Bizarre in Swazi
Experience 5.0 Wine Tour

Bizarre in Swazi

Saturday 25 March 2017

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 *):                   


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

You Might Also Like

New Branding for Old-enburg is Perfect

A Table Setting Fit for the Gourmet at De Grendel

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Pedigree Stud Grub at Cavalli

More than Just a Destination

Classy, Small and Precious Kleinood

Peter Has a Whale of a Time in Hermanus

Keermont Farmhouse Redefines Luxury

Log Cabin-et Sauvignon in the Hot Tub!

Peter Puts into Hermanus

Never too Early in the Morning for Wine Tasting!

Wagons to the Cellar at Waboomsrivier

Elgin Valley is the Cool Wine Tour

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

Rickety Tram Passengers at Rickety Bridge

Superb De Trafford Worthy of Being My 200th Wine Estate

High 5’s All Round for Pride without Arrogance

Waterf-ord More Ord-inary Than Extra-ord-inary

Superb Views of Guardian Peak

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

Lothian Left Me Breathless – and Not Only the Wines!

Wines to Love on Love Street

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

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

Second Helping – and Tasting – at Oak Valley

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

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

Joy at Really Tasting the Difference at Esona

Two Dam Good!

Syrah Pillars of Excellence at Haskell

The Bestbier Family produces Best Wines at Goede Hoop

House Wine from the Wine Tram

Cheers to Lemon Squirt Acidity and Puppy Dog Breath!

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

Exciting, Excellent Keermont

Eksteen Experiments in the Lower Valley

Tram-Way to Heaven in Franschhoek

www: W-arm W-olseley W-elcome

Lemberg Punches Above its Weight

Late at Lateganskop

Lost and Found at Lomond – 100s!

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

2018 Wacky Wine Ends at Le Roux & Fourie

Brut Force and Less Ignorance

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

A Warm Welcome in the Cool Climate at South Hill

Grape Fun – Stomping Well Worth the Journey!


Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

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

A Hidden Gem of Rare Excellence

Wine Passions Mounted at Cavalli


  1. Can you give me name better dry wine

Leave a Reply

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