When you think of the KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa, you almost certainly associate it with sub-tropical heat, sandy beaches, and lush green sugar cane fields. The last activity that will come to mind is wine tasting. That's an activity reserved to the mediterranean climes of the Western Cape, right? Wrong.
Though not the only growers in the area, Abingdon continues their reign as the only producer of wine in the province since 2007. They're known for their old-world style wines: Sauvignon, Syrah, and other various blends. In 2008, Abingdon was recognized for producing some of the top wines in the southern hemisphere.
The tasting room dining area was cool despite the rising temperatures outside. Sit down with a glass at the tasting room's bar and the owner, Ian, will open up about the challenges it takes to produce wine in this region's climate. Ben, the resident dog, was a sweetheart and leaned into my leg as I pet him.
I could imagine letting the hours slip by at Abingdon, either while picnicking outside on their tables in the summer, or, next to the fire with a cozy blanket in the winter. It's unexpected to stumble across a vineyard that feels like it could transition through the seasons so seamlessly. Perhaps as unexpected as finding a new favorite wine while traveling in KwaZulu-Natal.