By Gugu Ntombela.
Our staff outing to Spier was lovely. Located in Stellenbosch, a an hour’s drive away from Cape Town, Spier is one of South Africa’s oldest wine farms. We were welcomed by the staff and given a grand tour of Spier. Our guide, Stefan, gave us insight into the farm’s history and the way it’s run. The farm was founded in 1692, and the gorgeous architecture displays this perfectly. They have a total of 153 rooms. We were shown wonderful rooms, including a riverside room, as well as one of the suites!
Two of the rooms have been converted into an adorable kids’ club! They were fully booked so we could only look at those four rooms. This place is really coveted. I can see why. Spier is beautiful, and a perfect vacation destination. We were told that Spier is great for families and FIT, and I believe it would be a very romantic getaway for two.
We were shown all kinds of wonderful art: mosaic art and art made from recycled newspapers as well as old Jik bottles. There were gorgeous golden women sculptures who were bought by the owner from Greece as they were previously in an amphitheatre and were going to be melted. Thank goodness they were saved. They are quite the sight. Some of the art was organic. They had planted lovely flowers and succulents, among others, in everyday items such as shoes, bags, boots and even jeans.
After taking the tour on foot, we were ready for the Segways! The lovely staff showed us how to ride a Segway in the safest way possible. Don’t worry, we all had helmets. It was such a thrill to ride the Segways through the beautiful vineyards, there were flowers and vines as far as the eye can see.
We were given some insight as to how sustainable and healthy their farming methods were. For example, they keep some of the wild flora to grow around the vineyards. This ensures that pesky insects will prey on the wild bush instead of the lovely vines. This way, they don’t need to use chemicals on their vines, such as pesticides. They use nature to solve problems caused by nature. It’s pretty ingenious.
We ate lunch at Eight Restaurant and were fed food made from fresh produce grown right there on the farm. The meat was free range and the wine was marvellous. There was chicken, a garden salad, beef, steamed vegetables, and the sweetest sweet potato. This was a meal we all savoured, and we even took the leftovers home with us, so nothing was wasted.
After lunch came the wine tasting and chocolate pairing. I am not a good judge of the wine since I don’t drink alcohol, but the chocolate was definitely not to miss! The grape juice I was provided was very much appreciated, and actually paired well with the chocolate. This entire experience truly was amazing.
What an awesome way to end the day! We did not want to leave, we would’ve all loved to stay the night. You would have felt the same way. I look forward to revisiting Spier one day, for sure.
To add Spier to your itinerary, call one of Travel by XO travel consultants on +27 (0)21 486 2700 (ZA)