There are very few things in life that beat a farm stay for relaxation. Granted, a pampered retreat is lovely and does the job, but the quickest way to switch off from the daily grind is to sit on a stoep drinking a glass of red wine and watching the rhythms of harvest season playing out in front of you. Farm stays definitely suit some personalities better than others, as a farm tends to be surprisingly vibrant, with voices coming from the orchards during harvest season, tractors 'putting along merrily, and some kind of animal trying to get your attention. However, if you like to engage with the scenery rather than just look at it, this might be just what you need.
We arrived at Excelsior just in time to find the tasting room still open, but with a twist. We had hardly entered when we found an alchemist’s kit handed to us. I may be using my artistic license here, but an alchemist is exactly what I felt like as I stood in front of three barrels of red wine with my measuring tube and formula sheet, constructing my own unique blend of red wine, which turned out to be even more unique when I turned a tap the wrong way and had wine spurting out the top of my bottle! Perhaps I should not have insisted on trying all six of the suggested blends...
Nonetheless, my blend is now sitting proudly in my collection. After the wine tasting/blending, we ventured off to explore the farm. We were kindly provided with a vehicle, as my little car would not suffice for the scale of exploration that was offered to us. We cruised along orchards, through gates and around fields, and eventually wound up on a tar road miles from where we started. Best of all, we were encouraged to liberate some clementines if we found any (they were Delicious), and never once felt unwelcome even once we were distinctly on the neighbouring farm. Sadly we had to leave for Joburg the next day, because I would have loved to borrow a bicycle and go mad on the network of dirt tracks.
Pictured: The evening glow over the tasting room