When you compare him to other “locals”, Michael Mpofu can be seen as the new kid on the block but he has become a well-known face in the wine industry. He was born in Zimbabwe, lived in Stanger (KZN) and Gaborone during his high school years and completed school back in Zimbabwe. He studied IT but fell in love with wine when he was introduced to it through his mother’s friend.
In 2014 he moved to Cape Town and his first job in Stellenbosch was at the Hoghouse at Spier. On his off days, he would sit in the tasting room at Spier Wine Farm and learn more or visit other farms to do wine tastings. After doing the rounds in the industry Isabella Blackadder offered him a job at The Vine Bistro at Glenelly in 2016, where he worked his way up to restaurant manager.
Michael likes to try out new places, so don’t have too many regular spots. But if he has to choose a coffee spot, Bootlegger Coffee Company in Stellenbosch comes to mind first. If you are looking for a broad selection of good wines, Wijnhuis is his first choice.
An obvious recommendation is Glenelly Estate. Enjoy a glass of the estate’s Chardonnay with breathtaking views of the Simonsberg mountain. Lady May is not only the owner of the estate but also the name of the flagship red blend. The glass museum might not be known to most but is a must-visit when you are visiting the farm.
The Vine Bistro specializes in French cuisine with some South African inspiration. The wine list includes some special French wines. Make sure to book at the bistro and ask Michael for a wine recommendation. Choices include De Trafford Wines, Stark-Condé Wines, Villiera Wines, and Ken Forrester Wines.
#visitStellenbosch #TheLocalsChoice #drinkStellenbosch
For more information or recommendations, contact the Visit Stellenbosch Tourist Information Centre on 021 8864310 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALFRED THORPE @VUURTORING MEDIA