Tuesday, 12 April 2016


Over the last six months we have had yet more lovely volunteers at Fynbos, many coinciding with harvest and winemaking.

Four French volunteers lent an air of je ne sais quoi  to things.  Amsa, here for 2 months, brought an easy going smile to his hard work and Tonin from a French vineyard, came to see how we do things this side of the equator.  Agathe, after 10 years of medical study, worked in the winery and cooked delicious food for us, and Valentin, here quite briefly, helped in the cellar.

From top left clockwise: 1) Agathe in the vineyard. 2)  Amsa and Valentin in the cellar. 3) Valentin picking grapes. 4) Amsa and Valentin on the mountain.

From top left clockwise: 1 & 3) Winemaking team. 2) Doubt, Natalie and Amsa.

Other Europeans were Janneke from Holland, who had bravely travelled the seas on a yacht (despite suffering sea sickness).  She worked cheerfully and efficiently at lots of different things.  Natalie from Germany also got stuck in to whatever she was given and especially loved the animals.

From top left clockwise: 1) Janneke cleaning fish. 2) Laughter at dinner time. 3)  Lise cleaning the fish pond. 4) Janneke enjoying the view from the top of the mountain..

From top left clockwise: 1) Janneke labelling wine. 2) Agathe and Natalie tasting wine with Andy. 3) Agathe lunches with Andy & Johan.

From top left clockwise: 1) Natalie in the cellar. 2) Janneke. 3) Natalie cuddling with the dogs.

And then there were three South Africans: Martinus, here quite briefly between career changes, Lee Khan, who was fleeing the corporate world, and finally resourceful and Lise Marie, who brought enthusiasm and commitment to whatever she did.  

From top left clockwise: 1) Lee makes lemon things. 2) Lise Marie baking. 3) Lee picking lemons.

From top left clockwise: 1) Lise Marie in the winery.2) Lise Marie and Johan cooking. 3) Marthinus.


At first I had planned on setting a month aside to learn the process of making wine only. I never could have imagined the enriching experience I would have working on the Fynbos Wine Estate and the wonderful relationships I would form with Diana, Johan and fellow workers. We worked hard, harvesting, making and bottling 1000's of bottles of fantastic wines and opened the Perdestal restaurant. We made delicious and wholesome food daily, picking ingredients from the garden and everyone was encouraged to share their creativity. It was with a heavy heart that I said goodbye to the magical place that is Fynbos.
Lise Marie

Fynbos estate is an oasis in the desert - at least that is how it felt for me arriving there! 
I helped a lot in the winery, starting making wine out of the cutted graips. I learnt a lot about the traditional way of making wine. That was very interesting. I also helped in the restaurant and some other little things, whatever needed to be done.
It didn't feel like working but more being a part of the family. It was a really lovely time there!

For a first wwoofing experience, it was perfect. Host welcomed very friendly. We used to share the dinner together everyday. Tasks are various, work on the garden, make wine while the harvest, help on the restaurant as waiter or in the kitchen for cooking. 
If you like hiking, it's the place too be. Landscapes are amazing, so much trail to do, with a view of Table Mountain so unic. 
We didn't work alone, so it's a great way to share moments, and learn about South African culture.
Thanks again for your hospitality

Looking back on the month I spend at Fynbos puts a big smile on my face. The farm has a certain charm that got me on day 1. You just don’t want to leave! In my weeks on the farm I did a lot of work in the vegetable garden. Also in the winery I helped out with bottling the delicious wines ‘Darling Diana’ ‘Shiraz’ and ‘Chenin Blanc’ and I did a lot of labelling which had a very therapeutic effect. In the weekends I helped the team with setting up, serving and cooking for the weddings and parties. 
Little Suzie became my best friend on the farm. The little cat and I cuddled a lot and also Osama was keen to cuddle (in my last week) when his best friends were out of the office. But of course, only when no one else saw us. If other people were around, he would smack my bum to make sure he honoured his name ‘Osama bin Kitty’. I hiked up both mountains on my free Sundays’. Quite the climb but well worth the view. Diana and Johan made sure that there was a good balance between work and relaxing. They took me into Riebeek Kasteel and made sure I had time to explore Cape Town for a few days. The staff on the farm and the weekend team were very helpful. Many wooffers come and visit Fynbos and the team still knows how to make one feel welcome. Thank you Johan, Diana, Gail and all others for making fantastic memories with me, until we meet again! 

To work in a beautiful place is not only agréable, it is also a pleasure! 
Diana and Johan, the farmers, are really welcoming and so kindly that You feel as if You were at home. At least, Yohan cooks very well..... I left with few notes of his cooking, a Great souvenir! 

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