Bizarre in Swazi
Experience 5.0 Wine Tour

Bizarre in Swazi

THE WINE BOUTIQUE – MANTENGA CRAFT CENTRE, EZULWINI, SWAZILAND
Saturday 25 March 2017
http://www.openafrica.org/experiences/participant/1866-mantenga-craft-centre
http://www.swazi.travel/Legends_Backpacker_Lodge/accm_location

Experience: 5/5

There are no vineyards in Swaziland. It was the first evening of my holiday and the drive from Johannesburg was straightforward but tiring. The border crossing was relatively easy. Mbabane, the capital, was just an hour away. It is tiny – just the size of Stellenbosch or Grahamstown – and so I looked along the tourist belt to the South-East of the city for somewhere to stay. I wanted to visit the Mantenga Craft Centre and so booked into the nearby Legends Backpackers there.

A few shops were open at the Craft Centre together with a small restaurant with a chef from Naples who produced fabulous pasta dishes. Very much to my surprise though was to see a small wine store with a sign above proclaiming ‘The Wine Boutique’. More so, there was a good selection of wines from South African producers: Wolftrap, Waboomsrivier, Bergsig, Silk Bush, Landskroon, House of Mandela, JC Le Roux and more. There was Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Rose, Cinsault, Shiraz, Hanepoot, Cape Vintage and white and red blends.

It was truly bizarre. I bought a bottle of Stellenbosch Hills Chenin Blanc-Sauvignon Blanc Polkadraai to drink with my tagliatelle with blue cheese sauce. I don’t know if it paired well – a fuller bodied and lightly-wooded Chardonnay technically would have been better – but they tasted terrific in the cool evening.

y partner and I introduced ourselves to 2 local diners who were sitting at a nearby table. One worked in construction in a procurement role and the other was a teacher. They told us far more about Swazi culture than any guide ever could have done. Did you know, for example, that you need ask the surname of anyone you wish to date? The Swazi population is so small that you cannot date another person with the same surname. The teacher had the same surname as the King and so, technically was a Princess!

The evening, the food, wine and the company was magical and bizarre. It made a most welcome introduction to a new country and its people. Oh, and did I tell you that the day after I met a King ……. Bizarre indeed.

Wines tasted (bought *):                   

White:

2016 Stellenbosch Hills Polkadraai Chenin Blanc-Sauvignon Blanc (70% Chenin Blanc, 30% Sauvignon Blanc) – Swazi Lilangeni E75 (R74)

You Might Also Like

Late at Lateganskop

A Warm Welcome in the Cool Climate at South Hill

A Hidden Gem of Rare Excellence

Tram-Way to Heaven in Franschhoek

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Hard Graft without Grafts at Abingdon Wines – No Hail to the Monkeys

The Bestbier Family produces Best Wines at Goede Hoop

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

Lemberg Punches Above its Weight

Log Cabin-et Sauvignon in the Hot Tub!

Little Did I Know What I Had Started – A New Passion

Pedigree Stud Grub at Cavalli

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

Wine Passions Mounted at Cavalli

Lost and Found at Lomond – 100s!

Peter Puts into Hermanus

Peter Has a Whale of a Time in Hermanus

From South Africa to a Whole New (and Old) World

House Wine from the Wine Tram

Hermanus-sleepers-fontein!

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

Grape Fun – Stomping Well Worth the Journey!

Wagons to the Cellar at Waboomsrivier

Rickety Tram Passengers at Rickety Bridge

Two Dam Good!

Elgin Valley is the Cool Wine Tour

1 Night, 7 Oaks, 3 Wine Tastings for Visit 2!

Brut Force and Less Ignorance

This Vineyard Touched My Soul (aka, I Bought My First Bottle of Petrus)

Classic(al) to Barrique – De Morgenzon Hits all the Right Notes

Second Helping – and Tasting – at Oak Valley

Lothian Left Me Breathless – and Not Only the Wines!

Wines to Love on Love Street

More than Just a Destination

Never too Early in the Morning for Wine Tasting!

www: W-arm W-olseley W-elcome

A Table Setting Fit for the Gourmet at De Grendel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *