-  Diary of an Adventure   -  Vineyard Diary


Clear, sunny autumn weather enabled us to enjoy the Gugulethu Tenors, an Afro Pop Quartet, on the lawns at Zevenwacht. Hesta kept us a spot, a bottle of wine, as well as blankets to stop our bums from freezing. The music was great, the setting spectacular. The weber has had a good workout, with remote instructions from Coreta.

Looking out at the mist enveloping the vineyards, the wind chimes breaking the stillness, it’s difficult to believe that a few hours ago we were walking on the beach in brilliant sunshine. Polly, very happy to paddle and chase seaweed. Exercise that she now thinks justifies staying in bed long after we should have been out walking. That she was awake at midnight to ensure the security guards on their circuit knew that she was alert, thrown out as additional justification.

Not having spent much time at the cottage the past few trips back home, the chore list (haircut, computer, globes, tumble dryer, wine, visas) has dictated that we circuit daily through Stellies. Wild Peacock still a favourite breakfast, lunch or cappuccino stop.

Terry’s lamb shanks in three day stock, magnificent. Black Rock ’05, and the ’08 Radfordale Chardonnay excellent.

A golden grapevine waterfall bubbling from the dark arches of the modern winery at Saronsberg. On a green canvas, the lake, a reflecting pool for the mountains against which the statue a lady stands in contentment. The gallery is a superb space, the paintings by Paul du Toit stunning. The service was a tad disappointing with no effort made to entice a clearly keen bubbles drinker.

Not so at Rijks down the road, where we would still be if we hadn’t needed to get back to the cottage. Our lunch on the patio was uncomplicated, tasty, with the exact dose of autumn sunshine. We left with the mobi-kennel full of their Chardonnay which they are discontinuing.

Julia Child’s recipe of the classic French dish, Boeuf Bourguignon brought to life by Terry in the cottage kitchen. Despite the best intentions, it was impossible to have more than two servings. Another reason to ditch vegetables, as they take up too much room.

In his time Jan has been an electronics, nuclear and power system engineer, a strategist, a humanitarian and an artist. A career path linked by creativity and innovative thinking. Initially trained at the Johannesburg College of Art, Jan has won numerous international awards and has exhibited nationally and internationally. He can be found in his studio ‘Jandreart’ located at Thesen Harbour Town, Knysna.

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