A couple of hundred kilometers, six wine farms, two beds, multiple cheese platters, endless laughs, six very content media peeps and one car laden with wine later, I can honestly say I experienced the #MagicOfWinter in the Langeberg Valley in its fullest, most whimsical glory.
How it all came together
A couple of months ago, I received an email from the lovely Mira from Hot Oven Marketing. Familiar with seeing her name in my inbox, I smiled as I opened the email, expecting a quick hallo or a question about work done together previously.
As I scanned the email over-eagerly, my eyes caught the words “media stay”, “Robertson wine valley”, “three day trip” and “let me know your available free weekends in July.” I’ve never responded to an email with so much vigour and energy, in absolute record time!
From there, it was one big deliciously blurry count-down to our media stay in the Langeberg Valley mid-July, up to the point where I’m sitting down now and reflecting on this magical experience in bits and pieces. I still pinch myself at intervals to make sure it wasn’t all just a fantastical daydream.
This was my first ever media stay as The Little Hedonist and I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to this type of content creation experience.
So, what now?
For the month of August, I’ll be proudly sharing a series of reflection pieces with you on each of the experiences on our itinerary, called “The Langeberg Chronicles.” I’ll be posting every Monday and Wednesday for the next month.
But also, much more than that. I want to delve a bit deeper into the soil of the valley than just the wine we drank and the food we ate. I want to introduce you to the people we met and unearth the hidden gems of this fruitful valley with you. I want to take you on a virtual wander through words and images.
I’m always a bit nervous when it comes to meeting new people, as I’m very much a shy variety of the ambivert, and my a-social tendencies always seem to show up when there’s new faces involved. Having said that, Mira carefully and thoughtfully put together a dream team, who immediately made me feel at ease from our first meet early on Friday morning as we tried to stuff the Avanza like a homemade sausage with luggage and content creators.
Who we are
Jared Ruttenberg: He probably doesn’t need any introduction from me, but for all intents and purposes of this trip, he was our uber-dedicated driver and tour-guide extraordinaire, and friend to all people, it seems! He kept us on time and on track, and also kicked out some pretty incredible group photos (like this one above!), among a myriad of other things!
Nicola Jane Nelson: The mischievous fox and founder of The Wine Fox. I’ve been meaning to meet her for the longest time. I learned so much about wine from her over the weekend and her fiery passion for vino is simply amazing to observe and be absorbed in.
Tim Lester: a super-talented videographer, he just has this quiet way of documenting and capturing memories without disturbing the moment. Although we might have roasted him a few times over the weekend (how dare you eat the cookies without Instagramming them first!), he’s a brilliant sport and kept us well entertained!
Roxanne Greef: Roxy is the girl with my absolute dream job. Editor of MyKitchen magazine, she also writes for various other publications, including Wedding Album SA. She’s a whole-hearted foodie and if there’s bubbles involved, the answer is always yes!
Darren Meltz: Man of many (hidden!) talents, the one that brought him on the trip, is his portfolio as Managing Editor of More than Food Magazine. I’ve been working with Darren for a couple of years now as a contributor to MTF mag, but this trip afforded us the opportunity to finally shake actual hands.
And then there was me. The small town girl with a taste for the indulgent. The ones who writes about food, because it’s one of the few things that actually makes sense to her in this big world.
Where did we go?
Just a very quick sneak-peek at the itinerary, so that you can drool over what’s yet to come from my desk over the next few weeks:
Friday 12th July
Depart Cape Town to Robertson
Wine tasting at Mont Blois Wine Estate
Visit Kalkveld Lounge on Zandvliet Estate
Wine blending experience at Zandvliet Estate
Lunch at Zandvliet Estate
Hop onto the Wine Valley Safari truck at Zandvliet Estate
Candlelight wine tasting at Weltevrede Estate
Sunset drive in a classic car in Montagu
Check into accommodation at Montagu Country Hotel
Wine and dine at Montagu Country Hotel
Saturday 13th July
Montagu Saturday Morning Market
Vertical wine tasting at Esona Boutique Wines
Lunch on the deck at Caryl’s Deli (Esona Boutique Wines)
4×4 vineyard safari drive for a wine tasting at Jan Harmsgat Country House
Check into accommodation at Jan Harmsgat Country House
Dinner at Just Amy (Jan Harmsgat)
Sunday 14th July
Wine tasting and lunch with winemaker Salóme Buys-Vermeulen
at Lozärn Wines
Depart for Cape Town
This media stay has been such a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of city life that often constricts me, but also a humble reminder of the wonders that lie right in front of our feet. I’m now fully convinced that people from the Roberson Wine Valley have slightly bigger hearts, slightly more sincere smiles and a lot more stories than the rest of us. And I can’t wait to share them with you.
I left the Robertson Wine Valley with heart cockles that overflowed with honest emotion evoked by the abundant hospitality we’ve been met with during this trip.
I’ve always held a special place for this Valley in my hedonistic little heart, but nothing could’ve prepared me for the sights I saw and the people I met during our stay.
Disclaimer: I was invited to this event in my personal capacity. There was no expectation for platform coverage in the form of a blog, or social media posts. This is my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated/credited, are also my own.