through the vineyards on a wine estate in the area. We both enjoyed being outdoors and in such beautiful surroundings. There are not many things that come close to a bit of mild exercise in nature to make you feel better. It gave me the necessary boost for the rest of the weekend.

There really are many benefits to walking everyday, and I really try to do just that. The advantages are not only physical, but also mental. If you don’t believe me, have a look at this article. I must admit that there are days that I just decide ‘I don’t wanna’ and then I block my mind off from the advantages, even though I know I should just get on with it. Maybe this week I’ll get myself to walk everyday…

Good luck for the week ahead, be happy, healthy and safe! 🙂

Wine Wednesday (3)

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One of the blocks at Van Loveren.

Time for wining again! 🙂

I skipped a couple of weeks, but I decided that I’m not going to break my head about that, as long as I do a Wine Wed. every two or three weeks, and it is on a Wednesday, at least.

So, I think today I’ll do a place that I’ve been to the most. That in itself should tell you something. Today we are visiting Van Loveren Wines.

Van Loveren is very well known in South Africa, as they have a very wide range of wines, and they have been going for three generations – the one stronger than the previous, every time. It all started in 1937 when Hennie Retief’s father bought him the land, later his two sons, Nico and Wynand took over from him, and now it is their four sons (the Four Cousins), that are running the show. Their success has much to do with their courage to take risks, and innovative thinking.

They have amongst many others, the Van Loveren Wines, their Heritage Range, the Christina wines, the Single Vineyard Heritage Range, the Rhino Run wines, their Premium Conservation Range, the Five’s Range, their Empowerment Range, Tangled Tree wines, their Eco Range, and Four Cousins, their Lifestyle Range. To see all their ranges and wines, and their history, please click on the link above.

I love visiting the winery, because it is in such a beautiful setting, and they have a gorgeous area under the trees where you can do your wine tasting and relax with friends and fmily. Their wines are delicious, and my personal favourites are the Van Loveren Colombar, and the Van Loveren African Java Pinotage. I always have a bottle or two (or more, but who’s counting?) of Van Loveren at home in my little wine rack.

My youngest son, doing some wine tasting with me at Van Loveren, just before he left for Ireland.

There is a lovely place to have lunch – Christina’s Bistro, where you can also sit and eat under the trees (weather permitting) and enjoy your food, your wine, and the stunning garden. They offer wine tasting, cellar tours and garden tours, and there are hiking and mountain bike trails.

The gardens.
The cellars.

All in all, I would recommend a visit to Van Loveren Wines should you ever be in the Robertson (Breede River Valley) area of South Africa, it is definitely well worth a visit.

Until next time, blog friends, enjoy your wine, but please don’t drink and drive. 🙂

PS. This is NOT a paid advertisement, or sponsored in any way, this is me promoting the area I live in, and the excellent wines that are produced here.

Wine Wednesday!! (2)

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One of the views from inside the tasting and bistro building.

This time, I am actually on time with my post!

I just want to clarify – I am not going to go into detail about the wines – the notes and flavours etc. I will only feature vineyards and/or wine tasting venues that I feel have really good wines, or wines that are good value for money. I am going to tell you about the experience, the people, the surroundings, so if ever you come to South Africa, and you like wine, then you know where to go!

Today I am featuring a place called Esona Boutique Wine Estate. It is still a ‘young’ estate (compared to some in the Western Cape!) – the current owners, Rowan and Caryl, have made a lot of changes to the farm since they bought it in 2003, and has been producing wines for the last 10 years. It is set in beautiful surroundings, again, like the previous one I featured, in the gorgeous Breede River Valley, near my town Robertson, just over a 150km from Cape Town.

One of the vineyards.

They currently produce Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Frankly My Dear (Rosé), Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir, Grenache, and Colombar, and are planning to add another 4 wines to the repertoire soon.

The tasting takes place in a beautiful old cellar underground. The wines are absolutely delightful, and is presented and tasted in such a way that you really appreciate the nuances of the wine – you also get to pair the wines with fruit and chocolate, which opens up your palate to a whole new world. The young lady that does the tasting, is very knowledgeable and friendly. An interesting fact that comes across clearly, is that the shape and size of the wine glass makes a huge difference in the taste of the wine!

In the cellar.

Esona also has a Bistro where you can eat something while enjoying the views and the wine – I think one can easily spend hours there with family or friends.

Just before the wine is poured…

Rowan and Caryl take teaching and development very seriously, and they sponsor young people in the area so they can learn how to become chefs and wine makers. Please take the time to browse their web site, who knows, you might just see something you would like to order… 😉

https://esona.co.za/

Please do visit South Africa, we are friendly and welcoming hosts, and remember to include our beautiful valley and world class wines in your itinerary!

Until next time, stay safe, don’t drink and drive, and start planning your trip to sunny South Africa!! 😀