In Southern Africa, awe-inspiring wilderness, out-of-this-world food and drink, and inspiring cultures collide perfectly, creating an idyllic backdrop for our 13-day epicurean getaway led by Canada's foremost winemaker Norman Hardie.
Journey from Cape Town and the rugged wilderness of the Western Cape to the bucolic Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and beyond, visiting a hand-picked collection of wineries, restaurants, and boutique boltholes along the way. Then fly up to the lush, green wilds of Botswana's Okavango Delta where luxury camping takes on a truly magical meaning. Gain exclusive access to the country's top chefs and wine-makers, indulge in a bounty of fresh farm-to-table cuisine, and explore the many layers of the wine industry with a true insider who considers South Africa a home-away-from-home.
Photos courtesy of Jen Deacon, Silver Dune Photography, Jared Coetzee Photography and Natural Light Photography.
Dates: February 9 - 21, 2018
Price is $13,995 CAD based on double occupancy. Single supplement is $2,990 CAD per person
NEW! We are now offering an 8 night option to join the group through the South African Cape Winelands only, February 9-17, 2018. The price for this option is $6235 CAD based on double occupancy. Single supplement available upon request.
Note: This is an exclusive, fully-guided small-group journey (maximum number of travellers is 14) that's led by the inimitable Norman Hardie and Jennifer Deacon, Founder and President of Quench Trip Design. For travellers wishing to extend their stay in Africa, we are happy to design an add-on trip.
- Enjoy a special tasting of winemaker Christa von la Chevallerie’s exquisite sparkling, Filia
- Visit boutique producers such as Beaumont Family Wines and The Drift, and famous estates like Klein Constantia
- Eat in South Africa’s top restaurants, including The Foodbarn, helmed by Chef Franck Dangereux and an exclusive winemaker’s lunch prepared by the celebrity chef Bertus Basson
- Dine around a traditional African starlit boma
- Immerse yourself in the other-wordly natural environment of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, a kaleidoscope of magnificent animals and birds
- Stay in a mix of historic luxury retreats, chic, family-run properties, and decadent wilderness camps, all distinctly Southern African
- The guidance of your host Norman Hardie
12 nights’ accommodation in luxury boutique hotels and wilderness camps including breakfast daily and all meals and drinks on safari
8 dinners, 9 lunches with wine and tips included
Wine tastings at hand-picked wine estates in Constantia, Walker Bay, Elgin and the Swartlands, as noted in the itinerary
The expert guidance of trip host Norman Hardie
A full-time dedicated Quench trip manager, Jennifer Deacon
Luxury group vehicle and driver throughout the trip
Flights from Cape Town to Maun and between camps in the delta, returning to Maun
Norman Hardie is one of a select few winemakers who has mastered the art of tasting, growing and making wine in both hemispheres and in six wine regions around the world. In his early twenties he received his sommelier certification from the esteemed wine program at the University of Dijon in Burgundy and put his skills to work as a sommelier for Four Seasons Hotels for six years. His insatiable thirst to master the art of winemaking led him on a six year journey apprenticing for the very best producers/winemakers of cool climate varieties in Burgundy, South Africa, Oregon, New Zealand and California.
Years of viticultural research into both Prince Edward County and Niagara Peninsula, studying climate, soils and grapevines led to the decision to locate his winery in one of the most scenic regions in Ontario. In 2003 Norman put roots down in Prince Edward County by planting 12,000 Pinot noir, 3,000 Chardonnay and 2,000 Pinot Gris vines. Back then, grape acreage in Prince Edward County was still considerably small and the opportunity to purchase fruit was non-existent. Norman’s decision to establish his winery in Prince Edward County versus Niagara put him in a position to grow and plant in the County while still providing opportunity to source fruit from select limestone-clay driven sites in Niagara. In the past 12 years Norman Hardie Winery has established itself as one of Canada's premier wineries. It now has 25 acres of land under vine in Prince Edward County and continues to work with the most dedicated growers on some of the best sites in the Niagara Peninsula.
Recently his wines have received numerous accolades in both the local and international market. Matt Kramer, of the Wine Spectator, chose the 2008 County Chardonnay as one of his wines of the year. Outstanding reviews have come from international wine critics, such as Stephen Tanzer and Jancis Robinson. Critics from Ontario, including Tony Aspler, John Szabo and David Lawrason have been quick to hand out praise for each vintage of Norman Hardie Wines.
Jennifer Deacon, a 20 year expert in the tailor-made travel industry, has designed and guided trips that have been featured in such publications as The New York Times, LA Times and The Globe & Mail. Although the travel bug was deeply ingrained by a childhood of family travels, Jen's professional travel instincts were seeded during the three years she spent in Italy as a university student. In the time that she studied and lived in Florence, she was able to explore Europe extensively and there started guiding trips for Butterfield & Robinson, a role that laid the groundwork for her future career.
When she was recruited by Burgundy-based Hamilton Fitzjames, Jen moved to France to design and guide luxury private and corporate trips throughout Italy. In this next chapter of her life, which lasted almost 5 years, she gathered an inspired network of local colleagues -- a rolodex of special people and places that eventually she took back to Canada. Her passion for discovering and sharing authentic experiences with like-minded travellers was the basis of her now 10-year old business, Quench Trip Design.
Jen's countless adventures worldwide have broadened her destination knowledge, spanning the value-concious to luxury markets in Africa, Asia, India, and South America. She thrives on discovering new destinations as well as seeing old favourites through new eyes. Partnerships with savvy insiders like Norman Hardie are key to unveiling a richer immersion into foreign cultures, something she feels is essential to the success of any trip. In Jen's words, "At the heart of our business is our desire to share destinations in a more personal way, to introduce people and settings that most travellers would otherwise not encounter, so they leave with a true sense of the place. This trip will be the perfect example of that. Collaborating with Norm is ideal because he shares our love of authentic experiential travel. “