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Wine tasting in rustic Ruwa: The Bushman Rock Estate Winery and Vineyard

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Bushman Rock Estate Bushman Rock Estate www.bushmanrock.com

My friends and I have recently begun to plan to do something  every weekend. And so, a bright sunny Saturday morning saw us off to The Bushman Rock Estate Winery and Vineyard in a convoy of cars for wine tasting. In true African style, we were running late by about two hours by the time we left Harare and only got to the Estate just before lunch. 

However we were made to feel like we were right on time, a true sign of fantastic hospitality, by the staff at Bushman’s and glasses of refreshing homemade lemonade were laid out for us on the veranda overlooking the pool and the views across to the dam and vineyards. A table had been laid in the Cape Dutch Style dining room, red roses in vases on the tables set against the backdrop of a pristine white tablecloths, bookcases lined with ancient books and a rack of Bushman Rock’s wines set out in the corner of the room and with the views out to manicured surroundings. All this set the ambience to be of serenity and pure relaxation.

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On being informed we were to have a beef main course, we got the wine connoisseur in the group (who would later be schooled in our wine tasting) to choose a red wine to go with our meal. The Syrah/Shiraz 2010 was chosen; which is a full bodied wine with a hint of aftertaste. Our lunch comprised of a set menu of 3 courses. The starter was a rich butternut soup served with freshly baked bread, Mediterranean style roasted vegetables and potatoes and what we were told was a beef fillet but tasted very much like a roast beef. The dessert was divine, and although I was stuffed, I couldn’t help but partake in the meringues and brownies served with homemade coconut ice cream. The food was fantastic, my only complaint being that one of the group couldn’t eat butternut soup (the joke is he has a nut allergy) and another does not eat red meat and Bushman’s Rock didn’t offer any alternatives.

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From our lunch, we took a drive down to the vineyards where we were met by Jono Passaportis and his rather friendly dog, dare I say a Labrador? We were taken on a tour of the new building which houses the wine barrels on the lower level  and also serves as a wedding venue and soon to be a restaurant on the upper level. The building length long balcony overlooks the rows of vineyards and the dam nestled in a valley of mountains. If you haven’t been wine tasting, let me not ruin it for you, but the highlights were: a walk through the rooms where the wine barrels are stored, sniffing the corks for vanilla scents (American oak barrels) or more spicy subtle tones (French oak barrels), the funny stories Jono tells including one of how the former Italian owner made rose wine by mixing red and white wine! The wines to watch, for me were the Vintage Affair 2011 Syrah; which was made at their Valentines event where guests were invited to stamp on the grape harvest in bare feet and the 2010 Moscato, which is a great dessert wine.

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 We finished off our Bushman Rock experience by taking a wander to the small dam by the thatched lodges as the sun set. The Estate is a truly romantic setting and a memorable place to visit, set deep within the depths of rustic Ruwa. Visit www.bushmanrock.com for more information.

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