Ed’s letter: A midsummer day’s dreams

Here’s an idea. Pour yourself a glass of one of our spectacular Chardonnays, then sit back with this issue of Stellenbosch Visio and imagine how you, guided by our discerning writers, are going to spend a sybaritic summer second to none.

Picture by Avron Leto Williams

Should you, in a rush of adrenaline, go heli-biking (p. 104) and follow those scenic mountain-to-ocean trails that ‘inevitably’ also lead to Stellenbosch’s quirky restaurants and vibey coffee shops? Or should you rather indulge your inner artist with a pairing of wine and art (p. 73) at the stimulating art exhibitions, programmes and workshops offered by several wine estates and art museums in town? Or go shopping for those gifts, perfect for an unforgettable festive season, which are showcased (p. 24) in this issue?

Difficult to choose? Then go ponder the possibilities of a Stellenbosch summer a bit longer over dinner at one of those classic restaurants – De Volkskombuis, Delheim and Decameron – that have over decades become part of the collective memory (p. 66).

Looking at these choices, I realise how much I love this almost dizzying feeling of abundance when the summer season spreads its butterfly wings – a spirit Jackie Burger captured so perfectly in the bright, bold colours of the flirty fashions shot on location at Tokara Estate (p. 32).

Here at Stellenbosch Visio we love to celebrate the people, places and good stories of our region and, in this issue, we do just that. Wine, of course, again takes centre stage. This time around, Chardonnay captures the limelight and, by way of introduction, Emile Joubert sings the praises of this delightful variety: “Chardonnay wishes to charm and to satisfy; seduce and beguile” (p. 44). A number of wine estates known for their excellent Chardonnay wines are featured in a special section, serving as a guide to your next wine-tasting excursion.

Emile also pays tribute to the legendary Duimpie Bayly for his contribution to winemaking and the culture of wine drinking (p. 70). And let me remind you about the book in honour of Stellenbosch Wine Routes’ golden anniversary – Stellenbosch. The Wine. The
People. The Stories – just published by Tip Africa Publishing.

On another level, we are proud to be associated with the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS), right here on our doorstep. Through the recently launched Nobel in Africa Initiative, STIAS will become the first organisation outside Scandinavia to host Nobel Symposia, an esteemed international forum for the sharing of innovative, high-level scholarship (p. 94).

Vir my is die waardevolste geskenk van die somerseisoen, en die grootste luukse, om tyd saam met my geliefdes te kan deurbring, om in die natuur te gaan stap of fiets te ry, in die see te swem en om êrens op ’n soel someraand die son te sien sak.

Ek wens elkeen van ons lesers ’n geseënde feestyd toe, tyd vir rus en ontspanning, tyd saam met familie en vriende, en die geleentheid om nuwe plekke en ervarings te beleef.

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Share your thoughts with Francé and send an email to editor@stellenboschvisio.co.za.