Years ago, there was this Advertisement for Douglas Green, featuring two Japanese tourists zooting around the Cape Winelands in search of, Douglas Green.  Today mum and I could well have been their double gangers, squeezed into our Kia Picanto hired car and doing the drive.

With no specific agenda, we turned left, or right as the fancy felt.  Trying to avoid those tempting Food and wine stalls along the way.  Honestly how much home made jam can one gather, when Jam is not something we eat, fooled by the idea of ‘home made’ and berries in colours of gold and crimson?

IMG_9610  Keep telling all the folks back on Mud Island how spectacular this place is.  Get the picture?  Past budding vineyards, spring is out, workers wrapping wires around wood to harness the tendrils.  Bygone graveyards incorporated into corporate agriculture.  Vlei’s (much nicer sounding than ditches) propped with wild growing lilies, nature is showing off here.

The entrance to Ernie Els’ Wine Estate is a landscaped editorial.  Up and down the drive, past a dam brimming with Monday’s rain.  More lilies, more vineyards, more promise of vintages to track.  The word ‘grandeur’ comes to mind when at last, on a summit we park our ‘leetle’ car.  I also park mum, who can no longer walk with ease and leave her with a view.

The winery smacks of chateau, African Style.  Afri-frans chateau and rocks reminiscent of the Zimbabwe hills.  IMG_9616


I keep telling the folks back on mud Island about South African design.

Polished cement and red accents of colour. Dark burnished counters and yellow wood armoires.  Plush, plump leather chairs.  Black rimmed photographs of back in the day nostalgia.



Despite the very ‘hired’ car look in the parking lot, the dress for easy gardening rather than elegant wine tasting, one cannot help but feel a little taller in this place.  A little more educated, in decor and drinking of his wines, when leaving.  The staff are young and enthusiastic, eager to pour into the tasting glass (me thinking of driving Le Picanto down the slippery slopes aft), and I decided to purchase a ….?  A red ‘Big Easy’ and a Rosé ‘Big Easy’.  The latter is what it is, but would have like to have more information on the label of the former.  Oh hang on, it’s on the back label and a classic blend of no fewer than 6.  Quite a blend.

But before you can say ‘open wide’ to the burger taller than the Empire State, or ‘phah phah’ as per landed gentry avec attitude as you compare the Syrah to the Bordeaux blend, a teensy reminder of who actually owns this splendid little position – the Big Easy himself.  Take a step outside and tee up, the valley is your fairway and the hint of golf is never far away.  Don’t mind if I do – for fear of axing some poor tasting fellow with a shank shot and imminent arrest.

IMG_9619 Tomorrow in search of another nectar vineyard, just Mama, little car, and me.


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