Grande Provence

Surrounded by mountains… we are driving on a lane that reminds me of holidays spent in Italy.
Cultivated trees and hedges and tall cypresses lead the way to Grande Provence Wine estate. It’s still winter but I could easily be fooled by the cloudless blue skies … to think that it’s already spring.
The white buildings stand out in this perfectly manicured landscape. Here Cape Dutch style gables remind us of the colonial history of this beautiful country.
My guess is that the Huguenots had the same thoughts, when they settled here in what they later called “Franschhoek”.
We slowly enter the wine tasting building, for me it is the second time in three weeks, the last time I visited I only had coffee … that time I was the one driving and thought it would be a good excuse to come back for a winetasting.

We walk inside and nothing of the interior reflects the Colonial outdoors. It’s industrial and mostly grey and white, the hint of darker wood in the form of an antic louvre door and the black and white picture frames set the scene. I love it …

The bar, at this early hour, is already surrounded by people… I figure out that the wine-tram just stopped before we arrived. While we are waiting for our wineglasses I have time enough to walk around and take some pictures. I’d like to mention that the barstools are really special! They remind me of an old fashioned family swing, the ones you saw a lot of in my childhood, in the play gardens of restaurants in Holland.

We decided to do the ‘Angel Tears’ tasting, as we need to fill up on our ‘everyday drinking’ wine stock. So ‘in our eyes’ a nice, good wine but not expensive for weekday drinking.
Next time we will taste the more exclusive GP wines, a great outing if we have visitors and go for lunch to the superb restaurant.
Walking between the strong lines of the garden, which is lovely, and where the enormous sculptural art are great eye catchers I think back to summer.  We enjoy having lunch here when the weather is nice, especially on a Sunday when they often have live African music…
I must find out if they still organize that!

I see the outdoor fireplace is burning and a few guests are brave enough to sit outside… My eye catches a long laid table under the leafless trees …. The long wooden tables, now becoming grey, are also something that would not be out of place in an Italian landscape….
I can see myself sitting here with all my friends …. Enjoying excellent food and great wines … everybody very talkative and relaxed …

Oh no I mustn’t daydream too far… my husband has already filled the boot with some wine boxes…the motor already running, time to go home…we look at each other and say…”wow this was again a lovely day”!

Tips from the Winelands, Western Cape
By Zeelandhuys

Grande Provence
Franschhoek