I never used to like wine much before I moved to Cape Town. There, I said it. Most born and bred Capetonians would gasp at the very thought of not having a passionate love affair with wine, an art form in its own right.
According to locals, I can’t even call myself Capetonian yet – only five years of residency earns you the privilege, urban legend states. Well, I’ve been living here for nearly four and it’s safe to say my appreciation for the fruit of the vine is as true as anyone else’s.
This Saturday, I gathered three friends and we spent the afternoon lazily sharing a bottle of Pinotage (okay, two bottles) on the lush lawn of a southern suburbs wine farm. And as we chatted, shared frustrations and joked around over an excellent glass of red, I looked around me. Other groups of people were doing exactly the same.
People from all walks of life came together here and did simply one thing: enjoyed each other’s company. On two different occasions, parents brought their little ones over to say hello to my dog. Squeals of delight as tiny hands were met with friendly licks and tail wags.
A boisterous group of ladies (a birthday, or maybe a bachelorette?) came over and asked us to take their picture against the magnificent backdrop. Unassuming views of the mountain, city and ocean, just sitting there for us to see, did make for the most exceptional photos.
And so, when we reluctantly got up to leave in the late afternoon glow, I took one last look at the rolling vineyards. I have come a long way learning about wine, savouring every sip with reverence and silently saluting the many hands that toiled to put the ruby liquid in my glass.
The weekend draws to a close and as Capetonians across the city snuggle up on this windy evening with a nightcap before heading into a new week, I come to a conclusion. Going out to a wine farm is about more than just drinking wine. It’s about South Africans doing what we do best: celebrating life with the ones we love, and granting our neighbours space to do the same.