The sky lit up with pastel shades of orange, pink and lavender. Fluffy clouds danced across the horizon. The rugged peaks of South Africa’s natural giants Simonsberg, Groot Drakenstein and Die Twee Pieke surrounded us, standing tall and majestic in the distance. The view in every direction was utterly breathtaking—a Stellenbosch sunset that was truly a feast for the eyes. The guests, out on the lawn clinking glasses of Cap Classique, ate it up.
I was in the bathroom crying.
The Western Cape, which makes up most of South Africa’s Winelands, is overwhelmingly beautiful. The wine made there is equally alluring. While visiting the country for the first time, I got a double-edged lesson on the sense of place wine can deliver. To enjoy a glass of South African Chenin Blanc is to know how it feels to stand in the sun beside a 240-millionyear-old mountain while scents of proteas, honeysuckle and sea salt waft through the air. It is to feel both weightless and graceful, yet mighty, all at the same time.