-  Diary of an Adventure   -  Vineyard Adventures

Unexpected days filled with sunshine. The braai a must, and an excellent foil to Terry’s cauliflower and bacon tart. Doolhof shiraz, living up to the hype. Rich and spicy.

Francolins in the garden, churning the yellow flowering perennials. Camellias in full bloom. Pink and red brilliance amongst the green foliage. The winter garden starting to stir as thoughts of summer increase with the longer daylight hours. Slow release fertilizer to provide nutrients.

Clos Malverne for lunch. Flavours more subtle in their new menu, with a few favourites (oxtail in a philo basket) sandwiched between a very good Thai mussel dish and tender Springbok venison. Thank goodness Terry was driving!

On the easel, a painting of Dwarskloof. The joy of painting on a large canvas, my hands cramping from the extra work. From the cupboard, the box of crazy Ferrario paint (Zinc yellow, Monaco madder, Green earth ancient, sepia, Zinc green. Copt motun. Paris blue.) bought as a lot in England a dozen years ago, adds its own inspiration.

The A-Team from Knysna blew in with the rain. Terry’s stunning ox-tail perfect to try Craig’s new Black Rock (excellent) and Radford Dale Nudity (soon available at Woolies. A ‘must have’). The label is classy, the wine (without any sulphites added) doesn’t have the complexity of the Black Rock, but it’s close.

The Stable’s Restaurant at Vergelegen, the mountains hidden by a curtain of rain. For a non-calamari eater, the choice of calamari as a ‘taster’ with the first glass of wine was an inspired choice. A double baked cheese soufflé first course arrived with shafts of sunshine spotlighting the perfection of the new ponds and gardens. I didn’t need the roasted lamb main course, which didn’t stop the enjoyment. No walk through the gardens, given the weather, which was the only disappointment.

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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