By Mduduzi Malinga
It is habitual that South Africa’s inclusion on the list of best vineyards, restaurants and bars destinations in the world is well accepted, when looking at the abundance of vineyards, restaurants, and hotels all over our country.
The history of South African wine begins in 1655, when the first grapevines were planted near Cape Town by members of the Dutch East India company. The wine industry grew throughout the 18th century, mainly producing sweet and fortified wines. Brandy, which necessitated the cultivation of white grapes, also became a major export.
Looking at where we come from, we deserve these accolades, and we should celebrate prestigious recognition because we can compete with the best in the world, and we have a lot more to offer as a nation.
Not so long in May 2023, three Cape Town restaurants were recognised in the UK’s LUXlife Restaurant and Bar Awards 2023, two of those restaurants opened in the middle of the pandemic.
Both these Awards are on their seventh consecutive year, and they showcase those who stand out within the hospitality industry, from cocktail bars to fine dining establishments.
SIBA The Restaurant, run by celebrity chef, Siba Mtongana, was named Most Exclusive Fine Dining Restaurant 2023. Located at the Table Bay Hotel, V&A Waterfront, the restaurant was first opened in 2020.
Pakwaan (Royal Indian Cuisine) in the Burgundy Estate was named Best Indian Restaurant 2023. Pakwaan first opened its doors on July 28, 2018, and has since closed.
Lastly, Italian restaurant Italo’s in Newlands won Best Family-Run Restaurant 2023, Italo’s was born in January 2020 just before the first hard lockdown, by Vivian Bruni.
Again, it is no surprise that South Africa made it on to the list for Best Vineyard Destination in the World.
With the recent report that unpacks wine ratings sourced from Vivino, the world’s largest wine marketplace and review website across the world.
Luxury travel brand, CV Villas, released their new report on the most popular wine regions as well as the most beautiful vineyards. Franschhoek’s Boschendal was rated as the Most Beautiful Vineyard in the world, and Stellenbosch was listed as fifth in the World’s Best Destinations for Wine Lovers.
Besides the fact that Boschendal ranked as the top vineyard in the world, it is also one of the oldest, most iconic wine estates in South Africa. Located in the picturesque valley of the Cape Winelands, it has over 330 years of winemaking tradition, where they carefully craft each of their award-winning wines for all to enjoy.
Additionally, with Stellenbosch shining the 5th spot of being the World’s Best Destinations for Wine Lovers and making its mark as the first African destination on the list, South Africa prides itself for highly regarded wines across the world.
The top five World’s Best Wine Destinations announced:
- Champagne, France
- Côtes de Provence, France
- Napa Valley, US
- Bolgheri, Italy
- Stellenbosch, South Africa
The top five Most Beautiful Vineyards in The World are:
- Boschendal, South Africa
- Penfolds Magill Estate, Australia
- Castello di Amorosa, United States
- Donnafugata-Marsala, Italy
- Catena Zapata, Argentina
Such occasions are a proud reminder of who the people of this country are and what it can achieve that showcases proof points of how we can hold our own and compete against the best.