Surprise everyone with a tour of the only vineyards in Cape Town’s townships. You will see rows of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat in the market garden plots between the corrugated iron structures and overhead spaghetti of electrical supply that is the visual signal of the Cape’s townships.
From the hospitality of the vignerons, you can go on to taste wines made for and by township residents. Combine these in wine and food pairings with African dishes from the hand of a master chef.
Voilà, Cape Town’s most original experience is just 30 minutes from your hotel, five minutes from the pounding surf of False Bay, and ten minutes from the Cheetah Outreach programme in Somerset West.
All of this happens in vibrant Khayelitsha, a city of a million people on the limestone sands of the Cape Flats. A city where there is hot and tasty street snack food on every main road, like in the Singapore of forty years ago, and just one restaurant.
Village House is where the creative talents of Thusile Celesi inspires a new generation of young kitchen talent and visitors from all over the world are welcome.
“I started off as a cleaner in 1987 at the Ritz Protea Hotel in Sea Point but as the years went by I was promoted to being a cook. The more I was trained in-house, the more I moved around working for other hotels in the Protea group until I became head chef.”
Another surprise! Village House has an almost indistinguishable exterior from the knock-down shacks of the neighbouring homes but inside, it is a creative art masterpiece. Every little room and nook is a revelation of the art skills of Thusile and Khayelitsha as a whole, from floor to wall and ceiling and then to the dishes on the table.
During the vineyard tour, you will have the good fortune to visit the red-brick structure of Chris Hani Secondary School, a standard high school, perched in a corner of six hectares of Cape Flats sandy grassland. These empty fields were designed for sports and recreation, but in 26 years, the only developments have been the Gary Kirsten funded cricket practice nets and an all-weather cricket strip. This is a state-funded school, like all other high schools in Khayelitsha and the parents are the poorest in Cape Town. There are no funds available for extra-curricular activities or support structures from any source. In soccer-crazy Khayelitsha, the school has no goal posts on the grassland.
The Township Winery has co-ordinated with the school to plant a hectare of Chardonnay vines. The project will establish a borehole and irrigation system for water supply in dry conditions on a portion of the school land that had been zoned for agricultural use. It is hoped that the school will be able to add agriculture to the academic curriculum, and that a teacher and pupils will participate in the viticultural project. The vineyard will belong to the school and funds from the grape crop will be for the school’s benefit.
It should be added that the Chris Hani School is probably the nation’s premier arts and culture nursery. Every one of the 1300 learners participates in acting, singing, dancing and other forms of performing, as well as language, maths, etc. lessons. In 2017, the school’s Jazz Band was the opening act at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. What used to be the principal’s office is used for display of the trophies and award plaques earned by the learners in national and international competitions. This school is deserving of any support you can give.
The Township Vineyard Tour and Khayelitsha lunch is a unique experience and the cost starts at R880 per person based on a group of eight people. This rate includes:
- Vineyard Tour.
- Khayelitsha lunch including welcome wine, music by a marimba band and a five course meal paired with local wines.
- My services as guide and SA wine expert.
The tour can be incorporated into an existing itinerary or transportation can be arranged and costed separately. Enquire by email at email@example.com or visit www.townshipwinery.com.