Thursday, June 19th, 2014

I get picked up at my hotel by Granwell from Wine Flies Wine Tours at 9:15am.  The weather is cloudy and cool but is supposed to clear up throughout the day.  The liner from my new rain jacket I purchased yesterday will come in handy today.  We are on a small mini bus that I transfer to the floor then to the seat closest to the door.  I am last to be picked up.  There are 13 people on the tour today.  Our first stop is in Paarl wine region at Fairview Wine & Cheese about 45 minutes away.  The parking lot and walkway at the winery is gravel, with a slight up hill.  Granwell helps push me to the entrance.  Once to the entrance it is paved and easy to wheel around.  Brian is the presenter for the wine.  The tasting is a pairing of 5 wines, 5 cheeses and one sweet dessert wine.  My favorite is the Shiraz.

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We have a 15 minute drive to the Stellenbosch wine region for the rest of our wine tasting tour.  Villiera Winery is our first winery in Stellenbosch.  Granwell gives us a tour of the wine making process from vine to bottling.  He also is our wine presenter.  We taste 7 wines at Villiera, I like the Sauvignon Blanc the best.  The tour and tasting room are all accessible.

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Lunch is at Middelvlei Wine Estate 15 minutes down the road.  After lunch we have a tasting of a 2013 Merlot straight from the aging barrel and a great group photo opportunity.  The lunch area is accessible but I need help from Granwell up a hill to the cellar.  We get to meet Merlot, the wineries great dane.

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The next tasting is at Lovane Boutique Wine Estate 10 minutes away.  There are 3 steps I need carried up to the entrance.  The tasting room is in the basement.  Two workers help me down a very steep ramp with wood rungs.  This is the ramp they use to roll the wine barrels up and down to the cellar.  Lovane only produces red wine, about 2000-3000 bottles per year.  Our tasting was Cabernet Sauvignon from 4 different years and a sweet red wine.  The 2007 Cab Sav was my favorite.  I am helped up the ramp by Granwell pushing the back of my chair and the two works from before pulling from the front.  I’m helped down the 3 steps then we’re off to our last tasting today, Annandale Estates Winery 15 minutes away.

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We head to the tasting area that’s accessible, our presenter is Pierre.  We taste 4 different wines and a brandy.  Pierre offers to give me another taste of the fourth wine if I can do a spin on two wheels.  Even after all the wine throughout the day I was successful.

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We have a 45 minute ride back to Cape Town during which me and a few people on the tour make plans to continue the drinking.  James, Courtney and I get dropped off at her hostel to drink and play some pool.  We meet a few more people for dinner on Long Street then to the Beerhouse to finish up the late night.  Downtown Cape Town is not accessible.  There are no curb outs and the curbs are at least 4″ tall.  I was getting help from Courtney on one curb, fell out of my chair and scraped my knuckles.  The beerhouse is accessible with an elevator and accessible bathroom.  I was too busy drinking and socializing to make many notes after the wine tour.  I take a cab back to my hotel with plans on sleeping in.

This was the best wine tour I’ve been on since I started traveling.  Most places were accessible but Granwell and people on the tour were more than happy to help when needed.  This is the first tour I’ve went out with people after the tour.  Granwell did a great job as our driver and tour guide.  I would recommend this wine tour to anyone who visits Cape Town.

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