Posted by: gypsytales | November 14, 2010

“Le Dolce Vita” with BEYERS TRUTER

Paddle Cruiser

Le Dolce Vita, “the sweet life”, was well underway as we sailed to The Featherbed Nature Reserve, on the other side of the Knysna estuary.  A limited number of guests aboard the Paddle Cruiser vessel were sipping the last fragments of light before the sun slipped insouciantly behind the Knysna Heads.

Just before boarding

Splendid sunset

Tonight we weren’t going to be hearing it through the grapevine.  Instead, multi-award winning master winemaker and owner of Beyerskloof Wines, Beyers Truter was our host.  Famous for purporting the indigenous South African grape varietal Pinotage, we were to enjoy an evening of story telling, wine tasting and fish braaing in his company.

Restaurant at Featherbed Nature Reserve

After docking at the nature reserve we made our way to the wooden tables and chairs clustered under the canopy of lacy green leaves.  Before long the microclimate around our table of merry wine tasters produced enough effervescence to carbonate a cellar of sparkling wine.

Between playing chef and cooking the snoek over open coals and casual conversation about whether screw caps are better than corks or whether one should store their wine bottles lying down or standing up, Beyers, armed with his magnum of knowledge and experience, regaled us with wine making stories and hilarious anecdotes.  Considering his pedigree, there’s no showboating here.  Mr Pinotage, as he is also known, is down to earth and noticeably unaffected by his accomplishments and accolades.

Beyerskloof Wines

Beyers Truter - Master Winemaker


Pinotage, contains resveratrol a powerful antioxidant; 12 times stronger in fact than any other red wine.  Resveratrol acts like blotting paper assisting in reducing the bad cholesterol in the blood stream.  Further studies are revealing that resveratrol has other health benefits related to aging, diabetes and cancer.  And who said an apple a day keeps the doctor away?

All the fireside bantering didn’t slow progress down and before long we were making our way to stockpile our plates with tasty helpings of fresh greens, sticky sweet potatoes and braaied snoek seasoned with Beyers’ secret basting sauce.

Perfect weather, for a perfect evening

We dined under an embroidery of fairy lights enjoying convivial company, local cuisine, cooked the traditional way and complimented by a selection of Beyerskloof wines.

All too soon the horn from the Paddle Cruiser blew reminding us of our imminent departure.  The return trip was a blend of subdued lighting, mellow conversation and quiet remorse that Le Dolce Vita was about to end.  Let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long for The Featherbed Company to organise another fun-filled bouquet of entertainment at the Featherbed Nature Reserve. 

All photographs on this post were taken by my hubby.  To see his website please visit:




  1. Brenda is still looking for a “favourite” SA wine – we will look for the label, thanks.

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