Sunday was another beautiful blue-sky day here in the Western Cape. My brothers and I went to lunch with our cousin at the wine estate of Vergelegen (Dutch for ‘far away’). A little bit of history : in 1700, Dutchman and Cape colony Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel was granted the property of Vergelegen. He set out to build a main house and others in a style under the Renaissance influence of wealthy estates and palaces in Europe at the time. However, his lavish spending on the property and other actions trying to establish a monopoly in the trade of wine and meat for himself caused a revolt under the free ‘burghers’ (independent farmers), and led to his recall and return to the Netherlands in 1707. The estate was sold several times after that, most recently to the mining company Anglo-American in 1987. At that time wine was no longer produced, but within ten years the estate was recognized as producing some of South Africa’s finest wines.