It feels like I'm constantly speaking in hyperbole in these gallery descriptions, but I swear I can't help it. With each new amazing place we visit, it's becoming more and more difficult to find fresh adjectives that will adequately describe the majesty of what is usually my new favorite place.
Which brings us to Franschhoek.
A few week or so before we were set to arrive in Franschhoek, considered by some as "the food and wine heartland" of South Africa, we met a couple who was traveling the opposite way along the Garden Route and had already been there. "It makes Napa look like a dump," they said. We chuckled at the exaggeration and continued on with our day. But as soon as we passed over the highest point of the Franschhoek Pass and looked down on the valley, their words came back to me.
Napa is gorgeous. I love Napa. But Franschhoek is breath-taking. (There I go again...)
I'll do my best to paint the picture for you: Miles of vineyards lay nestled between towering mountains. Fields of lavender and hydrangeas run between properties and right up to the road. It is a provencal paradise.
And all of the magnificent scenery blows you away before you take your first sip of wine or nibble of cheese. After that, if you weren't hooked already, you're completely sold on South Africa's wine country.
Side effects of a day wine tasting in the area include:
- repeating "I'm never leaving" at random points throughout the day
- fully believing you could live on wine, cheese and biltong for the rest of your life
- hugging and kissing people you met five minutes prior because they share your love of rosé
- gaining a minimum of 5-7 lbs, depending on gender, age and body type