On Monday the 6th of May, an early morning meeting at Lanseria airport was the start of the 2019 Cape Culinary and Wine tour. 20 eager and excited students all arrived on time and were excited to take off. Upon arrival in Cape Town, our first day took us to The Goatshed restaurant at the Fairview Wine Estate, a hearty wholesome lunch was enjoyed by everyone.
We then enjoyed our next stop at Spice Route Estate where we visited the Cape Brewing Company for a beer tasting. With some extra time on our hands, we explored the rest of Spice Route, eg, artisan chocolate making, gin and spirit distillery, winery and the well-known glass art studio.
Later that day we checked into our home for the last 6 years, The Oak Tree Lodge in Paarl, a charming and quiet place on the Main Road in Paarl.
Day 2 took us to the beautiful Franschhoek area. We enjoyed our first wine tasting of the day at Maison Estate, a modern exclusive estate just a few minutes outside of town. We gathered around a massive wood table in the garden where we tasted a few stunning wines and some really great home-made food. Shortly thereafter we made our way to Huguenot Chocolates for a delightful demonstration.
We had the opportunity to see how chocolate is made and how Huguenot makes many different kinds of truffles and other sweet treats. Later, lunch was enjoyed at Reuben’s Restaurant in town. Stunning food, great plating skills, and yummy flavours. In the afternoon we had a cellar tour at Plaisier de Merle followed by a wine and food pairing. Stunning surroundings invited us to stay a bit longer and enjoy the exceptional views and fresh air. Dinner was on the easy side with a little Italian flair at Cuccina di Giovanni.
Wednesday started with our first stop at Morgenster Farm in Summerset West where we had an olive oil tasting. Unfortunately the weather was not as great as the previous two days, however, this didn’t dampen our spirits. From Summerset West, we headed inland to JC Le Roux for a sparkling wine and nougat tasting.
Lunch was served at the Bistro at Blauwklippen in Stellenbosch, Gourmet platters with homemade goodies and fresh bread were on the menu. After lunch, we had an insightful gin tasting, amazing to see what variety of craft gins are produced in South Africa.
Our last dinner was at the beautiful Tokara Wine Estate. A 7-course meal with wine pairing was the highlight of the tour. An unforgettable experience with attentive service, great food and out of this world flavours.
Our final morning in the Cape found us at, KWV Wine Emporium, where we had a Brandy and chocolate tasting. After that, it was time to say goodbye to Paarl and head towards the mother city.
We visited Jason Bakery, owned and run by one of the school’s alumni for our last lunch.
Overall a great experience with our second-year students filled with lots of fun and learning.
We can’t wait for the culinary & wine tour 2020.
SHS Principal: Kuno Tschumi
Student Reviews of the Culinary & Wine Tour 2019
“Wine Tour 2019 was a great experience, one I would do again and recommend to everyone!
The whole tour was immensely fun and memorable. A must if you want to learn how to taste wine, indulge in local treats and top quality food.” – Janne Scott
“The Cape Wine Tour with the Swiss Hotel School was certainly worth the costs involved. Aside from being a lovely break from working hard during the semester, the tour was jam-packed with interesting activities and delicious food. Mr. T really went the extra mile in planning the trip. We all came back with far more knowledge than we left with, and grew closer to each other over the memories we now share.” – Andrew Witt
“I think the trip was great, it was money well spent. From the guest house that we stayed in the places we visited, the service was excellent and the people were friendly and very informative. I extended my knowledge of wines and the other places that we visited. What made it the best was the friends that I went with, they made it worth the laughs and memories.” – Bianca Lubbe
“The Cape Town Wine tour was one of the best trips that I can remember, we had fun with friends and bonded with each other while enjoying the scenery and the wine and the food. definitely a must to do.” – Markus Bester.
“I think the experience was amazing, I mean from the moment we arrived at the airport it was nonstop fun. Not only was it fun but educational as well. You get to enjoy what the tour has to offer but also learn more about wine and food. One of my amazing moments was to see how you can turn something as simple as a tomato into such an amazing dish.” – Rethabile Kaycee Lefifi.
“It was an overall great experience, with great memories made. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to experience amazing food that is paired perfectly with a variety of wines. It was a great way to allow students to grow closer to each other. The scenery was amazing and it was an absolute experience that I would definitely engage in again if I had the chance.” – Sven Fireson.
“The wine tour was a great experience, it was also a great opportunity to get a bit of knowledge over all the spirits, beers and wines. Not just that it was a fun time as well, we were there to get every moment into memories and make it count. I would really recommend other students to take part in the Wine Tour, it is worth it and it is what you make of it, you not there for a long time but for a good time.” – Martin Raath.
“The wine tour was a really great hospitable experience. We did so many memorable experiences that I would love to revisit.” – Kirsten Elsley.
“It was an amazing experience where we learned a lot about the background history of Paarl. We loved seeing all the different wine farms and exploring the different flavors and smells from the different places we went and visited. We got to make amazing memories with amazing people that we can carry with us forever.”- Jamie Steenkamp and Dayla Bacher.
“From tasting a variety of local wines to experiencing fine dining at a whole new level, this exciting journey was worthwhile. We are grateful for the memories that were made and would do it again in a heartbeat.” – Karabo Masilela and Kyle Govindasamy.
“Wine tour was an educational, fantastic and bonding experience. The hospitality and chef students grew closer and we all came to respect each other a lot more. Each tasting was spectacular! It was the best tour I have ever been on.”- Rebecca Suttie.
“Wine tour was an amazing experience, it gave me knowledge about different wines and made me appreciate wine more. The tour made me realize how wine pairing can improve a guest’s dining experience which I will definitely use in the future in dreams of opening up my own restaurant.”- Remo Marcer.