Gastritis may have messed with my joyous relationship with wine but it could not ruin the fun of visiting wine estates, which like our beautiful South Africa are diverse, unique, multi faceted and character rich. They are also all set in chocolate box, pretty scenery, nectar for the soul.
Unless you’ve been to Vergenoegd I bet you’ve never been to a duck parade. Watching a badling of runner ducks, waddling at high speed, can only bring a smile. I kid you not I just looked up collective nouns for ducks, they have 3 categories, flying ducks – flock, ground ducks brace or badling, water ducks – raft, team or paddling. That is beyond cool *. I digress, at Vergenoegd they have duck parades as the ducks are ushered into the vineyards to perform their bio friendly snail elimination duties. It is totally worth the visit, particularly if you have children in tow. We didn’t get to taste the wines as the service was very slow (but it was peak season and we hadn’t booked, which is advisable).
*I could now spend a day learning collective nouns, doves in general are a duel, bevy, cote, dole or paddling, now here’s the bit that tickles me pink turtle doves have their very own collective nouns being a pitying or piteousness, that’s going to keep me cracked up for the rest of the day. Who decided that turtle doves are so pathetic? Yet you get a wisdom of wombats. Others which have had me laughing out loud are a rhumba of rattlesnakes, a gaze of racoons, a deceit of lapwings and an implausibility of Gnus.
The Ken Forrester wines didn’t knock our socks off but it scores on being picturesque, selling a range of interesting preserves and has very pretty labels.
Dornier stands out in my memory mainly thanks to the vivacious, warm and friendly lady who served us. She brimmed with humour while telling us about the wines, the history of the Dornier family and the eccentric founder who seemed quite the hedonistic artist, Christoph Dornier who had a decidedly smutty side to him.
We have long wanted to visit Waterford and this time got there at last. It has a very Italian feel (not that I’ve ever been to Italy) and it felt that we were in a quaint cobbled village. The wines were good and the service friendly. Personally I don’t get why some South African wine estates want to emulate something foreign when foreigners from around the world visit them as part of their holiday experience, but it makes for variety.