This winter I packed my things and left for South Africa. The Dutch winter lasts way too long for me, so bring a laptop and hop: working from the sun (#digitalnomad).
But besides work, I can also combine my hobby here. There are a lot of wineries in the Cape Town region, so I have planned an excursion every weekend. One of the wineries that I will visit for the first time is Bellingham. And to prepare myself extra for this, I followed the South Africa & Bellingham course from De Grote Hamersma of Vinify. Read more about the course and which wines you will taste here.
The wine course costs 99.95 euros (now temporarily with an extra 10% discount). For this amount you will receive five Bellingham trial bottles, course material and access to Hamersma’s course. You follow the Hamersma course online. You don’t have to do this all at once, because you can pause the course and easily return to where you left off.
The wine course
In Hamersma’s wine course you will first learn a bit about the wine history of South Africa and the various wine regions that the country has. For example, the quality of the wines only really increased after Apartheid was abolished (1992).
The first wines were planted at Bellingham in 1693. The estate passed from family to family until another family acquired ownership in 1943.
Of course, Hamersma also takes you through the grape varieties (Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinotage, Shiraz and Mourvèdre) and explains how to read wine labels. Of course, the most important thing is yet to come. The wines themselves. Hamersma devotes an entire chapter to pairing wine with food and gives Mrs. Hamersma recipes that she made with the various wines. That way you can get started yourself!
The Bellingham Winery
Are you also in South Africa and would you like to see all Bellingham wines? Then head to the Franschhoek Cellar. Here I got a detailed explanation about the winery and the styles of wine they produce. I let the host pick out six different wines and he took us through the flavor profile. Very interesting and special to learn more about it.
Bellingham has created a number of different wine series. For example, there is the ‘Tree Series’, named after all the trees that grow in the vineyard. The wines are a lot on the fruit and are not too complicated. Then you also have the ‘Homestead Range’, these wines are more complex than the first and you can easily combine them with all kinds of dishes. The latter is the ‘Bernard Series’, also called the premium range and named after the founder of the winery Bernard Podlashuk. I had previously drunk a bottle of wine via Vinify and it was really delicious. The wines are more concentrated and are even more complex.