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"Lekker" Africa

This is a word to know if you plan a visit to South Africa. It means "good", "delicious" and so much more...
Because South Africa is the country where you live well and even more, where you eat and drink well. This is the country of hedonism where my wine passion started!
It is a place where you can discover a huge variety of specialties and quality food, fresh fruit and vegetables, game meat, fish and seafood, either grilled on the famous  "braai" (African barbecue) or stewed, all of this paired with amazing local wines from wonderful sunny vineyards...

Get a fore-taste...

The South African culture :
... They like to receive, share and exchange.
...The weather conditions are very favorable all along the year. The sky is almost always blue accompanied by sunshine and temperatures are most of the time pleasant, even if there are the 4 seasons. We often compare their climate to the Mediterranean climate. As a consequence, their lifestyle is often "living outside". All their houses are equipped with an outdoor terrace or patio named « stoep », in Afrikaans language, to receive friends and family around a « braai », African barbecue. For Afrikaans, there is a difference between barbecue and braai. Barbecue is prepared with charcoal whereas the braai with dry wood, according to one of my South African friends. They are meat lovers but also lovers of fresh seafood and fish, the Ocean being always close by. Here, food is really affordable compared to Western Europe, as well as for the wine. So, they can afford a "braai" almost every evening during summer time. They cook kilos of all kind of meat. From beef to what they call  « game » meat, coming from safari hunting. It can be different species of antilops such as kudu but also warthog, ostrich and oryx. Between them, they speak Afrikaan, a language inherited from the Dutch.
...In the middle of the XVIIth century, several ships from The Dutch East India Company was passing by Cape Town to reach India. Some of them decided to settle in South Africa, including Jan Van Riebeeck who setted up in "Cape Good of Hope" a refreshments station for the ships stopping by to refill themselves with food and water. This is how the new settled Dutch people started growing vegetables and experimented vines planting. First viticultures and the first South African wine was produced in 1659 by Jan Van Riebeeck, commander of the Dutch navy.
The first South African wine was produced from Muscadel, a white and round grape, similar to the Spanish grape named "Sémillon"... It was on February 2nd 1659!
Then, some Frençh named the Huguenots, leaving France following protestants persecution under the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 by Louis The XIV, arrived in numbers as of 1688...
Local government gave them fields in the surroundings of Cape Town, further inlands. The Huguenots settled there, building farms. Economy was fluctuating a lot throughout the centuries. Nowadays, this area has been named the "French Corner" or "Franschhoek", and became a well-known sought after area with Premium renown wineries from the country. We can discover vast wineries with a wide range of award winning wines. A 1920's atmosphere from the French "Belle Epoque" period, is reigning in the streets of this small paradise by the old granite mountains. You can stroll from restaurants to restaurants, all worthy of the fame of the cuisine inherited from the French ancestors... There are many shops offering clothing, accessories, antiques but also art galleries. A very well organized wine tour is offered from the city center and takes you along different lines that get you through vineyards and renown estates by means of an old revisited tramway, all of this in a music rocking you at heart of the vines. Gastronomic stopovers in chic restaurants are also offered by most of the estates.

Portugal, a terroir of diversity


With 13 wine regions, Portugal offers a diversity of wonderful wines from a wealth of terroirs with varied climates. To the North of the Douro, explore Vinho Verde, a refreshing wonder rooted in the verdant landscapes of northern Portugal. Nestling between the rivers Minho to the north and Douro to the south, Vinho Verde vineyards stretch across the Minho and coastal Douro regions, where the oceanic climate and abundant rainfall contribute to lively and refreshing wines.

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